Meet the Team

 
 
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Natalia O'Connor Vlad

Owner & Dance Master

Natalia was born in Bloomington, Illinois. She spent her childhood in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, and fell in love with dancing at the age of 7 and have been dancing ever since. Natalia O’Connor is a professionally trained ballroom dancer who has performed and competed across the world on the amateur circuit since the age of 10. Mrs. O’Connor Vlad has won various awards and toured extensively during her career in the industry. Having worked as an instructor in many places around the country and world, including Russia, Romania, Louisiana, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Vermont, she is the proud owner of the newest ballroom & fitness studio in the Capital Region. She is a former National Champion, World Semi-finalist and World Cup Finalist. She is a full member of the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) as well as the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), both leading governing bodies in the dance industry. Natalia has a BA in Psychology having studied both sports psychology as well as Behavioral and Social Psychology. 

 

 
 
 
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Florin Vlad

Studio Manager & Dance Master

Florin Vlad, originally from Romania, is a world renowned competitive ballroom dancer and a multiple US National DanceSport Finalist, currently ranked 5th in the country. Together with his dance partner, Natalia O'Connor, he successfully represented USA at 5 World Championships. Florin is an active member of the Competitor’s Commission of the National DanceSport Council of America. He has a clear understanding of this industry with over 10 years of experience in competitive dancing as well as teaching experience. Mr. Vlad has a concentrated business experience being a young entrepreneur and successfully handling the various challenges that a start-up company faces in the civil engineering field. Florin was handling all the business, management and office work at the company that he co-owns with his brother. The company continues to be successful even after Florin has ceased his attributions to focus on his dancing career. He has full professional English language skills having studied this language from a very young age. Florin is also very involved with the local communities that he is part of. He regularly volunteers to perform at charitable events that benefit various areas of the local communities.

 
 
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Anna Derevyanchenko

Dance Master

Born and raised in New York City, Anna took her first dance class at the age of three and forever fell in love with it. For the first six years of her dance career, Anna learned ballet at the Steps on Broadway in NYC and eventually joined the School of American Ballet. There she took part in the company’s ballet performances including The Nutcracker, Firebird, and Swan Lake at the David H. Koch Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center. She later went to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, better known as the Fame School, where she continued her education in both ballet and modern dance (Martha Graham and Horton techniques).

Alongside her ballet career Anna started ballroom dancing at the age of ten. Initially starting in just International Latin, Anna’s interests quickly spread to other styles such as International Standard and eventually American Smooth. She competed in Latin and Standard in the amateur circuit for eight years and later in the professional circuit in Smooth for two years. She retired two years ago from competitive dancing as a professional Smooth dancer and now hopes to pass on her knowledge of dance to others.

Outside of her dance career Anna has bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Russian Translation and is now pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics.

 
 
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Andrei Bires

Dance Master

Originally from Romania, has been recognized nationally and internationally placing on the podium at major ballroom dance competitions, including: Romanian Championship, Romanian Open, Brasov Cup, Wetzlar Championship (Germany), and many other international championships. Andrei has honorably and successfully represented both Romania and Norway at major national and international dance tournaments and has been a member of the National Team of both countries.

Besides being a world class coach of many top couples at the prestigious Mihai Petre Dance Sport Academy, in Bucharest, Romania, he received his Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree from Hyperion University of Bucharest as well as acted in many Theater plays.

On several occasions, Andrei was invited to perform in a starring role on the Romanian TV show version of “Dancing with the Stars”, called “Dancing For You”. Jury members of “Dancing For You”, invited Mr. Bires to perform on the show as a result of his extraordinary ability to demonstrate professional dance styles.

Andrei has also successfully competed in the Pro-Am division with his students all over Europe including being placed 1st at the 2019 European Pro-Am Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Dance Fire is thrilled to have Andrei join the team as a Dance Master. Andrei specializes in Ballroom, Latin and Social styles of dance. He has experience in teaching kids, adults, wedding dance as well as theatre arts.

 
 

Lisa Jackson

Front Desk Representative

Coming soon…