Sergei Slussky discovered Ballroom Dance while he was a student of Fine Arts in Yaroslavl, Russia. Drawn to the world of Dancesport (competitive Ballroom Dance recognized by the International Olympic Committee), Sergei joined the Dancesport Formation Team "Vesna," touring in Russia, Poland and Romania and earning top honors in many events. Sergei's competition experiences eventually led him to teaching when he became the dance coach of a Formation Team in his birthplace, Arkhangelsk, Russia. In 1991, Sergei came to Portland, Maine, where he taught dance before entering Brigham Young University, renowned for having the largest collegiate Ballroom Dance program in the world.
While at Brigham Young, Sergei excelled at the Ballroom Dance Medal Tests (both American and International Styles) and danced with the BYU Formation Team. After his time at BYU, Sergei taught dance in Boston before returning to Portland, Maine, his adopted hometown! In 1998, with a "Highly Commended" score, he became a member of the prestigious Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) and later, Dance Vision International Dance Association (DVIDA) both members of the National Dance Council of America. In 1999 Sergei opened the American Ballroom Dance Academy in Portland and, in addition, has inaugurated his most recent project, Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios. Sergei has continued to compete in Professional and Professional-Amateur competitions throughout the US and Canada helping his students win awards while earning the Top Teacher title himself. Sergei’s wide range of dancing and teaching experiences infused with his inimitable warmth and humor enables him to work well with a variety of students ranging from beginners learning the foundations of social dance to experienced dancers wishing to hone their skills for in preparation for performance.
Kim Nemec, Assistant Manager and Ballroom Dance Instructor of Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios began her initial years of dance in ballet and jazz at the age of five. As an adult she has embraced all styles of Ballroom Dance, including Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quick Step, Salsa, Bolero, Rhumba, Cha Cha, Jive, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and more. Kim has complimented her dance training skills with countless hoursﾠof practice with her professional dance partner Sergei Slussky, by providing instruction within group classes, by co-hosting Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studio Dance Parties, by teaching private lessons, and by performing at fundraiser events.
Off the dance floor, Kim has a BS degree in Occupational Therapy andﾠis the Director for Patient Quality and Safety at a large healthcare corporation in Maine. She has received training as a personal fitness instructor and has an in depth understanding of human physical and mental conditions from working as a therapist in all types of healthcare settings and with all ages from children to adults. Kim is also an accomplished athlete, two time Ironman finisher, weight lifter and former gymnast. She is well versed in different learning styles, has received certification in effective communication skills training and is also a business team leader and coach.ﾠThese skills ﾠenable her to communicate effectively and adapt lessons to meet the needs of each student while making it enjoyable. She practices and promotes a stress free, healthy active lifestyle and diet.
Allie Andrews is the Founder, Program Director and Health Coach at Maine Wellness Partners. She is also a published author and self-care expert, with an extensive background in yoga, as both an avid practitioner and teacher. Allie uses an integrative and experiential approach to wellness, with a focus on transformation over information, to support her clients in cultivating their health and happiness. Allie's yoga practice and holistic health background have taught her that health is bio-individual, multi-dimensional—it needs to be nurtured on multiple levels—and requires diligence, which is what inspired her to create transformative, integrative wellness programs for busy people on-site at their place of work.
Allie received her health coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, where she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. After almost 10 years of practice, Allie received her yoga teaching certification in 2012 from the Association for Yoga and Meditation in India. Since then, Allie has undergone additional trainings in both Yoga Anatomy and Adjustments at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. These trainings refined her ability to guide her students through a safe and sustainable practice specific to their body and skill level and into a place of greater body/mind awareness, strength, flexibility and control, all of which are essential along the path toward optimal health.
Connect with Allie here.
Rachel Rosenfield has been dancing since she started to wiggle. Now incorporating her life long passion for dance and enthusiasm for strength training, she has found the perfect balance to working out and having fun. Rachel has been active her whole life in sports, running, hiking, and yoga. However, after having her daughter she needed something different. Dance fitness allowed her to express herself and fostered a mind body connection where she could “unplug.” Rachel is excited to share dance fitness routines that promote empowerment, grace, strength, laughter and confidence.
SHiNE Dance Fitness™ with Rachel is rooted in Jazz, Hip Hop and Ballet. The 60-minute class includes routines that are high and low in intensity, as well as high and low in complexity. The structure of the class includes songs that encompass full body movements, as well as songs aimed to target legs, arms and abdominals. The goal of Shine is to create a space for men and women to gain confidence, improve heart health and tone muscles, all while dancing to the today's hits (think 97.9 FM). The class is for people of all ages and all abilities.
Brian Lévay is the newest addition to our fantastic team of ballroom dance instructors. At one time Brian was terrified of the dance floor, however with persistence he not only overcame his fear of dancing, but he continued to challenge himself and is now teaching others to dance. Brian learned that through group, private lessons and practice on the social dance floor it is possible for anyone to learn to dance.
Brian began his dance career with standard and Latin ballroom dance lessons and over time developed a passion for the Latin dances of Kizomba and Bachata. Brian trains and practices in Maine and New York and frequently attends dance conferences. He now finds a way each day to incorporate dance into his life. Brian believes that dance is a powerful form of human expression and looks forward to helping others learn to express themselves and to connect with others through movement.
In his spare time he enjoys yoga, physical fitness, cooking and reading. He is also an avid traveler and loves to explore the local dancing scene wherever he goes.
Gail Grant grew up in Gardiner, Maine. When exposed to tap for the first time at the age of five, she knew that dance was what she wanted to do. She later began taking ballet, which continued for several years. Dancing went on hold while raising two sons and a daughter. As an adult she has studied tap, jazz and ballet with numerous renowned choreographers and teachers from the East Coast to the West Coast. She attended workshops, choreographed, and taught routines as a member of the Maine Dance Teachers Club, and completed the Dance Education Training Course held by the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Inc.
Gail founded the Scarborough Dance Center in 1987, which she retired from in 2004. She taught all ages and levels and has witnessed time and time again the benefits and effects that dance has had on her students, such as building confidence, coordination, grace, and body control. She is very proud of her three competition teams that competed from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles, California, winning many platinum, gold, and silver medals, which coincided with top choreography awards.
After teaching for twenty-five years and taking time off for her family, Gail is ready to resume her passion for teaching dance.
Barbara Charles, a Maine native and retired nurse, has been dancing most of her life starting with tap and ballet as a child of about age four. After raising a family, she decided it was time to return to her passion of dance. She has trained with Sergei Slussky in Portland and has competed in many competitions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Montreal, and Quebec in “gold and silver categories.” She has also attended many workshops in these areas.
She has been teaching for 18 years and directs and teaches at the Brunswick and Lewiston Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios. She has also taught at the Lewiston Multipurpose Center and the YMCA in Augusta. She teaches group lessons, private lessons, wedding preparations and private parties.
Yunhee Keough began her dance career at an early age, studying three dance styles: ballet, jazz, and tap. As an adult she continued to pursue her passion for ballet, spending four years at Portland Ballet in Portland, Maine. She is passionate about all types of dance and has continued to expand her interest to include International style Standard and Latin and American style Smooth and Rhythm ballroom dance. She has studied waltz, foxtrot, tango, bolero, rumba, swing, cha-cha, salsa, merengue, and more. Yunhee trains under the guidance of professional dance coach Sergei Slussky and she participates in group classes and provides informal instruction at weekly ABDS social dance parties.
Yunhee, above all, loves to share her passion and enthusiasm for this sport with others. She especially enjoys when people discover that they are capable of doing something that at one time they thought was impossible. She hopes that people will discover their own joy of dancing and movement, with her help, and have fun while doing it.
Amy Gillis is a Maine native, currently residing in Brunswick. In the past she has relocated many times to satisfy her craving for adventure and meeting new people. She took her first swing class over 20 years ago and hasn’t stopped dancing since. She has studied dance with Barbara Charles, in Brunswick, for over 5 years and has performed Silver and Gold level demonstrations as both a leader and a follower. She teaches basic and intermediate classes in Fox Trot, Swing, Mambo, Merengue, Waltz, Tango, Cha-cha, and Rumba. She was a former competitive weight lifter and a Yoga instructor at the Freeport YMCA. She has been a licensed Massage Therapist for 14 years and understands the importance of a healthy mind and body. She is an avid hiker and six years ago became a Registered Maine Guide. Her personal goal is to hike the highest peak in each of the states in the continental USA. In addition to Amy’s other accomplishments, for the past eight years she has managed a busy restaurant in Freeport. This experience has taught her the skills needed to determine how others learn best and what methods and techniques are most useful for attaining specific goals. Above all else she does what makes her heart smile.