Dance Starz AZ founder, Mr. Bill Jones, has been dancing, teaching, judging and choreographing for over 25 years. He is certified and a member of the NDCA. He has danced around the world and has performed for many stars including Carol Burnett, Marky Post, Jennifer Collige, Ted Turner, and President Bill Clinton. His passion, dedication and creativity through the years has made Dance Starz AZ the most innovative and fun dance studio in AZ!
Yelena says “Dancing has always been my passion”. Born in Russia, as a young child of 8 years old, she started ballet then changed to ballroom dancing at 13. Her ballroom instructors and the beautiful costumes inspired her to take the leap into the ballroom world. At 16, she started teaching professionally in Russia, then competing all over Europe. During the 1982 competitions, she and her partner won the Russian Professional Championship in Standard Dance, the highest competition and honor to be bestowed on a ballroom dancer in Russia, she and her partner placed 2nd in Latin that year also. From that point on she traveled all over Europe competing, judging many ballroom competitions and helping students become champion ballroom dancers themselves. In 2000, by invitation, she moved to US working as a professional teacher. Yelena says “Her goal is to bring the love of dance to everyone she meets”.
Joe is a lifelong performer, most especially influenced by the old school “song and dance man” tradition. If Vaudeville were still around, he’d be there, but since it’s not, he’s focusing on music, and dancing to it. With a background in tap and musical theatre – including recreating scenes from old films, he is extremely excited about his teaching at Dance Starz AZ. Joe recognizes that dance fulfills a fundamental need for people, and is one of the greatest ways to have fun, stay young, and connect with others. Dance is music made visible, so it is also emotion made visible, and there are certain things inexpressible in any way other than dance. So let’s have fun and express, ballroom style!
Growing up as an only child with a single mother, I was exposed to the art of dance early and often. I was first introduced to dance through such musicals as “The Sound of Music”, and “Grease”. I loved trying to imitate the dances and watched the movies over and over again. When I was 6 however I was introduced to figure skating and gymnastics from the Olympics in my home state of Georgia. I absolutely fell in love with these “ice dancers” and aerial performers, and I couldn’t get enough! So through quite a bit of trial and error I taught myself a few of these acrobatic stunts that I am still able to do to this day!
At age 9 my passion for sports took over. I spent every chance I could find playing any and every sport I could find. I played school ball during the school year, and recreational ball during the summers. This continued throughout my high school years and is still lingering in my life today.
When I was 11 I found a passion that almost rivaled sports. This new passion was music! As a musician, I love finding ways to express myself through music. Whether it be through playing it, singing it, or creating my own. I now have Dance Starz AZ to thank for providing me a new exciting way to express the music and feeling inside of me, DANCE! Now I can put my love for sports and competing along side with my passion for music!
I can’t wait to see where this opportunity will take me, and I would love to bring you along on this journey as well! I want to teach the world to see dance in the same light as me!