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!
MEET our Dance TEAM
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!
STUDIO MANAGER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Rhett has been teaching social dance for 8 years. He started in Nashville, where he competed for two years. He and his 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 is pretty easy going: have fun, don't rush and be willing to fail a few times! 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 soaking in all that knowledge.
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.
Although a newcomer to ballroom, Kini has been classically trained in ballet since the age of nine. She was invited to apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet from her home studio, Pasadena Dance Theatre. Kini enjoys watching Russian and Italian styles the most and her favorite ballet dancers include Alessandra Ferri, Svetlana Zakharova, and Rudolf Nureyev. She aspires to learn technique from all the dances in ballroom and latin and hopefully shake some rust off her ballet legs.
Kini was raised in sunny Los Angeles, California and sports a business degree. With a background in corporate tradeshow and conference event planning, she is eager to help DANCELIFE grow as a studio and community resource. Her pastimes include Zumba, video games, crochet and scrapbooking. She lives in Eagan with husband Steven and their two dogs, Bailey and Eevee.
STUDIO ADMINISTRATOR & TAP DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Stephanie was born and raised in Stillwater, MN and grew up dancing competitively in tap, jazz, and lyrical. She also studied ballet and hip hop, and loved the time she spent in the studio and at competitions, as dance has been one of her biggest passions in life. Currently she is training to be a ballroom instructor, and couldn't be more excited to see where that path takes her. Stephanie also grew up playing violin and has won several competitions and awards with her school’s orchestra. She enjoys spending time with her niece & nephew, drawing, snowboarding, and cooking. You can usually catch her snacking on pickles or gummy worms.
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.