Our Staff

 

 

Founder

Terry Dean

Was the principle male instructor of Terry Dean’s Ballroom Dance Studio for almost 20 years. He originally started as an instructor with Arthur Murray’s Ballroom Dance studio, and he stayed with them for 19 years, while winning numerous awards and competitions with his students. Terry opened his own professional ballroom dance studio in Charlottesville in 1996. Not only is Terry a wonderful dancer, but he has had the most successful ballroom dance studio in town for years! He continues to win awards as an independent studio. For example, his student won “Top Student” at the 2008 Yuletide Ball Championships in Washington DC, and Terry won a prized Top Teacher award. Terry Dean’s Dance Studio was presented the Top Studio Award at the 2013 and 2014 Yuletide Ball Championships out of 35 represented studios from the east coast and midwest. Terry imparted his talents not only as a dancer, but as a teacher to his current lineup of instructors, when he retired from teaching full-time in February of 2015.

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Co-Owner/Instructor

Tara McGough

Tara joined the staff at Terry Dean’s in early 2009, and has provided an injection of fun, energy, and enthusiasm. She is a terrific dancer and helps all our students put dance into their lives. One of her students placed 3rd Overall Top Male Student at the 2013 Yuletide Ball Championships in Washington, D.C. and at the same competition in 2014 Tara received a Top Teacher award, while two of her students took home top male student awards. At the 2016 Yuletide Ball, she took home the Top Overall Female Instructor award!

Whether you are a brand new dancer, or more experienced, she loves teaching couples and singles and makes an exceptionally great member of our team.

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Co-Owner/Instructor

Taylor Moore

Taylor joined our staff in late 2012 and has been a wonderful addition to the studio. His unique blend of humor and technique is sure to get you dancing. In December 2013 Taylor had two students awarded Top Student awards at the Yuletide Ball Championships in Washington, D.C. In 2014 he received a prized Top Teacher award and again had two students place among the top 20. In 2016, Taylor and one of his students won the Silver Level Best of the Best Challenge at Virginia State Ballroom Championship, and went on to represent that competition at the Ohio Star Ball. Taylor is driven to bring out the best in his students and wants to teach YOU to dance!

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Instructor

Connor Jennings

Connor moved to Virginia from Texas and joined our team at the end of 2016! We are absolutely thrilled to have him teaching private lessons and group classes in the ballroom with us. He was a member of the Penn State Competitive Ballroom Team from 2013-2015 and has had thorough training in both International and American styles of Ballroom. He has been a wonderful addition to our team, bringing his witty humor and booming charisma, and has an extremely bright future as an instructor.

 

Instructor

Chelsea Casanave Learned

Chelsea joined the Blue Light Ballroom team in mid 2015 and after a brief hiatus, is back teaching in the ballroom! Catch one of her group classes, or give us a call to schedule a private lesson with Chelsea. Her first act as a college freshman in 2010 was to join the Christopher Newport Ballroom Dance Society, and it turned out to be a life-changing decision. While learning from dancers there, she decided on taking a dance minor to go with her theater major and practiced ballet, jazz, and Afro-Carribean dance. She also learned from and eventually worked for Amy Hontos of Amy’s (Ballroom) Dance Studio and took lessons from Rick Zilonka. Over the summers she received training from Robert Eisenbach at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which her grandfather and great uncle had helped to form. Chelsea believes that dancing with others is one of the most connecting and positive experiences you can have.

“When you’re dancing with someone, it’s not just you anymore. There is another person having the same experience, and you work together to create something beautiful. There’s nothing else quite like it.”

 

Instructor

Cary May

Cary, a born-and-bred Charlottesvillian, has been teaching Ballroom Dance for 22 years. She began her teaching with Terry Dean, and developed a life-long love of dance. With a vibrant passion for technique, rhythm, and movement, you’ll catch her teaching her Tuesday night Intermediate group class – so look for her on our schedule! Open to teaching ages 5-life!

When Cary isn’t teaching, she loves to play an active role in the local community. Annually participating in fundraisers and charity events for organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Charlottesville-Albemarle ASPCA.