INSTRUCTORS

EMILIE BRYAN TOBIAS

Emilie is a professional ballroom dance teacher, choreographer, performer, competitor and business owner. She attended Davidson College earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History with later graduate work at the University of Virginia in Student Personnel Administration. Early in her career she worked as a college administrator in international and business education in Virginia and Boston.

Her love of dance began when she was five years old after seeing a ballet. She toured as an actress for three years with the Children’s Theatre Company out of Boston, Massachusetts, and studied Mime at The Mime Center in London. She began her ballroom dancing career as an amateur in New England. With partner Shawn Smith, they eventually became the New England Latin Dance Champions.

In addition to performing with the Augusta Symphony, she toured in the United States, Argentina and Brazil as a professional Argentine Tango Dancer with Washington-based QuinTango. As a professional ballroom dancer, she and partner Val Ganiev are United States professional finalists in the American 9 Dance Division and have competed and performed throughout the United States.

With an early career in higher education coupled with a performing arts background in theatre and dance, Emilie brought her vision for academic excellence into the creation of The Ballroom Dance Center. “Anyone teaching dance should be both teacher and dancer, always getting better themselves so they can inspire students,” stated Emilie.

In 1998, she directed the building of the current 5,000 square foot studio. With a huge, floating, “leg friendly,” hardwood dance floor, featuring a large and small ballroom, it is the premier dance facility in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). The Ballroom Dance Center is also the longest operating partner dance studio in the CSRA with a full staff of accomplished and professionally certified instructors.

Today Emilie uses her unique background and skill set to present ballroom shows that transcend a routine ballroom dance recital. Few studios in the country offer creative, themed, showcases that incorporate music, dance, film, storytelling, history and theatre. She draws on her life-long love of history and humanities as she writes and directs shows for The Ballroom Dance Center.

Emilie is also the founder of the Glory Dancers, which exist to glorify God through the beauty of dance and the power of dramatic storytelling. Using dance, theatre, film and music, the troupe seeks to touch hearts and open minds to the greatest story ever told, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Her professional certifications include the following:
• Grand Master of Dance Degree, American Style Waltz & Tango, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master & Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Rhythm, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master of Dance Degree, Samba, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master & Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Smooth, High Honors, DVIDA • Master & Associate of Dance Degrees, International Style Standard, High
   Honors, DVIDA



VALERY GANIEV

Val and professional partner, Emilie Tobias, are United States professional finalists in the American 9 Dance Division. They have competed and performed throughout the United States and have also taught the accredited Ballroom Program at the University of South Carolina.

A native of Russia, Val loves rocks almost as much as dancing. He has two Master’s degrees in geology, one from Moscow State University and the other from the University of South Carolina.

Turning his early endeavors in Greco-Roman wrestling into the competitive dance experience, Val teaches both International style and American style competitive and social dance and focuses on the intense training demands of competitive dancers.

His professional certifications include the following:
• Grand Master of Dance Degree, American Style Waltz & Tango, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master& Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Rhythm, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master of Dance Degree, Samba, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master & Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Smooth, High Honors, DVIDA
• Master & Associate of Dance Degrees, International Style Standard High Honors,    DVIDA

JOSHUA GRIFFIN

Born in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of New York, Joshua relocated to the Augusta area with his family in 2001.

Joshua has been performing on stage since the age of 3. At the age of 12, Joshua began his journey in ballroom dancing, while also learning hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance.

As a former member of the hip hop dance crew Synkronisity and a current member of the local dance crew Push to Start, Joshua has found himself performing across the East Coast at various talent shows, fund-raisers, parties and local events. Push to Start won the Crowd Favorite vote in the 2013 Columbia County Amateur Series.

A graduate of Liberty Independent Private School, Joshua is currently enrolled at Georgia Regents University where he is working on a degree in communications.

His professional certifications include the following:
• Master of Dance Degree, American Style Smooth, High Honors, DVIDA
• Associate & Junior Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Smooth, High
  Honors, DVIDA
• Associate & Junior Associate of Dance Degrees, American Style Rhythm, High
   Honors, DVIDA
• Associate of Dance Degree, West Coast Swing, High Honors, DVIDA



RACHAEL METZ

Rachael is a lifelong lover of dance and music. A sun-loving native of Florida, Rachael has taught a variety of middle and high school courses in both Florida and the CSRA. While living in Florida, Rachael was also a licensed real estate agent and enjoyed helping each client find just the right home.

Rachael’s favorite activities at the ballroom include teaching, choreography and performance. She also enjoys dancing at home with her family.

Her professional certifications include the following:
• Associate of Dance Degree, American Style West Coast Swing, High Honors, DVIDA
• Junior Associate of Dance Degree, American Style Waltz, Foxtrot & Tango, High
   Honors, DVIDA
• Junior Associate of Dance Degree, American Style Rumba, Cha-Cha & East Coast
   Swing, High Honors, DVIDA