The masters behind the success of ballroom dance dvd are
1. Mark Short
Mark began dancing at the young age of 6 in his small hometown of Beebe, Arkansas. Through many years of piano lessons, dance lessons, school plays, and theater, Mark’s love for the Arts guided him to the University of Central Arkansas where he majored in music and theater. However, dancing was always in the stars for him.
He began his ballroom dance career in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the age of 18, working at the local ballroom dance studio for a number of years. At first, his main professional interest was the American Rhythm style, in which he competed for about 6 years. Through travel around the world competing both professionally and with students and eventually owning his own studio, he began to make a name for himself in the ballroom world. After much coaxing from his coaches, Mark was convinced to take a whirl at the American Smooth style, which resulted in attaining the honor of U.S. Rising Star Finalist.
At the request of the owner, Mark recently made the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee, and work at one of the premier dance sport studios in the country. He is currently training with the U.S. and world’s top coaches to give the Professional American Smooth division one more try with Jaimee Simon.
2. Jaimee SimonA love for dance and a passion for the Arts at a young age are what led Jaimee Gray Simon to a career in the Performing Arts with the non-profit organization Youth With A Mission in Tyler, TX. There she studied and taught the Arts, including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, mime, acting, and playwriting. She has traveled and taught all over the world in places such as Bulgaria, Israel, Azerbaijan, and Colombia, even studying in Russia under a former Bolshoi ballerina.
After returning home to her native Nashville in 2000, Jaimee discovered a passion for the art and sport of ballroom dancing. She has spent the last eight years training, teaching, competing, and choreographing in the areas of Latin, Swing, and Country under some of the nation’s most esteemed ballroom dancers.
Jaimee also has an extensive background in acting and television hosting. She has worked on feature films, music videos, and commercials. She has also appeared on CMT’s “Top Twenty Countdown” as a dance instructor/co-host, and on NBC’s “Nashville Star” as a guest dance coach.
In 2008, Jaimee and her partner won a World Title in the Open 8 Dance division in the United Country-Western Dance Council World Championships. She also holds several UCWDC Division One Champion titles, and she is also very proud of her award-winning competitive dance students. Jaimee’s favorite dances and specialties include West Coast Swing, Country-Western, and American Smooth.
Mark Short & Jaimee Simon – A Waltz performance
3. Louis Van Amstel
[ Master behind Louis Let's Dance ballroom dance dvd ]
Twelve-time dance champion, Emmy-nominated choreographer and consummate professional, Louis Van Amstel may be best known for his five stunning turns on the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars.” After a lifetime of perfecting his craft, Louis continues to lace up his dancing shoes while sharing his passion for dance with the rest of the world!
Louis recently finished an amazing, storybook run on the “DwtS” dancefloor for the fifth time since the show’s inception. Louis was partnered with singer Kelly Osbourne, daughter of legendary rocker Ozzy and “America’s Got Talent” judge Sharon, and star of the popular MTV series “The Osbournes.” After helping transform Kelly from a disregarded underdog to a graceful fan favorite, by season’s end they shocked the world by reaching the finals and finishing third out of twenty original competitors!
With “DwtS” now over, Louis has turned his attention back to his increasingly in-demand cardio ballroom class, “Louis’ Dance Blast!” Already immensely popular in Los Angeles, Louis is currently working to bring the class overseas, expanding its reach internationally, with plans to offer it at dance academies across the US!
Louis recently finished choreographing the FOX summertime dance hit “So You Think You Can Dance,” marking the first time that any talent from ABC ballroom hit “Dancing with the Stars” has crossed over to the more freestyle, open-ended competition show. He has also released “Louis Let’s Dance!,” a series of instructional ballroom dance DVDs. The eight-disc set is devoted to teaching the beginner popular dance styles such as the Cha-Cha, Salsa, The Waltz, Rumba, Jive and Tango, dances that encourage fitness as well as romance. Each DVD takes the viewer through an entire dance routine , where Louis teaches not only the simple steps but also the movement behind them for faster, better results. A portion of the proceeds from the disk go to benefit the American Heart Association, an organization that Van Amstel supports in an effort help to combat obesity and heart disease.
In the summer of 2007, Van Amstel signed on as creative director and choreographer for the immensely popular “Dancing with the Stars” live stage show and tour for the second time, bringing his unique teachings and edgy style to millions of dancing fans around the U.S. Louis’ artistic and inspired choreography brought the ballroom to the people and his creative vision helped to make the “Dancing with the Stars” tour one of the most successful live shows of the summer. Louis did the subsequent winter tour, and again the following year to great success as well.
A legend in the international dance world, Louis is by far the most experienced professional on “Dancing with the Stars,” having coached and/or worked with several of his current peers before the show started in 2005, helping to launch their careers and rise to success. These peers include: Maksim Chmerkovsky (eight years); Tony Dovolani (five years); Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Alec Mazo and Edyta Sliwinska (three years each); and Cheryl Burke (one year). Louis was also instrumental in getting each of them involved with “Dancing with the Stars.” Furthermore, Louis was able to get Julianne and Derek Hough on the DWTS Tour, which led to their spots on the show, and he had the pleasure of competing with Karina Smirnoff for a year-and-a-half, during which time they became the 2000 US champions.
An outstanding performance of Louis Van Amstel
Louis first began his ballroom career training in a theatre school where he gained a background in ballet, tap and jazz while simultaneously engaging in rigorous competitions. Upon graduating, he attended the University of the Arts in Amsterdam to further strengthen his skills in the classical dances and theory. Training under lifelong dance/acting coach, friend and mentor Dr. Ruud Vermeij, Louis is a student of Laban choreology and is well-versed in human movement dynamics.
During his competitive ballroom dance career, Louis has amassed a staggering number of accolades, including: 7-time Dutch National Amateur Champion, European Amateur Latin Champion, World Amateur Latin Champion, Grand Slam Professional Latin Champion, World Professional Showdance Champion and Professional World Latin Finalist. Upon Immigrating to the United States from The Netherlands, Louis became the U.S. National Latin Champion in 2000.
In addition to his five seasons on “Dancing with the Stars,” in which he’s partnered with Trista Sutter, Lisa Rinna, Monique Coleman, and Priscilla Presley in addition to Kelly Osbourne, Van Amstel has had guest-star stints on “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” and “All My Children.” In 1999, Van Amstel founded his own corporation, VanDance, through which he directed, choreographed and performed in the Broadway production of “Latin Fusion,” a feature production at City Center in New York City. The success of “Latin Fusion” resulted in a second creative effort, “Latin Revolution,” which debuted in Salt Lake City in 2004. He also created and choreographed “Ballroom with a Twist,” a touring stage show that featured professional dancers and a celebrity MC dazzling audiences with a variety of modern ballroom pieces.
Despite all of his dance endeavors, Louis also maintains a busy instructional calendar, delivering master classes for championship level competitors.
“America’s ballroom dance instructor,” director, choreographer, singer, model, actor and decorated champion dancer, Louis Van Amstel channels his passion for his craft and continues to dance his way into all of our hearts.[table "0" not found /]
Filed under: Ballroom Dance