Ilya and Nadia are one of the top professional Latin couples in the dance world today. They have been dancing together for nine years and have toured the world in competition, enjoying considerable success. Some of their most recent achievements include:
- 2008 North American Professional Latin Champions
- 2008 World Master Champions
- 6 time Fred Astaire National Professional Latin Champions
- United States Professional Latin Finalist
- 2007 Ohio Star Showdance Champions
- 2007 Heritage Classic Professional Latin Champions
- 2006 World Cup Vice Champions
Gabriela started dancing and competing in Ballroom at the age of 10 in her native Bulgaria where she won the National Open International Standard title and represented her country at the World Cup Championships in Vienna, Austria. She has been with the Fred Astaire Organization for more than 10 years and has been awarded top teacher for the state of NJ.
Gaby’s favorite thing about the dance business is the people. She loves helping to develop their talents no matter what level of dancer they are. She says “seeing the excitement on their face, whether it’s because they just learned a box step or placed first in a National Competition is always a wonderful experience for a teacher to have. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”
Ballet, tap and jazz were the forms of dance that sparked Christina Penatello’s love for the art. Being surrounded by successful dancers in the ballroom industry and by her parents who were three time undefeated open to the world American Smooth and Rhythm Champions, Christina decided to pursue ballroom dancing as a career.
At the young age of nineteen, Christina became the United States Professional Rising Star American Rhythm Bronze Medallion Champion. After dancing in several partnerships, she became a Top Finalist, ranking Fifth in the United States Open Professional Rhythm Championship.
In September 2006, Christina’s partner, “Dancing with the Stars” Fabian Sanchez, and the magic between them, took them right to the top, winning the World Mambo Championship at the United States Dance Championships. Christina’s dream became a reality after partnering with Ken Hansen in November of 2009. Ken and Christina are presently United States American Rhythm Finalists.
Charles and Jean Penatello
Charles and Jean Penatello are the Directors of the Fred Astaire New Jersey Region. They were undefeated in the following American Style Smooth and Rhythm Championships from 1982-1984:
- Canadian La Classique Championships
- Texas Challenge Championships
- Fred Astaire National Championships
- Midwest United States Championships
- Virginia State Championships
- Ohio Star Ball Championships
- United States Dance Ballroom Championships
- United States World America’s Cup Championship (held at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, where they retired from competition)
Presently, Charles and Jean are world adjudicators, New Jersey Area Directors and Stockholders of the Fred Astaire Organization.