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ABOUT US

At DanceLife Ballroom, we have a good time while doing what we love.  Dance makes us happy!  We believe in staying true to our core beliefs:

*A fun and easy dance experience that lasts a lifetime

*An inclusive environment where everybody is welcome

*A physical and mental activity that is an art and promotes health and happiness

It’s not complicated, we just focus on what matters - you and your learning experience. 

We are excited to meet you and learn about you and your dancing goals.  Learn more about our dance instructors below!

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MEET our Dance TEAM


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Shinya McHenry

OWNER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Shinya has been dancing since late 1970’s.  He started dancing in the disco clubs when he was a teenager.  He grew up alongside Prince in the 80’s and performed as a dancer in the movie Purple Rain.  Shinya has competed as a professional in both International Latin and International Standard through the early 80’s into the late 90’s.  He has trained with some of the best coaches in the world and has owned and operated his own ballroom dance studio for almost 40 years.  Shinya has trained many of the top ballroom professionals here in the Twin Cities.  His philosophy of dance is life, health and happiness which has made his studio the most sought after place in town!

 
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Rhett Romsaas

STUDIO MANAGER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Rhett has been instructing dance for 8 years.  He started in Nashville, where competition was a very big deal amongst the teachers and students.  He and his then Rhythm partner, Jackie Gonyea came in second at Music City Invitational and has traveled to Sarasota, Orlando and New Orleans where he competed both as Pro/Am and with his pro partner Jackie.

Rhett’s philosophy on dance is that everyone is different and dance is a language.  Just as in the states, we have accents, so do we apply a similar accent to our dancing.  Rhett’s approach is based on the individual needs of the person or couple.  His lessons are built around entertainment as Rhett has been both an actor and a teacher for 15 years, he believes the best way to learn is to have fun and laugh while doing it.  

He also understands that some folks want more precise and intense training and will happily adapt to any type of student!  Rhett loves to be on stage and screen, you can find him on the Golf Channel (commercial for the local shop Second Swing), online for Hormel, on TV as the voice of SuperCuts.  

 
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Laia Olivier

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Laia Olivier has been teaching ballroom dance professionally for nearly ten years.  Olivier had co-run her own dance studio for six and 1/2 years before joining the staff of DANCELIFE Ballroom as one of the top female instructors.  She has also been singing, dancing, and acting since age five.  Olivier has studied tap, ballet, modern, jazz, theatrical, the Charleston and Butoh.  Olivier has competed and achieved status as a U.S. American 9-Dance competitor in the Professional American Smooth, American Rhythm and in the World Salsa Competition.  Olivier has received awards, including Top Teacher, Top Students and Top Studio.  Olivier and her former partner were finalists at several prestigious dance competitions, including:

  • The Caribbean DanceSport Classic

  • Southeastern States DanceSport Championships

  • The Grand National Championships.  

At the 2010 Grand National Championships, one of the longest-running and most prestigious professional ballroom events in the United States, Olivier became the youngest teacher and first female in their 40-year history to win first place!  At the same time, she and her partner also became Professional American Rhythm finalists, won Top Studio, Top Students and received the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.  She has competed locally, nationally and internationally in nearly 20 styles of dance with her students on the pro-am circuit, including both the classical Ballroom and Latin Rhythm styles.  She has also taken students on dance excursions and cruises abroad.  Olivier has been coached by some of the top dance teachers in the world, privately and through workshops. A number of these instructors include So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) alumni.

 
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Janie Nordberg

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Janie is an 8-time national USADance champion and has numerous regional and local titles as well.  Janie has been performing and competing with her husband, her partner in life and dance, for over 25 years.  Although she loves teaching social and competitive students and couples, she has found a special niche in coaching and choreographing for formation teams.

Janie loves to sew and makes most of her own ballgowns.  You might also see her traipsing around the Renaissance Festival in one of her creations.  She lives in Golden Valley with her husband and a crazy kitty named “Ladybug” who keeps them constantly entertained with her antics. 

 
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Nelly Dorovskikh

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Nelly Dorovskikh has ballroom in her blood.  Nelly specializes in Competition and social dances alike and loves working with couples.  

 

 
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Carlos Gonzalez

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Carlos Gonzalez is always learning about and testing what the body can do. THERE ARE NO LIMITS!  He and his partner Laia Olivier have danced professionally at both showcases and competitions alike. Carlos enjoys Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Salsa and Swing, but there is a special place in his heart for Tango.  If you’ve ever danced with Carlos, you may know how strong his muscles are, but you’ll also see what a great lead he is!  Carlos loves teaching beginner and advanced students and brings a positive attitude and fun to his lessons.  Carlos can be found at the gym, Skyping with his pal Will Smith (yes the actor/rapper), eating freshly prepared organic kale chips from his lovers lips and quite possibly scaling a tall building in a single bound. He’s our superman.

 
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Russell Alliev

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Russell Alliev has been dancing for over 10 years and has placed in the top 5 of many competitions over the past few years.  His students appreciate the attention to detail and musicality he brings to his lessons along with easy to follow ideas and concepts that can be applied to many things, not just dance!  When away from DANCELIFE Ballroom, Russell enjoys working on his new home with his wife (coming up on 1 year!), preparing for the next competition or show and cooking.  He’s currently working on a new meatball recipe that is not only mean-less, but ball-less, he calls it a non-mean, non-ball ball.

 
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Michael Hundevad

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Michael Hundevad is a Minnesotan native raised in the fire of the Burnsville Blaze. His passion for dance began in Burnsville Swing Group where he swung his way to glory for four years, touring Chicago, Wabasha Street Caves and many other high schools showboating their skills of jazzy swing.  He then moved on to Moorhead State University for two years studying the craft of acting and stage performance. 

In 2015, he moved to Denmark later attending Musik og Theater Højskolen under the Circus Line. Enhancing his stage skills and acrobatics, they toured Berlin and Aarhus with their act. Now that sabbatical is done, Michael, like a phoenix from the ashes from the fire of Burnsville has come back to dance his wings off as an instructor here in the glorious DANCELIFE Ballroom!

 
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Emily Boole

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Emily has been dancing since the womb! Coming from a family of Ballroom dancers, Emily developed a love for all types of movement from a young age. She is trained in Classical Ballet, Ballroom and Latin.

In college Emily taught Swing and Lindy Hop. DANCELIFE Ballroom will serve as a home for Emily’s Ballroom career. In her free time Emily enjoys spending time with friends and family, doing yoga and testing her knowledge at trivia.

 
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Larisa Lisinovic

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Larisa’s dancing passion started at the U of M where she took a few dance classes for fun.  Thereafter, she continued learning ballroom and salsa at Social Dance Studio and has danced salsa and bachata socially for three years and counting.  She is a member of a Ballroom formation team and believes that dancing is a cure for anything!  She also works the front desk from time to time and we couldn’t be happier to have her as an instructor!

 
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TYLER Lanam

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Tyler Lanam is from Rapid City, SD and he just recently graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD with a degree in Musical Theatre in May of 2017.  He just moved to the Twin Cities with his fiance, Christopher, as the career opportunities for two aspiring artists in South Dakota is zero to none.  He has been working hard in the instructor training program at DANCELIFE Ballroom and has proven to be passionate, enthusiastic and extremely talented!  He is also a member of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus as both a singer and a dancer as well as the vocal group Outloud!  

 
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Cayla Wolpers

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Cayla Marie has been acting since the age of eight.  She has always wanted to make a difference in people's lives through theatre, and she believes that with hard work and determination, she can achieve that goal.  Cayla studied Musical Theatre at Drake University and graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A. degree in Musical Theatre.  She also received Departmental Honors. Cayla Marie has been performing in the Twin Cities for several years now; working with many theatre companies such as Open Window Theatre, Pioneer Place Theatre, and CLIMB Theatre.

 
 
 
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Edgar d'Almeida

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Raised in Lomé, Togo (Western Africa) by ballroom dancing parents, Edgar has successfully completed his degree of Animal Science and fishery Ingenieur in 1994.  He joined in 1996 a local club named City Star Dancing Club in Lomé where he has developed his dance skills in the International Standard and Latin styles.  Early in his dance hobby moments and beside his dance teaching efforts, Edgar was trained by an England-certified professional ballroom dancer.  He participated in many several local showcases and won first place in an informal regional dance competition (Standard) in West Africa back in 2003.  

The transition to the new life in United States from 2004 has motivated Edgar to complete the America Smooth and Rhythm and many other social dances based on DVIDA syllabus giving him more confidence to overcome challenges in all social and ballroom dance types. 

Edgar is a devoted and open-minded gentleman who focuses on achieving goals.  Overall with his scientist position in a medical device research company and his family engagement with three daughters, Edgar is proud to support DANCELIFE Ballroom with his technical knowledge.

 

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IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO & there's always more fun in numbers!

Explore our dance programs and find the perfect learning opportunity in our down-to-earth environment.