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Ballroom Chat Podcast

By Love.Live.Dance

Our podcast focuses on casual long-form interviews between Samantha from Love.Live.Dance, a Salt Lake City dance studio, and her weekly guests from the dance world.

Podcasts cover a number of topics, including the history of different dance styles, interviews with dancesport athletes, judges and coaches, general dance industry news, and even tips and tricks for both beginner and expert dancers. A great source of dance industry information for beginners and professionals alike.

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Deborah Holmes and Stefan Badea sit down to discuss their non-profit foundation, the HeartSoles Foundation and its mission. The pair also explore how their pro-am dancing relationship blossomed into a friendship and business partnership, and how the dance community has come together to build a stronger and more supportive ballroom family.

The HeartSoles Foundation provides dance shoes, competitive attire and scholarships to dancers in impoverished communities. At time of recording, their goal is to raise $10,000 and collect 1,000 pairs of shoes to support the South African dance community.


Koichiro Suzuki and Yulia Zhukoffsit down and talk about their love of music, the history of Tango and why the connection and embrace of Argentine Tango is so unique, compared to other dance styles.

Koichiro Suzuki and Yulia Zhukoff are professional Argentine Tango instructors that travel extensively across the U.S. sharing their love of tango and music. They are also the owners of the Pittsburgh Tango Connection.


Being the Best You - Christian Alva

Samantha Stout | June 23, 2021

Christian Alva discusses his early career, life lessons that he's learned along the way and his particular approach to teaching and friendship. Christian and Samantha chat about goal setting and appreciating the joy and artistry of ballroom dance.

Christian Alva is a former member of the Utah Valley University Ballroom Dancing Company and current instructor at Ballroom Utah.


Communicating Effectively - Viktorija

Samantha Stout | June 09, 2021

Viktorija discusses her early career, finding her own expression, and defining how she and her partner Nick want themselves to be seen on the dance floor. She and Samantha also talk about navigating the different relationships and expectations in the dance world, along with tips for young professionals that are thinking about becoming dance instructors, and helpful tips for students trying to navigate their goals and expectations.

Viktorija is a 4x U.S. National Professional Smooth Champion, 4x World Professional Smooth Champion, and a 3x Blackpool Smooth Champion.


Entertaining and Connecting - Igor Litvinov

Samantha Stout | May 05, 2021

Igor Litvinov discusses his amateur career and his journey becoming a dancer. Samantha and Igor also breakdown his professional show dances for Ohio Star Ball and why choosing music and something that suits your personality is so important to connecting to the audience. The pair also talk a little bit about his decision to switch from competitor to competition organizer, and why he decided to launch the Boxstep app.

Igor Litvinov is a highly decorated amateur and professional standard dancer and a three time Ohio Star Ball Showdance Champion. He is also a co-owner of the Ballroom Hub dance studio in New York and the co-owner of the Boxstep app, online festival and online camp. Igor is the co-organizer of the Philadelphia Dancesport Championships, The City's Dancesport Challenge, and the Poseidon Ball.


Dancing her Truth - Oxana Kashkina

Samantha Stout | April 28, 2021

Oxana Kashkina discusses her journey, from amateur dancer to English Educator to professional ballroom instructor. Oxana and Samantha delve deep into topics surrounding body image, cross-training, teaching methodology, and telling your story on the dance floor.

Oxana Kashkina was an Amateur 10-dancer prior to moving to the United States. She is currently an Open Professional 9-dance finalist, Mambo National Finalist, and took 2nd in the World Salsa Championships.


Teaching and Learning - Yuriy Kravets

Samantha Stout | April 21, 2021

Yuriy Kraveys discusses his journey from amateur to professional, from Ukraine to the United States and everything in between. Yuriy and Samantha analyze the structure of ballroom dance education in the US and in Europe, and chat about how instructors and pro-am students can approach the different levels of competitive dance.

Yuriy Kravets was awarded the Master of Sport of Ukraine from Lviv State University of Physical Culture for his performance in ballroom dancing as an amateur and then professional. After he turned professional, he represented Ukraine at the World and European championships for a number of years, and then eventually moved to the US and began his work as a professional dance instructor through Fred Astaire before going independent, He is currently teaching and competing with Pro-Am students based in Denver, Colorado, although he has students all across the country.


Exploring SuperShag - Chris Johnston

Samantha Stout | April 07, 2021

Chris Johnston discusses his early dance career and how music and organizing parties became his passion in the industry. Chris and Samantha discuss the ups and downs of building a career in ballroom dance, the importance of recording and remembering our history, and where he sees the future of dancesport heading.

Chris Johnston is the co-owner and founder of SuperShag dance studios and SuperShag video production. He's also a world-class adjudicator and the co-organizer for both the Caribbean Dancesport Classic and DBDC in Boston. He's a host for several different video programs as part of Dance Beat magazine, including Approach the Bar, Cheeky Chat, and Comp Crawl.


Megan Rund discusses her start in gymnastics, what happens when your plans suddenly change and your life has put on a completely different path, and the growing pains and culture shock of moving to Utah for college and for ballroom dance. Megan and Samantha also reflect on the interesting challenges of navigating the transition from amateur and student to professional and especially pro am instructor.

Megan Rund is a former Utah Valley University Tour Team member. She and her teammates won the Blackpool Standard Team Championship and as an Amateur, she and her partner became Ohio Star Ball Smooth Champions. She is now a Rising Star and Open Professional Finalist in the Smooth Category.


Jessica Mancini chats about growing up in the figure skating world, making the transition to ballroom dancing. Jessica and Samantha also discuss how to navigate the difficult balance between setting goals for your students and expectations while also encouraging them to remember the joy of the activity that they are doing.

Jessica Mancini is a five time US National Pro-Am champion in Rhythm, Smooth, and 9-Dance, as well as a Pro-Am Open Vice Champion in Rhythm and Smooth. She was also a former team USA figure skater, and current Professional competitor.