Jeannette Jeffries has been teaching West Coast Swing since 2000. She is a certified instructor of West Coast Swing through the PDIA. She has continued her education through private lessons and workshops with some of the top national instructors.
Jorja began her dancing career at the age of four. Four years prior to teaching for one of Germantown’s most renowned studios, she taught Adult Tap, Youth Ballet, and Jazz dancing. She has received the Gold medal in Closed Smooth, Top Overall Female in 2010, and the prestigious “Freddy Award” for Top Female in the Southeast Region in 2012. Jorja has trained under some of the most respected coaches in the U.S. and just returned in 2013 from a comp/workshop in Costa Rica. She is certified to teach all styles and levels of American Smooth and Rhythm. Jorja has trained under some of the most respected coaches in the U.S. and continues her training with top Dancesport Coaches. She is now with Ultimate Ballroom Studio and is certified to teach all styles and levels of American Smooth and Rhythm.
Instructing for more than 30 years for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, including some years at Arthur Murray and as an independent instructor, she is also a three time Professional Fred Astaire U.S. American Ten Dance Champion, winning titles at the Ohio Star Ball and the Texas Challenge Open. She has been awarded Top Teacher Trainer from the South Central Region and is the author of training manuals and videos on successful teaching methods. She is a well-known choreographer and coach who still enjoys teaching and performing.
Awarded a scholarship to Alvin Alley Dance Center in New York, Desiree began her career training in all disciplines of dance; receiving three top amateur rankings in the US at age 17; appeared on Saturday Night Live and presented choreographed works on “Off Broadway.” Within a few years, she established the Desoto Ballroom Co., with focus on dance education, coaching, choreography, and developed a West Coast Swing platform. She trained the current number one ranked female amateur in the US. She now instructs all levels of ballroom dance at Blue Suede Studio. Desiree states, “I have realized many dreams in my life and hope that I have inspired many more.”
Mr. McKerlie is a certified ballroom dance instructor with Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Memphis. He began his training in North Carolina and has instructed for the past eight years, teaching both International Standard/Latin and American Smooth/Rhythm. Mike has won many awards and championships including: Regional American Smooth and Rhythm Champion; Showdance Champion; multiple Freddy Awards; and has attained Certified /Accredited ‘Advance’ Instructor with FADS. Mike has trained under Dancing With the Stars’, Emmy Award Winner Mark Ballas, Mambo World Champion Fabian Sanchez, and Tony Dovolani. We are proud to Sponsor Mike McKerlie as one of Memphis’ USA Dance Instructors.
Joseph is a dual fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and certified in all levels of Ballroom and Latin American dancing (International style). He worked for years at one of the most renowned studios in Memphis, which gave him experience with the American style of dancing. He teaches all levels of both styles and Theater Arts.
Born in Armenia, Arman began training at the “Culture Palace” graduating in 1995. His family moved to Moscow in 1998 and he continued his studies in the arts and dance, notably competing in more than 150 national competitions. He then began instructing in the methodology of dance. Opening his own studio in 2007, he instructed Ballroom and Latin as Pro/Am training for instructors. His love of all the arts led him to pursue ethnic dances, traveling to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In 2009, he came to Memphis by way of invitation from a studio and is now instructing in all levels of International and American style ballroom, and Argentine Tango; choreography; coaching; and traveling.
Ben came to Memphis in 2004, but began his dance career more than ten years ago in Dallas, TX, when he discovered his passion for performing on stage in ballroom showcases. He studied and received certification in all of styles of American Smooth and Rhythm dances as well as receiving top awards in numerous competitions and performances. Ben is a Professional Instructor currently teaching at Ultimate Ballroom Studio. When students say, “I can’t dance.”, Ben’s philosophy is: “It’s not that you can’t; you just don’t know how yet.”
Evan began dancing at the age of 15, taking ballroom and Latin classes regularly until he was hired at age 20 as an instructor. He then began competing professionally, winning regional titles, placing as a finalist in larger national and Dance Sport competitions, and placing as a Top Ten finalist (6 of 65) in Pro/Am Bronze to Open at the Manhattan Amateur Pro/Am Competition and Ball. Evan took over as the manager of FADS, Glastonbury in 2008, raising the studio to the top ballroom studio in the New England area. Evan says, “I focus on creating a very high standard for the quality of dancing with the professionals and their students. It’s not about the money and winning competitions; it’s about the dancing and all it has to offer and individual and with Memphis-dream of Blackpool!”