REPLAY: ‘Dancing For the Space Coast’ Draws Rave Reviews On Historic Night, $340K Raised For Charity

By  //  June 3, 2018

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beneficiaries include Space Coast Field of Dreams, Crosswinds Youth Services and Brevard County community theater organizations

REPLAY: It was a record night in front of a record crowd at the fourth annual “Dancing for the Space Coast” charity event Saturday night from Florida Tech’s Clemente Center. 

Jessica Andre, Ryan Firth Crowned Co-Champions

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – It was a record night in front of a record crowd at the fourth annual “Dancing for the Space Coast” charity event Saturday night from Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.

The grand champion of the fourth annual ‘Dancing For the Space Coast’ was a tie for first as Brevard County native and co-owner of FrogBones Family Shooting Center Jessica Andre, along with her instructor Primo Garcia from Dancin’ Dance Studio, shared the title with Ryan Firth from Southeast Petro and instructor Heidi Arnold, also from Dancin’ Dance Studio in Indialantic.

This year the event helped raise over $340,000 for charity, the most money raised for charity in Brevard County at a single event. The new record for money raised shattered the previous record held by last year’s Dancing for the Space Coast.

Another record set Saturday night was the number of people in attendance, as 820 people witnessed the historic night inside the Clemente Center during the largest charity event in Brevard County.

Leading up to the event, the local celebrities dancing in the event helped raise money months prior to the event, while preparing for their complex dance routine in front of a sold-out crowd.

The charity event was hosted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and emceed by Sheriff Wayne Ivey who helped facilitate a live auction and live dance performances by dance professionals and local celebrities who competed to raise money for Brevard County non-profit organizations.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey has emceed ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ every year.

“Each competitor dedicates their time and talents taking dance lessons and also diligently raises money as part of this competition,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

“Now in its fourth year, Dancing for the Space Coast selects three local charities that are focused on addressing the needs of children, crime prevention, and the arts. Proceeds from Dancing for the Space Coast generate funds to support these charities and their incredible commitment to positively impact and strengthen our Brevard County community.”

This year, organizations that received the benefit were Space Coast Field of Dreams, Crosswinds Youth Services, and the Brevard County community theater organizations – the Cocoa Village Playhouse, Henegar Center for the Arts, Melbourne Civic Theatre, Surfside Playhouse and Titusville Playhouse, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Charity, Inc.”

Another record set Saturday night was the number of people in attendance as 820 people witnessed the historic night inside the Clemente Center. The largest charity event in Brevard County.

Andre had one of the most inspiring performances in the event’s most recent memory. On Saturday, despite being in a wheelchair, Andre proved you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter the obstacles life throws at you as she entertained a sold-out crowd and received the biggest standing ovation for the evening for her performance.

Jessica suffered an accident in 2012 that paralyzed her from the waist down and forced her into a wheelchair.

“She had one of the most amazing moments you will ever see,” said one spectator fighting back tears.

Firth broke out his best Bruno Mars dance moves as he danced to “Perm” with his instructor Heidi Arnold. Arnold has helped lead her dance students to victory in the event every year with this year being her fourth straight win in the event.

Dancers Selected For Fourth Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ Set For June 2 at Florida TechRelated Story:
Dancers Selected For Fourth Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ Set For June 2 at Florida Tech

Like in previous years, 10% of the event’s proceeds go directly to support the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Charity, Inc., established to assist Brevard County law enforcement officers and firefighters/paramedics in their time of need.

“It was an amazing evening to share in great food, laughter, friends, and incredible dancing while raising money for deserving Brevard County charitable organizations,” said Ivey.

This year’s sponsors included Brevard County Sheriff’s OfficeHarris Corp., Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne Athletic Club, Frogbones Family Shooting Center and Space Coast Daily.

2018 Dancing for the Space Coast Dancers

MARY GOODWIN

ABOVE VIDEO: Realtor Mary Goodwin Prepares To Dance At 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ On Saturday.

Mary moved to the Melbourne area at the age of two, which undeniably qualifies as a native and has always called Brevard County “home”.

Her family relocated to Indialantic from Aurora, IL. and quickly started to make their mark on the area. Mary’s dad, Bob Malley developed Franklyn Ave. the prestigious neighborhood that he named the “Point”.  Mary, a realtor with Curri Kirschner Real Estate Group  is a second generation realtor.  Her Mom Jacky operated a successful real estate business in Indialantic. So, must be in the in the  genes!  Mary attended Melbourne Central Catholic and then went on to become a GATOR at UF!

Like many young people just out of college she had a case of wonderment and became a flight attendant with US Airways. She met her husband Mike, they settled in Indialantic and had three kids! She then took a sabbatical from the Airline business to be a “stay at home Mom” and did so until her youngest started school. Currently, with the Curri  Kirschner  Real Estate Group, she has been the top producer for the past three years.

As both friends and business associates will attest she knows no strangers.

Her favorite leisure activity is a lively energy-filled dance class with her peeps at Melbourne Dance Trance, where a work out feels like a night out on the town!  She feels blessed to be able to merge her love of dance with her passion of helping others. For the past eight years, she has donated and has volunteered her time and talents with the Mini Dance marathon at MCC. This is a  fun-filled event for students where all proceeds go to the Childrens’ Miracle Network at University of Florida’s Shands Hospital.

Adrian Laffitte

Adrian worked at Lockheed Martin for 31 years. He started his career at VAFB in 1981, working on the Space Shuttle Program and the Titan IV program. He transferred to Florida as part of the new Launch Operations organization as the Director of the Engineering & Support Service department. He was named Director of Atlas Launch Operations where he was responsible for the processing and launching of the Atlas II, Atlas III & Atlas V vehicles at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS).

As a Launch Director he conducted 30 successful consecutive launches. He was also was responsible for establishing and maintaining effective relationships with state and local government officials in support of LMSSC program

He also served after his retirement as the Executive Director for the Kennedy Space Center Educational Foundation from May 2015-2017, where he was responsible for establishing and facilitating programs to educate students and educators in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

ABOVE VIDEO: Adrian Laffitte prepares for ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’

His awards include the Commitment to Excellence Award in 1985, Technical Achievement Awards in 1988 & 1994, and Mentor Award in 1996, and the 2001 “J.Tal Webb” Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the 2002 Aviation Week & Space Technology Laurel Award, the 2003 National Space Club Debus Award, 2007 Lockheed Martin NOVA award, 2010 Golden Eagle Award, 2010 The Hispanic Engineer Albert Baez Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to Humanity, 2012 most admire Business Leader in Brevard County, 2016 Brevard County “Citizen of the Year” and 2017 Central Florida Humanitarian Award.

He served as Board Chair for United Way of Brevard, Board of Governor for United Way of Florida and was 2012 United Way Campaign Chair for Brevard County, Prior Brevard Community College Foundation Board of Governor (2009 Chair) and Executive Committee, Florida National Space Club (2005/2006 Chairman), The Astronaut Memorial Foundation Board of Trustee, Brevard Library Foundation (2007 Chair), Webster University Space Coast Advisory Board, Space Tec Partners Inc. (Vice Chair) l, Merritt Island High School DaVinci Academy of Aerospace Technology Board (Chair), Kennedy Space Center Educational Foundation (Treasurer), member of the Board of Reference for Brevard Schools and Member of Congressman Posey Space Advisory Council. He served as the 2005 Chair for Florida Space Day in Tallahassee. Chair for the Brevard Save Our Student 2014 Campaign.

Shayla Murray

Shayla is a native of Brevard County, Florida. She was educated in the Brevard County School System and continued her education at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Sports Management.

After serving as Recreation Therapist for Devereux, Florida, she relocated to Athens, Greece to manage the career of a professional athlete. While living abroad Ms. Murray opened an online boutique and began a blog with the purpose of empowering young women.

Ms. Murray returned to Brevard County and is currently a Governmental Relations Consultant with Space Coast Strategy, Inc., a governmental relations and political consulting firm. The firm handles local government matters across Central Florida and represents clients in Tallahassee before the legislative and executive branches.


ABOVE VIDEO: Shayla Murray Prepares To Dance At 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ On June 2

With all other constraints on her time, Mr. Murray still manages to dedicate time to various religious, civic and social causes in the local community including, but not limited to:

Advisory Board – WeVenture;
Chief Administrator – Oil of Joy Church Ministries, Inc.;
Trainer – Confidence Dance Group.
She was also the recipient of the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, Social Humanitarian & Community Service Award in 2015 and a graduate of the Leadership Brevard Class of 2018.

Jessica Andre

ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard’s Own Jessica Andre Prepares To Dance At 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’

Jessica was born and raised in Melbourne, FL. She graduated from Melbourne High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Auburn University.

She is co-owner of FrogBones Family Shooting Center and Double Tapp Grill in Melbourne, FL.

Jessica volunteers with Smiling Dog Rescue fostering dogs. She serves as a board member for the Space Coast Field of Dreams, the Bridges Foundation and the Health First Foundation.

She is also a director of the André Family Foundation.

Rene Plasencia

Rene “Coach P” Plasencia was born and raised in Orlando, the son of a Cuban born father and Puerto Rican mother. Growing up he was always reminded by his father the gift of living in a free and democratic country. His mother taught him the value of perseverance, never allowing him to quit anything he started. His parents taught him the virtues of integrity, hard work and dedication.

Rene graduated from Dr. Phillips High School where his strong work ethic and dedication earned him a track and field scholarship to UCF. While at UCF, (Orlando, FL) he started their first student-athlete advisory board and served as president its first two years. Rene earned several athletic honors and still holds the indoor mile record.

For the last 14 years, he has dedicated himself to teaching and coaching at Colonial High School. As a coach for the track and cross country programs, he has created a culture of winning and success where there once was none. It is through his devotion and faith in his athletes that he was able to accomplish what no other coach in Colonial’s 53-year history could. In 2011, he led his boys Cross Country Team at Colonial High School to its first-ever state title, at the same time winning Colonial’s first state title in any sport.

In 2014, incumbent State Representative Joe Saunders, a Democrat, ran for re-election in the 49th District, so Plasencia ran against him. He faced Ed Rodriguez, a retired police detective, in the Republican primary. Plasencia campaigned on his opposition to the Common Core Standards and standardized tests, saying, “We need to give teachers the ability to teach. A lot of what we do is almost clerical work.”

He ended up defeating Rodriguez in a landslide, winning the primary with 77% of the vote and advancing to the general election, where he faced Saunders. Plasencia argued that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which Saunders supported, was a “jobs killer,” and praised Governor Rick Scott on “gun rights, economics, taxes, and pro-growth strategies,” while also emphasizing that he supported public education. The Orlando Sentinel, while praising Plasencia as a “passionate advocate for education,” endorsed Saunders, noting that “public schools already have a champion in Saunders.”

Plasencia defeated Saunders and winning his first term in the legislature with 51-percent of the vote.

With a reelection on the horizon for this year, Rene “Coach P” Plasencia, Republican candidate for Florida State House in District 50, received a solid endorsement from a group of prominent elected officials from Brevard County and City of Titusville, including Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey Joins Brevard Dignitaries in Endorsing Rene ‘Coach P’ Plasencia’s Reelection CampaignRelated Story:
Sheriff Wayne Ivey Joins Brevard Dignitaries in Endorsing Rene ‘Coach P’ Plasencia’s Reelection Campaign

“Since my first term as a House Representative, I established a clear line of communication with the local elected officials of the counties within District 50 in order to hear firsthand their most pressing needs, as well as their competitive edges,” said Plasencia.

“These actions allowed us to ensure that District 50 communities were well represented in our state government. It is an honor to represent the people of North Brevard and East Orange County.”

ABOVE VIDEO: “Coach P” Plasencia is fine-tuning his final dance routine for the 2018 “Dancing for the Space Coast,” Brevard County’s biggest charity event set for Saturday, June 2 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.

Elected officials supporting Plasencia for his reelection this November included Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Titusville Mayor Walt Johnson, Port Canaveral Commission Chairman Wayne Justice, Port Commissioner Micah Loyd, and Titusville City Council Members Jo Lynn Nelson and Dan Deisel.

“I am honored to receive not just their endorsement, but their ongoing contribution of innovative ideas to help continue developing a policy that benefits Florida’s District 50,” said Plasencia.

“I know that only by working together can we guarantee that the voices of our community are effectively represented in our state Capitol.”

Rene hobbies include cycling, running and cheering on the Orlando Magic.

Rene is married to his wife Marucci Guzman.

Steve Phelps

Having grown up in Rockledge, Steve attended St Mary’s and Rockledge High School and earned an appointment to West Point where he graduated in 1983.   Known for his deep belief in service to others, Steve dedicated his life to the service of God, country, community and family.   Because of this focus, joining the 2018 team for Dancing for The Space Coast was a perfect fit.

For his dance number, Steve chose the 1940’s swing tune, “In the Mood,” by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, a dance tune enjoyed by many during the big band era and still today.  Steve dedicates the dance and evening to God’s Amazing Grace, his wife Debbie, his sons Vincent and Gregory, their families, and to the memory of his dad who loved this tune.

ABOVE VIDEO: With less than a week remaining, Steve Phelps is preparing for the 2018 “Dancing for the Space Coast” and fine-tuning is final dance routines ahead of Brevard County’s biggest charity event, set for Saturday, June 2 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.  The program for this year’s event starts at 6:30 p.m.

As an officer in the United States Army, Steve served in the “Big Red One” and the 82d Airborne Division as an airborne ranger.  During his service, Steve was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Combat Jump Star for operations in Panama and the First Gulf War.

Upon leaving the military, Steve and his family moved back to Brevard County and began work at the Kennedy Space Center with McDonnell Douglas.  In 1994, Steve joined Edward Jones Investments as a financial advisor and opened the firm’s first office in Rockledge.  In June 2000, he was named a regional leader responsible for the 50 plus financial advisors in the East Central Florida Area, and served in that position for 13 years.  In 2004, he was named a general partner of the firm, and a subordinated limited partner in 2014.

Past and current community service include:  chairman for the Wuesthoff Hospital Health Systems; chairman for the Salvation Army Advisory Board; vice-chairman of the 4-H Foundation; board member for the City of Rockledge General Pension Board and the Brevard County Finance Committee;  elder for Georgianna United Methodist Church; member of the Brevard County Civilian/Military Council, Military Officers Association of America (Cape Canaveral Chapter), Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Fly Rod Club.

Steve is most proud of his wife Debbie. They were married at West Pont in 1984, and she has been a source of strength and encouragement ever since. She also is an avid accomplished cyclist.  Steve and Debbie have two sons Vincent and Gregory.  Upon his departure from the Marine Corps, Vincent graduated from the University of Florida with an Ag Degree.   He is owner and operator of Phelps Family Cattle.  He is married to Megan and has two children Brian and Ashlyn.  Upon graduating from the University of Central Florida, Gregory joined his dad as an advisor with Edward Jones.  Steve’s life verse is Psalm 139: 23-24.

Micah Loyd

Micah Loyd is the owner of Loyd Contracting Co., Inc.  Loyd Contracting was founded in 1980 and has been a family-owned business for two generations.

Micah is a licensed general contractor. After receiving his Bachelors of Technology in Building Construction Management from the University of North Florida, he began managing construction projects for the family business.   He then became President of Loyd Contracting in 2011.  Loyd Contracting continues to perform contracts for commercial and residential construction.

As a member of the Brevard Community, Micah is part of the following trade and civic organizations: Member of Civilian Military Council (CIV-MIL) Since 2010, Chairman of the Board for the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2011,  Served on the Brevard County EDC Board of Directors representing the Titusville Chamber for 2 years, Member of the Space Coast Economic Development Commission, Served on the North Brevard Economic Development Zone Board (NBEDZ) since inception, Completed LEAD Brevard in 2012, Served on the City of Titusville Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Served as Chairman of the Space Coast Commerce Park Board, Member of Associated Building Contractors East Coast Chapter and Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard (HBCA).

In 2016, Micah was elected to serve as the District 2 commissioner for the Canaveral Port Authority.

ABOVE VIDEO: Port Commissioner Micah Loyd Prepares To Dance At 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’

Rich Hensel

Rich Hensel is a strong leader and community minded. He is the co-owner of Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, Fishlips at Jetty Park and Rising Tide at Port Canaveral.

He is the chairman of the Cocoa Beach Chamber Commerce and past chairman Chamber of Visitors Bureau. He is a retired Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve at Station Port Canaveral for 22 years.

Hensel is the past owner of HCI/TBI – Automatic Teller Machine Operations for over 21 based Florida casino vessels and was a captain of several casino ships located at Port Canaveral.

ABOVE VIDEO: With a few days remaining, dancers in the 2018 ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ are fine tuning their final dance routines ahead Brevard County’s biggest charity event set for June 2 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.

AFFILIATIONS:

  • Chairman Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce (2017)
  • Port Canaveral Cove Association
  • Propeller Club
  • Pass Chairman Cocoa Beach Chamber Visitors Bureau (2014,2015)
  • USCG Space Coast Chief’s Association
  • Director Cocoa Beach Thunder on the Beach Super Boats
  • Director Brewmaster’s Invitational Port Canaveral

Ryan Firth

Ryan Firth grew up in a small town called Vero Beach, Florida, where the waters are crystal clear and flip flops are mandatory. He grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, where he learned the values of hard work, sacrifice, and the kind of work ethic one must possess in order to succeed. Ryan experienced his own accomplishment at an early age, becoming the Captain of the Vero Beach High School Wrestling Team where he went on to represent the state of Florida National Team. His Team Coach was none other then Wayne Ivey, Brevard County’s current Super-Star Sheriff.

After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors of Arts degree, Ryan went on to marry his beautiful wife Victoria, and began his career in the wholesale petroleum industry. Consistently building on the principals and dedication he had learned from his parents and their business ventures, Ryan was determined to perfect his trade and rise as an industry leader. In a short amount of time, he was able to steadily work his way up from a Retail Account Manager to the Director of Business Development, where he was responsible for growing the business by acquiring new customer contracts.

ABOVE VIDEO: Instructor Heidi Arnold and dance student Ryan Firth are set to entertain a sold-out Clemente Center on Saturday, June 2 for “Dancing for the Space Coast.”

This role put Ryan in the spotlight as his name started to become widely known by others in the business. Ultimately he was recruited by Southeast Petro Distributors in 2014 to serve as their Director of Business Development. Again, Ryan accomplished a lot in a short time with the company. He, along with his amazing team, successfully attained the prestigious ranking of Regal Class Marketer for Southeast Petro, and serves as a Brand Champion with ExxonMobil to mention just a few achievements.

Ryan is representing Southeast Petro in the Dancing for the Space Coast Competition to raise money for Crosswinds Youth Services, Space Coast Field of Dreams, Brevard County community theater organizations and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Charity. The owners of Southeast Petro cultivate a culture within their company of giving back to the community, and Ryan supports that message as well. Please help make this event a success by donating whatever you can to support these local organizations.

Steve Heron

Steven J. Heron is currently serving as the General Manager and Artistic Director during this exciting time at the Titusville Playhouse.  Steven attended Auburn University with a major in Music Education with a vocal emphasis.

Since taking the reins of the Titusville Playhouse in 2011 the playhouse has seen outstanding growth.

Steven also sits and serves on many community boards such as Vice Chairman of the Brevard County Cultural Marketing Committee for the county Tourist Development Commission as well as the panel for Professional Theatres for the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida and up for election for the board of American Association of Community Theatres.

ABOVE VIDEO: Steven Heron Prepares To Dance at 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ June 2.

After being fortunate enough for 20 years of being a successful working actor in theme parks, cruise ships, regional theatre, & Off-Broadway Steven has taken a seat on the other side of the table.  While still performing, Steven has served as Artistic Director and Producer of The Cabaret Dinner Theatre & Metro Theatre in Colorado, Creative Director and Associate Producer for PGT Entertainment, and as a guest director at many theatres around the country.

Steven has a varied and unique background working in many facets of entertainment while always having an eye on the end product that moves the patron or guests.

Steven is very excited to be raising funds for our community and dancing this year with Dancing for the Space Coast!

INSTRUCTORS

Hannah Pickard

DANCE STUDENT – Rene “Coach P” Plasencia

Hannah has been a ballroom teacher and professional competitor since 2012; at the beginning of 2014, Hannah made the move to Orlando to focus on her career in dance.

With her new home at Dance It Studio, Hannah also teaches at workshops & schools around Orlando. She holds DVIDA certifications in both Smooth & Rhythm and is a member of the National Dance Council of America. She also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electronic Media Communication with a concentration in Television Production.

Before entering into the ballroom dance world, Hannah danced primarily ballet, tap, and jazz. Modern dance has also been a huge influence in Hannah’s dance career with her minor in dance from Middle Tennessee State University. Another one of Hannah’s passions has been dance photography and video, and she has been able to collaborate with Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Core Project Chicago, Shelter Repertory Theater, and Heritage Dance Project for many amazing mergers of the arts.

Hannah has danced professionally in Smooth and Cabaret categories. She has had the pleasure of working with many world-class coaches; Michael Chapman, David Elkin, Tommy DiTommasso, Eric Luna & Georgia Ambarian, Nick Kosovich, Gary Pierce, Wendy Johnson, Eugene Katsevman, Felipe Telona, and many others have greatly influenced Hannah’s movement and teaching style.

“I look forward to continuing my dance career. I hope to challenge myself and take pieces
of everyone I coach with, collaborate with, and train with. I am a teacher, but I learn the best life lessons from my students.So many blessings have come to me through being a part of this, a large family I feel connected with in the name of art.”

Heidi Arnold

DANCE STUDENTS – Ryan Firth, Steve Phelps

Heidi has been teaching dance for the past 16 years and is the proud owner of Dancin’ Dance. She first started dancing at the age of 3 when her parents enrolled her in lessons and she has been dancing ever since.

Heidi loves being able to pass on her passion and knowledge of dancing to others. She was a star on her school’s award winning dance team.

She began instructing Ballroom dance at the age of 16. She has trained extensively across the country including West Palm Beach, Orlando, and New York.

When she started teaching at a local studio, Heidi quickly became the lead advanced instructor. Heidi is one half of the 2012 Dancing with Brevard Grand Champion team.

Heidi and her partners have won the last 3 years of the Dancing with the Space Coast competition.

PRIMO GARCIA

DANCE STUDENTS – Mary Goodwin, Jessica Andre

Primo began dancing when he was 3-years old.  At age 10, he was already choreographing his own routines.

Although he was initially fascinated with hip hop, his interest expanded into encompass a wide variety of dances.  He began pursuing interests in Modern, Jazz, and Contemporary dance styles. By the time he was 24, he began a career in Ballroom dancing.

Primo has worked to master International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth and Rhythm at both social and competition levels of dancing.

Primo has recently returned to Florida after spending a year with the Dance With Me Dance Studio, working with some of the top dancers in the country. During that time, Primo performed on Broadway in Sway and on Good Morning America.

BARRY JOHNSON

DANCE STUDENT – Shayla Murray

Barry is originally from Long Island, New York. He started dancing at 7 years of age after watching the Fred Astaire movie “Top Hat”.  He danced tap, jazz, and ballet for the next 11 years.

During that time, he and his family moved to the Kansas City area.  Barry began ballroom in June of 1992 at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Lenexa, Kansas.

With them he completed training through his Silver level.  He moved to TC Dance Studio in 1998 where he completed his Gold level dancing. He also became the studio’s Dance Director and Assistant Supervisor.

Barry came to Melbourne to get away from the cold and icy winters of the Midwest in February of 2006. He then began his Pro-Am competing career. His students have earned Championships in American Smooth, and American Rhythm styles of dance, as well as a multitude of top solo awards ranging from the Bronze to Gold levels.

He is living his dream by teaching, dancing, competing, and being part owner of the ever-growing Melbourne Ballroom. In all, Barry has been dancing in one form or another for 40 years and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

ELENA SEXTON

DANCE STUDENTS – Rich Hensel, Micah Loyd

Originally from Russia, Elena is a professional dance instructor and co-owner of the Suntree Ballroom.

Together with her husband Lance, she shares her love for dance and each other in their dance performances. Elena received her dance training in Russia in International Style.

She is certified in American Rhythm as well and continues her performing and teaching in all styles including International Latin.

Both Lance and Elena have participated in dance sport competitions as well as charity events.

KRISTEN JOHNSON

DANCE STUDENT – Adrian Laffitte

Kristan Johnson started ballroom dancing as a hobby in October of 2003 to honor of her late father. He became a ballroom dance teacher to impress her mother and it worked.

Kristen danced with several teachers and studios in the area, and in doing so met Barry Johnson who became her dance teacher. She excelled in everything she did and eventually began to compete with her teacher who, coincidentally, became her husband in October of 2006.

Over the next 9 years Kristan accumulated awards for her dancing. They included Top Gold Female awards, Top Gold Solos, Top Overall Female Awards, several Scholarships and an American Smooth Championship in 2015. She then decided to take the next step and become a professional ballroom dancer. She is building up her clientele and has spearheaded our youth program with amazing success with her students already winning Top Youth awards at their first two competitions.

She believes very much in making her students feel welcome, and will definitely get results.

LADONNA CAMPBELL 

DANCE STUDENT – Steven Heron

Studio in Titusville.  She began her love affair with dance in 2000 in the Ballroom world.  She began competing Pro/Am with her students on the Ballroom circuit and got her professional certifications in American Smooth and Rhythm through the DVIDA organization.

In 2005, she discovered the world of West Coast Swing and fell in love all over again. She was especially drawn to the creativity, spontaneity, and artistic freedom that Swing offered.  She currently competes and travels the Swing circuit and was a finalist at Swing Diego-the Super Bowl of Swing.

She has won numerous championships with her professional partner Louis Schreiber.  She also competes with her students and has won multiple Top Teacher awards.

“I try to divide my time between Ballroom, Salsa, Country, and Swing.  It keeps things fresh and keeps me current with what’s trending.”  She feels her diversity helps her as a teacher.  “Each style has its own unique way of teaching and explaining fundamental concepts of movement and I’m happy to be able to pull from all those resources to help my students really get it.”

LaDonna currently enjoys living and working in Titusville.  Although her business and family keep her very busy, she is happy to help her community by participating in Dancing for the Space Coast.

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