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

STARDUST DANCE INSTRUCTORS

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.

Cameron Johnson - Hailing from South Africa, Cameron Johnson started his dancing career at the age of 5, under the tutelage of his parents.Cameron is the unbeaten South African International Standard Champion 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. Also in 1996, Cameron represented South Africa in the Open French Masters Professional Championship on the Isle of Reunion and was placed 3rd. In 2000, Cameron 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 moulds 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 Standard through the United Kingdom Alliance in London, England

Richard Givney - has a successful twenty four years' experience in all aspects of the ballroom dancing industry through cultivating and achieving personal, professional, and educational goals. He competed professionally in International Latin; has his teaching certifications in multiple syllabi, including both American and International dances, and franchised and independent curriculums. He continues to take lessons with top professionals for teaching and personal dance goals. His ballroom dance program won the 2012 Best in Monmouth County, NJ Health & Life Magazine's "Reader's Choice Award." Richard is available or private or semi-private lessons.  

Mark James - A Professional Theatre Arts Champion with over 30 titles. Marks creative style is cool and elegant. He is a teacher, coach and choreographer with extensive training in American, International, Smooth, and Rhythm, as well as Theatre Arts. Mark's love and dedication of dance has led to creating "National Ballroom Project", bringing dance education to schools and libraries.
Karen Lupo - Known for her elegant style, Karen has been captivating audiences while performing Latin, Smooth, and Theatre Arts routines. She is a former American Rhythm Champion who is a regular performer, teacher and coach in the New York Area. Together with Mark James,  she has created "Elegance Of Dance", a professional stage show bringing Ballroom, Tango and Salsa with a touch of Magic to stages, corporate events and libraries.

GALINA NIKITINA - Started to dance at age 3 and was offered her first job as a dance teacher’s assistant at age 17 for Rostov-on-Don State University’s dance team. Later she was promoted to an instructor and then to a Choreographer and their Assistant Director. Under her supervision, the University’s Dance Team was named top dance team in Russia.  As a ballroom dancer, she won many prestigious Russian competitions. In the US she has taught at Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire, independent studios as well as her own studio. Currently teaches at the IM Gallery in Highland Park, New Jersey and at various studios in central NJ, as a guest teacher at BIS Dance Studio in Moscow, Russia.  Her teaching skills cover both American and International styles, and ranges from beginner social all the way up to to advanced and competitive levels. 

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. 


Junior Ryes
- has been dancing all his young life, influenced by Dominican Folklore music. His dream was to run his own dance company. He has danced many genres of dance styles. He has master instructors like Ray Colon, Eddie Torres and his mentor to this day Marcus Gonzales. He has worked with many of the greats in Salsa on 2. Junior has taken Argentine Tango classes with International instructors, Jon Tariq and Anton Gesenbeck to broaden his skills on the dance floor and to become a better-informed and skilled dancer and teacher.  Junior Ryes is one of the hidden talents in the Hudson Valley; his students look up to him because of his style, gentle manner and discipline. As an instructor, he adheres to the golden rule of creating your foundation and building from there to a confident dancer.  Junior is the owner of Element of Style Dance Studio in Middletown, N.Y.  Junior and his dance company members are very community conscious and participate in many fundraisers in and round the Hudson Valley Community.

Jun Ogata -  has been dancing for over 10 years, initially starting with ballroom, but focusing most of the last 9 years on West Coast Swing. He has also spent time learning East Coast Swing/Lindy Hop, and Argentine Tango, and enjoys fusing multiple dances together, such as West Coast Swing and Arg. Tango, more commonly known as Swango.  He has been sharing his knowledge about Swango with fellow dancers, and has taught several classes of this over the last few years.  Currently he assists in running Hudson Valley West Coast Swing.



ENTERTAINERS & SPECIAL INSTRUCTORS
Marc Davidson - is a full time teacher, choreographer, and competitor from Quebec, Canada. He revolves around running his studio at home and pursuing his job around the World through numerous dance events. Marc started his training through ballroom in the mid 80’s. When the 90’s came around, he was introduced to country dancing. He immediately had a passion for it.  He then pursued his training through numerous Country Dance Associations. He then decided to join a professional dance team, which pushed him to learn acrobatics. Over 10 years, he performed over 500 shows with this team in major corporation events and numerous television shows. In 1997, he met Sylvie Raymond, where else.. on a dance floor. He started competing with her immediately. In 2003, he joined the UCWDC circuit and made it through all the levels up to 2010. Since then, he is a 5 time Masters Showcase World Champion and the 2016 Masters Classic World Champion. Sylvie Raymond -  is a Full Time Teacher, Choreographer, and Competitor from Quebec, Canada. She revolves around running her studio at home and pursuing her job around the World through numerous dance events. Sylvie started her classic ballet, and jazz dance training in her early teens. When she got to her twenties she decided to join a professional dance team, which pushed her to learn acrobatics. Over 10 years, she performed over 500 shows with this team in major corporation events and numerous television shows.

Daniel Burke - is a professional Ballroom Dancer: Open Professional 9 dance Competitor, Teacher, Performer. In 2010 Daniel was recruited to work for and awarded a professional training contract with American National 9 dance Champions Joe and Leisa Howard. He has since worked for former Ballroom and Latin champions- turned celebrity dance icons Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani of Dancing With the Stars. An independent dance professional, Daniel holds himself to the highest standards, pursuing the most up-to-date information for his professional dancing and for his teaching. Every week Daniel and his professional Partner Sophie Cazeneuve take coaching from Edward Simon- the man commonly considered to be the mind behind contemporary American Style Smooth dancing, Vibeke Toft- legendary Latin dance champion and coach, José Decamps and Joanna- Considered to be the American Rhythm style's greatest champions. Daniel holds five certifications in ballroom education from two internationally recognized certifying bodies; These certifications cover 3 styles and 30 dances. Daniel lives in Brooklyn and teaches in Manhattan. Daniel and Sophie currently compete rising star and open professional American Smooth and Rhythm. Sophie Cazeneuve - After several years of intensive training and performing in acrobatic swing, Folk and social dancing in her native France, Sophie became desirous of bringing her Standard and Latin dances to a new level. A creative dancer interested in a wide array of styles, Sophie has competed successfully in both Latin and Standard, reaching top 10 in French ranking. Since moving to New York, Sophie has added West Coast Swing and salsa on 2 to her specialties. She actively works towards raising the level as well as extending the popularity of West Coast Swing. She recently started to compete professionally with Daniel Burke in American Rhythm and American Smooth. Sophie is known for combining sophistication, precision, creativity and wit!

Leonardo Sardella -  started dancing tango professionally in his hometown of Buenos Aires. He has trained with renowned tango instructors. He has performed on the best stages in Argentina with several dance companies. He moved to New York City in 2011 when he co-founded Malevaje with Walter Perez. He currently teaches and performs at Dardo Galletto Studios in the heart of Times Square in New York City. Leonardo has participated in the International Tango festivals worldwide and has performed and taught workshops in major cities in the United States and in England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bolivia and Argentina. He ranks very high on the list of the most important Argentine tango dancers in the world that are capable of exchanging smoothly and creatively roles of leader and follower
Walter Perez -  began dancing Tango in his hometown, Buenos Aires, 1993. Since then, he has dedicated his career to studying Argentine Tango and the broad spectrum of Latin dances.  Walter has trained with renowned Tango Masters: Juan Carlos Copes, Graciela Gonzalez, Pepito Avellaneda and Rodolfo Dinzel.  In 2000, he moved to New York.  Walter’s Credits: All that Tango; Red; Tango and Flamenco Fusion,The Trip, Let’s Speak Tango, Tango of the first century, Spotlight on Tango, Tango Connections and Recuerdo Tango, Stardust Weekend, Jacob’s Pillow, Red carpet Festival. In 2013, Walter Perez found Friends of Argentine Tango, a non for profit organization that teach seniors and schoolchildren.

Ryan West - has been dancing since 2007; competing in the couples division in the United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) circuit since 2008, he has worked his way to the top. He currently competes in the Masters Classic division, holds several world titles in couples dancing, and has high hopes for the future. Ryan also works full-time as an actuary and recently got married to his wonderful dance and life partner, Patricia. Patricia Dazé - currently competes in the United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) circuit. She started off as a figure skater in the early 2000’s, and decided to start dancing when she first discovered the UCWDC in 2008. Along with her partner, she has earned several world titles and has worked her way to the highest division in the association. Patricia also works full-time as an office assistant and recently got married to her wonderful dance and life partner, Ryan.

STARDUST FITNESS STAFF
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.

STARDUST DANCE HOST DIRECTOR

Dan Vitali Dance Host Director -  has been associated 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.  

4 GREAT DJS!!

BALLROOM DJs 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.

LATIN DJ Louis Del Prete - is 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 Latin 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.      

ARGENTINE TANGO DJ Ilene Marder - "La Rubia Del Norte", is one of New York City's most popular and respected DJ’s and one of the few non-Argentine's to be invited to play at the tango salons of Buenos Aires. Known for her "good taste" in selecting the best music for dancing and for her ability to energize and read a crowd, she keeps dancers happily on the floor all night long. Ilene is a "traditional" musicalizadora (tango DJ) using cortinas, tandas and the most beautiful classic tango ever recorded. She is also adept at offering some lovely danceable surprises from the modern tango world. A musician since the age of seven, Ilene has developed a Meet the Music© program to better acquaint dancers with the key orchestras of the Golden Age of Tango. Besides DJing at NYC's top milongas -- La Nacional, Milonga Rosa, the All Night Milonga, and The Tango Factory among others -- she has DJ'd at milongas and festivals in Boston, Miami, Toronto, Chicago and Philadelphia, throughout New York's Hudson Valley, and in Buenos Aires at the famous Salon Canning, Porteño y Bailerin, and at the Estilo Parque Patricios Tango Festival. Ilene also hosts and DJ's La Rubia's Dance Parties featuring Argentine Tango, Latin, Swing, R&B and World Pop dance music. Ilene is founder/director of the 8 year old dance community Woodstock Tango (“BEST PLACE TO LEARN ARGENTINE TANGO IN THE HUDSON VALLEY -Hudson Valley Magazine), offering weekly classes, workshops and milongas, and is passionate about teaching beginners classic salon tango based on embrace, connection and musicality. She regularly travels to Argentina to study the music and dance, and to DJ.

WEST COAST SWING/HUSTLE/CALIFORNIA MIX 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 major 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. Philip tirelessly studied dance and music, each in an effort to facilitate an understanding of the other.  He has been competing, performing, teaching and training for over 15 years and is certified to teach Hustle and West Coast Swing by the IHDA and the GPDIA.  While competing, he won and placed in hundreds of Hustle and West Coast Swing competitions, including multiple Rising Star placements. Known for his smooth, connected and musical dancing, his knowledge of dance 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!