Who did you like when you first started dancing? :D

Who did you like when you first started dancing? and who do you like now?
Just wondering which dancer has inspired you.

The 1st dancer that comes into my mind right now is Slavik! He's been a great source of inspiration for nearly... 6 months now.. Starting to like Franco Formica as well ;)


Active Member
Jackie and Jesse were first pros I ever saw compete, and they definitely impressed me. Not enough to start dancing though, that was more a matter of cute teachers in area asking me to dance. ;)
this is a trick question. ;)

when i started to dance i was 9 (that was in 1994/1995) and my teachers (who were also a competitors) were my idols.

than i saw Donnie and Gaynor.

and now, Brian and Carmen, Joanna and Michael.
When I was like 13/14 I used to really like Genya Mazo. Then as time went on I didn't think he was that great anymore, probably because I started to improve myself. Then I really liked Slavik, and as I was growing up more, I understood why Bryan was the best in the world.


New Member
The first Standard couple that I fell in like with were Pierre Allaire & Mirelle Veilleux. They had retired and were giving the show at the very first comp I went to. I'll never forget their foxtrot to "Fly me to the Moon," it left a huge impression on me.

Nowadays...I don't know...I've seen a lot of great dancing this year (went to watch the UK and Blackpool), there are a lot of couples I like, but I can't say there's anyone I'm like "oh my god" over. Is that sad, have I just seen too much good dancing and am now kind of complacent, or is this just a reflection of where I'm at mentally right now?

I'll pay more attention at Embassy and see who makes me go "wooooo."


Well-Known Member
Absolutley was Eddie Simon and Michelle Officer dancing American Smooth. Thier Vwaltz was incredible!
When we started competing Larinda and Steve were dancing Rising Star, loved to watch them too!!

Bak then my favorite standard couple, not sure I have the names right, was Clyde Phillips(??) dancing with his sister. Being a lady I usually watch the ladies but he was so great I could not take my eyes of of his dancing.


Well-Known Member
Donnie and Gaynor, Melissa Dexter, David Hamilton and Olga Forapanova, and the first Italians to grace our shores, Augusto Schiavo and Caterina Arzenton!
Janathome, you might be talking about Clive Phillips - he used to do 9 dance w/ his sister Karen McDonald, so it would have been smooth, though maybe they did standard at some point before I started watching. He hosted a televised dancesport competition in Monaco a while ago when there was more ballroom on tv. I remember wanting to see them dance smooth one year at Heritage and kept seeing him on his cell phone; but she never showed up and they didn't dance any more that I saw. He owns Dance New York and Dance New York Westchester, but she isn't mentioned.


Well-Known Member
It's been so long I'm not sure who my earliest favorites were. Now, my favorites are Gene Kelly, Yulia, Slavik, and Bryan.
My first intro to ballroom was the PBS shows back in the 90s. Everyone thought I was weird for watching them. One night I had tweaked the rabbit ears in my 3rd floor bedroom in Arlington MA so I could receive the NH PBS station and watch the show. While I was doing that, I got a call from a TV pollster wanting to know what I was watching. She was incredulous that I was picking up WENH from Arlington ;-) Now there's cable...

Now I like the Italian Standard couples for their showmanship; Massimo and Alessia - she's gorgeous. Loved Sinkinson with Jørgensen, I like Yulia with Riccardo but I think I liked her better with Max (for the showmanship). Bryan and Carmen. I love Victor and Anna. I want to see Max and Beata do a show!

I appreciate Gene Kelley much more now!


Staff member
Hazel and Chris were my early favorites, then I fell out with them in favor of the Italians. Alessandra and William, Alessia and Massimo,and so on.

However I recently had the opportunity to see some footage of Hazel and Chris doing a show here in the US. I can now say they are again one of my favorites. She is such and amazing girl. As far as the Italians, I have a new appreciation for Simona and Fabio.


Well-Known Member
I mostly notice the smooth dancers. The first ones I ever saw, and I still enjoy watching them, are the owners of the studio where we dance, Tom and Mendy Langford. Then there's David Hamilton, the guru of smooth; Michael Mead and Toni Redpath; Steve Dougherty and Eulia Baranovsky; and of course our lovely Larinda.


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Staff member
well...mostly b/c of FP...I was rather partial to Kathryn Schaffer and Victor Veryssat (sp?)... and I also liked Jean-Marc and Franz, and Pierre and Mirielle...I would watch my boss's old tapes and couldn't get enough of them...oddly I don't recall watching much smooth, which happens to be my favorite...shrug...later I had a strong affinity for Shalene b/c of her strength and body type ...and I have a sentimental attachment to Victor and Anna
Just like everyone else here who is coming up with names of many of the "old timers" shall we say...my favorites have always been Bob Powers & Julia Gorchakova and also Jose (who is my teacher). What I thought was funny when I was at Manhattan Dancesport watching the Pro Rhythm was this:
It's funny how the two top people competing in American Rhythm right now, Jose Decamps & Julia Gorchakova...are the same top two that were on top 10 years ago. Funny how things come full circle...
I guess when you are really unique & good at what you do that is "your own", it works for you forever.
It gives me faith to always do what you do best & continue to work on the rest to improve yourself always...
My favorite is by far Gene Kelly, his center awareness was just awesome. I also like Bob Fosse in "Kiss Me Kate".

Those two guys and my grandfather were the ones that got me started appreciating and loving the expressions through dancing, using dancing to communicate feelings, stories and life. My grandfather taught me that dance could be use to discover the spirit, mind and body and get them all working together in harmony. :)


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