DJ & Dance Instructors
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Ballroom Dance Instructors
Sondra began dancing at the age of 4 and teaching was her dream.
She began as an Occupational Therapist in hopes of including dance in a therapeutic realm, but after years, found it wasn’t feasible. In an effort to grow her career she continued her education and graduated with honors at the University of St Catherine’s with a Bachelors in Social Work, her second Degree. Intending only to take a break, from the health field, she studied Ballroom with Arthur Murray School of Dance. It was ‘home’, where she was finally able to share her love of dance.
In her quest, to learn it ALL, she has passed the exams for Arthur Murrays Bronze Syllabi, trained with a Fred Astaire teacher/trainer to pass the ProDVIDA exam and has become one of only 10 Instructors in Georgia and 2 in the Atlanta Metro with an Associates of Dance Degree. As the Dance Director, she trained professional teachers with the DVIDA curriculum to prepare them for their exams, for Lifetime Fitness. God has given her a heart for children too, she dreams of teaching children and teens to bring self-respect and dance etiquette back to the dance floor.
Today she lives in Peachtree City where she directs the World Gym Dance Program and hosts Dances. She is also teaching her church to dance with the help of her husband Paul of 23 years, and their three children: Weston, Dean and Genevieve. She feels it is an honor to share her passion.
Albert Marshall has danced most of his life. His career began with Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Tallahassee, Florida while in high school. After college at Florida State he migrated to Wisconsin and managed three dance studios, quickly discovering that he was morbidly allergic to harsh winters and ice. He moved back to Florida and began working with both Arthur Murray Studios and Walt Disney World. After years of employment with those companies he was offered a position as manager of a sushi restaurant in Aruba, which he accepted. Eventually Al moved back to the United States.
Al has been a Champion Latin Division dancer, real estate speculator, a manager of a Sushi restaurant in Aruba, and consultant to hospitals across the nation. Albert has had a very diverse and colorful life, sustaining jobs that required working long hours during the previous five years which kept him from his life’s passion-dance.
Last year Al made the decision to become a Legal Shield Associate, freeing up some of his time, allowing him to once again indulge in his passion.
Al is available for private lessons and choreography.
Woody Jones started dancing at the age of 14. His mom started him out in ballroom. Went thru the Disco scene in the 70”s. But it was much later when he started dancing Country & Western “his personal favorite“. Woody learned Country & Western (Country Two-Step, East Coast and West Coast Swing, Night Club Two Step, Cha Cha, and Waltz) from Bill Robinson, an
18-time grand champion. Woody is a member of the Country Western Social Club and has taught dance at GTO’s in Griffin, Ga. for 9 years. Also has taught dance at Country Rock , Mama’s Country Showcase, and Buckshot Saloon.
aka: Herb, Herbie, HJ
Born in Jacksonville, Florida; dancing has always been a part of my life. I first learned to dance watching James Brown, Chuck Berry, and Motown Groups like the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles when my family had moved to Tampa,FL when I was 4 years old.
In 1964 my late father’s ministry, took us from Tampa to Thomasville, GA. There while in the third grade, I discovered Fred Astaire on TV in the movie “Royal Wedding”; where he not only danced Jane Powell, but did his famous solo ‘dancing on the ceiling’ and ‘coat rack’ dance numbers.
We later moved to Fitzgerald, GA in 1967 where as a Monitor High School seventh grader, I received my first musical instrument — a beautiful, brand new Selmer Alto Saxophone! My brother Bill (Baritone Sax) and I quickly formed a neighborhood R&B band, “The Cobras”, that included the Brown brothers (bassist and guitarist), my best friend Marvin Dunham (drummer extraordinaire), and our star, tenor sax player, Rickie Jefferson. Our daily after school jam sessions lead us to enter the Monitor High School 1968 Talent Show. To our joy and excitement, our practice paid-off, as we won the Talent Show by playing the mega-hit of the year: “What Does It Take (to win your love)” by Junior Walker & the All-Stars.
After my father passed, my brother Bill and I attended high school in Paoli, PA in 1971. I came home to attend college at Morehouse and Georgia Tech. My Industrial Engineering degree helped land a job at IBM in Lexington, KY in 1981. Five years later, IBM transferred me to San Francisco, CA.
After relocating with IBM to San Jose, CA in 1995, I met a dedicated American Rhythm (Cha Cha, Rumba, Mambo, EC Swing and Bolero) Dance Professional, Renee Gallagher, who welcomed me to the Starlite Ballroom Hall in Sunnyvale, CA.
Renee insisted that all of her students perform at Starlite Ballroom’s quarterly Student Dance Showcase. The purpose was to show your family members and friends what you had learned during the previous three months.
She did not stop there, Renee encouraged me to join http://usadance.org/ (formerly The United States Amatuer Ballroom Dancers Association (USABDA)) and compete in their amatuer and proam dance competitions to sharpen my dance skills even more.
Thanks to Renee, I became a proficient Bronze and Silver level American Rhythm Dancer, competing at Dance Competitions like the Holiday Dance Classic (Las Vegas), the Emerald Ball (Los Angeles), the Ohio Star Ball (Columbus, OH) the Sapphire Ball (San Jose) and the San Francisco Open (Burlingame, CA).
Renee was about one thing when it came to dancing: constant improvement! To that end, she encouraged me to take lessons from professional and expert social dancers, whose dance technique I admired.
To that end, she arranged coaching sessions with professional dancers that included: Anna Trebunskaya, Roberta Sun & Jonathan Roberts, Michael Mead & Toni Redpath, Nick Kosovich, Ron Montez, Toni Merideth & Melanie LaPatin, Buddy Schwimmer, Michelle Kincaid, and Victor Verrasey & Heather Smith.
These dancers have instilled in me the idea that through dancing, one can learn how to express their innermost feelings in a most humane way.
Joanie has danced since the age of six years old, beginning with tap, jazz, and ballet, performing on the television show “Stars of Tomorrow” at the age of eight. Following a hiatus lasting several decades, she joined the other dancers at the Atlanta Swing Club, the Country Western Social Club, the Silver Spurs Dance Team, and competed in the Peach State Dance Festival.
Joanie has taught at the Dance Academy, Country Rock Saloon, Mama’s Country Showcase and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Lauren was born and raised in Layton, Utah. From a very young age she would create her own dances and pretend she was a ballerina. She would spend hours in the basement with her sister dancing to the “Flashdance” and “Star Wars” records. At age 11, Lauren and her family moved to Atlanta, GA where she started taking ballet lessons at a local studio and preformed in “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake”. Her ballet teacher told her that her ankles were too weak to ever reach pointe so it was a waste of time to train her. That was a harsh lesson but it made her work harder to achieve her dreams. It became her goal to strengthen her ankles and learn to control her movements. It also confirmed for her the kind of teacher she wanted to be so as to encourage dreams and not harm them. Her first step was becoming a cheerleader in middle school and then joining the dance team in high school. One year later, Lauren was approached by a community competition dance team and asked to join because they had seen her level of commitment and choreography in her school dances. She turned it down in order to continue her commitment to her dance team since she was the co-captain. She returned to cheerleading her senior year and continued cheerleading throughout college. After college she taught cheerleading through New Hope’s Upward program to 3rd and 4th graders for two more years.
Lauren also has years of experience in choreography, modern, and interpretive dancing. She performed at her church for Christmas and Easter services as well as for special events in Peachtree City. She took modern dance classes at Shorter University to expand her dance horizons.
The love of dance is an integral part of Lauren and when she met her future husband in 2009, she passed that love of dance to him. He joined the Bristol University Ballroom Dance Team and competed around England in Latin and Standard. He even competed a few times at the prestigious Winter Gardens in Blackpool. In 2010, Lauren joined Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta as a student and studied Smooth and Rhythm dances as well as Standard and Latin so she could dance with the love of her life. She trained and served at the studio for four years and in January 2015, she joined the staff at the studio as a professional instructor until October 2015. She has competed as an amateur and as a professional. Because of her unique training, she has a deeper understanding of what students go through as well as how professionals teach. This has enabled her to be a top instructor at the studio and relate to her students. She was able to use her background in choreography and interpretive dance to teach couples their special first dance and fulfill their expectations for their wedding. She became the first Wedding Specialist at the studio. She also has experience with the father/daughter and mother/son dances.
Her love of dancing, performing, and teaching will always be a part of her life, no matter where God leads her next. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
Lloyd & Gloria Sampson
My wife, Gloria, and I live in Columbus. I am a retired dermatologist and she is a professional artist who works mainly in watercolor. We have been doing ballroom dancing since the mid 90’s. We teach a group class at the local YMCA and give private lessons in our own studio.
bronze sliver and gold level ballroom instruction
15 years instruction with Fred Astaire Dance Studios and others
past member of American Ballroom Association
Lessons in 2 locations:
1.United Methodist Church just down from the Jackson Square 409 E 3rd St. Jackson GA 30233: Sunday’s at 7:00pm. Four-week lesson is $40 per COUPLE ..or private lessons $50 dollars. All levels welcome.
2.Community Bible Church 2001 Jodeco Rd Stockbridge Ga – private lessons only… no group lessons at present
James Stone and Charlyn Harms
James took his first group dance lesson in 1978, during the Disco era. When Disco died around 1981, he decided to try ballroom dance and took lessons from LoCurto’s in Atlanta, where he learned the major ballroom dances. From there, he went on to take lessons at Fred Astaire and obtained his instructor training from Let’s Dance Peachtree. He expanded his knowledge of dance styles to learn the Latin Hustle and other Latin dances, and started teaching for the Peachtree City Recreation Center, where he still teaches today.
Charlyn has a background in ballet and tap dancing. She later took private ballroom dance lessons from LoCurto’s in Atlanta, as well as private ballroom dance lessons from former Fred Astaire champions and instructor training. She also joins James in teaching for the Peachtree City Recreation Center, as well as both teach at the Bridge in Peachtree City, GA. She continues to keep up with all new styles of dances by going to workshops and taking lessons from other master instructors.
James and Charlyn have frequently been guest instructors for two major dance clubs, Stardust Dance Club in Fayetteville, Ga and Moonlight Ballroom Dance Club in LaGrange, GA., and are often requested to teach dance lessons at many different venues.