Position: Studio Director / Owner Place of Birth: Fort Smith, Arkansas Favorite Food: I like all kinds of food except oysters but truthfully I love a big mac! Favorite Music: Jazz Favorite Dance: I like every dance but prefer the rhythm dances. Competition Style: Rhythm and Smooth!!! What I Love most about teaching? I loved being a teacher because of the joy that you see on someone’s face when they are feeling the accomplishments they have been working so hard on. I get that same warm and fuzzy feeling now when I see a teacher have that look of pride when they see that same look of joy on someone’s face. I definitely appreciate what they are feeling when they teach. Who I admire the most and why? I admire my mother because of her dedication to helping animals. She is the director of the Sebastian County Humane Society and spends all of her time trying to educate people in caring for pets, providing better care and a nice stopping place until they can find their forever homes. She is the strongest person I know. One thing most people do not know about me is … I can’t sing but everyone thinks I can because I do it all the time. They just think I am trying to be funny!!! Bio:The Denver dance studio is owned by Mary Jo Hansen. She has been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios since 1991. Her family spent many evenings watching reruns of Fred Astaire. Having danced herself since she was 8, getting into the Fred Astaire Organization was a dream come true.
Mary Jo's favorite thing about the dance business is people. She loves helping develop their talents no matter what level of dancer that they are. She says "seeing the excitement on their face, whether it's because they just learned a box step or placed first in a National Competition is always a wonderful experience for a teacher to have. I don't think I'll ever get used to it."
She has been recognized for her talent as an instructor many times. She has been one of the Top Female Instructors winning The Coveted Freddy Award all but 2 years of her career. She was the first and only female instructor to win Top Teacher Overall in a National Competition, beating all the male instructors, in the history of Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
Mary Jo was named the Top Female Competitive Instructor for 2003 with one of her students being named Top Male Competitor 2003 at The Astaire Awards Ball in Chicago. Her talents as Instructor speak for themselves.
She has received many awards for her schools achievement as well as the Freddy Award for Top Studio.
Mary Jo love being in the Fred Astaire Organization. Her goal is to provide an environment for students and staff where they can feel free to express themselves through the beauty of ballroom dance and to provide a dance studio that Fred Astaire himself would be proud of!!!
Position: Studio Director and Dance Instructor Place of Birth: Denver, Co Favorite Food: Asian Favorite Music: I truly enjoy all types of music. My favorite artist, however, is India Arie. I adore soul music! Favorite Dance: Tango, because I love the theatrics of the dance and the love/hate story behind the dance. I also do the Sprinkler quite often.
Competition Style: Smooth & Rhythm! What I Love most about teaching?I love the feeling that ballroom and Latin dancing creates. To share the experience with others has been a blessing!
One thing most people do not know about me is … I love to learn about any and everything!!!
Position: Ballroom Dance Specialist / Intern
Place of Birth: North Battleford, Se Favorite Food: Steak-medium rare. I’m no pansy! Favorite Music: Country
Favorite Dance: Lindy Hop Competition Style: Jack & Jill Lindy Hop Champion What I Love most about teaching? I enjoy meeting new people. Who I admire the most and why? My family! I admire my mother, Valerie, the most for her perseverance!
One thing most people do not know about me is … I love to play video games!!!
Position: Dance Instructor Place of Birth: Thousand Oaks, California Favorite Food: Pepperoni Pizza Favorite Music: Alternative rock, mixed with light Screamo Favorite Dance: Rumba-Love Latin motion and I always feel sexy dancing “La Rumbaaaa”. Competition Style: Rhythm and Smooth!!! What I Love most about teaching? It’s helping my students and find a new passion in their lives - whether they are younger or older. I love how dancing can affect my students’ lives and moods in a good way, in and even more outside, the studio. Who I admire the most and why? Not a who... something I admire most would be Mother Nature. I think the way life and earth work together has a big impact on how people think and act. One thing most people do not know about me is … I am actually a pretty good singer and know how to play the guitar :)!!!
Position: Dance Instructor Place of Birth: Newport, Rhode Island Favorite Food: Vegan cookies Favorite Music: Whatever moves me Favorite Dance: Waltz! Competition Style:American Smooth and Rhythm! What I Love most about teaching? Discovering new ways to teach someone to do something they didn't know they could do. I enjoy enabling people to reach their potential and I like a challenge! Who I admire the most and why?Anyone brave enough to try to learn something new. They don't let the fear of being wrong prevent them from personal growth! One thing most people do not know about me is … I used to have a collection of bouncing balls for no other reason than the fact that nobody else seemed to be collecting them!!!
Position: Dance Instructor / Intern Place of Birth: Nederland, Colorado Favorite Food: I couldn't pick just one! I love food!
Favorite Music: Anything that makes me want to dance or sing! Favorite Dance: All the Latin dances and Swing! Competition Style: Smooth & Rhythm! What I Love most about teaching? Being able to share my love of dance with others and seeing how it makes a difference in their everyday lives.
Who I admire the most and why? My mother, because she is a strong, intelligent and independent women who taught me to follow my dreams and she always supported me in everything I do! One thing most people do not know about me is … I love to sing as loud as I can while driving alone in my car!!!
Position: Dance Instructor
Place of Birth: Denver, CO Favorite Food: Breakfast food and Mexican food.
Favorite Music: I listen to a lot of different types from blues and jazz to indi rock, and of course anything you can dance to :) Favorite Dance: I enjoy dancing and performing salsa but I really enjoy all of the dances that I teach Competition Style: American Smooth & Rhythm What I Love most about teaching? I love getting to know new people all the time! It's wonderful to be able to share something that has brought so much joy into my life with so many people..
Who I admire the most and why? I admire anyone that works hard to make their dreams come true.
One thing most people do not know about me is … I love music! I love to sing and I even play a little guitar!!!
Position: Dance Instructor/Intern Place of Birth: St. Joseph Hospital – Denver, Co Favorite Food: Italian Favorite Music: Anything I can dance to! Favorite Dance: Rumba. I feel like I can truly express myself and really get into the character Competition Style: Smooth & Rhythm
! What I Love most about teaching? I love the “ahh ha” moments my students get when they truly understand! Who I admire the most and why?I admire my older brother! He is very driven, dedicated, supportive and always has a strong and positive attitude toward everything.
Position: Dance Instructor Place of Birth: Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine Favorite Food: Sandwiches. “If you can fit it between two pieces of bread, it’s golden.” Favorite Music: Euro-pop! Favorite Dance: Tango!
Competition Style: Smooth & Rhythm! What I Love most about teaching? I enjoy interacting with students and making their dreams come to life Who I admire the most and why? I admire my step parents the most. After already having children of their own and busy schedules they were more than willing to raise 3 extra kids as their own. The love, compassion, and dedication that they gave my brother, sister and I allowed us to pursue our dreams!