Meet the Team

 
 
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Natalia O'Connor

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. Ms. O’Connor 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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Kevin Kim

Dance Master

Kevin was born in Philadelphia and grew up in North Wales, Pennsylvania. He started dancing ballroom when he joined the Penn State Ballroom Dance Team, while studying at The Pennsylvania State University. With the team, he learned to dance International Standard and Latin at the competitive level. While at the university, he also got involved in Salsa and West Coast Swing, which he continues to dance in his free time. Kevin currently competes at collegiate competitions on the East Coast, focusing on International Standard. He is excited to begin his new venture in instructing at Dance Fire Studio, and he hopes to provide all his knowledge and a fun experience for all dancers.

 

 
 
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Laura Mastrianni

Zumba & Personal Fitness Instructor

Originally from the Jersey Shore a standout in field hockey and soccer, she studied corporate fitness & wellness at the College of New Jersey and then moved to Washington, D.C. to work full-time as a fitness professional. Helping adults reach their fitness goals, whether beginners, recovering from injuries, seasoned athletes, or those with serious medical conditions, Laura has always shown great compassion, guidance and even some tough-love when needed, gearing fitness programs towards the individual and his/her needs. 

Lose yourself in the music, find yourself in shape! 

Laura Mastrianni discovered Zumba Dance Fitness about six years ago. The Latin based dance fitness program was originated almost two decades ago. A format much different than many of the other formats Laura had taught for 14 years such as aerobics, Reebok Step, funky aerobics, kickboxing, Spin and power yoga. Laura recently attended the 10th Annual Zumba Convention in Orlando, Florida with 7,000 other instructors to learn the lastest choreography taught by the best of the best instructors from around the world. Zumba is a passion that brings like-minded individuals together to share the passion of dance fitness to others. Laura has received licensing in Zumba and Zumba Gold and soon will be licensed in Strong by Zumba. She volunteers her time with other Capital District Zumba instructors to participate in fundraisers called Zumbathons to assist local families, organizations as well as relief efforts on the national and worldwide level.

 
 
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Elena Unishchikova

Yoga Instructor

Elena is from the seaport town of Nahodka on the far Eastern Coast of Russia. In her childhood, Elena played many sports but found Gymnastics to be the most challenging and engaging. While studying law in the Ukraine, Elena obtained an Aerobic Trainer Certificate from the Ukrainian Sports Federation which she found it to be more exciting and therefore decided to pursue and obtain her Specialist Degree (5yr degree) in Physical Education and Sports from Far Eastern University of Vladivostok, Russia. Elena’s interest in Yoga began in Singapore where she practiced under the tutelage of Grand Master Yogi Ram for several years. This inspired her to attend the Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training at the Soma Yoga Institute in Hawaii where she obtained her 200 HR Registered Yoga Teacher via Yoga Alliance. Elena is now an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher via Yoga Alliance having taught over 2000 hours of classes. Elena is passionate about teaching Yoga and is constantly learning and integrating new poses into her practice. She can teach people of all levels and ages. Elena has also taught classes to sports teams during youth strength and conditioning camps. Overall Elena has over a decade of group fitness instructor experience and we are proud to have her part of the Dance Fire team.

 

 
 
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Bethany Jenkinson

Front Desk Representative

Bethany is a lifelong resident of the Capital District who brings over 20 years of office administration, accounting, scheduling and customer service experience. Her background is in performing arts and has attended Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and SUNY Albany. Bethany enjoyed taking traditional ballet and jazz lessons as a youngster, and now spends much of her free time supporting her two daughters' competition dance and gymnastics ventures. She has contributed to three successful dance seasons at another local dance studio and especially enjoyed recital planning and being "Stage Mom" to scores of young dancers. Bethany is excited to continue sharing her love of the performance arts and dedication to customer service with our Dance Fire Studio family!

 
 
 
 

Kayla DeShautelle 

Front Desk Representative

Coming soon...