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Stephen White and Sonya Dessureault (USA)

 

    
Stephen White is a Swing Professional currently competing at the Champion level. Calling no one place home, he travels around the world instructing, choreographing, competing, and performing. The palest working man in the Swing world, he's known for a quirky wit, fun workshops, and an avid love of social dancing! Please make sure he avoids excess sunlight.
Sonya Dessureault hails from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (not to be confused with the rest of Canada, or France). With a background in teaching Salsa and Latin street dance for 7 years, she brings a unique flavor to her West Coast. Versed extensively in Modern, Hip-hop, Jazz, Classical, Etc, she is also fluent in 5 different languages. That means she can teach you many dances, in many ways, in many tongues! She can even translate the "southern" that Stephen tends to speak.
Together they're traveling the world and the Swing circuit, excited to share their new piece "Hate you, Love you" which recently took top 6 at the US Open as their debut transitioning from Showcase and into the Classic division!

 

 

 

 

 

Semion Ovsiannikov and Maria Elizarova (Russia)

    

 

Maria and Semion have been dance partners for about four years.
Semion has been dancing ever since he was eight. He started with ballroom dancing first, then got into social dancing, and finally into West Coast Swing. When he started competing in WCS, he got to Intermediate level very fast and kept on winning every competition he took part in. He became Advanced very soon too and now he is one of only 3 Russian All Stars leaders. His latest achievements are taking first place in the All-Stars J&J at Westie Fest in Moscow 2016, first place in the Open Strictly at the US Open 2016. He is known for his musicality and great connection with his partners.
Maria has been dancing since 2007. In 2008 she fell in love with social partner dances. She started learning hustle/discofox and salsa. She had been dancing hustle and discofox for 4 years, working on her solo choreography as well when West Coast Swing came into her dancing life. After that, she couldn't stop dancing WCS. She enjoys the versatility of the dance, bringing new emotions, options for musicality and styling to every dance. Together Maria and Semion won the Open Strictly division at Budafest in both 2014 and 2015, the Open Strictly division at The After Party (San Diego, USA) in 2015.
Semion and Maria were the first Russians to ever get to US Open Classic finals 2016.
Their partnership emphasizes musicality and connection. They love the possibilities for communication and dialogue between partners during every dance and seek to help their students discover this incredibly fun aspect of WCS. They share a philosophy that care and attention are the best things partners can give to each other during any dance.

 

 

 

 

Thibault Ramirez (France) & Ardena Gojani (Norway)

    

 

Thibault comes from a city called Toulon, in the South of France. He grew up in the dance community, with his parents owning a dance studio. He started learning dance at the age of 7 with Boogie, Salsa, Bachata, etc. He became the Boogie French Champion and placed 5th at the World Championship. After discovering West Coast Swing, he fell in love. Thanks to his dance background, he quickly met success in competition and developped his own style, musicality based. Naturally, he also invested his time in the teaching aspect of West Coast Swing, and work with the best professionals to improve his technique, while creating his own pedagogy based on all the years spent in his parents dance classes. Currently, he is teaching with passion all around the Southern East of France regularly, and occasionally in WCS conventions, while continuing his competitor’s path. His pleasure is to share and communicate his knowledge, making him a quality teacher.
 
Ardena comes from the United States, where she danced as a professional ballroom dancer and received an education in psychology, leadership development and personal fitness training. After moving to Norway, Ardena opened a dance studio concentrating on instructing social dances, in particular west coast swing, argentine tango and salsa. Being the only American and first advance dancer in WCS in Norway, Ardena has brought much inspiration to WCS dancers in the country. She has helped to fuel the growth of the WCS community by teaching on a regular basis and consistently bringing American WCS professionals to Scandinavia for intensive dance training workshops. Ardena continually educates herself by attending international seminars, workshops and competitions. She also regularly takes private dance lessons in all styles of dances to continue helping her growth as a dancer and instructor.
 
 

 

 

 

 

Chief Judge - Chuck Brown (USA)

 

Chuck Brown is a current Champion level competitor with over 18 years of experience. He is recognized as a top international instructor, Chief Judge, NASDE Circuit and US Open judge, DJ, event promoter and dance business consultant. Chuck has won numerous national competitions and awards, including placing at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships several times and making the Champions Division J&J finals at SwingDiego.