Fred Astaire Dance Studios of South Windsor and Southbury have created an elegant, friendly, no pressure environment in which our students can learn great dance from world class instructors. Our most important priorities are that our students have fun while they improve their dance skills.
Fred Astaire took great pride in a standard of excellence which is still alive and well in our studio. Our instructors have completed a rigorous training program and are Certified teachers. We train and promote our students through the trophy system and have beginners, social dancers, competitors, and advance level dancers.
Our unique qualifications both in American and International Styles allow any student to progress from a beginner to any goal they set for themselves in a very short time frame.
Born in Lepizig, Germany, Christian began dancing at the tender age of four and never looked back. Over the years he has won several world-class professional titles including German Ten Dance Championship and North American Rising Star Smooth Champion, and placed as a finalist at several prestigious American Dance Sport Championships. In addition, Christian has guided several of his students to top honors in the competition arena. In 2011 alone, four of them became national pro-am champions. Christian exhibits the hallmarks of a well-rounded teacher, with specialties in American smooth, Latin Dance and International Ballroom. His talents as a choreographer have helped many students perform at the top of their game both in competition and showcase.
Director of Marketing
Paulo hails from southern Brazil with its brilliant colors and exquisite beaches. Here he developed a lively passion for beauty and culture, and a natural born hospitality, all richly enhanced by his Italian lineage.
As a result, he brings a wealth of talents to the studio. Paulo is a gifted professional photographer and has exhibited his work in many galleries. He also excels at interior design. In designing Fred Astaire Southbury, Paulo has set a new standard for luxury in a dance studio. He has created an atmosphere that embraces elegance yet caters to the students’ every comfort.
Whether he is planning a Friday night dance party, special event or monthly theme, Paulo’s eye for beauty and flair for presentation is evident in every last detail. In addition, Paulo’s keen business skills, developed when he worked as an executive in bank management, cover the spectrum of administrative abilities and strategic planning, keeping everything running smoothly at the studio.
Our Dance Director Ivana Strancaric brings her own brand of star power to the studio. She was born in Croatia where she gained fame and popularity in that country’s entertainment industry, dazzling audiences in several dance productions. Dancing since the age of 11, Ivana has competed in international competitions throughout Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hungary where she won numerous championships. She has also coached and choreographed for many couples, guiding them on to the finals in competition. Ivana believes in an engaged and dynamically based method of teaching. But above all, she says, it should be fun. Teaching dance is Ivana’s greatest passion.
American Style Ballroom Specialist
The first thing you notice about Amanda- besides her exceptional dance capabilities – is her sparkling personality. Vivacious and engaging with a magnetic charm, Amanda makes learning to dance an experience students really look forward to. She credits her outgoing nature to a childhood of extensive travel during which she learned to connect with people from all walks of life.
Amanda began dancing when she was four. She has studied many styles including ballet, tap and jazz and contemporary extensively for years and has worked as a performer and assistant choreographer. A former Fred Astaire student herself, Amanda danced competitively for five years, winning many championships as an amateur.
One only has to watch her on the dance floor to see how comfortable she is with various dance forms and their diverse expressions.
Born in Chishinau, Moldova, Vladimir began dancing at age of 8, specializing in standard in the open category. He has extensive experience in latin and loves performing in Moldovian traditional folk dance. Vladimir possesses a passion for instruction and teaches ballroom international, latin and American Style. He also enjoys teaching social dancing, wedding couples and kids’ classes. He has danced in many international competitions in Moldova and Ukraine as well as coached dance couples. Because of his well-rounded background, learning to dance with Vladimir is an enriching experience. You will become adept at form and technique and develop an enhanced sense of rhythm and movement. You’ll also have a lot of fun. He keeps his students always with energy and focus…
American & International Style
One of the world’s foremost championship dancers, Julia Mincheva brings a wealth of talent to Fred Astaire South Windsor. A native of Russia, Julia began her dance training at five years old and went on to pursue competitive ballroom and Latin dance. She has won several championships throughout Russian and Europe where she performed in Ballroom and Latin programs. In the youth category, she was Moscow Closed Champion in International Standard on several occasions, as well as Ten Dance Champion. Between 2003 an 2005 alone, won seven titles, including: London Open Dance Championships Professional Ballroom Semifinalist; International Championships Professional Rising Star Standard Finalist; Dutch Open Professional Classic Showdance, 2nd place; Dutch Open Professional Ballroom (World Series) Semifinalist; Russian Professional Standard Championships Finalist; Dutch Open Professional Classic Showdance, 3rd place and Grand Prix Open Professional Standard, 3rd place. In the United States, Julia has won numerous regional titles and was World Finalist in Classic Showdance in 2005. With her former partner, Christian Lange, her credits include U.S. Rising Star American Smooth finalist and North American Smooth Champion. She has been teaching since she was 13 and is a nationally certified dance instructor in four styles: Ballroom, Latin, Standard and Rhythm.
My fiancee and I started taking lessons at Fred Astaire in March, in preparation for our wedding. ...In a few short months the dance choreographer Ivana has us feeling like pro's. Thanks to her and the Fred Astaire staff we are excited and well prepared for our first dance at our wedding. We couldn't be more grateful to Ivana for being so encouraging and supportive to me and my fiancee who have never had a lesson before this. We can't wait to come back and learn more after the wedding. Thank you so much.
We learned so much! Thank you to all who helped us pull off a awesome 1st dance & salsa dance for our wedding! We had an amazing time dazzling our guests on our wedding day! Thank you to the awesome teachers at Fred Astaire who helped us shine!