MEET THE TEAM

YOU’RE IN GREAT HANDS

ELENA SAMODANOVA

BALLROOM/LATIN INTERNATIONAL TEACHER

Elena Samodanova is an international multi-award winning artist originally from Russia, who has worked extensively throughout Asia, United Kingdom, Australia, North America and Europe as a judge, choreographer and dancer while also being a mentor to many dancers across the world. Some of her major credits include being featured in the Russian version of TV hit show “Dancing With The Stars” as a JUDGE and Choreographerin 2015, touring North America with “Dancing Pros Live”2016 and creatively assisting Gleb Savchenko in Strictly Come Dancing in the UK 2015, also in Series 7 of “Dancing With The Stars” in Bollywood aka “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa” 2014 on the Colors TV Channel in India to great acclaim.

Prior to that she has also worked on both the Australian and American versions of hit TV show “Dancing With The Stars” as well as the Australian version of “So You Think You Can Dance”2014.

Elena also holds the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in Russia, Hong Kong, Australia and England. She has also won the 4 major dance titles down under and as a result she has represented Australia on the World Dance Championship reaching Top 10 world ranking in Latin American with WDC. Her international championship titles also include being the Australia Professional, Asian, Japanese, Singaporean and England Champion.

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GLEB SAVCHENKO

BALLROOM/LATIN INTERNATIONAL TEACHER

Gleb Savchenko is the National Australian Professional Latin American Champion having won 4 major dance titles down under and as a result he has represented Australia at the World Dance Championship. His titles also include being the Asian Professional, Hong Kong, Japanese, Singaporean and English Champion. His dancing progressed further when he joined the Top 10 professional dancers in the world ranking of Latin American. He graduated from the Russian Theatre Arts University with a Masters in choreography and holds the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in several countries.

Gleb has taken part as a pro on the Australian, Russian, US and UK versions of Dancing with the Stars. His first year as a pro in the US version, he was partnered Lisa Vanderpump. He then made his debut on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing where he reached the semi-final with his partner the presenter Anita Rani. He then spent a season on the Russian version partnered with Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova. Soon after, he returned to Dancing with the Stars in the US and was partnered with country singer Jana Kramer. The duo reached the finale, but were most known for their tango which has amassed millions of views on YouTube. After the finale, Gleb made his UK West End stage debut in the spectacular show ‘One More Dance’ which was choreographed by his wife, Elena. Gleb continued as pro on Dancing with the Stars and has been partnered with Erika Jayne, Pretty Little Liars actress Sasha Pieterse, basketball star Arike Ogunbowale and comedian Nikki Glasser. Most recently in season 28 he took his celebrity partner singer Lauren Alaina to the semi finals with a perfect 10 country freestyle. He also has performed in the DWTS live stage tours that traveled across the country over the past few years. Gleb is once again a pro on “Dancing with the Stars” season 29 and partnered with actress Chrishell Stause from “Selling Sunset” on Netflix.

Sharing his expertise and love of dance is important to Gleb. He was a big part of Pro Dance Camp and A Day of Dancing produced by his wife Elena. These were a unique experience for dancers and fans. A way to bring dance lessons to other parts of the country.

If you are a beginner or a competitive dancer, you have an opportunity to learn from dance expert Gleb Savchenko at Pro Dance LA.

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OUR DANCE TEACHERS

Artur Yemchyk

HIP HOP | STRETCHING

Artur Yemchyk is an international dancer and choreographer who is a teacher of Hip-Hop and stretching.

He graduated from European University of Industry as Director and Choreography. He trained at famous dance conventions in Europe.

Artur has over 10 years of teaching experience in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, France, Azerbaijan and USA. He has been a judge of Hip Hop International Ukraine and many more national championships. Also, he has directed the shows “Release Dance Cup”, “Alice in the Wonderland” and “The Snow Queen”.

He has worked with such performers as In-Grind (Italy), Ani Lorak (Ukraine), Surfaces (USA) ARASHI HUGE JPop group, Tour Gentleman Sasy Dolby Theatre (USA), Huong Tram Tour (USA) Iann Dior, Ashlee Keating, Tango POP by Luis Bravo, The Kid Laroi, Carla’s Dreams and many more!

 At Artur Yemchuk’s classes, children and adults will learn everything about the modern dances, will always be in the loop of the latest dancing novelties and will be able to find themselves in dancing.

Cole Mills

LATIN | CONTEMPRORARY | BALLET | PRO-AM

Cole has over fifteen years of Latin DanceSport experience, winning at more 25 national competitions including a national title. In 2012 Cole was accepted into the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University where he began training classically in Ballet as well as in Modern dance. The following year he was nominated for the 2014 Princess Grace Award, and performed work by Frederick Earl Mosley at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Most recently he finished in the Top 8 of So You Think You Can Dance Season 15. 

Kids love lessons with Cole. He is a strict teacher but a good friend. Cole will teach your children to feel music, rhythm and tell beautiful stories using dance language.

Tatiana Vasilieva

LATIN | SWING | BALLROOM | PRO-AM

“It’s Never to Young to Start Dancing”

Tatiana started dancing when she was 11 years old in Sochi, Russia with her brother and has been dancing professionally since 12 years old. Coming from a small city there weren’t many options for dancing competitively. So she started traveling and later moved to Moscow to take lessons, go to camps, do competitions and learn from top coaches to improve her dancing.

She first came to the United States at age 17 to dance at a Boston studio with a new partner but soon went back to Moscow to attend college, continue her dance training and start teaching. That teaching experience brought her back to Boston where she starting working as a teacher at a local studio in addition to her pursuing her professional dancing. She was there for 6 years.

During that time, she was looking for a dance partner and found Serge Rozhkov. They went to Los Angeles for try outs and soon realized there were more opportunities there. Once relocated, she was introduced to Elena and Gleb by her partner. She then was hired as a teacher at Pro Dance LA.

One of the classes offered at Pro Dance LA that she teaches is the Teddy Bear Class for ages 3-5. As she explains it, “these young kids don’t know as yet if they are going to be a ballroom, jazz or hip hop dancer so it’s important to give them basic knowledge. We try to teach kids to catch the beat so they match their body movements with that beat. They don’t care at that age if this is rumba or a cha cha cha; for them they just about doing the movements. It’s about imagination. So they remember everything and keep it in their head with the sounds. So what we do is try to combine three main subjects of coordination, music and imagination together to get the kids a good base for the future. They are learning listening skills and understanding the music and different types of dancing. It doesn’t mater if in the future a kid is going to be a dancer or not, they are going to learn good skills including coordination and memory.”

Tatiana has a lot of experience to teach kids of all ages. She knows that kids learn differently at different ages. She knows how ballroom dancing can give kids that confidence they need to be good at something. She also can take kids to the competition level. So, for kids ages 7 and up their dance is more about steps and the syllabus. Many of the kids she teachers want to compete and become champions. She believes the best way to make a champion is through consistency but you need to be patient as it takes time. Also, she always says it about trusting in your team of teachers.
Tatiana believes people need socialization along with improving their body and dance skills with a good group of people. She brings that smile and the joy of dance to the studio along with hard work.

Valts Liepniek

BALLROOM | SMOOTH | SWING | LATIN | PRO-AM

Valts started to dance at age four when his parents took him to dancing classes. At that very young age, it was known that he was going to be a dancer and he hasn’t stopped
During his years of dancing, he was seven-time National Champion, World Vice Champion and Blackpool Vice Champion. He also has won many competitions and hold other championships.
Valts came to the United States when he was 18 years old. He moved to Manhattan, New York because a studio invited him to work. That is where he found his husband and together they moved to LA.
Although he’s been trained in Latin dancing, the majority of his dance style is Ballroom standard. His style of teaching Ballroom is the more aggressive Italian style not British classically style. In Italian style, arm position is more aggressive, ladies are more aggressive and there are sharper, bigger movements with more interesting figures.

Like all the teachers at Pro Dance LA, he teaches both group classes and private lessons. He likes to say that the group classes can be taught in more of a general way as the principal stays the same to make it apply for everyone while in a private lesson, you see each person differently and focus on what that student needs to work on.

Recently, Valts started teaching a LGBTQ Latin class. This class was the idea of the owners, Elena and Gleb. That community is very closed but they want to share and let people inside so they worked to develop this group class and Valts is very proud of it.

The other classes he usually teaches are salsa and ballroom. The salsa class is more of cardio workout salsa class while the ballroom class is more basics and syllabus but you don’t have to have a partner.
Valts is an expert in preparing students for Pro-Am competition which he believes starts with building a new relationship/friendship, working together as a team and making a plan. Also, practice is very important for a dancer/competitor and he, like other teachers, often leads the rounds at the studio. Rounds are on going dance practice that help build stamina and muscles which is so important for dancing along with technique.
Valts invites and encourages everyone to come dance as you will have an amazing time.

Vlad Kvartin

LATIN | SHOWDANCE | SALSA | PRO-AM

Vladislav  began his dance career at the age of 8, studying under renowned Latin American Ballroom coaches and adjudicators. In 2009, Vlad was named Junior National DanceSport Champion, and subsequently earned substantial national and international titles. Beyond his competitive career, Vlad is also involved with TV shows including troupe dancer on Dancing With The Stars and assisting choreographer on Why Woman Kill and Kidding. Vlad has also appeared on Fuller House and Saturday Night Live and has made an appearance on So You Think You Can Dance as a top 20 dancer. Additionally, Vlad was a cast member on a 2-time US tour titled Our Way and MVP Confidential as well as performed in SWAY: A Dance Trilogy pt.1 and pt.2.