August 20th, 2022
7:00pm • Doors open at 6:30
@ The Sandler Center
August 20th, 2022
@ The Sandler Center
7:00pm • Doors open at 6:30
August 20th, 2022
@ The Sandler Center

7:00pm • Doors open at 6:30

Welcome Back!

Meet the 2022 Cast

Dancer Category Filter

David Ambrose

David Ambrose

Ashley Armbruster

Ashley Armbruster

Steve Christine

Steve Christine

Wes Coons

Wes Coons

Earlene N. Coyner

Earlene N. Coyner

Glenda J. Craddock

Glenda J. Craddock

Caitlin Dyer

Caitlin Dyer

Jessica Grohler

Jessica Grohler

Camron Jordan

Camron Jordan

Phil Kazmierczak

Phil Kazmierczak

Kate Kilmer

Kate Kilmer

John “Jay Jay” Mayo

John “Jay Jay” Mayo

Tracey Owens

Tracey Owens

Jamie Rogers

Jamie Rogers

Lindsey Shortridge

Lindsey Shortridge

Cameron Simpson

Cameron Simpson

Angela Wales

Angela Wales

Maria M. Weissenseel

Maria M. Weissenseel

Jay Williams

Jay Williams

Ron Williams

Ron Williams

SIMONA CAPORALE

SIMONA CAPORALE

TARAS DENYSENKO

TARAS DENYSENKO

WENDY DENYSENKO

WENDY DENYSENKO

Brent Dunn

Brent Dunn

ERIC FERNANDEZ

ERIC FERNANDEZ

Andrea Franco

Andrea Franco

Katja Marc-Harris

Katja Marc-Harris

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson

Rebekah Klyukin

Rebekah Klyukin

ZHENYA KLYUKIN

ZHENYA KLYUKIN

JAY LEARY

JAY LEARY

Melinda Mielock

Melinda Mielock

RICCARDO PACINI

RICCARDO PACINI

ALLIE POWERS

ALLIE POWERS

MARIE RANTS

MARIE RANTS

Jana Smith

Jana Smith

SIMONE SPADONI

SIMONE SPADONI

  • David Ambrose
  • Ashley Armbruster
  • Steve Christine
  • Wes Coons
  • Earlene N. Coyner
  • Glenda J. Craddock
  • Caitlin Dyer
  • Jessica Grohler
  • Camron Jordan
  • Phil Kazmierczak
  • Kate Kilmer
  • John “Jay Jay” Mayo
  • Tracey Owens
  • Jamie Rogers
  • Lindsey Shortridge
  • Cameron Simpson
  • Angela Wales
  • Maria M. Weissenseel
  • Jay Williams
  • Ron Williams
  • SIMONA CAPORALE
  • TARAS DENYSENKO
  • WENDY DENYSENKO
  • Brent Dunn
  • ERIC FERNANDEZ
  • Andrea Franco
  • Katja Marc-Harris
  • Cameron Johnson
  • Rebekah Klyukin
  • ZHENYA KLYUKIN
  • JAY LEARY
  • Melinda Mielock
  • RICCARDO PACINI
  • ALLIE POWERS
  • MARIE RANTS
  • Jana Smith
  • SIMONE SPADONI
  • David Ambrose

    Dave was born and raised in Alexandria, VA and spent most his life in northern Virginia. Dave with his wife Karen recently moved from Sterling, VA to Virginia Beach as their final retirement destination. Dave and Karen have three adult children, five grandchildren and one great grandson. Dave has had a forty-year professional career in building construction, including twenty-five in Senior Management. Most of his career has been with Skanska Building and Turner Construction, both are top ten construction firms in the US. Two years ago, Dave retired from Skanska Building as Senior Vice President, National Director of Scheduling. The projects he has been involved with include large office complexes, airports, hospitals, sports stadiums, and everything in between. Notable projects include Apple II Headquarters in Cupertino, LaGuardia Airport renovation in New York, University Medical Center in New Orleans, Soldier Field in Chicago and the Facebook data center in Lulea, Sweden. Dave’s construction scheduling, claims and training expertise have made him recognized throughout the construction industry. So far retirement has included traveling from Virginia Beach to Baltimore, MD, Charlotte, NC, and Huntsville, AL to visit their children and grandchildren.

    PARTNER: Marie Rants

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Ashley Armbruster

    Ashley Savage Armbruster is a native to Virginia Beach. She was born at the hospital where she now works, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. She attended Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and completed her Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm D.) at Virginia Commonwealth School of Pharmacy. She works as a clinical inpatient pharmacist and is the lead pharmacist for the hospital’s IV room. In 2021 she spent time volunteering as a member of the Medical Reserves Corps for the Virginia Department of Health assisting staff with hands-on training for preparing COVID vaccines to be administered to Virginia Beach residents.

    During her childhood dancing and cheerleading were a passion of Ashley’s. Her love of dance carries on through every wedding and celebration she attends. If there is a party she is on the dancefloor having fun and requesting songs. She is a huge fan of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and hopes to bring that creative spirit and energy to her performance. This event is giving her another chance to experience being on a stage like her dance recitals. Her parents will be in attendance for the event just like every performance from her youth.

    She is married to Stephen Armbruster, CPA and audit partner at Cherry Bekaert. They have two very energetic children, Bryce (6) and Blake (2) and a senior dog named Eeyore (13). Bryce is particularly excited to cheer on his mom since they do “dance parties” at home on rainy days. As a family they love to travel and spend time learning new things. Stephen is encouraging Ashley to improve her golf skills while she is hoping he might join her for a dance lesson in exchange for time on the course. They are happy to be a part of celebrating and supporting local arts for Virginia Beach. Being able to express oneself through the art and movement of dance is a shared joy between audience and performers. She is very grateful for the opportunity to perform and for the Neptune Festival of Virginia Beach’s generous sponsorship. She and her husband are serving as Royal Ambassadors for this year’s Royal Court.

    PARTNER: Taras Deneysenko

    SPONSORED BY:

    The Neptune Festival
  • Steve Christine

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Marie Rants

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Wes Coons

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Rebekah Klyukin

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Earlene N. Coyner

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Simone Spadoni

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Glenda J. Craddock

    Glenda Craddock, Hampton Roads own “Pawn Star”. The family business has made her a Grocery Store Celebrity. Glenda is a wife, mother to four, and Grandmother of 3 who enjoys art, tennis, cycling and shooting competitions. At home, you’ll find her doting over her English mastiff, Sherman or her 20+ chickens.

    Glenda served in the US Navy for a total of nine years and is proud to have become a Shellback while on a world tour. After the Navy, she fell back on her Art degree and became a teacher for the city of Virginia Beach. She left teaching to work with her husband Jeff and help bridge the time gap till their children were ready to take over the business. Until recently the only dancing Glenda had ever done was at the occasional wedding or vacation night club.

    PARTNER: Zhenya Klyukin

    SPONSORED BY:

  • Caitlin Dyer

    My name is Caitlin Dyer. At a young age I knew that I wanted to help save lives and be a shoulder for people to cry on. After obtaining my degree I joined the Virginia Beach Police Department. I went through many trials and saw the worst in people. But I also saw the beauty in a person's soul. But after 4 years of service God closed that door, so I resigned and am now pursuing my Bachelors degree. My beautiful wife and I are proud parents of two fur babies. Throughout my life my therapy was dancing in my bedroom for hours on end. Though I have had no formal training in Ballroom dance I am fulfilling my dream of bringing my love for dance to the stage.

    PARTNER: Jay Leary

    SPONSORED BY:
    The Payne Family, DeAndre Coke, Tracy Mosley, Debbie and Lew Klima
  • Jessica Grohler

    Jessica found her passion for dance at the age of 3. Over the years, she has trained in both large and small studios. Jessie is trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and hip-hop.

    She is a graduate of Christopher Newport University where she double majored in Marketing and Management. In May of 2021, she joined her family business, Beltone Hearing Aid Centers, working as a Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist and also coordinating the marketing for the company.

    Jessica is not new to the Dancing with the Stars competition. She won the novice division mirror ball in 2017 with a Latin Salsa dance. She has also performed as an exhibition dancer in 2018. After sharing the spotlight with family and coworkers over the last few years, she is excited to take the stage again tonight.

    Jessica would like to thank Beltone for sponsoring her. She encourages everyone here to get their hearing tested! Jessie will be performing an exciting Cha Cha this evening.

    PARTNER: Cameron Johnson

    SPONSORED BY:

  • Camron Jordan

    Camron Jordan is the Vice President of Veteran Reporters, a national court reporting company focused on training and employing military veterans and their family members. Starting as a digital court reporter, his hard work and leadership earned him his current position in the company. He is the head of training and an adjunct professor at TCC where he teaches the Academy for Veteran Education and Training’s Digital Court Reporting course.

    As a former US Navy Diver, Camron served at Naval Station Norfolk as an underwater ship repair and maintenance specialist, and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two at JEB Little Creek as an expeditionary diving, salvage, and demolition specialist. After fixing, sinking, and blowing things up underwater, The Michigan native returned to civilian life in his new home of Virginia Beach.

    While he has had no previous dance training, he is no stranger to the stage. A life-long musician, Camron has performed at festivals, theatres, clubs, and bars, and has Bachelor of Science degree in Music Production. When he’s not in the courtroom or the classroom, He can be found in the studio, at the gym, or rollerblading up and down the boardwalk at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

    PARTNER: Wendy Denysenko

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Phil Kazmierczak

    Phil Kazmierczak is a Real Estate Associate Broker and President of Property Management with Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty. Phil recently won the coveted 2021 Hampton Roads REALTORS Association Distinguished Property Manager of the Year. Currently, Phil serves on the Hampton Roads REALTORS Association Board of Directors and also serves as the Moderator of the Property Management & Leasing Council. He is the Government Affairs Director for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals and was appointed by Virginia Beach City Council to the Housing Advisory Board. Phil also sits on the board of directors of the Hampton Roads Republican Professionals Network and is the President of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans. In 2021, Phil ran for the House of Delegates. Phil resides in Virginia Beach with his husband, LT. Aaron Abreu.

    PARTNER: Andrea Franco

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Kate Kilmer

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Riccardo Pacini

    SPONSORED BY:
    Andrea Kilmer & ESG Enterprises, Inc
  • John “Jay Jay” Mayo

    John “Jay Jay” Mayo is Z104’s newest talent. Though Jay Jay is a Suffolk native, he spent much of his life in Chesapeake. After graduating from Deep Creek High School. Jay Jay would later attend Norfolk State University, where he studied Mass Communications and Journalism. His junior year, Jay Jay landed an internship with Entercom Communications. He was the most requested promotion assistant and became the talent for Channel Q, an LGBTQ brand created by Entercom. Jay Jay took a break from radio during covid; however, planned for a grand return. Entercom has now become Audacy, and with a new brand, name, and company comes a fiery, new Jay Jay. Filled with a passion and desire to succeed, Jay Jay has entered Dancing with the Stars with one goal only…to win. He dedicates his dance to his father John “Jackie” Mayo.

    PARTNER: Allie Powers

    SPONSORED BY:
    Audacy Communications
  • Tracey Owens

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Taras Denysenko

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Jamie Rogers

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Katja Marc-Harris

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Lindsey Shortridge

    Lindsey Shortridge grew up in Richmond, Virginia and used to vacation here in Virginia Beach with her family.In 2018, she and her husband had an opportunity to move to Hampton Roads and leapt at the chance! They love the beach and the Hampton Roads area.

    She has always had a passion for helping charities; working with Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, REACH, Keep Virginia Beautiful, Move for Hunger, the Salvation Army, and others. When she found out about a company who donates 50% of their net profits to charities, she had to jump on board.

    Lindsey is the COO of Altor Processing Systems, which was founded in 1999, and in January 2018 they decided to take the company in a new direction. They launched the Altor/50 and now donate half of their net profits to over 15 charities. She always says, “If we can help merchants save money on their processing, and help charities with every swipe – why not? Superman does good, and so do we!”

    Lindsey loves networking. She is now one of the volunteer Ambassadors with the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce as well as a Top Sponsor with Bizconnect, a member of the Peninsula Chamber, Retail Alliance, and has even started her own Hampton Roads Ladies Luncheon group.

    She has no ballroom dance experience but is excited to support one of Altor/50’s charities of choice the Virginia Musical Theatre.

    PARTNER: Zhenya Klyukin

    SPONSORED BY:
  • Cameron Simpson

    Born, raised, and still residing in the Hampton Roads area, Cameron Simpson has forever been impacted by the region’s performing art community. She grew up very close-knit with her cousins, many of whom were incredibly talented in musical theater and other various art forms. And while the performing arts genes may have skipped over Cameron, she was always front row (or backstage!) supporting her loved ones.

    In 2011, her beloved cousin, Tara Lynn tragically passed away. Cameron made it her mission to support causes that would continue the legacy of her family members who have passed. With the sponsorship of her long-time employer, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cameron is proud to enter the competition in memory of her cousin and to continue to enrich the region’s art community.

    Outside of wearing dancing shoes in preparation for this competition, you can find Cameron working hard in her role as a Business Development Manager. From assisting mortgage bankers and industry partners to leading the company’s Eastern Region Impact Committee through ABMG’s philanthropic arm, AB Cares, Cameron does it all – and with a lot of heart.

    PARTNER: Cameron Johnson

    SPONSORED BY:

  • Angela Wales

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Simone Spadoni

    SPONSORED BY:
    The Little Ladies of Real Estate, LLC
  • Maria M. Weissenseel

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Riccardo Pacini

    SPONSORED BY:




  • Jay Williams

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Allie Powers

    SPONSORED BY:
    Sharon Kerlin Smith
  • Ron Williams

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Simona Caporale

    SPONSORED BY:
  • SIMONA CAPORALE

    Simona Caporale – Has been dancing since the age of 5 starting with Ballet and then began training in  Latin competitive dancing 10 years ago.

    With too many awards to mention over the past 25 years  – their most recent and impressive awards and rankings are as follows:

    Simona Caporale and her husband Simone Spadoni rank 4th in the world in Italy.

    First place finishes:
    WDSF Senior Open Latin
    Caserta 2017
    Bassano Del Grappa 2017
    Rimini Open 2017
    Italian Championship of the world first place 4 years running -2013 – 2016
    WDC Senior Open Latin
    Disney in Paris December 2017
    Italian Absolut 2017
    Switzerland April 2018
    Blackpool –May 2017 placed 6th in the world
    Blackpool - May 2018 placed 4th in the world


      NDCA in the United States Simone and Simona in 2018 they placed in Senior International Open as follows:
    Capital Dancesport August 2017
    Charlotte Star Ball August 2018
    International Championship October 2018
    Championship of the World in Miami finished 8th in the world
    Currently teaching at Studio 2C she is excited to share her knowledge with her students and the studio.

    PARTNER: Ron Williams
  • TARAS DENYSENKO

    Taras was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where he found early in life a love and talent for dancing. Fostering an appreciation for the family’s Ukrainian heritage, Taras’s parents introduced their children to the country’s culture and customs. Through this exposure, Taras’s aptitude for Ukrainian Folk dancing became evident.

    Throughout his childhood years Taras studied, practiced, and performed as a principle dancer for his group, and traveled to ballet workshops and intensives to solidify his foundation in this art. Seeking a means to supplement his lifestyle as a bourgeoning rock star, Taras stumbled upon the movie ‘Swing Kids’, which inspired a call to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. After his initial visit, the studio owner offered him a position as an instructor.

    Training in the array of positions Arthur Murray has to offer quickly commenced. Taras started his employment in 1996 at the Rochester studio. He would go on to achieve many goals and receive accolades as an instructor, from being one of the top teachers in the organization to becoming the franchisee of the studio within five years.

    A few of his professional dance accomplishments with his wife, Wendy, include: Southern Ontario Rhythm Champions, World Salsa finalists, Arthur Murray Rising Star Rhythm Champions, and Open Rhythm Champions and World finalists.

    In 2009, Taras and Wendy moved to Virginia Beach and opened the Arthur Murray Studio as it is today. As Certified Dance Masters, they travel across the country as Adjudicators, Trainers and Consultants. Their goal is to bring Hampton Roads the highest quality and the finest service dance instruction has to offer. They train their teachers and inspire their students locally as well as across the Arthur Murray organization to achieve their highest potential while having fun.

    PARTNER: Ashley Armbruster & Tracey Owens
  • WENDY DENYSENKO

    Dancing has been a lifelong passion and pursuit for both Taras and Wendy. When the two began their dance careers as Instructors with Arthur Murray Dance Studios, they joined the organization with individual, yet equally extensive backgrounds in Fine Arts. Wendy, a Musical Theatre Major, started dancing at a young age with a classical background in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Her love and talent for the stage was highlighted in the well-known productions of Grease and Man of la Mancha. Taras found his love of dance through his culture, as he explored movement and music through Ukrainian Folk Dance. His natural ability and talent for Ballet earned him the title of Lead Dancer in the premier Ukrainian Folk Dance Group of Rochester, New York. Passion met opportunity when Taras and Wendy discovered the world of Ballroom Dance. Taras and Wendy chose to pursue their personal and professional dance goals, which led them to great achievement. Partnered in 2001, they dedicated themselves to the continued growth of their respective dance studios while simultaneously training to reach champion-level success in the competitive dance arena. Taras and Wendy professionally thrive in all positions within Arthur Murray as Instructors, Managers, Coaches, and most recently as Franchisees of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    The successes and accolades of Taras and Wendy are numerous. Wendy’s ability to teach and motivate, with her reassuring and positive approach to students, earned her the title of Top Teacher in the Rochester Studio, which led to her promotion as Executive Supervisor overseeing the growth of her staff and helping to create one of the leading studios on the East Coast. As Dance Director of the Rochester Studio, Taras helped raise the area’s dance standard. As a natural leader, his ability to organize international competitive events helped Arthur Murray students and teachers broaden their perspective of the power of dance to connect people of different cultures. His ingenuity as a choreographer, as well as his skill for highlighting the unique talents and abilities of his students, is demonstrated with every formation, spotlight performance, dance show, and competitive routine to which he lends his talents.

    Taras and Wendy credit much of their competitive career success to their wonderful teachers and dance coaches. Having worked with some of the Industry’s best, Taras and Wendy acquired the skills and level of discipline necessary to achieve a level of professional success that only top competitors will know. In 2005 Taras and Wendy Denysenko became Arthur Murray Rising Star Rhythm Champions. Since then they have been finalists and champions in such competitions as the Caribbean DanceSport Championship, the New York City Superama and Dance-O-Rama, Atlanta Open, Atlantic City Dance-O-Rama, Las Vegas World-O-Rama, La Classique du Québec and Falls Premier Ball. They experience continued success in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    In 2009, an exciting opportunity led Taras and Wendy to relocate to Virginia Beach where they opened their own Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Since that time, their consistent efforts to evolve in the field of Performance Art have reinvigorated dance in Virginia Beach. The authentic quality and standard of dance that typically exists only in major cities, like New York and Los Angeles, can be experienced in their Virginia Beach Studio. Presently their goal is to expand so that everyone in Hampton Roads may have the opportunity to experience the magic that Arthur Murray’s brings. Visit www.cutarug.net

    PARTNER: Camron Jordan
  • Brent Dunn

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Kim Havunen
  • ERIC FERNANDEZ

    Eric is a Hampton Roads native, born and bred. As a child he grew up break dancing with local neighborhood kids, andexperimenting with many different dance styles. He was first introduced to Latin dancing at a young age of 21 while working at a local nightclub. This sparked a passion for Latin dance in Eric; from then on he spent his free time learning salsa and bachata.

    Eric then went on to honorably serve nine years in the United States Navy where he acquired many illustrious skills. Eric fell in love with photography while visiting many foreign ports and amazing places during active duty. It was during this time that he honed his skill behind the camera. He has been published in several international magazines and is sought out for his amazing images. However, dancing had always left an impression that he just could not forget; he decided to pursue dance as his career.

    Eric applied for a position as a ballroom dance instructor at Arthur Murray Virginia Beach and the rest is history – it’s a beautiful thing when one’s passion and career come together. Eric is known throughout the studio as having a keen eye for technique and instilling confidence in all of his students. Eric plans on continuing to teach while working towards his photography business.

    PARTNERS: Haydn Rogers
  • Andrea Franco

    Andrea Franco was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador. Since she was little, she has always loved to dance. At the age of 10, she began with gymnastics then in high school she was part of her volleyball team and dance team. It was then when she decided that dancing was her passion. She was apart of her high school dance team until she graduated. She rehearsed every day after school until late hours preparing for events and competitions. She danced to all types of music, but mainly hip hop and Latin dances like salsa and bachata.

    After graduating in 2015, she joined a dance team called ‘Let’s Move Dance Studio’ with her choreographer. Andrea was soon offered a part time position as a hip hop and street jazz teacher. Along side dancing, she also sang in three operas for El Salvador OPES and Opera of El Salvador.

    In 2016 she moved to the U.S. with her family. She studied English for two years and started college right away. Moving didn’t deter Andrea from her passion. She knew that she wanted to continue her dance journey and make it a career.

    In 2019, Andrea joined the Arthur Murray Dance Studio Virginia Beach team. Andrea is also in her 2nd year of college majoring in Graphic Design and Advertising, but that is not going to stop her advancing her beautiful dance career.

    PARTNER: Phil Kazmierczak
  • Katja Marc-Harris

    Katja has been dancing for over 30 years and has been teaching in the US since 2009. She is a two-time Slovenian National Champion; Ten dance and Standard. She was a finalist at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, the International Open Championships in England, the Austrian and Italian Open, and has represented Slovenia at World Championships and Blackpool Team Match. She has participated at Dancing with the Hampton Roads Celebrity Stars before and has won two mirror balls. Her students have won top awards at the Pro/Am competitions, where she has also won Top Female Teacher awards. She is a senior instructor and coach at DancesportVA, where she teaches dancers of all levels in International and American style..

    PARTNERS: Jamie Rogers
  • Cameron Johnson

    Bio coming soon.

    PARTNER: Jessica Grohler & Cameron Simpson
  • Rebekah Klyukin

    Rebekah Klyukin has been living in the Hampton Roads area since she was one-year-old. She discovered her passion for dancing in college. She is a biologist by education and prior to pursuing professional ballroom dancing, she had planned to attend medical school. Together, with her husband Zhenya, they own A Time to Dance studio in Virginia Beach, where they teach beginners through advanced competitive dancers. At the studio they offer private lessons, group classes, instruction and entertainment for private events, and social dance parties. Rebekah and Zhenya have two beautiful children, Izabella and Dmitry, and two dachshunds, Simba and Nala. She can be reached by calling 757.490.8999 or emailing learntoballroom@gmail.com. Rebekah would like to thank her two fabulous partners, Mike Spencer and Mike Melnyk, for all their hard work and great enthusiasm for the dance competition!

    PARTNER: Wes Coons
  • ZHENYA KLYUKIN

    Zhenya moved to Hampton Roads in 2008 from Yekaterinburg, Russia. He began dancing in Russia when he was just 6 years old and holds many championship titles from his competitive career in International Ballroom and Latin dancing in Russia. He currently is competing professionally in the country-western circuit. Additionally, he competes with many students throughout the year at various competitions in the United States, in all styles of dance. He enjoys sharing his love of dance with people, whether they be beginner social dancers…or competitive advanced dancers. He and his wife, Rebekah, own A Time to Dance studio in Virginia Beach. At the studio they offer private lessons, group classes, instruction and entertainment for private events, and social dance parties. Additionally, they have two children, Izabella and Dmitry, and two dachshunds, Simba and Nala. He can be reached by calling 757.490.8999 or via email at learntoballroom@gmail.com.

    Zhenya would like to thank his partner, Christy Guth, for the privilege of dancing with her in this competition!

    PARTNER: Glenda J. Craddock & Lindsey Shortridge
  • JAY LEARY

    My name is Jay Leary. I’m 28 years old and from Phoenix, AZ. I have been dancing for 18 years starting in ballet with the Arizona Youth Ballet where he danced for two years, learning ballet and jazz as well as other genres, including modern, contemporary, and hip hop. Jay attended Grand Canyon University majoring in Dance Education, where he choreographed and performed. He began dancing ballroom in 2012 with Fred Astaire Dance Studio, where I started dancing and competing professionally. I joined the Navy and moved to Virginia in 2014 where I worked at various studios before starting my own studio, Cutting Edge Ballroom since 2019, where I currently rent floor space at A Time To Dance.

    PARTNER: Caitlin Dyer
  • Melinda Mielock

    Melinda Mielock was born in Topeka, Kansas and started dancing at the age of five. During the first dance class she knew that dancing would always be a part of her life. Sher has studied under many great instructors and coaches, all of whom have helped shape her into the dance professional she is today. Melinda enjoys and excels at choreography. She offers Choreography packages for any occasion and can create a beautiful dance routine for dancers at any level of dance. She is passionate about her work and is so thankful to all of her students and their families for being a part of her life. Melinda’s goal is to pass on to her students the love of dance in a safe, friendly and fun environment. She believes that proper dance technique is extremely important; however, to be a successful dancer you also have to have passion, and desire. It is her job to give each of her students the confidence to believe in themselves and their abilities. Her passion is showcasing her students in Spotlight Performances and highlighting their accomplishments and hard work, both at the studio and local venues. Her biggest joy in dancing is transforming the Non-dancer into the best Dancer they can be. Currently Melinda operates dance studios in Laredo, Texas and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    PARTNER: Tom Davis
  • RICCARDO PACINI

    Riccardo and Sonia both started dancing when they were 6 years old. They have both trained with some of the most prestigious coaches in the world. In 2002, they started dancing together at the Junior Open Gold level in Italy.

    After only 1 year of partnership, they achieved 1st place at the Italian Open Championship in Latin and the Combined 10 Dance competition. Riccardo and Sonia also placed second at the Standard Open Championship. Two years later, in 2004 they began to compete internationally. By 2006, they were ranked 2nd in the world. That same year they placed second in the under 21 category at the World 10 Dance Championship in Platja d’Aro Spain. Finally, after a successful career at the Junior and Under 21 levels, Riccardo and Sonia began competing in the more challenging Adult category. After entering the more challenging Adult category, Riccardo and Sonia placed second at the Italian Open Champion in both Standard and Latin in 2008. They also placed second in the Italian Open Championship both Standard and Latin as well as reaching the finals in many prestigious competitions around Europe.

    2010 was an exciting year for Riccardo and Sonia. They placed second in the Italian Open Combined 10 Dance Championship and opened their own studio in Rome, Italy and that same year. Three years later, in 2013 Riccardo and Sonia placed in the top three in some of the most prestigious competitions around the world. Such as the UK Open, the German Open Championship, and the Disney Cup in Paris, France. They also placed 2nd at the World Latin Show Dance Championship. The next year, 2014, they won the Italian Open Championship in Latin dance style. That same year they decided to move to USA. Since moving to the United States, they have achieved great results competing in the Professional Division. They have placed first in many competitions, such as Virginia State, New Jersey State, Maryland Dance Championship, Commonwealth Classic, Heritage Classic, Michigan Dance Challenge, Cincinnati Dance Challenge, and Philadelphia Dance Sport. Riccardo and Sonia are the Owners/Teachers of World Class Ballroom.

    PARTNERS: Kate Kilmer & Maria M. Weissenseel
  • ALLIE POWERS

    Allie Powers has danced most of her life, beginning at the early age of 4 training in ballet, tap, and hip-hop. She formalized her Ballroom Dancing career in 2004, training under Yevgeny Klyukin training in International Latin and Standard. She has competed in Maryland and Washington D.C. placing 1st and taking the “overall categories” in all of her competitions. For the past 15 years, Allie has been training and teaching at “A Time to Dance”. Allie specializes in International Latin, but has a passion for all forms of dancing and enjoys teaching the art of Ballroom Dancing to her students.

    PARTNER: John “Jay Jay” Mayo & Jay Williams
  • MARIE RANTS

    Marie Rants, Owner/Artist Director of Rants Ballroom Company and adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, has been dancing professionally since 1996. She holds a BA in Dance from ODU and is completing her MA in Communication at Johns Hopkins University.

    Ms. Rants has been coached by World Latin/Ballroom Champions and specializes in the American Rhythm & Smooth Ballroom disciplines. Having been awarded Top Teacher honors at the competitive level, she is also committed to teaching dance as art even at the social-dance level. Marie is passionate about sharing her love of dance with her students, from the young to the young at heart.

    PARTNER: David Ambrose & Steve Christine
  • Jana Smith

    Jana Smith became a ballroom dancer in 2002, shortly after graduating from Virginia Tech. Several years later, her love of dancing had led to intensive training and competition. She spent almost a decade travelling back and forth between Virginia Beach and Los Angeles, training and competing in some of the nation’s most prestigious ballroom championships. Those competition days may be behind her, but she is thrilled to be able to continue competing with her celebrities each year through DWTHRCS!! In addition to teaching ballroom, Jana is most active in chasing around her precious 20-month-old son. She also is a certified equipment-based Pilates instructor, operating a fully equipped classical Pilates studio out of her home in Western Branch area of Chesapeake (http://centeredmovement.net). She wishes her fantastic partner, Mark Klett, all the best in this year’s competition!!

    PARTNER: Mark Klett
  • SIMONE SPADONI

    Simone Spadoni has been training in Latin dancing for 25 years and teaching for 18 years.

    With too many awards to mention over the past 25 years for he and his wife/dance partner, Simona Caporale, here are their most recent and impressive awards and rankings:

    First place is all the following:
    WDSF Senior Open Latin
    Caserta 2017
    Bassano Del Grappa 2017
    Rimini Open 2017
    Italian Championship of the world first place 4 years running -2013 – 2016
    WDC Senior Open Latin
    Disney in Paris December 2017
    Italian Absolut 2017
    Switzerland April 2018
    Blackpool –May 2017 placed 6th in the world
    Blackpool - May 2018 placed 4th in the world

      NDCA in the United States Simone and Simona in 2018 they placed in Senior International Open as follows:
    Capital Dancesport August 2017
    Charlotte Star Ball August 2018
    International Championship October 2018
    Championship of the World in Miami finished 8th in the world.

    Simone currently teaches at Studio 2C in Suffolk, where he is excited to share his knowledge with his students and the studio.  

    PARTNER: Earlene N. Coyner & Angela Wales
  • David Ambrose
  • Ashley Armbruster
  • Steve Christine
  • Wes Coons
  • Earlene N. Coyner
  • Glenda J. Craddock
  • Caitlin Dyer
  • Jessica Grohler
  • Camron Jordan
  • Phil Kazmierczak
  • Kate Kilmer
  • John “Jay Jay” Mayo
  • Tracey Owens
  • Jamie Rogers
  • Lindsey Shortridge
  • Cameron Simpson
  • Angela Wales
  • Maria M. Weissenseel
  • Jay Williams
  • Ron Williams
  • SIMONA CAPORALE
  • TARAS DENYSENKO
  • WENDY DENYSENKO
  • Brent Dunn
  • ERIC FERNANDEZ
  • Andrea Franco
  • Katja Marc-Harris
  • Cameron Johnson
  • Rebekah Klyukin
  • ZHENYA KLYUKIN
  • JAY LEARY
  • Melinda Mielock
  • RICCARDO PACINI
  • ALLIE POWERS
  • MARIE RANTS
  • Jana Smith
  • SIMONE SPADONI

Premiere Sponsor



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Owens

Amy
Bowden

Gale
Higgs

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PILKINGTON
FAMILY

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BATZEL

SHARON
SMITH


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About HR Celebrity Stars

Dancing with the Hampton Roads Celebrity Stars,” the eighth annual fundraising event to benefit local arts groups, will be held August 20th at 7:00 pm at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach. Based on the hit TV show, twenty-four local contestants, made up of business leaders, media celebrities, civic and political leaders and other various professionals with limited or no dance experience will be paired with a professional dancer/choreographer to perform before a live audience and professional judges.

Barbara Lewis

Local entrepreneur and owner of Town Center City Club, Barbara Lewis, is the producer of this event.

Joe Flanagan

A former longtime reporter from WVEC, will be the MC for this year’s event

AUGUST 20TH 2022 @ THE SANDLER CENTER

All proceeds from the event will benefit local arts groups, including Virginia Musical TheaterThe Governors School for the Arts and others.
Limited tickets for the event are currently on sale for a $50.00 tax-deductable donation. Buy tickets online, from contestants, or at local ballroom Studios.
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