Dance Astaire testimonials Dance Astaire testimonials Dance Astaire events Studio News at FADS Dance Astaire weddings Dance Astaire instruction Dance Astaire studio about Dance Astaire
   
Carrie Babcock, co-owner with Kostadin, has been with the Fred Astaire Organization since 1997.   Carrie began dancing tap, jazz, ballet and musical theater at the age of ten, and choreographing for adult and children's community theater at 14.   She holds a B.S. in Dance from S.U.N.Y. Brockport. Carrie is a 2006 United States Grand Finalist, 2006 Professional World American Smooth Finalist, the 2005 United States Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, a 2005 World American Smooth Finalist, the 2004 United States Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, the 2002 United States Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, the 2002 United States Rising Star Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, and the 2002 United States Rising Star American Ballroom Champion. They are also the undefeated Fred Astaire Dance Studios Undefeated American Smooth Champions 2001-2005.
   
Kostadin Bidjourov, co-owner,  graduated from Montclair State with a B.S. in Economics.  Kostadin has been awarded top teacher in Upper Montclair and the state of NJ at least six out of the eight years he's been with the company. Kostadin, together with Carrie,  is  a 2006 U.S. Grand Finalist, 2006 Professional World American Smooth Finalist,   2005 U.S. Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, a 2005 World American Smooth Finalist, the 2004 United States Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, the 2002 United States Open Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, the 2002 United States Rising Star Professional Theatrical Ballroom Champion, and the 2002 United States Rising Star American Ballroom Champion. They are also the undefeated Fred Astaire Dance Studios Undefeated American Smooth Champions 2001-2005.
Kostadin has also won the following pro-am titles: Blackpool Dance Festival American Smooth Champion(Marika), Heritage Classic Scholarship and Championships, ladies a (Katie Karpf, 2006, smooth and standard) Ladies c (2006, Charlotte Carey, standard) and ladies b (2005, Marika). He also holds the United States Pro-Am Theatrical Championship title for ladies b with Deborah (Gina) Gianelli.   With Michelle Officer, Kostadin was 4th in the 2007 US Professional Smooth. He is also a Bulgarian National Kayaking Champion.
   
Vesko Matakov is the 2010 Fred Astaire National Latin Champion!  Vesko was inspired to dance in 1988 after viewing the hit movie, Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey and he’s been dancing ever since! Even while earning a degree in Economics and Management at Plovdiv University, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Vesko was a dance instructor at several Bulgarian Dance Sport Clubs, including “Bourgas 75” and “Alex.” Vesko has been an extremely successful dancer, in International Latin and International Standard, and under the tutelage of such coaches as: Louka Apostolov, Andrei  Todorov, and Ekaterina Lapaeva, he has achieved the highest level in Dance Sport, level “S.” In addition to his many titles, Vesko is the winner of the 1997 European Dance Sport Cup and the 2004 European Dance Sport Cup held in Paris, France. He has also won the IDSF Athens Cup in Athens, Greece in 2008. Vesko is very excited to be continuing his dance career here in the United States and to be part of the Fred Astaire teaching staff.
   
Erin Marie, Manager, began dancing at age 3 three in Austin, Texas. From that moment on, she realized that all she wanted to do was dance. Erin studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and lyrical dancing throughout her childhood. In her teenage years, she won many honors and awards in for different styles of dance, and trained on both the east and west coasts, avidly pursuing her career. As a young adult, Erin performed with Austin Musical Theatre, performed with, taught and choreographed for a variety number of dance companies, musical theatre groups, choral groups, and swing companies in Austin.. She then joined a budding professional company, Verge Dance Company., on her way to a career as a professional dancer.

In 2002, Erin moved to Chicago to pursue her performance and teaching career and began teaching ballroom dance at Chicago Dance. Through good fortune and determination she has become a knowledgeable technician and teacher, as well as competitive professional dancer. Erin was recently ranked the 5th best female ballroom and Latin teacher in the US. She has taken students to competitions locally, nationally, and internationally to Blackpool, England. Erin began dancing Smooth and Latin with Greg Rykowski. While dancing together they won Rising Star Smooth titles including: NJ State Open, Harvest Moon Ball, Michigan Dance Challenge, Chicago’s Crystal Ball, and Twin Cities Open. Also Open Professional Smooth titles including: Harvest Moon Ball, Seattle Star Ball, The Great Race, Michigan Dance Challenge and Savannah Dance Classic. They were Rising Star Finalists in Ohio, and placed 3rd in the Nine-Dance Division at the United States Championships. Erin & Greg were also the Professional Showdance Champions at the Great Race, and at Savannah Dance Classic. She’s excited about her new partnership with Kostadin, and to join the staff here at Fred Astaire.

   
Andrea Mariscal joined the Fred Astaire team back in 2005 when she was a student with us.  She interned with us during her senior project, working as a receptionist and studying a Bronze Honors Program, which is a teacher training program.  After High school, Andrea took her teacher certification exams and became  a teacher with us.  She then ventured off to California to explore the wild wild West.  Andrea is back!  Her warmth, charisma and enthusiasm for dance, as well as her excellent training and raw talent make a perfect combination for a dance teacher, and we're thrilled that she's returned to us!
   
Tim Emmott. Tim started dancing back home in England at the age of 7 after a challenge from his ballroom dancing older sister, he did his first competition 6 months later and has been hooked ever since. Tim's competitive career developed rapidly, winning numerous titles in the International Dance Teachers Association, United Kingdom Alliance of Dance and the Kindred Arts, and National Supadance League, as well as going on to represent his country at a number of highly prestigious International Competitions in his native England. Tim has also danced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, performing with Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss orchestra, sharing the billing with stars such as Bette Midler, Lady Gaga and Micheal Buble. Tim also has a degree in Psychology from Sheffield University, and loves to watch and play sports when he is not at work (especially soccer or 'football'). Tim loves working with children and teaches all the kids group classes here at the studio, competing and performing showcases with a large percentage of these children. Tim is also known to be a tiny bit mischievous and can often be found making jokes, living up to his self titled 'Little ray of sunshine' tag.
   
Viktoryia Kirushchanka. Viktoriya started dancing in 1999 at the age of 10 for the "Rond dance studio" in Belarus. After a few months, she started taking part in local competitions. In 2000, she became a member of the Belorussian Federation of Dancing sport. In 2003, Viktoriya started dancing for "Tango" Dance Studio in Minsk (Pavel Yarcev). In 2005, Viktoriya stopped taking part in competitions in order to give dance lessons in local studio to children. In 2007, she went to college to study Economics and Management, forcing her to give up dancing. However, she came to America in 2010, attempting to do various jobs from telemarketing to babysitting to bar tending, realizing that her true passion lies in dancing, which is when she came to Fred Astaire Dance Studio to take dance lessons again. Inspired by her dance teacher who convinced her she can still compete, she got the job of her dreams and a wonderful partner at the same time. She looks forward to competing again; she says, "Fred Astaire has changed my life and I am ecstatic to be a part of this community."
   
Marcin Wysocki, Front Desk Manager, joined the Fred Astaire staff in 2011 after obtainining his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. As Fred Astaire's one and only member without an actual background in ballroom dancing, Marcin does ocassionally end up on the dancefloor for parties, but otherwise, he tends to stick behind the actual desk and bar area. If you ever need a coffee or cappucino to spruce you up before your lesson, Marcin is your man. During his free time, Marcin can be found at a bar drinking cheap whiskey and not writing the fabled screenplays he promised himself to be writing. He moonlights as a bassist for a local hardcore band, playing music that is quite the opposite of what is played at the studio all day long. However, when no one is looking, Marcin can sometimes be found in the back room of the studio, practicing his foxtrot to Frank Sinatra.
   
Melissa Marquez, Evening Receptionist, has always had an interest in dance and music. Growing up in a Hispanic family in Jersey City, dancing was the heart of all gatherings. Working in health care for over 10 years, helping people comes naturally for her. She takes great delight in providing outstanding customer service everyday. For the past eight years, Melissa was the Assistant Administrator at Senior Spirit Medical Day Center, in Jersey City. However, she recently took on a new daytime endeavor, establishing the management department at Unique Homecare in Newark. “Getting to know the students and their families makes everyday interesting and worthwhile. Watching how dance changes lives is amazing!” says Melissa.

 

 

 

Fred Astaire Dance Studio | 604 Valley Road | Upper Montclair, New Jersey| call (973) 783-8999

 

© 2010 Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Upper Montclair. All rights reserved. Web design by sempliceGraphics.