DF Studio Dance Instructors
When we started dancing about a decade ago, we didn’t know a simple hobby would change our lives forever. Looking back now, it’s clear that dancing not only helped us stay healthy, young, and energized; but also empowered us in more ways than we could have imagined. Dancing made us shine confidently on stage and in life, and fostered life-long friendships and partnerships that have defined who we are today: A team of professionals who share the passion of enriching people’s lives through dance.
This dream team of instructors is available for group and private dance lessons as well as performances and choreographies in Salsa, Ballroom, West Coast Swing, Latin, East Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, Country, Hip Hop, Break Dancing and even Tahitian dancing.
Schedule your 1st lesson online or call us at 801.466.0490. We can't wait to meet you!
Salsa, Argentine Tango
Maria started dancing in 2001 and has received most of her training in New York and Los Angeles from some of the world's top salseros. Maria has won numerous awards from "Mambo Queen" in 2005 to "Utah's Best Female Salsa Dancer" in 2011. She started teaching Latin dance in 2005 as faculty of Salt Lake Community College & University of Utah and since then has become one of Utah's most known female salsa instructors.
Salsa, Bachata, Hip Hop
Frida has won 3rd place in the 2015 Las Vegas Salsa On2 Amateur couples division Competition, 1st place in the 2016 Utah Bachata competition, 1st place in the 2015 San Diego Salsa On2 couples division Competition, and is Utah Bachata Queen 2016. She's had extensive training in several multi-cultural styles of dance, including Tahitian, samba, and Argentine tango, and is also certified in Zumba.
Ballroom, Latin, Swing
A native of Oklahoma City, artist Laura Payne Juarez is a professional ballroom dancer, choreographer and instructor. Her training began in ballet and modern and expanded to ballroom, training across the US and Europe. After placing second in the Open British World Formation Championships, she earned Licentiate status with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing for the Latin American Branch. She graduated from BYU and taught as adjunct faculty at UVU.
Gio became National Pre-championship Latin Champion and the National Amateur Rhythm Champion in 2009. In 2011, she became the Amateur Latin Champion here in Utah. She was also a member of the prestigious BYU formation ballroom dance team. In 2009, she became one of the directors for the successful BYU Youth Ballroom Program.
Salsa, Bachata, Ballroom
West Coast Swing, Ballroom
Chad spent several years dancing with the ballroom dance teams at UVU, and competed with the team at Blackpool in 2008 dancing in both the standard and Latin medleys. Recently, his focus has turned to social dancing, and he has developed a deep love of West Coast Swing, Argentine tango, and Blues.
Swan was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He moved to Utah at the age of 11 and immediately picked up break dancing. He has been break dancing now for about 8 years and is a big hit in our youth classes!
Salsa, Bachata, Ballroom
Yana began dancing at an early age with the I.C.A.N.D.O. Ballet West program and quickly became an assistant teacher there. She recently won 3rd place in the Utah 2016 Solo Competition. Yana specializes in Salsa, Bachata, Social Ballroom, and teaching wedding couples.
Kara DeMelo has trained in various Hip-Hop styles for over 5 years. Dancing with Utah Raw, Soul Star, and Underground Crew, she's traveled the western region for performances, battles, classes, and trainings to expand her artistry. Her other specialty styles consist of Krump, Waacking, Contemporary, and Freestyle.
As an alumnus of the world-renowned BYU Ballroom Dance Company, Parker is highly experienced in competitive and artistic ballroom dancing and has been doing so for over 13 years. He has extensive private and formation team training in both International and American styles of Ballroom Dance, and has competed successfully over the years individually, and with his teams. Parker is a Dual (both Latin-American and Ballroom Styles) Licentiate, full member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance.
Salsa, Bachata, Country
Lindsay started out dancing Jazz at an early age, but ultimately found her passion in Latin dances. She placed 3rd in 2010 and 1st in 2011 in a statewide Salsa Competition in Utah and 3rd in 2010 in a statewide Bachata Competition. She specializes in Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba and is available for private lessons.
Salsa, Bachata, Kids
Julio specializes in Salsa, Bachata and Social Ballroom. He currently competes at the highest level in Salsa and Bachata and is the 2016 king of Bachata in Utah. In 2015 he took first place in the SDSBK (San Diego Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba) international Salsa competition. Julio also has some Ballroom background completing the Bronze Latin Ballroom medals exam and competing in Dance Sport BYU amateur division making it to semi-finals.
Argentine Tango, Salsa
Atakan is widely recognized as one of the top Argentine Tango dancers in Utah. He had originally started learning Argentine Tango in Turkey and has performed and traveled with his dance group for over 3 years. He is a patient and intuitive instructor. His teaching style focuses on concepts and technique of lead and follow with a particular emphasis on the musicality of Argentine Tango.
Tia Aiono is one of the BEST Hip Hop teachers in Utah! She specializes in waaking, jazz funk, house and vouge Hip Hop styles. Check out her cool videos on YouTube.
Koryl danced competitive Tap, Jazz, and Ballet for thirteen years before enrolling in the BYU dance program. She then traveled to teach, learn, and perform many dance styles throughout the world in countries such as China, Israel, the UK and places such as New York City, Washington DC, and Alaska. Her current favorite styles are African, Salsa, and Country Swing.