2017 Officials

Meet Our Distinguished Panel Of World-Class Judges & Officials.

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Rickey Geiger, VA

Chairman of Judges

Founder of the North American Dance Teachers Association
Secretary of the National Association of Teachers of Dancing
Owner and Instructor in ballroom dance studio.
President of The North American Dance Teachers Association

Rickey Geiger can be considered a pioneer in her field: a lady with definite goals and ideals. She is the organizer of one of the most successful and prestigious competitions in the United States, The Virginia State Ballroom Championships. As the founder of the North American Dance Teachers Association (NADTAJ), Rickey was and still is a major influence in ballroom dancing.

Eddie Ares, GA

Judge

Dance Champion, Choreographer & Coach. Owner, Academy Ballroom Atlanta; Co-Founder of Atlanta Ballroom Dance Theater; Organizer of Hotlanta The Classic; Founder of the Global Spectrum Circuit of ballroom competitions and the SSS Pro/Am Club; co-founder and contributing editor of the Pro/Am Voice newsletter; co-founder of Spotlight Dance Videos.

Early Life
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Eddie grew up with music and Latin rhythms. He moved to New York at a very young age and began dancing as a teenager. He moved to Atlanta in his early twenties and joined the Fred Astaire Dance Studios organization to become a professional dance instructor. Eddie immediately became one of the top instructors in the world-renowned organization.

Choreograping
While with Fred’s, in addition to training students, he began choreographing shows which gained him national recognition as a dancer and choreographer. Eddie has since choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance (FOX), Dancing with the Stars (ABC) and for DeVyne Stephens, CEO of UpFront Megatainment. Eddie is one of the most sought-after choreographers and coaches for top professional teams, pro/am teams as well as amateur teams in the United States.

Championship Titles
After achieving the ultimate goal of becoming a United States & World Professional Champion, Eddie turned his focus to Pro/Am dancing and continues achieving titles with his Pro/Am students today. In addition to his Professional and Pro/Am titles, Eddie also has numerous United States and World Pro/Am finalists.

Bruce Hasson, NC

Judge

Former Open smooth and Rhythm Finalist
Certified Adjudicator Certified Scrutineer
Competition Organizer
Coaching of all levels of students and staff
Choreographer, showcases, exhibitions, etc.
Organizational skills for teachers, competitions, showcases, presentations training for staff certifications and professional exams.

Colin Hillary, FL

Judge

Over the past 50 years, Colin’s accomplishments with his wife and partner, Joy, have included:
Former Australasian and South Pacific Amateur Latin Champions
Australian Imperial Professional Latin Champions
Australia’s Representatives to the World’s Professional Latin Championship, 1970
Cruise Director and Dance Team for ten years on some of the world’s leading cruise lines including Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
For the past 30 years, he has co-organized the Heritage Classic DanceSport Championships, one of the premier championships in the United States.
Additionally, Colin is President of the American Dancesport Organization, which, for the past 20 years, has co-organized the "Blackpool Project"
President of the Pan American Dance Teachers Association
Member and Delegate of the National Dance Council of America
Licentiate of the Imperial Society, England and World Class Adjudicator
Executive Producer of the DanceSport Challenge Television series
Publisher of DanceSport Magazine.

Igor Litvinov, NY

Judge

Russian Champion
10-times US National Professional Finalist
World Rro Semifinalist
National and World Class Adjudicator
Co-organizer of Maryland DanceSport Championships

Anna Mikhed, VA

Judge

UK & British Open Professional Rising Star Standard Champion.
United States National Professional Standard Runner-up.
World, UK, International and British Open Professional Standard Finalist.

Anna started dancing at the age of 5 at her home city, Minsk Belarus. During her youth years she was multiple times National Champion of her country representing Belarus in a number of World Championships across the world.

After moving to the United States in 2000 and teaming up with the US National Amateur Champion Victor Fung in 2003, Anna became the Open Professional Rising Star Champion at her first UK and British Open Championships in 2004. Since then her career blossomed into a wonderful story of achievements. Runner-up at the US National Championships Anna and her partner represented America at the World Championships for 6 consecutive years and established herself as a consistent finalist in all four Major Ballroom Championships (UK, British Open, International and World Professional Standard).

Polina Pilipenchuk, MD

Judge

U.S. National Professional 10 Dance Champion
North American Professional 10 Dance Champion
UK Open to the World Professional 10 Dance Champion
Ohio Star Ball Professional Standard Champion
Co organizer of Platinum DanceSport Classic and Kings Ball DanceSport Competition
National and World Class Adjudicator
Fellow N.A.D.T.A.

Nick Short, MD

Judge

Nick Short is a prominent American-Style coach, much in demand for his creative choreography and excellent teaching methods. He is co-owner of Avant Garde Ballroom Dance Center and co-organizer of the Black and White Ball. His professional qualifications include: member of the NDCA, NDATA, USA Dance, and a US National Adjudicator. His dancing career is marked by winning both the American-Style Smooth and Rhythm Professional Championships, US Pro-Am Championship titles in American Smooth, Rhythm, and Theatrical, a Command Performance at the palace for the King and Queen in Thailand, and awarded the prestigious Feather Award for outstanding achievement. Nick remains deeply committed to American-Style dancing through his passion for the art of dance.

Sam Sodano, OH

Judge

Sam Sodano, a former North American Latin Champion, is the organizer of the Ohio Star Ball, the largest and one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the United States. Ohio Star Ball has established a level of excellence in quality, promotion and caring that has helped shape competitive ballroom dancing in to what we have today.
In November, 2008 Sam was the recipient of the United States DanceSport Hall of Fame award in recognition of his outstanding contribution, devotion and dedication to ballroom dancing.
Sam's success as a competitor, coach, lecturer and innovator in the Latin and Rhythm have made him one of the giants in our industry.
Sam Sodano is Chairman of the Arthur Murray International Dance Board, an adjudicator and lecturer, and a very active and dedicated coach at his own dance studio in Columbus, Ohio.

Bill Sparks, OH

Judge

Bill titles include:
· 4x United States Latin Champion
· 6x Ohio Star Ball Champion
· Blackpool Rising Star Latin Champion
· 2 –time World Latin Finalist

Current Accomplishments include:
· Coach and Teacher for Professionals and Amateurs
· National & World Adjudicator
· Competition Organizer – Riverfront Dancesport Festival, Cincinnati Ballroom Classic
· Assistant in the development of “The Hip Lift Series“ also known as the S.A.M method.

Chris Thompson, VA

Judge

With over 35 years of teaching experience, Chris Thompson has been a studio owner, teacher, judge, professional trainer and competitive coach. He holds prestigious credentials with NDCA, ISTD, USISTD and NADTA.
Specializing in inspiring the love of dance, helping people to grow, learn, make new friends, and exercise. Dancing is the perfect hobby for adults who are ready to de-stress and get some fun out of life!

Pat Traymore, VA

Judge

Pat Traymore has experienced every facet of the dance business. Fifty-five years in the business, she has been chairperson of a dance board for 13 years, and a traveling dance consultant and judge. She and her partner were regular performers at the New York City "Tavern on the Green" for 7 years.

She has performed on the Johnny Carson Show, Merve Griffin and Harry Belafonte Shows. She has written numerous training manuals, but her favorite work is working with students, to help them reach their full potential. She also speaks five languages.

Chasity Smith, GA

Registrar

Manager, Academy Ballroom Atlanta; Co-Founder of Atlanta Ballroom Dance Theater; Event Coordinator of the Hotlanta the Classic and Greenville Dance Challenge; co-founder and contributing editor of the Pro/Am Voice newsletter; co-founder of Spotlight Dance Videos.

Chasity Smith graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Accounting and with minors in both Mathematics and Spanish. She immediately moved to Atlanta, GA where she began her career as an auditor and also seized the opportunity to pursue her passion for ballroom dancing.
Chasity began training immediately to become a Latin dance competitor. In less than one year, she rose to the top as a Finalist in the World Pro/Am Dance Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2013, Chasity won the U.S. Pro/Am Rising Star Open Rhythm and the U.S. South American Showdance Championships. She also was the bronze medalist in the U.S. Rising Star Open International Latin Championship. Currently, Chasity continues her dance training in both the American style and International Latin with Eddie Ares.

Vince “The Voice” Bailey

Emcee

Vince “The Voice” Bailey is a 33-year media & entertainment veteran who began his career as a United Way volunteer reader for the blind in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. After serving as Program Director for TCI Cablevision of Gary, Vince and his family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. There he perfected his craft working in various capacities including: News Photographer / Editor at CBS Channel 11, Morning Radio Personality at Power 92 FM, Cable Television Coordinator for the City of Little Rock, Production Supervisor for Comcast Cable, Commercial Manager for WB 42 and Media Manager for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

For the past twenty years, he has operated Vince Bailey Productions, now Vince The Voice LLC, a full service audio video production and consulting company based in Grayson, Georgia. Past clients include the USDA National Forest Service, US Department of Commerce, The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, BF Goodrich, The Baseball Hall of Fame, ASPiRE Network, GWBC, GMSDC, Job Corps Centers and many more. He is a professional announcer for college and professional sporting events and broadcasts including the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, Arena Football League’s Georgia Force, Pro Boxing, Professional Ballroom Dancing, and continues to provide voice talent for commercial clients nationwide. Currently Vince teaches Voiceover privately and for several educational institutions.

Peter L. Collins, New York, NY

Music Director

Peter Collins is an accomplished Music Director working at events throughout the U.S., Canada and overseas since 1982. He has done national and major regional events for the NDCA, Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire, USA Dance, and the collegiate dance circuit. He was house DJ for the world famous Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center in New York City, and currently conducts four separate dances per week in the NYC Metro area. He and his partner, Amy Cousins, are former undefeated US National Amateur Champions and US representatives to the World Amateur Championships, and a two-time Feather Award winner. Since 1999, he has taught ballroom dancing and competed professionally with his partner and with Pro-Am students. He coached the University of Virginia Ballroom Dance Club which he organized in 2001, and founded and operated the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Englewood, NJ from 1999 to 2003.

Silvia Beltran, VA

Deck Captain

Silvia Beltran LISTD, DIVIDA & NDCA member has been a ballroom Dance Teacher/Coach for over 23 years in the DC Metropolitan area. She is a Professional Dancer, Teacher, and Pro-Am Instructor at Elegant Dancing studio in Fairfax, VA. Silvia is the Ballroom Dance Coach at Catholic University and has been a National American Smooth competitor and a National Finalist at different National Dancesport Championship Competitions, Rising Star Winner, and Runner up at the North American Dancesport Championships as well as traveling to compete in Barcelona, Spain.
She was the second Pro-am Female Professional Teacher on the Dancesport series Leaderboard for 5 years in a row from 2002 - 2007 and won over 20 Top Teacher awards.

Len Diana, CT

Scrutineer

NDCA Certified Scrutineer, Registrar, Deck Captain, Runner, etc. for Pro/Am, Amateur, & Collegiate DanceSport competitions throughout the U.S.

Marianne Hallahan, VA

Ballroom Coordinator and Awards

Marianne is a former amateur dancesport competitor who, with her partner, has won several championships including the USABDA National Smooth Championships twice. She assisted with the development of collegiate ballroom dance clubs and with their competitions. Marianne has organized several dance competitions including the USABDA Fall Festival and the National Collegiate Championships. She continues to remain involved in the ballroom community by working as a Deck Captain and as an Awards Coordinator at various competitions on the East Coast and Ohio. As a member of the Mid-Eastern Chapter of USA Dance, she serves on the board and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Championships organizing committee.

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