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Who We Are

Dance With Me (DWM) is an internationally recognized dance company home to Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy from Dancing With the Stars.

Founded by champion and celebrity dancers, Dance With Me dance studios offer the ultimate dance experience blending fun, ease, and comfort with quality dance instruction— in the most beautiful dance studios. Our first-rate services include private dance lessons, group dance classes, social practice parties, and memorable events guaranteed to intrigue beginners and inspire over-achievers.

Whether you are a looking for a new hobby or take your skills to the next level, Dance With Me’s unique approach to personalized dance instruction ensures that your needs and desires are met every step of the way.

It’s not just about learning to dance, it’s about feeling healthier and happier, while expressing yourself and being part of an incredible community.

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What We Offer

We offer private lessons, group classes, social parties, private/custom group classes, and a whole lot more. We specialize in all types of Ballroom and Latin Dances in both American and International styles but also offer hip hop, wedding dance instruction, contemporary, ballet, jazz and all styles of partner dancing.

We host showcases and competitions, provide first-class event entertainment, offer corporate and team building services, plus much more!

Why We're Different

Dance With Me’s mission is to provide the highest quality experience in personalized dance instruction.

Our students learn in the finest establishments that offer a comfortable, friendly environment ideal for learning and personal development. We ensure our students’ goals are met by tailoring each lesson to meet their specific needs and desires.

Our highly trained professional instructors are exceptional individuals who work together as a team, always putting the student first. We encourage social interaction and provide unique experiences –
whether it’s inside our ballrooms or at our events.

The Team

Maksim "Maks" Chmerkovskiy

Founder, Trainer, Coach

Aleksandr "Sasha" Chmerkovskiy

Founder, Partner

Jhanna Volynets

Founder, Partner

Valentin "Val" Chmerkovskiy

Partner, Trainer, Coach

Eugene Livshits

Partner, General Manager

Alex Samusevich

Marketing Director

Kathy Shapiro

Director of Finance

Kosta Trifunovic

Director of Training and Development

Michael "Misha" Fatyanov

Human Resources Director / Instructor

David Thomas Moore

Artistic Director

Marina Kenigsztain

Bookkeeper

Somah Persaud

Financial Manager

Alix Dufossé

Marketing Associate

Genesis Nadal

Administrator

Ivonne Benavides

Event Coordinator

Leanne Aranza

Regional Director/ Coach

Ilia Vinikovskiy

Regional Director / Coach

Raphael Abel

Regional Director - Texas

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Founder, Trainer, Coach

Maksim "Maks" Chmerkovskiy

It is well-known within the DWM Family that if you had asked Maks at 4, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He would have most likely said an Olympic swimmer or a soccer player. Sports and competition have always run deep in his blood. He is a born athlete. He has trained to be the best for as long he can remember because he understands that success is about hard work and dedication. Maks has always put his all into everything he pursues. Fortunately, he was focused on dancing and his hard work paid off. Today, Maks has grown into being a true gentleman, a renowned choreographer, successful business owner, and national TV celebrity on Dancing with the Stars, but his heart remains with DWM Studios and his family. When Maks was training, he couldn’t afford to go to a performing arts school. Where he grew up, training definitely could have been better, particularly in the management area, and as a result the inception of DWM Studios began. Maks  and his father wanted to create a great environment for kids to train: a studio where students like Maks could be respected, respect one another, and train for the love and passion of dance. It had to be a studio that was both inviting and welcoming and of course, it had to have the best dance instructors. Today, Dance With Me Studios remains a focus for Maks but one that he tries to keep very separate from his celebrity existence. Although his own career has led him to be a world-renowned dancer, DWM Studios is simply his home. The instructors and people who are part of the DWM Family are students he trained himself to become champions and who are as dedicated as him to the studios. So, if you see him here, you won’t find Maks from “Dancing with the Stars,” you will find Maks, a son, a brother, a dancer, and most fitting; an entrepreneur.



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Founder, Partner

Aleksandr "Sasha" Chmerkovskiy

Sasha is first and foremost a father. He has always been passionate and proud of his sons, but considers every member of Dance With Me part of his family. Very early on, he became passionate about the dancing industry. His passion evolved into a dedication to creating a unique dance studio environment. He has put his reputation and future on the line to create something that every person could love. Everyone who knows Sasha will agree that he can be quite demanding. He expects the best of himself and of those around him because he believes we determine our future. Change starts from within! This is why he demands that the DWM family provide the best and most professional dance instruction with the ultimate belief that client service is a cornerstone of his studio. His passion and desire to be the best remain a driving force behind the entire DWM Family. His ultimate vision is to grow the DWM Family across the nation. He believes that there are many like him who love the art of Ballroom Dancing and will appreciate a place where the heritage of dancing is presented in a beautiful ballroom with well-dressed men and women dancing and socializing together, enjoying a simple moment in time.



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Founder, Partner

Jhanna Volynets

  A long time enthusiast and supporter of the arts, Jhanna’s love for ballroom was immediate after attending her first dance competition. What started as her children’s first dance lessons, evolved into them becoming highly-ranked competitors, and joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars as troupe members. Jhanna’s drive to share her family’s passion served as the impetus to open Dance With Me, a unique and welcoming studio, where dancers could thrive. Combining her business acumen, sharply honed from years running different organizations, with a keen eye for design, Jhanna has been an integral part of creating and cultivating the Dance with Me experience, so that everyone can enjoy all the benefits of dance.    
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Partner, Trainer, Coach

Valentin "Val" Chmerkovskiy

  Ballroom legend and choreographer Valentin Chmerkovskiy joined the cast of professional dancers on Dancing With the Stars in 2011. Having accomplished all he could in the world of competitive dance, the 14-time US National Champion and two-time World Dance Champion quickly rose to stardom, becoming one of the show's fan-favorites for impeccable performances that showcased not only immense talent and creativity, but an undeniable charisma to match. Valentin is also the first—and only—American to ever win the IDSF World Championship. Since his TV debut, the Ukrainian-born dance champion continues to steal the hearts of fans—both on and off the dance floor. Val has expanded upon his talents as a dancer, choreographer and instructor to create an empire that inspires others through the art of dance. Valentin co-founded Dance With Me Studios, one of the nation's leading Latin and Ballroom dance studios, where he also lends his expertise as the venue's Art Director. The success of the first studio ignited a passion for teaching his craft, leading him to develop Dance With Me Juniors, a program he designed to keep kids healthy, focused and active. Val is also a classically trained Violinist, having performed in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as a concertmaster of the ISO Youth Orchestra. Philanthropy is also important to Valentin who supports numerous children's and educational charities including Children's Hospital; and as an ambassador for Pencil's of Promise, Val has helped build two schools in Ghana. Born in Odessa, Ukraine Valentin immigrated to New York at eight years old and grew up in Brooklyn. He is fluent in Russian and English. Val has toured the country with the phenomenally successful Dancing with the Stars: Live!...a 40-city national tour, and recently completed his 50-city Confidential tour with brother Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd. In his tenure on Dancing with the Stars, has won two Mirror Ball Trophies with Actress Rumor Willis and Olympic Gymnist Lauire Hernandez.
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Partner, General Manager

Eugene Livshits

Eugene discovered a passion for dance at an early age when joining Maksim and Valentin at Rising Stars Dance Academy. Eugene has been an intricate part of the foundation of Dance With Me, being the first Manager of the first Dance With Me dance studio in Ridgefield, New Jersey in 2005. Eugene is currently the General Manager of Dance With Me dance studios. Eugene is known for his outgoing and sociable personality. He loves to help others and takes pride in spreading joy and positivity throughout the organization.      
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Marketing Director

Alex Samusevich

  Alex Samusevich has been a ballroom dance competitor since the age of 7. Throughout his competitive dance career, he has won several prestigious competitions such as La Classique du Quebec (Canadian Open),  Ohio Star Ball,  NDCA U.S. National Championships, and has placed in the final (top 6) of the U.S. National Championships in six consecutive years, including a three-time runner up. Alex began teaching ballroom dancing at the age of 16, later coaching a preteen couple to a National Championship. Alex has studied at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City, majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in psychology and marketing. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, curating music, reading, traveling, spending time with family, and teaching. Alex has managed operations at multiple DWM dance studios, Dance With Me SoHo in February 2010 and Dance With Me New Jersey in 2012, before transitioning to Director of Marketing for Dance With Me Studios. His goal is to spread the joys of dancing to as many people as possible and grow the Dance With Me family!  
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Director of Finance

Kathy Shapiro

Kathy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and a favorite of all Dance With Me employees and students. Having one of the most important roles in the company, Kathy makes sure all of the Dance With Me finances are in order.      
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Director of Training and Development

Kosta Trifunovic

Kosta Trifunovic has been a part of almost every aspect within the ballroom dance industry over last twenty years. In Serbia, his home country, he started as a junior and amateur competitor and over time became an all around performer, coach and choreographer. In the U.S. he pursued different career avenues simultaneously to make a name as professional competitor (US National Open Professional Nine Dance Finalist), Pro/Am teacher (US National Pro/Am Rhythm Champion and Top teacher at all major US events), successful studio manager (DWM Soho), nationally recognized examiner (DVIDA International) and international judge (NDCA and WDC license holder). Kosta enjoys the energetic tempo that a corporate office brings to his daily routine, as well as interacting with all the DWM locations on a daily basis. His passion for teaching continues to this day, while assisting many instructors and managers in their journey to becoming successful ballroom dance professionals.        
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Human Resources Director / Instructor

Michael "Misha" Fatyanov

Ukrainian-born Michael has been dancing since he was six years old. He competed in international championships in Germany, Poland, and Ukraine, and was among the top 40 couples worldwide in 1996. During the last eight years, Michael’s focus has been on teaching dance, while studying business. Before coming to work at Dance With Me, he founded and ran an independent dance studio in Indianapolis while pursuing his MBA at Purdue University. Michael loves it when someone says they can’t dance, and proving to them that anyone can do it. He believes that dancing is a gift that can change people’s lives… just like it changed his. Although Misha is in charge of human resources and recruitment, his passion for dancing can’t keep him off the dance floor. He enjoys teaching in his free time at Dance With Me Glen Rock.


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Artistic Director

David Thomas Moore

David Thomas Moore is the Artistic Director and resident choreographer for Dance With Me USA. He is particularly known for his signature style of choreography based in the rapidly emerging “ballroom fusion” genre. His work has been featured on television and stage and has been awarded at competitions throughout the country, as well as the world famous Blackpool Dance Festival in Blackpool, England. He is the co-writer, choreographer, and director for Dance With Me’s break-out original stage production, Sway: A Dance Trilogy. David also serves as an instructor at his Dance With Me home in Stamford, CT.  
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Bookkeeper

Marina Kenigsztain

Marina has been with the company since 2008.
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Financial Manager

Somah Persaud

Somah is a trained Indian Classical Dancer for over 20 years.  While her love of Classical dance can never die, she has found a new type of dance to obsess over; ballroom.  She started working at Dance With Me in 2010 and the rest is history.  Throughout her time at Dance With Me, she has worn many hats but has now settled as the financial controller of the company.  She looks forward to putting aside more time to learn international Latin dances and hopefully competing someday.


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Marketing Associate

Alix Dufossé

Alix was born in Paris but grew up all over the world. She moved to New York to attend NYU where she majored in Marketing and Communications. She is excited to be a part of the Dance With Me family and hopes to pick up a few dance moves!  
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Administrator

Genesis Nadal

Genesis Nadal is completing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Fine Arts. In her spare time, when she is not working the front desk at Glen Rock (seriously, you should stop by), she is a professional gamer, an avid reader, runner, reciter of popular rap songs, a corrector of grammar, and an enthusiastic eater and sleeper. As far as dance experience goes, she did ballet from ages 5 until 17; ballroom is a completely different world that she is extremely excited and happy to now be a part of.  
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Event Coordinator

Ivonne Benavides

Bio coming soon!
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Regional Director/ Coach

Leanne Aranza

Music and dance became a passion for Leanne at a young age. Sparked by her mother’s early dance career and her father’s long-time work in bands, Leanne started performing with her dad and sisters before the age of 10. By 18, she was Director of Music and Arts for a large ministry while continuing to pursue her love of dance. In 2008, she moved to Nashville and discovered the joy of ballroom dancing. With intense training and quick progress under a 7-time world champion, Leanne decided to make dance her life pursuit. In early 2012, to advance her professional career, she moved to New York City to work and train with more of the top dancers in the world. She is certified in American Rhythm, American Smooth, and Latin, and competes in all styles. Leanne loves teaching and has a deep passion for people. It is her desire that every student, whether dancing competitively or socially, will gain more joy and pleasure than ever imagined from their ballroom dance experience.  
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Regional Director / Coach

Ilia Vinikovskiy

Born July 16, 1990, in Kiev, Ukraine, he began his journey as a Latin dancer at 8 years old. When he was 12, he won his first national championship in the Ukraine.  Ilia was only 15 years old when he was invited abroad to represent Poland and to study with top world teachers. Over the next few years he lived in various European countries such as England, Denmark, Italy, Hungary and Norway to train with top teachers and study Latin American dancing. His intense professional career led him to be very well recognized in the world of Latin dance. He has trained with world champions such as Bryan Watson, Carmen, Hans Galke, Lene and Colin James, Carolyn Smith and Graham Oswick, just to name a few.  
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Regional Director - Texas

Raphael Abel

“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” This is a quote that ultimately describes Raphael Abel. ‘Ralph’ as he is affectionately called at the studio, began his love of dancing at the tender age of twelve. Like most kids, he was a little hesitant at first, but with a gentle push he discovered an inner passion that would stay with him for eternity. After finishing his degree in accounting and entering the New York City workforce, he realized that something was missing in his life. His whimsical attitude and personality was immediately a hit with the staff and the students at all of the Dance With Me studios. He smoothly dispenses all his knowledge and skill to everyone that crosses his path; building relationships, listening to others and keeping his hands in the mix at all times. Raphael is very excited about the opportunity to bring ballroom dancing to another level in Southlake!