Instructors

Instructors’ Biography

Our dance instructors are highly skilled and trained to help you learn. Hailing from around the world, our teachers are actively competing, award-winning professionals and gifted educators.

Many of our teachers have degrees in the fine arts and all have passed rigorous exams given by the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance and the Fred Astaire Curriculum Certification.

To find out more about an instructor and to view their performance videos, please click on the images below:

 Studio Management 

Dan Rutherford

Dan Rutherford

Studio Director / Owner

Dan studied jazz dance extensively from the age of five through his late teens. At that time he began a career in ballroom and Latin dance. Dan has produced numerous champions throughout his career as a teacher and coach. Dan has also danced on stage with numerous celebrities as a back up, chorus line and principal dancer in many productions. Dan is one of the top professionals in the United States.

Nicole Carroll-Rutherford

Nicole Carroll-Rutherford

Regional Dance Director / In-House Coach

Nicole has been teaching ballroom and Latin dancing for the past thirteen years. Prior to dancing Nicole was a gymnast. She has been awarded with numerous top teacher awards throughout the United States. Nicole is a United States finalist. Nicole has certifications with the National Dance Council of America, North American Dance Teachers Association, and Dance Vision International Dance Association.

Lindsey Rutherford

Lindsey Rutherford

Studio Manager / In-House Coach

Lindsey have been dancing since she was 3 years old, competing in her first competition with her father at the Ohio Star Ball at the age of 4. She began teaching in 2003 and now she teaches social and competitive dances and enjoy both equally. Her goal is to enrich and touch everyone’s life that she teaches by sharing the great benefits that dance can bring!

 Dance Instructors 

Jonah Schneider

Jonah Schneider

Dance Instructor

Jonah has been ballroom dancing since 1997. In 2003 he started his professional career as an instructor and competitor. He enjoys teaching both social and competitive dancers. His goal is to help everyone feel comfortable on the dance floor and reach their dancing goals. Jonah has competed and performed across the United States winning numerous competitions and placing in finals with my professional partner Lindsey Rutherford.

Todd Travis

Todd Travis

Dance Instructor

Todd Travis is a former college athlete turned professional ballroom dancer. He was trained by world rhythm champions - Dan and Nicole Rutherford.
Todd has successfully trained students to become U.S. and world champions and is beginning a new partnership to compete professionally in American Smooth.

Leslie Whitesell

Leslie Whitesell

Dance Instructor

Leslie Whitesell began her dance training in classical ballet and graduated from the high school ballet program at the North Carolina School for the Arts. After graduating, she moved to New York City where she studied at the Joffrey Ballet and Steps on Broadway. While in New York, Leslie developed an interest in ballroom dancing and began training in Ballroom and Latin Dancing. She also studied Argentine Tango both in New York and Buenos Aires.

Elizabeth Krug

Elizabeth Krug

Dance Instructor

Elizabeth has been teaching with Fred Astaire for 8 years, and has a passion for helping her students achieve success in their dancing. She believes dance changes people’s lives and she loves being a part of that transformation. Elizabeth competes in the American Smooth style with her partner David, and they have received impressive results in their short time dancing together, including winning various championships throughout the United States!

David Elser

David Elser

Dance Instructor

David started dancing when he was very young, training in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Modern. He started dancing Ballroom with Fred Astaire Dance Studios in 2015 and has never looked back. He brings an energy and fire to every lesson, and loves inspiring his students to achieve things they never knew possible. His experience includes teaching all styles of dance, and he competes professionally in the American Smooth style with his partner Elizabeth!

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