Stardust Future Events

Ballroom Dance Events

Ballroom Dance Weekend
April 13-15, 2018 

Ballroom Dance cruise 2018
January 13-23, 2018

Ballroom Dance Cruise
Destination: DUBAI
March 2-11, 2018

Dance Weekend Faculty

DONNA DESIMONE - Instructor of Performing Arts, Ballroom, Choreographer, Performer & Judge. Donna has been teaching dance for 32 years. Her knowledge of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Broadway Theater and Ballroom has greatly influenced her Hustle style. In 1975 Donna was introduced to a dance called the Hustle. Donna became a Hustle dancer on the Television show “Soap Factory Disco” in 1977. In 1978 she opened her first Dance Studio. Four years later opened her second studio. In 1983 she discovered the world of Ballroom dancing. She trained and competed for 8 years under Roberto Pagan and many well known coaches in American & International styles. In 1985 took 5th in her first ballroom competition at the USBC. In 1986 took 1st at the Virginia State Ballroom Championships in Latin, Won 1st place at 1986 Ohio Star Ball State Championships. In 1986 she won her first United States title,” USBC American Rhythm Champion” in Miami Florida. In 1990 Donna entered the well know Zackary’s Dance Competition and took 1st Place. One year later winning the Tri State Open Hustle Championships sponsored by Night Life Magazine. Donna went on to choreograph for dance tours to China, Italy, Florida, Hershey Park, Carnegie Hall (“Cole Porter’s 100th Birthday Celebration” and “An invitation to Dance” with the NY Pops Orchestra). You can also see her on Cable TV “Touch Dancing” with Alfonzo. Donna started competing again for fun after taking a 14 year break and took 1St Place with her dance partner Derrick Allan in Professional Open Hustle Theater Arts at the Hustle Congress in 2006. Donna has been on staff for “World Hustle”, New York Hustle Congress”, “International Hustle & Salsa Competition” in Miami and the New Orleans “The Big Easy” to judge, teach workshops and perform. Donna won an on line poll in 2006 sponsored by Ron Bess’s Dance Talk as Favorite Female Dancer in the Reader’s Choice Awards. Currently Donna teaches, Choreographs and performs in New York and beyond. For the past 15 years Donna has been the Ballroom Entertainment Director for the “Stardust Dance Weekends” in the Catskills & Stardust Cruises.

WINGO HOM – known as "The Dance Doctor" was born and raised in New York City.  At age 11, he was introduced to partner dancing by his classmate’s parents.  They were social dancers and demonstrated a variety of dances in their living room, which awakened his passion for all dances.  His determination and motivation has rewarded him by studying under some of the finest instructors and coaches, which has lead him to compete in an array of dances such as, Hustle, American and International styles of Ballroom, Latin, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Salsa.  He is known for his unique technique for diagnosing and improving your dance. The dance doctor makes house calls, you supply the floor space and he will bring the knowledge. Wingo has over 50+ years of dance experience and multiple accomplishments, which include: Recipient of the 2015 Artie Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award, Recipient of the 2014 Employee of the Year Award for Stardust Dance Productions, Winner of 10 Top Teacher Awards, Winner of the 2009 Dancing with the Stars Tour Version in Cha Cha and East Coast Swing competition in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, 2006 Amateur Male Hustle Dancer of the Year, First and only amateur hustle couple, with partner Angela McCabe, to defeat a professional Hustle couple in a competition, 649 first place titles, 34 Jack and Jill first place awards. Wingo is one of the very few instructors that is certified (lead and follow) in Hustle, 12 different American Smooth, Latin and Rhythm Styles at full Bronze and Silver Levels. He is also certified to Judge Dance competitions in all levels. Wingo is a familiar presence in the Hustle, West Coast Swing and Salsa community and is currently teaching in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.    

LEON HARRIS - started his association with the dance community after retiring from the US Navy. His first dance was the Brazilian dance Lambada, moved on to ballroom, and finally developed a love for Argentine Tango .  Viewing dance as an extension of his interaction with people, Leon focuses on teaching good dance technique and building confidence in his students.   Being calm and understated, his students find his classes easy going, stress free, but meet their goal of learning to dance. Being located in Washington DC, his training has included local ballroom studios, workshops with visiting dance professionals, salsa and Argentine Tango dance festivals in the US, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe; tango workshops in Buenos Aires and Dubai, and two summer sessions at Stanford University for advance Argentine Tango.   Seven workshops at the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional Habana (Cuba) provided him with a focus on Cuban dance history, Afro Cuban Folkorico dances, Cuban social dances, and the dances of Santaria. Although he was a student, he taught Argentine Tango while in residence at the Conjunto.  As a former Stardust dance host, his experience opened doors for  him to hosting/teaching on all the major cruise lines. On the Queen Mary 2, he danced around the world and taught Argentine Tango to a group of beginners that resulted in a performance for the ship. For the pass 20 years, his home has served as his dance studio for Latin and Argentine Tango classes.  Leon was the recipient of Stardust Dance Productions 2015 Employee of the Year.

CAMERON JOHNSON – Hailing from South Africa, Cameron started his dancing career at the age of 5. Cameron is the unbeaten South African International Standard Campion in the Junior, Amateur and Professional ranks. In 1996, Cameron represented South Africa in the Open Fleetwood Professional Championship in Blackpool, England and was placed 6th.  In 1996 Cameron represented South Africa in the Open French Masters Professional Championship on the Isle of Reunion and was placed 3rd. In 2000, he was invited to immigrate and teach in the USA where he has since made his home. In 2008, Cameron represented the USA at the World Pro/Am Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was placed 1st. To date, Cameron is still active in the competitive Pro/Am arena where he teaches and molds his students into the best dancers they can be. Since 1995, Cameron started studying to do his professional qualification exams and, in 1996, achieved a Highly Commended pass rate as an Associate in International Standard through the South African National Council of Ballroom Dancing. In 1999, Cameron also achieved a Highly Commended pass rate as an Associate in International Latin and a Highly Commended pass rate as a Licentiate in International.

LOURDES CRUZ - has been dancing from a very young age and began teaching & competing professionally in 1996.  Her dance background extends from Ballroom & Latin Dancing, Folk, Belly Dance, West Coast Swing & Argentine Tango.  Her 13 Ballroom Dance Major along with her interdisciplinary teaching experience and studies in music, martial arts, & speech pathology contribute to the versatility of her dancing and teaching style.  Currently she is Program Director and Lead Instructor of the Dance Program at Innerlight Movement Studio in Hyde Park, NY. 

NINO DIGIULIO - Owner and Executive Director of May I Have This Dance, one of the most popular social dance studios in the nation, Nino has created a unique curriculum and trained thousands of dance students and professionals.  An expert in all ballroom and latin dances, he has won numerous top teacher awards and competitions in West Coast Swing and Hustle.  He has been a featured instructor, coach, judge, and competitor at national events like Swing Dance America, World Hustle Championships, International Hustle & Salsa Championships, Swing City Chicago, Carolina Groove, NY Hustle Congress, and the Chicago Salsa Congress.

AMANDA DOERR- A Master Instructor with the prestigious Chicago-based dance studio, May I Have This Dance, Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Dance at the University of Wisconsin. She is an award-winning choreographer and talented social dancer.  Student's love Amanda's ability to put everyone at ease and make learning even complicated steps easy and fun.

NICOLE GIFFORD- A Senior Instructor with the prestigious May I Have This Dance studio based out of Chicago, Nicole is known for making even the most difficult steps easy.  Students adore her and flock to her social ballroom dance classes.  She also has a degree in dance and has directed her own Modern dance company for over a decade.


SCOTT GOODHART - A Senior Instructor at the prestigious May I Have This Dance studio in Chicago, Scott is one of the most popular Ballroom and Latin instructors in the midwest.  Influenced by music and art from a young age, Scott grew up dancing and making music. Scott attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City to focus on musical theater where he was introduced to ballet, jazz, and tap dance. After graduating he honed his skills in the smooth, rhythm, and social dance worlds, competing both on the pro-am and professional levels while at a strict Ballroom Dance studio in Michigan.  Scott’s passion for teaching comes from the positive life changing impact he’s seen it have on so many of his students. When not dancing, Scott likes to write music, sing, look at interior design websites, and bike. Over the summer of ’08 four friends and he took a 110 day bicycle trip around the country (and Canada). It was Amazing!

FITNESS INSTRUCTORS:

MARION PANOS - has been coming to the Stardust Weekends since 1999 and has only missed one weekend since that time.  In 2004, she became one of our agents and is known for her ability, diligence and consistency in seeing that her guests are well taken care of and in representing Stardust.  In 2009, Marion joined our fitness staff and teaches Belly Dance classes at the weekends. Marion is trained in several styles of dance, including jazz, modern, Afro-Brazilian, African, Middle Eastern and Ballroom.  She is proficient in American style ballroom and Latin and has also studied International Standard.  She competed around the country at the pro-am level in American style ballroom and Latin for many years.  She was a professional Middle Eastern dancer and has been teaching Belly Dance for more than 15 years."

MOLLY GELSOMINO - originally from Upstate, New York.  She has a diverse background in the arts, including a BA in Dance from the University at Buffalo, over 15 years of performance and choreography in concert dance and 6 years as a Dance Educator in the Brooklyn Public Schools.  Molly is a former professional cheerleader for the AFL, and spent 6 years in NYC as a Co-Artistic Director for The Movement Collective Dance Company.  As a newer resident of Sullivan County, Molly found Zumba® to be the most exciting way to fuse her passion for dance. music and fitness.  Molly enjoys inspiring her clients and encouraging her classes to feel the music, join the party and have a fun fitness experience upon stepping into the studio.

Dan Vitali - has been with Stardust since 1989.  He became Stardust’s Dance Host Director in 2003.  Dan is responsible for the supervision and scheduling of between 12-15 hosts on duty for every ballroom dance event we hold.  Despite his many responsibilities, Dan always has fun, as do the many ladies he dances with during each event.

ENTERTAINERS/INSTRUCTOR:


LOU BROCKMAN- has appeared as a featured dancer in movies (Enchanted, The Stepford Wives, Mona Lisa Smile, and more), on television (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Oprah Winfrey Show, Star Search) and on Broadway (Gotham Swing Holiday 2013 & 2014). He has taught master classes at Harvard University and NYU. He now teaches and coaches out of Stepping Out Dance Studios in Manhattan. Lou worked and trained for a over decade with Dagmar Jarvel, who herself was trained by Fred Astaire. HEATHER GEHRING-Originally from Vermont, Heather studied classical ballet with Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet and Hartford Ballet, becoming a professional at age sixteen. Besides the stage, Heather has competed in professional ballroom, appeared in commercials, on TV (MTV, Gossip Girls, Boardwalk Empire) and in movies (Enchanted, Little Manhattan). She currently teaches at Garden State Ballet and Stepping Out Studios, and freelances as a dancer, choreographer and coach. Lou & Heather have traveled the world teaching and performing their unique “Silver Screen Style”. Their credits include Jacob’s Pillow, Harvard University and Broadway’s Town Hall.

 ALFRED PENA began his dance training with World-class coaches: Victor Kanevsky, Oksana Zolotarevskaya and Bas van der Zanden. While studying Latin, Alfred discovered his passion for the genre of Salsa and immersed himself in the industry.  In 2009, he founded the social dance network, Rhythmology. Currently, Rhythmology has expanded into one full time location, four socials and over forty group classes per week. Together with his partner of eight years: Aleksandra Kozlowska, they became the NDCA World Salsa Finalist for 2008 and 2009. They also ranked 6th at the 2011 World Latin in Professional Bachata,  as well as Salsa On2 in the following year. They are also the former US Open Professional Bachata Champions.  Alfred was also featured in Prince Royce’s Bachata version of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” as the lead male dancer.  ALEKSANDRA ‘OLA’ KOZLOWSKA born in Warsaw, Poland, Aleksandra started her ballroom dance training at the age of 10. In her youth, she represented Poland at many international competitions in the junior, youth, and amateur categories in both International Standard and Latin styles. She received her training from some of the best and leading dance coaches in the world. In 2003 she decided to move to United States in order to pursue her professional career and continue to perform, compete and teach. Previously an international Latin professional, Ola’s focus has shifted her professional career into American Rhythm, Salsa and Bachata.  She is a former US Open Professional Bachata Champion and Salsa on2 runner up. She is also the NDCA World Salsa Finalist for 2008 and 2009. She was also ranked 6th at 2011 World Latin Dance Cup in Professional Bachata as well as salsa on2 in the following year. In 2013 she won bronze medal at United States Professional Mambo Championships. She specializes in teaching Salsa, Bachata, International Standard and Latin as well as American Smooth and Rhythm. She also designs and makes ballroom costumes for herself and other dancers.

ADAM HOOPENGARDNERN excels in many styles of tango. His philosophy of tango is centered on the energy one feels from one’s partner, and believes this should inspire the style and movement of the dance. He is confident dancing in open or close embrace and is cherished by followers for his comfortable, clear lead, his creativity, and inspiring musicality. Adam has worked across the US, Canada, Germany, and Poland teaching workshops and at festivals often returning more than once. He is based in New York and Berlin. He has performed and worked with some of today’s leading ladies of tango including, Cigdem Tanik, Brigitta Winkler, Rebecca Shulman, Mila Vigdorova, Katherine Gorsuch Meredith Klein, Kristina McFadden, Marina Kenny and Silvina Valz. CIGDEM (CIKO) TANIK motivation to pursue tango has been the connection to another soul & body, as well as her own, through a music that inspires her. During her visits to Buenos Aires she focused solely in the dance in its original grounds exploring and studying both traditional and nuevo tango roots which developed the Argentine quality in her dance. She embraced both open and close embrace which allowed the ability to move fluidly between the two and be more dynamic and versatile. Her technique gives her a non-restrictive connection with various dancers. Her dance is defined by its sensuality, creative playfulness, musicality and elasticity. She has worked across US and Canada teaching workshops and at festivals. Has worked and performed with powerful leaders such as Adam Hoopengardner, Evan Griffiths, Robin Thomas, Silvina Valz, Andres Amarilla, Somer Surgit, Daniel Tuero, Guillermo Cerneaz and Felipe Martinez.

VUK STEFANOVIC is a International dance Champion and instructor from Stamford Connecticut & New York area. A former ballroom champion who won many titles in Serbia in the Latin and Standard categories he also was an amateur Rhythm champion in several US Competitions. He has been teaching for more than 7 years and is proficient in teaching all styles of Ballroom, Latin and Social dances. He and his wife Tasha Marrow have been  competing in International Latin throughout the US. TASHA MARROW has been competing in international Latin for two years. With her Dance background, she has been able to compete in high level competition very fast. Tasha & Vuk have competed in not only Latin, but smooth dances as well, and they have done multiple showcases, competitions and performances on many dance events. Her specialty includes lady styling, performance and presentation. They are both up and coming professionals looking to take over the dance scene.

4 Great DJS!!  

Ballroom DJ Michelle & Bob Friedman - have been part of the ballroom dance word for the past 15 years. As avid dancers they started with Ballroom Dance Lessons, and for the past 7 years as professional DJs – specializing in Ballroom Music.  In 2001 they even won Top Couple in a Good Morning America 25 hour dance marathon. They have a comprehensive music library of over 20,000 tracks spanning the decades, which includes all types of Ballroom, Latin, Hustle, West Coast Swing & Argentine Tango. They are northeast coast DJ favorites spanning NY, CT, NJ, PA, & DE areas, and are regulars at the world famous Stardust Dance Weekends.  They are equally at home playing their music for Ballroom Socials, Showcases, Competitions, and professional performances for some of the world’s most famous ballroom couples.  While preferences in music certainly vary from person to person, what they use as their criteria when choosing music to play is really very simple - does it make dancers feel like they just have to get up and move, or doesn’t it? They get great satisfaction when they watch dancers who were heading for their seats at the end of a song turn around and pull each other back out to the dance floor time and again as a new piece begins.

Argentine Tango DJ 
Mark Sakowski - very versatile DJ with over 20 years experience playing music for dancers.  He has been fortunate to have played multiple times for some of the largest swing, hustle and Argentine tango events in the country, many dance cruises and over 50 Stardust Dance Weekends in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. For the last 15 years he has DJ'ed predominantly but not exclusively Argentine tango and specializes in playing an inspiring mix of traditional tango, vals & milonga in a similar style as the best milongas in Buenos Aires.  A few of the venues Mark has DJ'ed at are:  Eastern Market Milonga - DC, ESL Milonga - DC, El Besito Milonga - NJ, Milonga de Luz - DC, Milonga Portená - DC, Domingo Tango Club - NYC, La Nacional Milonga - NYC, Fandango De Tango 2014 - Texas, Boston Tango Festival 2015, 2016 & 2017, One City Tango Marathon 2015 - VA, Milonga la clasica - Philadephia and the Official USA Argentine Tango Championships in San Francisco in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 and the 2016 Providence New Year's Eve Tango Marathon.  On July 13th Mark was the DJ at Midsummer Night Swing "Hardcore Tango Night" with the Aces of Rhythm Sextet at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mark also won the "1st Annual Tango DJ Competition" in Somerville, Massachusetts in September of 2013, is a guest DJ regularly at the prestigious Astoria Tango Club Milonga on Sundays in New York City and was the organizer, host and DJ of the longest running weekday milonga in the Washington DC area;  Milonga Diversité in Coco Cabana Grill in Hyattesville, MD every Monday night for over 10 years.  Mark has DJ'ed over 1000 milongas but is very excited to be the DJ'ing for the first time at Sarah La Rocca's "All Night Milonga" in New York City on August 26th!    

Latin DJ Louis Del Prete - A talented musician and dancer.  He is accomplished on drums, keyboards, and trumpet, and is a fantastic singer.  Louis is also an excellent ballroom dance teacher and DJ.  Louis’s skills started at the age of 13, when he joined his talented mother and father, Rosann and Louis (also known as the “Perry Lane Orchestra”) at the former Island Squire Restaurant in Middle Island, where they performed for many years!  His mom, Rosann, was a member of a popular all-girl band in the 60’s called the “Female Beatles”.  His dad toured the United States with various bands as a trumpet player with a sound like Harry James. Louis background talent will contribute to making the Hustle Swing room one of our most popular venues.  When Louis is not playing music, he is dancing.  He is accomplished in Ballroom and Latin dancing, having an excellent lead, precise technique and smooth style.  He taught dance on popular cruise lines.  Now he teaches group and private lessons and runs many dance venues on Long Island.


West Coast Swing & Hustle DJ Philip Spinka has been DJing at weddings and parties, while planning and directing events for over 25 years. Invited to DJ, teach, and perform at Ballroom, West Coast Swing and Hustle dance events, Philip has enjoyed sharing his passion for music and dance with everyone, from wedding couples to competitive dancers.  Also working as a professional dancer, instructor, and performer he received his teaching certifications in Hustle and West Coast Swing from the IHDA and the GPDIA.  As a competitor, he won and placed in hundreds of competitions, as well as earning West Coast Swing Rising Star placements.  Philip’s knowledge of dance has taught him the purpose of music.  His passion for music and dance shows in his event planning and many satisfied clients.  Philip is waiting to share this magic with you!