Our Teachers make
all the difference!
Students don’t care how much you know
until they know how much you care.
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
-William A. Ward
MEET OUR STAFF
For studio owner Stefan, passion and determination are cornerstones for everything in his life. His natural passion for dance and boundless energy on the floor quickly set him apart from others in his native Bulgaria. After claiming the Bulgarian National Latin and 10-Dance Championships, he set his sights on the US as competitor, instructor, coach, and judge. In his more than 40 years in the dance industry he has helped countless students achieve their goals in ballroom, and has the regional and national awards to prove it. Perhaps his proudest achievement to date is opening the doors of Dance Excellence Ballroom with wife and partner Traci Dobrev. For Stefan, joy comes not just from dancing, but also from helping Dance Excellence students discover a confidence that they carry with them through all facets of their lives.
As co-owner of Dance Excellence, Traci can often be found in the studio coaching students and helping them discover new possibilities. But Traci is also a counselor and educator, which means even when she's not in the studio, she's helping clients explore possibilities and discover new insights by making meaningful connections. A Florida native, Traci tumbled, dived, and danced her way from elementary though graduate school. When she discovered ballroom dancing, she embraced the sport with the same energy she approached everything else - full on. After competing and instructing for years, Traci and Stefan became partners on and off the Dance Excellence floor. Today, her passion for helping dancers and non-dancers alike discover their potential remains at the heart of her journey of inspirational instruction.
Originally from Australia, Steven first picked up dance shoes at the age of 10 and he hasn't looked back since. Accumulating awards around the globe in International Ballroom and Latin styles of dance, Steven was runner up in all major Australian and South Pacific 10-Dance Championships and finalist in the Singapore Closed and Hong Kong Open Championships. His impressive resume also includes work in television, film and stage productions such as "Dirty Dancing", "Strictly Come Dancing", and the film "Australia". He landed a spot in the prestigious dance group Burn the Floor, it's here he met his American wife Sandi and eventually moved to Florida, where he discovered his love of mowing the lawn, and bringing his skill, drive and decidedly quirky sense of humor to Dance Excellence Ballroom.
Lynn discovered ballroom dancing right after high school in Hawaii and has been a force in the industry ever since. In her storied career, Lynn is proud to say she’s held just about every position in the ballroom world, from receptionist and competitor to instructor and manager. On the floor she is a 3-time undefeated Fred Astaire Southeastern Rhythm Champion, a Florida State Rhythm Champion and US R.S. Rhythm finalist. She’s certified to judge American Smooth and Rhythm, International Ballroom and Latin, and Theatre Arts. As an instructor and coach, Lynn helps students find the “why” in dancing, and is thrilled to help them reach their goals. As Studio Coordinator at Dance Excellence, she is proud to watch students discover joy on the dance floor.
What is it that drives Juan to compete and teach ballroom? It could be his wanderlust, or his thirst for new experiences. Or it could be that he's not afraid to get out of his comfort zone to embark on new adventures in learning and is eager to help students discover their own potential on the dance floor. Originally from California, Juan's dance journey began with Mexican folk dances. This first stop led him to social dancing, ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and finally, American Ballroom, where he has found a welcome home at Dance Excellence. Juan is proficient in languages as well as dance, speaking German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Imagining a 5-year-old Alina, living and dancing in her native Moldova, is not difficult at all. That's because our Alina today, living and dancing here at Dance Excellence, still exhibits abundant energy, childlike enthusiasm, and joy in dance. She left her early career in tourism and hotel administration to get back to her roots in dance, and while English may not be her first language, there's no communication barrier here. Alina connects with her students and each lesson is an opportunity to not just teach ballroom dance, but to engage, understand, and help each dancer find their joy on the dance floor.
With parents and a brother who are all professionals in the dance industry, you could say Zach was born with dance in his blood. A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Zach's first passion was on the soccer field, but his natural love of entertaining people and his innate talent for dancing eventually brought him to the dance floor. Although he's only been in the dance studio full time since 2016, he is passionate about helping his students discover true joy in ballroom dance. His high energy and enthusiasm are contagious, making him a favorite with students of all ages. For Zach, teaching at Dance Excellence Ballroom is one more avenue for him to help people improve their health and fitness, and joie de vivre.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Tania has been dancing almost since she could walk and teaching since the age of 15. She was a professional dancer in the Australian Dancing with the Stars Charity and has trained in locations around the globe. Championship titles include All England Professional Ballroom Champion, Hong Kong Global Champion, UK Professional 10 dance finalist, as well as numerous Australian State and National Championship titles. Tania loves to inspire others to dance and is excited to dance, teach and compete with her husband and professional partner, Brad. Aside from dance and Brad, her passions include baking and manicures – though not necessarily in that order.
Brad is a native of Melbourne, Australia and has worn dancing shoes since he was five years old. His accolades include being an Australian National Champion, a State Champion many times over, and was Australia’s representative at the World Youth Ballroom Championships which are held in China today. He also represented Australia and snagged international titles in Hong Kong and England. When not instructing or competing with his professional and real-life partner Tania, Brad relishes alone time at the gym – though “alone” might be a stretch, as he says he and Tania do everything together. Brad and Tania compete in professional Ballroom and Latin categories, and their goal is to become 10-Dance world champions.
Our "new kid on the block" may be new to Dance Excellence Ballroom, but she is definitely not new to dancing. Tania has been dancing for most of her life, starting with tap & jazz at the young age of 5. She was recruited into ballroom dancing after someone saw her Salsa dancing one night. Tania was immediately hooked! One of the things she loves most about teaching is how Ballroom Dancing truly enhances the quality of people's lives. Originally, Tania is from Indiana and comes to us via Tennessee where she taught and competed professionally for 6 years. She is excited to be here in the Sunshine State and is looking forward to sharing her excitement and joy of ballroom dancing with her students.
Our day Office Manager, Arlene, is a spitfire and we don’t mean temperament. Between the ages of 5 & 7 she played the accordion…by choice! Then in 1984 she raced a GT350 at the Pocono Speedway for a Ford sponsor! Talk about putting the pedal to the medal & the need for speed. I guess that’s to be expected from this New York native. Seeking sunshine, beaches, & lower property taxes, Arlene moved from Long Island, New York in 1990 to, where she calls home now, Florida. And we’re glad she did!
Our evening Office Manager, Patty, taught ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical & hip hop for 25 years. Dance has always been in her blood even as a child. In high school she danced on the kickline dance team for 4 years & started teaching in her 20’s. Born & raised in Long Island, NY, she moved to Florida to escape the snow. Taking advantage of the warm climate she loves to kayak, fish, & just going to the beach.