Our Team

Fred Astaire Dance Studios have given the joy of dancing to tens of thousands of New Yorkers for almost 60 years. Oue studio is the original Fred Astaire Dance Studio founded in New York in 1947. Fred Astaire, himself, and the City of New York alike personify style, sophistication and excellence. All the more reason, New Yorkers have chosen Fred Astaire Dance Studios – it suits them perfectly.

Staffed by professional and champion level dancers themselves. Fred Astaire Dance Studios match New Yorkers demand for excellence. Whether you are preparing for an event, mastering a powerful social skill or desire to become a competitive-level dancer, Fred Astaire Dance Studios design your program individually to uniquely satisfy you.

Studio Directors

Jolanta Mosteika

Jolanta is one of the most sought out after teachers at the studio. She has most recently partnered several amateur students to the highest levels of United States national championships including the USDC and Ohio Star Ball. Jolanta and Darius have been dancing together since 1986. As teenagers in Lithuania, they held the title of Lithuanian Amateur Standard and 10-Dance Champions in 1990, 1991, 1992. After emigrating to the United States in 1992, they consistently placed in the top 2 couples at the U.S. National Professional Standard Championships until their retirement in the year 2000. They were 7 times undefeated Fred Astaire International Standard Champions.

Darius Mosteika

Darius is a teacher and a coach and has published several articles on competing and competitions in leading industry newspapers and magazines, he has also taken successful students to Ohio and USDC. Darius is also the director of the West Side’s show, Dance Among the Stars, which has raised over $36,000 for the High School for Arts, Imagination & Inquiry, with annual audiences of 700. Jolanta and Darius have been dancing together since 1986. As teenagers in Lithuania, they held the title of Lithuanian Amateur Standard and 10-Dance Champions in 1990, 1991, 1992. After emigrating to the United States in 1992, they consistently placed in the top 2 couples at the U.S. National Professional Standard Championships until their retirement in the year 2000. They were 7 times undefeated Fred Astaire International Standard Champions.

Val Grebenin

With Darius & Jolanta Mosteika, Val is the owner of the Fred Astaire West Side Studio.  Born in Lithuania, Val began studying dance at an early age and has been an instructor for more than 20 years.  Val holds a bachelor's degree in Ballroom Dance Coaching and teaches a wide range of students, from beginners to competitors.  Before coming to the US, Val also did advanced training in sports psychology.  In 2000, he was granted the distinguished "associate" title by the Council of the U.K. Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing, and was a member of the Lithuanian Union of Dance Sport Professionals.  Val believes in an engaged and dynamically based method of teaching.  And, above all, it should be fun.

Instructors

Olga Barashihina

Olga Barashihina was born in Latvia and moved to New York in 2003.  She is an International Ballroom and Latin DanceSport competitor, coach and adjudicator.  In 2008, Olga was a finalist in the American Rhythm Rising Star Division of the Ohio Star Ball, telecast as America’s Ballroom Challenge; she was the winner of the 2005 Emerald Ball Showdance;  American Smooth World Championship Finalist; 2004 United States American Ballroom Grand Finalist; 2002 Czech International Latin Vice-Champion; 2000 Latvian International Latin Champion; 1999 and 1999 World Cup International Latin finalist.

Lyall Bradshaw

Lyall has been a member of the FADS  organization since 1976. He was top teacher numerous times in FADS Regional & National competitions. Lyall was appointed as Certified Adjudicator in 1982 and presently serves as Chairman of judges in all FADS National Competitions and all New York Regional competitions.

He is the New York Regional Dance Director and also the Executive National Examiner for the Fred Astaire Dance Studios with vast expertise and knowledge of the FADS curriculum.

Lyall specializes in coaching and syllabus training for Diplomas and Certifications. He excels in all levels of American Style, Exhibition, Theatre Arts, and Country and Western. He is also available for International Standard and Latin training and examinations.

He holds all levels of Certifications in American and International Styles, Theatre Arts and Exhibition.

Jaki Brockman

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, a baby to the Ballroom business, Jaki has lived and breathed dance her whole life. Her mother and father (Colleen Royal and Wayne Brockman), once studio owners and professional Smooth finalists, raised her with a good business sense and a strong desire to learn. Owning her own studio since age 21 in Colorado Springs, and ranked third top Pro/Am female teacher in the United States by World Dance Sport Series in 2006, Jaki is always pushing to be better. She has competed professionally in American Rhythm since 2004 and placed multiple times as a finalist. Her newest project has been moving to New York City in 2010, to become the Manager of Fred Astaire Westside Studio, teach and compete in Pro/Am, and find a professional Rhythm dance partner. Jaki teaches both American and International Styles of dance.

Will Fonda

Will has recently joined the West Side studio from Midtown, he has been part of the Fred Astaire family for more than 6 years, training and working in the New England region before moving to New York in 2010.  As part of the Midtown Studio, Will became one of the top Pro/Am instructors in the Northeast region. He has competed successfully with both amateur students and professional partners.  Will is naturally drawn to the competition floor. His presence on the dance floor is sure to bring energy, insight and inspiration to everyone he meets.  Will also has a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Anton Grigoryev

Anton has been dancing for over seventeen years. He competed all over Russia in the Latin, Standard and Ten-Dance divisions, becoming Vice Champion in the Russian National Ten-Dance Championship. Anton has studied ballet, Russian dancing, and choreography at the University of Culture & Dance in Perm, Russia.  He joined the Fred Astaire West Side, after several years at the Fred Astaire studio in Rochester.

Anabel Henriquez

Anabel Henriquez joined the West Side in 2013. She is almost a "Native New Yorker," having moved here at the age of two. Anabel brings business know-how to our reception area, with business administration studies on her resume, and as a teacher in training, Anabel hopes to join us all on the dance floor soon.

Mladen Iliev

Originally from Bulgaria, Mladen Iliev joined the West Side Studio two years ago. Mladen has competed in both the International Latin and Standard divisions and his titles include the Sofia Cup, Varna Cup, Ruse Cup etc.. He has been a finalist in the Ljubljana Open, Vienna Open ect., as well as three times Bulgarian Champion. He is delighted to be part of the Fred Astaire West Side family.

Szymon Lubarski

Szymon Lubarski (Simon) has been teaching in Fred Astaire Dance Studios since 2010. Szymon joined the West Side studio in July 2012 after working two years in New England region. He comes from Poznan in Poland. Since 1997 he has been a competitive International Standard and International Latin dancer. He participated and won numerous dance competitions in Poland and abroad. During his studies at the University of Physical Education in Poznan he was a dancer and soloist in Polish Folk Dance Assemble “Poznan”. His passion for dance as an art of movement led him to the University of Music in Lodz to study Choreography and Dance Techniques. In Lodz he had opportunity to work with great educators of different dance techniques such as: ballet, contemporary dance, historical dance and contact improvisation, to name just a few.
For most people his first name is difficult to pronounce so feel free to call him Simon.

Coaches

Beata

Beata, born in Lithuania, started her dance career at the age of 6. She became the Lithuanian and former Soviet Union youth latin, ballroom, and folk dancing champion. She moved to the U.S. at the age of sixteen.

In 1998, Beata and Michael became World Amateur Latin Champions and won British Open (Blackpool), UK Championships, International Championships, US Open, German Open, Swiss Open and all other amateur competitions. In 1999, they turned professional and were finalists of every major international competition since their professional debut at the British Open. In 2004, they moved to New York and decided to represent the United States. At the end of 2004, Beata retired from competitive dancing. Presently, Beata is coaching and lecturing and adjudicating competitions in all parts of the world.

Bruno Collins

7-time US Theatrical Champion, 2-time World Cabaret Champion, 3-time Blackpool Cabaret Champion, US American Rhythm Finalist, 5- time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champion. He has performed around the world, in top competitions and shows, as both a guest star performer and champion. In addition, he has been featured on PBS' Championship Ballroom Dancing. He has choreographed show numbers and showcases for top professionals across the country including several showcases for the West Side including The Fabulous Forties and An Evening At Smokey Joe's Café.

Linda Dean

Former U.S. American Style Champion and U.S. Theater Arts Champion. She was the U.S. International Latin Champion for four years and was four times a finalist in the World Championship in International Latin. Ms. Dean has been a member of the Fred Astaire Dance Board 25 years. She currently serves an adjudicator at major United States and world championships.

Jose DeCamps

Jose DeCamps and Joanna Zacharewicz forged their partnership in March 2007. They won the U.S. National Dancesport Champions (Professional Rhythm) title in 2007, 2008,2009 and 2010. They also won the 2007 World Professional Mambo Championship, World professional 2010 Salsa championships, 2007, 2008 and 2009 World Professional Rhythm Championship and World Professional Rhythm Showdance categories. Most recently Jose and Joanna have won the Sabado Gigante "Asi se Baila" competition where couples from all over the world were in attendance. Where they won 10,000 dollars an unheard of amount in ballroom dancing. Jose lives and works in New York City.

Rufus Dustin

World Dance and DanceSport Council professional, coaching, choreographing and judging throughout the world. He has been certified as an adjudicator by the WD&DSC and Fred Astaire Dance Studios Inc. in international standard and latin, American smooth and rhythm, and theater arts. As a professional dancer, Rufus competed nationally and internationally, holding national titles in international latin, American rhythm and theater arts. He currently choreographs for the top professionals and amateurs. He has performed all over the world, including special presentations at Blackpool.

Wendy Johnson

World Dance and DanceSport Council professional, coaching, choreographing and judging throughout the world. He has been certified as an adjudicator by the WD&DSC and the Terpsichore Teachers of Dancing (British council) in international standard and latin, American smooth and rhythm, and theater arts. As a professional dancer, Wendy competed nationally and internationally, holding national titles in international latin and standard. She currently coaches and trains the top professionals and amateurs. She has competed and performed all over the world.

Paul Killick

Paul's career was shaped and developed in Dancesport representing Great Britain throughout the world in the divisions of Juvenile, Junior, Youth and Amateur. In 1994 Paul began dancing professionally with Oksana Forova. He began to dance with Vibeke Toft in 1996, and they became grand finalists in all major competitions. In October 1998 Paul began dancing with Karina Smirnoff, and again became finalists in all major competitions. In July 1999 Paul them teamed up with Hanna Karttunen. They danced together for five years and were consistently ranked as one of the best couples in the world, winning numerous world titles, until Paul retired from competitive Latin dancing in 2004.

Stephen Knight

Stephen started in the Dance Business in 1976. Chicago being his home, he still managed to move to Wisconsin for more growth and opportunity. Over the years Stephen became one of the Top Teachers in the United States winning many Top Teacher Awards Regionally, and Nationally. He also had many Top Ranking Students in the United States in the competitive world.

Hans Laxholm

Former World, U.S. and European Professional Standard Dance Champion, he is the uthor of a book on the techniques involved in of championship level dancing, “Would You Like to Dance”, currently in its fifth edition and companion DVD. He currently coaches and judges throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Tony Meredith

Champion dancer and choreographer, Tony has been behind the scenes as well as made appearances in various films, TV shows, and Broadway, including feature film performances in “Dance with Me,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Let It Be Me,” and “The Last Days of Disco.”

Tony started to dance as a toddler while growing up in Samoa, surrounded by the sounds of drums, guitars, and ukuleles.  He credits American Bandstand and Soul Train for helping him to hone his skills and to keep up with the latest moves.  Tony met Melanie in San Diego in 1981 where they began their professional partnership which has lasted over 30 years.

Tony is also known for co-hosting seasons 1 and 2 of the PBS series “America's Ballroom Challenge” with Marilu Henner, and has appeared as a guest choreographer on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Marianne Nicole

Former United States Rising Star American Style Champion, undefeated United States Theatre Arts Champion, North American International Latin Champion, Canadian Theatre Arts Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire American Style Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire Theatrical Champion, undefeated Fred Astaire International Latin Champion and World Latin Representative.
She is a World Class Adjudicator & Coach, and Co Organizer of the Capital Dancesport Championships and a National Examiner for the DVIDA Organization and former examiner for the Fred Astaire Dance Studio organization.

Goran Nordin

Former British National Amateur Latin Champions, Former UK Closed Amateur Latin Champions, British National Professional Latin Champion, UK Closed Professional Latin Champion and European Professional Latin Championship Finalists.

Goran retired from competition and is now a World Class Adjudicator & Coach.

LuAnn Pulliam

LuAnn is one of the most decorated ballroom dancers in the Theater Arts and Cabaret divisions, including several Undefeated World titles. She and her husband and partner, Bruno Collins, have been with Fred Astaire for many years, and are currently owners of one of the top studios in the company. LuAnn is an expert at coaxing out a sensual side of dancers, and creating routines that highlight their best attributes.

Taliat Tarsinov

Taliat began dancing together in Russia in 1974 with Marina, a partnership that later blossomed into marriage and family. In 1988, after winning the Russian Amateur Championship, they turned professional and danced until 1995, when they announced their retirement from the competitive floor. Taliat is top ranking adjucator and a beloved coach and choreographer in the United States.