Stefan began teaching International Style Latin & Ballroom dancing in his home country of Romania in 2001, and Bachata and Salsa in 2005. Starting his competitive dance career at the early age of 8, Stefan became the undefeated Romanian National Latin Champion in the junior and under 21 divisions at ages 12-15 and again 18-19, and later Vice Champion in the adult category. Stefan also completed a 3-year athletic coaching program, where he studied numerous topics including anatomy, biomechanics, physical training to coach dancers to reach their full potential while minimizing injury. Stefan moved to California in 2013, where he dedicated himself to the study of American Style ballroom dancing and began teaching at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. He opened his own dance studio, The Rose Ballroom, in Silicon Valley at the beginning of 2018 and began dancing professionally with Carolyn a month later. Stefan and Carolyn relocated to Austin in 2021, and Stefan is excited to share his breadth of expertise with the dance community here. He is known by his students not only for his world class talent, but also his approachable style and jovial sense of humor. He is tri-lingual, fluent in English, Spanish, and his native language Romanian. Stefan is also a car aficionado, gaming enthusiast, and general jack-of-all-trades, and brings his optimistic can-do attitude to studying and teaching dance.
Carolyn began teaching Salsa, Bachata, and Ballroom dancing in San Francisco in 2005. She has studied Latin American dancing extensively, training not only in SF, but also LA, New York, Cuba, and South America, as well as with top visiting instructors from around the world. Carolyn was thus one of the most respected instructors and one of the most recognized Salseras in the SF Bay Area. Carolyn began dancing professionally with Stefan in 2018, and they relocated to Austin in 2021. She is excited to share her knowledge and experience with the dance community here. Carolyn is especially skilled at teaching adults, drawing on her own experience of learning to dance in adulthood. She incorporates principles of mechanics, connection, and mood to help all students dance their best. Carolyn has enjoyed a number of distinctions, including 2016 & 2015 World Professional Rising Star Rhythm Finalist, 2010 World Latin Dance Cup Professional Large Team Champion, 2009 and 2011 World Latin Dance Cup Professional Team Finalist, to name a few. She also has a JD from UC Hastings College of the Law and practiced as a business attorney for 5 years. She now brings her analytical mind to studying and teaching dance mechanics and sequencing, but also appreciate the elements of dance that defy analysis and continue to shape her craft every day.