CLEMENT JOLY, co-owner, director and premier instructor, has been dancing since age twelve. He is an accomplished Latin dance champion and performer. He is both a former Canadian Amateur Latin champion and a North American Professional Latin finalist. He has trained with internationally renowned instructors, including spending numerous years training, living, and competing in London, England. He has competed nationally and internationally and has represented Canada in France, Croatia, Mexico, Great Britain, Canada and the United States. As a skilled dance performer, Clément has also appeared in the movies “The Aviator” and “The Courage to Love”. In early 2011 he and his partner performed in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s presentation “Tangos and Tapas” featuring guest-conductor Maximiano Valdes and violin soloist Elena Urioste, as well as in January 2013 a special presentation “Ballroom!” built entirely on Ballroom and Latin dance themes and conducted by Jacomo Rafael Bairos. Clément is recognized as a top dancer and coach in the US, in 2012 one of his student won the World Championship Youth Pro-Am Title, as well as another student who placed 3rd in the 2013 World Championship Adult Pro-Am Title and placing in the top three in the “Best of the Best Challenge” for two years in a row held at the Ohio Star Ball in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest Pro/Am competition in world. Clément is certified by the USTA and is also a registered adjudicator with the National Dance Council of America and USA Dance.
TATIANA KAZAKOVA, professional ballroom dancer, co-owner and premiere instructor of Metropolitan Ballroom, has been dancing since age seven. As a teen she was a two-time Ukrainian National Junior & Youth Latin Champion, and was a Ukrainian National Amateur Latin and 10-Dance Finalist. In 1999 she moved to Russia and became a member of the Russian Dance Union where she was a finalist in the Grand Prix Series while representing Russia in International Dance Championships around the world. In 2009, Tatiana made “top 60” in the “So You Think You Can Dance — Season 6” trials in Las Vegas. She continues to train and mentor amateur students as well as professional instructors in advanced and expert levels of Latin and Ballroom dances. In early 2011 she and her partner performed in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s presentation “Tangos and Tapas” featuring guest-conductor Maximiano Valdes and violin soloist Elena Urioste. In January 2013 she choreographed and performed in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s special presentation “Ballroom!” built entirely on Ballroom and Latin dance themes and conducted by Jacomo Rafael Bairos. Tatiana is certified by the USTA and is also a registered adjudicator with the National Dance Council of America.
Fun Facts: She is a mother of a 5 year old daughter who is a blossoming young dancer in ballet and ballroom, who has studied at Metropolitan Ballroom and at North Carolina Dance Theatre.
RANKO BOGOSAVAC was born in Bosnia where he started his promising dance career at age 9. Ranko won five national championships in Bosnia and Hercegovina in three separate competitive dance and age categories over a period of nine years. In 1996, he won the National Championship in Latin-American dancing in the Junior Category; in 2001, he won the National Championship in the Youth Category of Standard dancing; and in 2002, he was the Amateur category winner in the Latin-American dance championship, the Standard National Dance Championship and the 10-dance National Championship. Ranko brings his experience and passion for dancing to his students and the community. Recently he teamed up with Fort Mill’s “Save Middle School Sports”, YMCA’s Ballroom Dance Battle and the Charlotte Symphony’s KnightSounds Series.
DARINKA DIVLJAK is an internationally recognized professional ballroom dancer and instructor. Serbian born, she started dancing at the age of 9. Finding she had a natural talent for it, she turned it into a rewarding career. Her love of and dedication to the art of dancing have enabled her to win the National Championship of Serbia nine times in the past 14 years, and she has translated her talents into a viable career path as an internationally recognized dancer and professional instructor.
With 20 years of experience, Divljak now enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion of this art form with others. She has recently collaborated with the Charlotte Symphony KnightSounds Series, the Boys and Girls club’s “Gastonia”, and the YMCA’s “Ballroom Dance Battle”.
RANKO BOGOSAVAC and DARINKA DIVLJAK began dancing together in November 2011 in the Professional Latin Division. Shortly after they began their partnership they became finalists in the Atlanta Open 2012, Millennium 2012, Miami Open 2012 and Heritage Classic 2013. Together they performed in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s special presentation “Ballroom!” built entirely on Ballroom and Latin dancing. Both have taken part in fundraiser events in the greater Charlotte area. Enjoy sharing their love of dance with the community and their students.
With over twenty years of experience, Nickolai Keanov began his professional ballroom dance career with Tom Chapman Dance Club International in Charlotte. He went on to teach at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio for seven years and then Queen City Ballroom for six years, also in Charlotte. Nickolai competed professionally for ten years all around the country and won the Smooth and Rhythm Championship in 2001 at both the Dixie Invitational and the NC Allstars competitions. In 2002, he won the Southeastern Dance Sport Smooth Championships in Florida. Also a performer, he performed at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004. Currently he has added the Argentine Tango to his repertoire as an instructor.
Barbie Petrea Peker
BARBIE started dancing professionally in 1998, as both a performer and instructor. Though she is experienced in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern, her passion is Ballroom dancing, specializing in all types of Ballroom and Latin. She has competed and placed first in both the American Smooth & Rhythm Championships and the Dixie Invitational & NC All-Stars competition, as well as competed in the International Latin and Standard Divisions. Having been trained by various US and International Champions, she has continually learned and improved her craft, passing on her knowledge to students. Performance venues include the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, the Italian Festival, and the Latin Festival.
KELLI grew up in Gainesville, Florida where she started dancing at the age of six followed by several years of gymnastics. Starting at the age 12, Kelli studied jazz, ballet and tap under Nina Cameron for the next 10 years and during that time performed a lyrical jazz piece in the ‘Miss Dance of Florida’ competition placing as a top 10 finalist. While jazz was her main focus for those 10 years, she was introduced to ballroom dancing in 1991 and has continued since then training, performing and teaching ballroom dancing.
HALEY PILLARS, our Front Desk/Marketing Receptionist. She brings her love of dance and enthusiasm in marketing to our studio.
Jim Manly & Monette Manly
JIM & MONETTE MANLY are long-time Charlotte residents and entrepreneurs as well as being international Latin ballroom dancers and enthusiasts. Co-owners of the studio, Jim and Monette manage the business aspects and development of the studio. Jim began dancing in 1968 starting with Junior Cotillion. In the past ten years, he rediscovered the pleasure of dancing at franchised and independent studios. In 2007, placed fifth in Silver Pro/Am scholarship at Heritage Dance Classic and 2010 finalist at the prestigious Holiday Dance Classic, Las Vegas. Monette Bales began studying ballet in 1961 and continued through college. She resumed dancing, this time in international ballroom and Latin styles, in the last few years. In 2007, Monette was the winner of the Newcomer at Heritage Dance Classic and 2010 Bronze and Silver Pro/Am scholarship finalist at The Millennium Dance Championship in Tampa, Florida.
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