MENTAL HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL HEALTH: LET'S CHANGE OUR MINDS TOGETHER
MEET KAREN JONES ! (and then see Karen's performance on our event photo/video page)
MEET DANA WALSH!
MEET AMY BARRETT!
MEET ANDY BERMAN!
MEET YOLANDA KARPEL!
MEET PETER DIDOMENICO!
is a native of Spain where he was a three-time Spanish Champion in the International Ballroom and Latin style division. He has also won the European Viennes Waltz Championship and over 5O other similar competitions. He has been part of the cast of various Spanish dancing television shows, most recently 'Dancing With The Stars.' He relocated to the United States seven years ago in his quest to capture an American Championship. This year he became an American citizen and the proud owner of his own HOME in Norwalk! Manuel's infectious high-energy, enthusiasm and confidence motivates all his dedicated students to reach new heights at Fred Astaire Studios in Norwalk.
He is honored to dance in this event for the sixth consecutive year, partnering with two lovely ladies- Dana Walsh and Karen Jones.
is the most recent addition to the talented line-up of dance professionals at Fred Astaire Norwalk Studio. She was born in Russia where she started competing in dance at the age of 9 and won many Championship titles over the years. Tatyana attended the Moscow Academy of Dance and worked as a dance instructor at the Dinamo Dance Studio in Moscow. She also was a member of the prestigious dance group Randevu, starring in leading roles in many productions. She came to the U.S. in 2017 to start a new dance career, and to pass on her incredible insights regarding dance performance and competition to all her students at Fred Astaire. Tatyana and her 2017 celebrity partner, Rick Fernandes, won our People's Choice Award and won our 2018 Mirror Ball Trophy with partner Stephen Giambalvo! She looks forward to partnering with Peter DiDomenico on the FTC stage.
joined the Fred Astaire Norwalk team in 2016, bringing with him invaluable experience from his Russian dance background. He has a diploma as a Master of Dance Sport and won the World Open Cup Vice-Championship title in Standard. Alexander has a very vigorous, competitive and positive personality with very broad interests from dancing to high math and quantitative finance which he still continues to study. He is excited to dance with Yolanda Karpel and Amy Barrett this year.
is originally from Moscow. She has an extensive international dance background, having competed with the strongest couples in Europe as an amateur and then later as a professional in the World Dance Council Division. In 2015, Anna participated in the world-famous television program, Dancing with the Stars - Russia. Later that year, Anna moved to the USA to compete in the Professional Ten-Dance and Showcase division. She is an Eastern American Champion, United States Finalist and World Semi-Finalist. She also teaches and dances competitively with students at the Fred Astaire Norwalk Dance Studio. Anna speaks four languages (English, Spanish, German and Russian). Before moving to US she both worked and lived in Germany and Switzerland. Anna takes the stage with partner Andy Berman to vie for the 2019 Mirror Ball Trophy!
BILLY BLANKS JR. is a dancer, choreographer, author and the creator of feel good fitness programs such as Billy Blanks Jr’s Dance with Me, which is set to three different dance genres (Hip Hop, Bollywood, Country). Billy pitched his business on Shark Tank in May 2012. The program was re-named DANCE IT OUT! and has been a huge success ever since. He and his wife have been called “America’s First Family of Fitness” and Dr. Oz called them “America’s Fat Fighting Couple”. Self-taught and working professionally in his youth, Billy has had Paula Abdul as a mentor, advisor and close friend since he was 11 years old. He has danced in music videos with Paula, Madonna and Quincy Jones and other top artists. His credits include TV and film appearances and he starred as Tyrone Jackson in the Boadway musical FAME European touring company. Billy lives in Greenwich with his son, Elijah, and currently serves as Artistic Director of Wall Street Theatre in Norwalk. He is the son of fitness guru BillyBlanks of the Tae Bo Exercise program fame.
OUR BIG THANKS to Billy for joining our 2019
A CHANCE TO DANCE judges' panel.
VICTORIA CAREY is the owner and director of FlashPointe Dance and Glitter & Grime in downtownFairfield. She opened the studio to provide a nurturing environment that would support everyone so inspired to explore the world of dance. As a mother of four, Vickie feels strongly that keeping our children active and involved in activities that they love, in an environment that encourages them to spread their wings, is a critical tool for bothself-esteem and confidence.
Since its inception in 2015, Vickie has been an incredibly loyal supporter of the A CHANCE TO DANCE event. She has generously supplied instructors, celebrity dancers, rehearsal space,
and even our opening act:
The Flash Pointe Dance Competition Team!
INSPIRE is very grateful to Vickie for her involvement in this event and support of our mission.
'I would like to applaud all of our courageous contestants for taking on this challenge, and look forward to the opportunity to recognize the unique offerings that you will each bring to this event !" V.C.
MARY-JO McAVEY is a former New Yorker who has resided in Fairfield for 25 years. She and her husband Vince have raised three sons
and three dogs in Greenfield Hill. She is a top-producing Real Estate agent with William Raveis Fairfield. Her Wall Street background and
tenacious sales ability make a winning combination for both her buyers and sellers. She is a dedicated community volunteer and always open to supporting a grass-roots organization like INSPIRE, whose mission she believes is vital to the wellbeing of local families.
Mary-Jo's positive nature and discerning eye make her a perfect
new addition to our judges' panel. She also brings a special
perspective to our panel as she is a former CHANCE TO DANCER herself, having bravely taken the stage in our 2015 event! We are forever grateful for Mary-Jo's kind support of INSPIRE over so many years.
Mar is America's top lifestyle expert! He is creator, host and Executive Producer of the 3-time Emmy-nominated TV series, LIFE ON MARS: The Home Makeover Show, and also a best-selling author. Season 3 of his nationally syndicated show is now in production. No stranger to dance and performing himself, Mar is a 4-time regional and sectional ice-skating Gold Medalist and most recently captured the 2018 Men's ISIA Senior World Championship! Mar has been a longtime supporter of our event and part of our distinguished panel of judges for the past 3 years. We are thrilled to have him bring his ever-enthusiastic and fun personality to the FTC stage for our show this year.
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