From the Pros: Who Are Your Favorite Ballroom Dancers?

Who are your favorite Ballroom Dancers?

You don’t become an amazing ballroom dancer all on your own — you need teachers, peers, mentors, inspiration and muses to help you cultivate your craft and become better every day. Professional ballroom dancers know more than anyone the value of looking up to, and learning from, other dancers. Not only is it a great opportunity to improve your own skills as ballroom dancers, but it can also be lots of fun following your favorite dancers as they win new awards and create new and inspiring dance moves. We asked the pros who their favorite ballroom dancers are, and here are just a few:


Galina Detkina

“My favorite professional female is Galina Detkina from Florida. Not only is she the epitome of style and grace in the American Smooth division but her dancing is beautifully avant-garde and expressive. She makes everything look flawless and easy!”

Hannah Fey, Studio Owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Park Ridge, Illinois


Bruno Collins and Luann Pulliam

“They are such exquisite dancers — it’s beyond words — and even more, amazing people. They are the definition of grace, beauty, musicality, you name it… We are so lucky to have them as part of our company as they continue to influence and inspire the next generation.”

– Vera and Vladimir Kosarev, Fred Astaire National Smooth Champions, Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Coral Gables, Florida


Savion Glover, Janet Jackson and Frank Hatchett

“Savion Glover was my tap dancing inspiration. At the time I was tapping, most famous tap dancers were much older. But here was someone my age who was wowing and amazing the famous tappers with how many taps per second he could perform, his homage to ‘the greats’ and his own style.”

“Janet Jackson was my hip-hop idol. Every music video she created had new and different choreography and a different feel that she performed effortlessly. Every time she had a new video come out on MTV (yes, I’m old) I would learn all the choreography and dance along with her in the videos.”

Frank Hatchett‘s energy and passion paired with his funky choreography inspired me to be a better dancer. He inspired me because I wanted to impress him and inspired me because he made me feel and be the dance rather than just copying choreography.”

– Jessica Lengenfelder, Studio Owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of West Hartford, Connecticut


Vibeke Toft and Alan Thornsberg

“Dancing in the ‘80s was a very different world — from Donny Burns to Nadja and John Eftetal. However nothing ever came close to Vibeke Toft dancing with Alan Thornsberg. What a fresh inspiration for those times. And I’m glad the big puffy sleeves and super high-waisted pants stayed in the ‘80s.”

– Clemens Lengenfelder, Studio Owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of West Hartford, Connecticut


Lynn Kawamoto, Sergey Barsukov and Maria Sidnjova, and of course, Fred Astaire!

“Lynn Kawamoto is the Fred Astaire Dance Studio Tampa Bay Regional Dance Director and a National Fred Astaire Dance Studio Dance Board Member. We love and appreciate her dedication to her craft, her ability to transfer her knowledge, and how she inspires up-and-coming dancers.”

“Sergey Barsukov and Maria Sidnjova are studio owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of St. Petersburg Central in Florida, as well as Fred Astaire Dance Studio Smooth Champions. We appreciate Sergey and Maria’s ability to dance with intensity and passion, and evoke a powerful, emotional reaction.”

And we can’t forget Mr. Fred Astaire himself! We love the way Mr. Astaire made dance look so fun and easy. He has inspired a century of dancers and they are proud to be in the business of his namesake.”

– Kelle and David Chancellor, Studio Owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Brandon, Florida

Who are your favorite ballroom dancers?