COACHES

SCOTT ANDERSON
Minneapolis-based, Scott has been active in the dance industry for over 25 years. As professional dancers, Scott and his wife Amy are United States Rising Star Smooth Champions and Open Finalists and Fred Astaire National Smooth Champions. As a pro/am teacher, he has won over 30 US titles. He is both a judge and an official examiner for DVIDA, the credential awarding professional organization, as well as a masterful choreographer. Because of Scott’s integrity and professionalism, another professional male dance instructor who knew Scott during his career recently quipped, “We all wanted to be Scott when we grew up.”

DAVID HAMILTON
Nashville-based, David is a three-time, undefeated American Ballroom Champion and a three-time world finalist. He is certified in all levels of dance and is renowned as a coach and choreographer, particularly in American Style Smooth. Most of the current United States Smooth finalists seek his expertise. His dancing has taken him all over the world. Not only does he choreograph dance, but he also designs beautiful interior spaces with passion, artistry and style.

HARBY GONZALEZ
Harby is the Artistic Director and main instructor for Emerald Ballroom in Columbia, SC. A native of Colombia, South America, he is a graduate of the National School of Argentine Tango, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has been dancing Argentine Tango since the age of 12 and started performing professionally at the age of 18. Harby has toured and performed in Argentine Tango productions around the world, including “Bajo el ala del Sombrero,” directed by Roberto Erbin. He has also performed with Mariano Mores, one of the best-known Tango orchestras in the world. Harby was a dancer for the Washington based orchestra Quintango with which he toured, performing throughout the United States and abroad.

Some of their collaborations include a seven-year run at the Spoleto Festival, performing with the National Symphony Orchestra at George Washington Theatre and a Tango cruise throughout South America, to name a few. Harby has been teaching and performing in the United States since 1995, when he brought Argentine Tango to much of the southeastern United States.

ALEX SCOTT
Alex is accomplished in diverse styles of Ballroom and Rhythm dances, receiving his training in New York. He holds multiple advanced degrees, awards and certifications from Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire and, most notably, Standard, American and Theater Arts degrees from The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD). In addition to being a much sought after dance competition judge, he is a masterful choreographer and has choreographed for a number of venues, including television and film. Other areas of study include the authentic Swing Styles of Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, New York Hustle and Salsa. His areas of expertise include sound editing and mixing as well, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of film, music and theatre. With Esther and David Don, Alex co-founded The Tri-State Challenge and, most recently, The Jack and Jill Ballroom Challenge. He was also Artistic Director and choreographer of The Connecticut Ballroom Theater, a touring theatre group he founded. The shows performed by this group took two art forms and combined them into one show stopping production.

ROBIN SMITH
Robin, Raleigh-based West Coast Swing coach and champion, has been dancing, teaching and competing in all dance styles, as well as judging nationally and regionally for over 26 years. He has concentrated exclusively on West Coast Swing for the past 14 years, making him one of the most sought after West Coast Swing coaches in the nation. His professional background as a drummer and three black belts in the martial arts uniquely qualify him to understand rhythm, music and the use of body weight and momentum in dance.

SUSIE THOMPSON
A five-time American rhythm champion, not only is Susie a top flight competitor and quality performer, she is also a prominent teacher, coach, judge and choreographer. Susie’s philosophy and belief is that first and foremost, you must dance for yourself; second for your partner; third for your audience. Forget the judges and JUST DANCE. As a wonderfully creative person, she is also a great cook and makes unique artisanal crafts.

MARINA VLASOVA
Marina is a champion dancer and coach, who now teaches and coaches in all styles of American and International Ballroom and Rhythm dancing. Originally from Russia, where she and her husband and professional partner ran a champion producing dance academy for youth, she now lives in Jacksonville, Florida. “I believe in dance. I have seen it do incredible things for all kinds of people. I believe ballroom dancing is a cure-all – mentally, physically, spiritually,” says Marina. “Whatever obstacle you have in front of you, dance can help.

Coaches