Jennifer Aucoin, from Toronto, is a full-time salsa instructor, performer, choreographer and event organizer. She is the founder and director of STEPS Dance Studio in Toronto and has taught workshops in Puerto Rico, Europe, Central & South America, the U.S. and Canada. Jennifer is the organizer of the annual Canada Salsa Congress, the largest salsa congress in Canada, as well as the Canadian Salsa Championships, the first qualifier in Canada for the World Salsa Championships. Jennifer has been part of the judging panel for the World Salsa Championships televised on ESPN for the past four years and has judged competitions in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, Detroit, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.
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Ginny Carey (PA) Ginny is from Lancaster PA where she began dancing at the age of 2. Studying under Carolyn Trythall she completed her intermediate Cecchetti Syllabus ballet examinations and performed for 4 years with the Ballet Theater of Lancaster. While in Lancaster she was also part of the Ukraine’s Donetsk Ballet’s “Nutcracker” for 10 years, performing more than 10 roles including ‘Clara’. Her 14 years as a competitive gymnast have also had a great influence on her dancing career. After attending the University of the Arts, studying ballet, tap, jazz, modern and partnering, performance and choreography, Ginny now calls Philadelphia home. She currently teaches at Top Hat Dance Studio where she performs with ladies salsa company “Ahi Nama” and is professional competitive partners with owner Daniel McGee. Most recently they have placed in the top 3 at several competitions including IHSC, Mad Jam, Disco America, Miami Dance Magic, and Hooray for Hollywood.
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Eric Caty & Kelly Lannan are the owners of Alberta Dancesport- Calgary’s best place to dance, the directors of Salsa Rica Productions, and the organisers of the Calgary International Salsa Congress, and the Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix.

Eric and Kelly are proud to be choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance CANADA, and to represent Canada at many World Professional Salsa Championships where last year they placed 4th in the World. Eric and Kelly have danced on the local tour stop of Dancing with the Stars, choreographed on the CBC Radio-Canada Series Ils Dansent, and continue to perform and teach around the world.

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Shay Dixon is becoming well known through-out the dance community for his unique style and charisma in Partnership Dancing. His love and passion for music and dance has led to substantial success on and off the competition floor. Over the past three years, under the leadership of Ralph Ramirez & Billy Farajdo, Shay and his former partner Michelle have captured 5 Professional Championship titles and placed top 6 in the World in Cabaret at USDC (the most prestigious ballroom competition in the country). They have captured 2 Pro championship titles in Cabaret, 2 Pro Hustle Championship titles, 1 Pro Triple threat title and they won the World Hustle Championship title in 2009 at IHSC. They have also been featured performers in numerous shows across the country. Just this year, Shay was chosen by Maria Torres to represent her Dance Company in New York City at City Center. He was also the MC for the International Hustle and Salsa Competition in Miami. Shay is extremely excited about what the future holds for his dance career and has plans for being more involved with spreading Hustle and Salsa throughout the community.
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Billy Fajardo & Katie Marlow, Billy and Katie are one of the most highly recognized performance teams in the partner dance world; performing on every continent on the planet. Their unique style of dance and level of versatility has been appreciated in a variety of dance circuits, from General Theatre  to Salsa, West Coast Swing, Ballroom, Latin Hustle and even Country Western.

With resumes spanning over 30 years each as professionals in the industry, both Billy and Katie have amassed a list of credits both separately and together that include live performances, feature films, television, music videos and even print work.   They have worked as producers, directors, performers, choreographers, instructors, and top tier judges.  They have been featured in numerous publications and have been interview subjects for numerous television shows.  

Billy and Katie met in 1998, and have now been together for 15 years..  As competitors, they garnered numerous titles.   They are the only couple in the history of the United States to hold two separate world championship titles in the same year, winning the IDO World Titles for both Cabaret Exhibition and Latin Hustle.  Billy also held the silver medalist position for both Salsa and Merengue.  Other titles include US Open Cabaret Champions, 5 Time United States Latin Hustle Champions, NADC Cabaret Champions, amongst others..... In addition, Billy and Katie were 4-time invitees to the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival Open Exhibition Championships, an honor reserved for only 6-7 couples each year throughout the world.  They have been honored with numerous recognition awards over the years for their contributions to the partner dance world.  They were the head judges for the World Salsa Dance Championships as seen on ESPN,since its inception in 2005, and were instrumental in developing the judging system that has been adopted by both the Salsa and Latin Hustle competitive dance circuits across the globe. 

Both Billy and Katie have made it their mission to nurture up and coming talent from the various dance communities, including Salsa, Latin Hustle, Theatrical, Ballroom and West Coast Swing.  
To that end, they have lately been recognized as choreographers and coaches; working with many of the top competitive teams currently seen on the dance floor.  They also produce events, including the World Salsa Summit, which is going into its second year, and the IHSC, where enthusiasts from the triple threat of the social dance community -- Hustle, Salsa and West Coast Swing,  congregate and celebrate the art and beauty of partner dance.    The IHSC celebrates its 15th Anniversary in May 2014. 
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Nelson Flores, as producer and director of Latin Madness, Nelson was instrumental in the development of this creative project. It is no surprise that one of the concepts of Latin Madness was born out of Nelson's love of comedy and Latin dance. Prior to embarking into the world of Latin dance Nelson was involved in the production of comedy shows. As a member of Laff-A-Lot Productions Nelson worked with New York's top stand-up comedians. Once he was bitten by the "Mambo Bug" Nelson began taking dance lessons with the masters of New York Mambo. He quickly moved on to become a dancer in several dance companies: Fuerza Latina, Mario Diaz Dance Revue and the Santo Rico Dance Company. Today in addition to being one of the "Masters of New York Mambo" himself, Nelson is the director of his own dance group, the Descarga Latina Dance Company. Nelson's dancing and choreography skills have taken him to Japan, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Amsterdam, England, Peru, Germany, Canada, and throughout the United States. He has performed with Tito Puente, Tito Nieves, Celia Cruz, Fania All-Stars, India, El Gran Combo, Jose Alberto "El Canario" and various other artists. But it was his desire to combine the lightheartedness of comedy and the intensity of Mambo that gave birth to Latin Madness.
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Debra Hampton (CA) Debra Hampton brings to the dance world theatrical dance training and expertise developed while teaching for the Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray Dance Studios in New York. She has applied her Jazz, Tap and Ballet training to her specialty of teaching New York Style Hustle for over 29 years. Debra is known for her power and grace, utilizing Latin legwork which she combines with Jazz and Ballet arm styling. She has performed for, competed in, and won numerous Hustle Dance Championships from coast to coast with her dance partner, Archie Dawson. Her list of achievements include winning Hustle competitions at the IHSC, Disco America, US Open Dance Championships, Fresno Dance Classic, Texas Classic, and the Rising Star Disco Weekend. In 2001, Debra Hampton was awarded the Eddie Vega Achievement Award at the Hustle USA Dance Championships.
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Christy Kam (PA) After years of training under the Royal Academy of Ballet and teaching and performing with the their studio in Portland, OR she won the Weiler Pacific Northwest Scholarship Choreography competition two years in a row before coming to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she discovered salsa and and ballroom dancing.

She and her partner Pan Thomakos won the 2007 and 2008 USA Dance National Amateur rhythm title and the 2008 nine-dance title (american style latin and ballroom) as well as placing second at the Ohio star ball for both amateur latin and rhythm in 2006 as well as placing second at the Ohio Star Ball in the amateur division for rhythm in 2007. In 2009, she went on to qualify for the world salsa championships with her partner Henri Velandia and travel around the US teaching at salsa and bachata congresses.

In 2011, she and her partner Jameson Kilburn won the professional 3 dance championship at Disco America, and recently placed 2nd in the professional triple threat competition and 3rd in the hustle competition at IHSC 2012.
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Jameson Kilburn (PA),is co-owner of Top Hat Dance Studios of Philadelphia and Lancaster where he can be found teaching group classes and private lessons in Ballroom, Latin, Swing, & Hustle. For the past 10 years Jameson has continued to study, teach, compete, and perform in the arena of professional partner dancing. Recently Jameson received a score of "Highly Commended" on his certification examinations in International Standard dancing with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Jameson is also a proud member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) and has been an active board member of the International Hustle Dance Association (IHDA) for the past 4 years. He can be seen at many different dance events throughout the country teaching, judging, performing, and competiting and is best known for the way in which he "de-mystifies" the technical side of partner dancing to make it obtainable by everyone.

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Alex Kim (LA) Competing and performing for decades in hustle and theatre arts, Alex Kim knows how to put on a show. He continues to dazzle audiences internationally with his skills in adagio, choreography and death defyingtricks. Capturing the very first Hustle title ever held at the prestigious New York Harvest Moonball, upon winning the competition Alex appeared on a movie and numerous TV shows, Alex went on to compete in sanctioned events held by Dance Masters of America. Along with his partner, they maintained as undefeated record in competitions. A resident of Los Angeles, Alex has been teaching hustle and aerial work to salsa pros in Los Angeles for the past few years including Mayan Champion Alex Da Silva who choreographed for Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance". More recently, Alex has partnered with dance champion Sergia Anderson and has performed on the number one national television show in Korea " Star King ".
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Elaine Marrero is a World Salsa Champion, and choreographer for many record labels and MTV videos.  She has judged many prestigious dance com- petitions, such as, "The USA Junior Olympic Dance Division", World Salsa Congress and many beauty pageants. She has appeared in many television shows, commercials,  newspapers. magazines, theaters and has taught thousands of students internationally. She is the host of the World Salsa Congress in Detroit and proprietor of Troy Dance Studio.

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Billy Marti , NY, teaches at stepping out studios in Manhattan. He started dancing at 18 and quickly mastered the fundamentals of dance. Within a year he realized he had found what would be his life’s passion. As his repertoire expanded to include other forms such as ballet, so did his experience with other dance studios. Billy was hired with his first dance partner, Nancy Melius, to perform in Israel as a “Fame” dancer with Robert Guillaume and Albert Hague who played Professor Shorofsky. Later Billy was inspired while watching a competition in a nightclub where he discovered his new love for Hustle Theatre Arts. He met Wanda Soto who began teaching him in the art of partnering and soon began dancing and performing with Hustle’s elite dancers of the time. He takes great pride in his ability to thoroughly prepare students for showcase and dance competitions by articulating a music and choreography mix that enhances the student’s individual style, and thus complementing their strengths.

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Daniel McGee (PA), founder and co-owner of Top Hat Dance Studios in Philadelphia and Lancaster as well as Top Hat Dance Studio School of Ballet. Since its grand opening in 1995, the strength of Top Hat Dance Studio has been attributed to his abilities, both as a dancer and an instructor. For over 15 years, Daniel has continued to teach, perform and compete in the Ballroom, Latin, and Hustle dance forms. He is currently one of the top ranked competitors in the country and undefeated in the Pro/Am Theatre Arts Hustle division. Daniel is currently on the board of the International Hustle Dance Association. In addition, Daniel received his Associate certification in International Standard with a "Highly Commended" score by the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) in 2007. In 2008, Daniel recieved, "with Honors" his ISTD Licentiate Theatre Arts certification. Daniel is also a member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA).

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Jason Miklic & Sophy Kdep met on the dance floor in May of 1998 and they have been dancing together ever since. They travel all over the country teaching, competing, performing and judging. They are ranked among the top west coast swing dancers in the country. JasonAndSophy are full time dance instructors specializing in swing, country, hustle, ballroom and theatre arts. They are passionate promoters of west coast swing. As instructors, JasonAndSophy are known for their unique ability to illustrate techniques to give their students a better understanding of movements and to help them achieve their maximum dancing potential. Jason and Sophy love to share their passion and knowledge for dancing and invite you to dance at their non-competitive dance events: Indy Swing Bash - May 8-10, 2014 and their 5th annual Swingin' Dance Party - September 4-7, 2014.

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Louis Orlando & Elizabeth Darchi(NY/NJ), Elizabeth has been dancing for many years with an extensive dance repertoire of Ballet, Jazz, Theater and Hustle as her main love. She has taught ballroom and hustle for the Battista Dance Studio, Stepping Out Dance Studio, Sandra Cameron's Studio and Authur Murrays. Her unique style has also been recognized in front of the camera by both the film and television industries. She taught hustle workshops for the NY Julliard School of Dance, Lincoln Center Swing Fest and she was assistant instructor for the stage production of "Saturday Night Fever" in the National Theater, Santo Domingo. As a performer she has been part in many Theatrical numbers performed at many dance venues. As a choreograher she has been touching the realm of show productions which is attributed to Arte Phillips. She has Directed and Choreographed the Disco America Show Productions starting 2009-2013. She has presented one of her choreographed pieces at the 2013 New Years Eve Extravaganza. She is the proud recipient of the 2009 Arte Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award.

Louis' expert lead and rythym has gained him great exposure. Louis has judged for many events and has danced for the film and television industries. He teaches in NY/NJ as an independent instructor. Louis is now the recent recipeint of the 2011 Arte Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award.

Together their teaching is fun and informative where they have a chemistry that will have you wanting more. They are top competitors in the Pro hustle divisions. They strive to introduce their innovative funky/rhythm and creative style in Hustle by utilizing not only Classic Disco music but by introducing new Hip-Hop, R&B and House music. Their diverse style has been the hallmark of their career.

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Kelvin Roche & LoriAnn Greenhouse (NY) dazzle audiences all over the country with their routines that have a unique style of Latin and theatre arts. They have traveled the circuit capturing all the titles in the Hustlesphere with classic hustle routines that feature difficult lifts and tricks. Like very few couples can do, once they take the floor, they own it. They have been featured dancers in several movies including El Cantante and Enchanted . They are true performers and dance artists who also excel as instructors. Kelvin’s dance history as an accomplished competitor and focused teacher dates back to the 80’s. Lori Ann and her partner were World Hustle title-holders and appeared in motion pictures.
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Robert & Nicola Royston, She started her career as a NY actor, singer, dancer working with the Oasis Theatre Company in NYC, with appearances on ABC’s “All My Children”, and in National Tours. of Musicals. He started his career as a competitive Country and Swing dancer, winning many World and US Open titles before dancing on Broadway. He is also a UCWDC Hall of Fame member.

Together they compete, teach and judge all over the world and are USA Grand National Cabaret Champions, US National Cabaret Champions, Many Time Showcase Swing Champions, Top 5 NASDE finishers, Div 1 Country Grand Champions, UCWDC Star Award winners, Champion Strictly Swing and Jack n Jill dancers, and 2011 UCWDC World Champions in the Showtime Division.

They have performed on stage’s in NYC like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Broadway’s Palace Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park, on television shows, The Today Show, NY1, ABC’s Country Music Association Awards Show, and on film in “Love n’ Dancing”. They have also worked with artists like Brooks and Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, SugarLand, Taylor Swift and Champion Ice Dancers The Kerr’s.

Robert’s Choreography can also be seen on film in “Crank 2 High Voltage” Starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart, and “Gamer” Starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall, for Taylor Swift’s music video “Love Story”, CMT 2009 Video of the Year, and on her 2009 World Tour, and most recently the opening medley of the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.

He has also produced stage, film and TV. Creating commercial work for many other swing and country dancers! But above all Nicola and Robert love being parents!!!
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Erica Smith, The “Hustling Attorney,” is a versatile dancer from Silver Spring, MD with extensive backgrounds in ballet, modern, salsa, hustle, hand dance and west coast swing. She was first introduced to hustle in her years at UC Berkeley School of Law, and has been adding her sparkle to the social dance world ever since. With more than 17 Advanced Amateur 1st place wins under her belt, Erica was arguably the Top Female Amateur Hustle Competitor for two years prior to her professional status. Since becoming a professional competitor, Erica has garnered 1st place in Professional Just Hustle and Invitational Jack & Jill Hustle Divisions across the country. In 2007, Erica was pictured in US Weekly alongside Shane Sparks and in TV Guide Magazine after she performed a Just Hustle that earned her a spot in Vegas on the syndicated television series “So You Think You Can Dance.” In 2010, Erica pioneered and co-choreographed the first ever Hustle Flash Mob which continues to be performed all over the world. In 2008, Erica won her first US Open Hand Dance title and in 2010 captured the World Professional Triple Threat Championship title. In addition, Erica has been at the top ranks of west coast swing for over two years and currently competes at the All-Star level. Erica is a brilliant dancer who guarantees to leave an impression on her audiences and her students.
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DnGDaniela Trucco & Graziano Boggiani - D & G Italy, Daniella and Graziano (or D&G as they are often called) have been prominent members of the international dance community for many years. They have one of the most prominent schools in Northern Italy, with the reputation of being the teacher's teachers in the Biella area. They are extremely versatile, and are recognized as Instructors, Choreographers, Examiners, Performers and Adjudicators. They are graduates of the A.N.M.B. (Italian Association of Dance Masters) as certified Master Teachers, Choreographers and Examiners for Caribbean Style Dance (Salsa, Bachata, Merengue), Argentine Tango and Latin Hustle. They have the distinction of being co-authors of the Italian teaching manuals for these styles of dance. They are the European Representatives for the IHDA.

In order to obtain respect for the above, the had the honor of being top finalists from 1999-2001 in the above in many a European and even World Championship. Dany and Graziano have been featured performers in numerous congresses throughout the world, including the West Coast Salsa Congress, NYNJ Salsa Congress, Zurich Salsa Congress, World Salsa Festival in Milan , and the list goes on and on.

In addition to their various congress performances, they have been featured guests on numerous European television shows, including "Good Sunday", "Champions of Dance", "Live the Life", "Verissimo", "Wazz Up?" They have also appeared with Latin recording star Ray Sepulveda on his European tour, as well as with major Italian musical artist Claudio Baglioni, who wrote the anthem for the 2006 Winter Olympics, amongst other things. Adding to their many talents, Graziano is also recognized by his alter ego, DJ Majuka, and under this name, has co-produced many a hit dance hit in his native country and beyond, and on occasion, the duo have been in demand as musical artists in addition to their dancing!
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Tybaldt & Hazel Ulrich teach, choreograph, judge, and compete on the West Coast Swing and Hustle circuits. They teach group classes in New Jersey and New York, and have a combined teaching experience of over 25 years. With an emphasis on partnering essentials, they bring joy and confidence to your dancing, whether through patterns basic or advanced, complex or elegant, with groove and flow throughout. Together they will help you understand the fundamentals and add a creative edge to your Swing and Hustle dancing. As Competitors, Hazel and Tybaldt Ulrich are 2 time World Hustle Champions, and have each won Invitational Jack and Jills in WCS and Hustle, Often placing high in WCS Classic, Hustle, Cabaret, and Triple Threat (hustle/salsa/WCS) divisions. As Performers, Tybaldt and Hazel are known for their versatility, bringing power and subtlety to many dances, and showcasing regional varieties of swing- West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, Lindy Hop, Texas Whip/Push, and Balboa to convey the richness and depth of American partner dancing.

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Kim Vanaman (MA), Dance Professional Kimberly has been a Hustle Specialist and enthusiast since 1978.  Her expertise and warm, positive teaching style is in demand at National Hustle events and she is known as THE teacher to go to for Hustle in the New England area. In addition, she is trained in American Style Ballroom Dance with an extensive focus on East Coast Swing, Jazz and Tap dancing. Kim teaches at the very classy Studio 665 in Woburn, MA and the wonderful Queen City Ballroom in Manchester, NH. In addition to numerous other awards, Kim most recently received The Arte Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award 2012 for her exemplary work as a Hustle Professional on the National scene.
Additional favorite credits of this successful competitor, performer, teacher, judge and choreographer are: consistently finishing in the top 3 of all National Hustle Pro Jack and Jill events; 3rd Place, Professional Classic Hustle, Hustle USA; 1st Place, ProAm  Showcase, The Easterns Dancesport Competition; 2nd Place World ProAm Classic Hustle, IHSC; a founding member, one of the original officers and currently the Regional Representative for the IHDA(International Hustle Dance Association); reviving the art of the Hustle formation team for the National Hustle events; receiving "Top Teacher Award" at Hustle USA; choreographing for several Professional theatres in Mass.; making NE Regional finals for Dance Fever. 
Kim started off her career as an artist and tennis instructor before discovering her love of dance. 
She then began in the performance arena, initially Tap dancing as a member of Providence, R.I.'s "All Tap Revue," under the direction of Brian
Jones.  One dance form led to another and she spent many years studying and performing Jazz Dance at the Jeannette Neil Jazz Studio in Boston, MA.  Simultaneously, she began her love affair with Hustle.

 

 

The International Hustle Salsa Competition brings together an eclectic group of today’s dance stars – all very accomplished with their own unique style. Whether you’re a beginner or an established professional, our workshops are sure to offer just the class you seek.

Click on the names below to view the Bios:

ALL STAR PROFESSIONALS:
Luis Aguilar - Couture Dance Alliance
Jennifer Aucoin - Steps Toronto
Baso New York City
Ginny Carey
Eric Caty & Kelly Lannan - Salsa Rica
Damas y Callalleros Italia
Shay Dixon
Al "Liquid Silver" Espinosa
Estilo Dance Company - Philadelphia
Billy Fajardo & Katie Marlow
Nelson Flores
Rene Gueits & Salsa Lovers
Deborah Hampton
Anya Katsevman
Christy Kam
Jameson Kilburn

Alex Kim

Elaine Marrero
Billy Marti
Daniel McGee
Jason Miklic & Sophy Kdep
Louis Orlando & Elizabeth Darchi
Christian Oviedo & Alien Ramirez
Ralph Ramirez
Norma Rivera
Kelvin Roche & LoriAnn Greenhouse
Robert & Nicola Royston

Salsa Karibe
Raul Santiago & Soho Dance LA
Erica Smith
Daniela Trucco & Graziano Boggiani
Tybaldt & Hazel Ulrich
Kim Vanaman

EVENT STAFF:

Kathy Jo Nelson, IHSC Scrutinizer

 

 

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