Both Christopher and Ariella found West Coast Swing before meeting each other.
Ariella started dancing in a studio when she was just three years old. Her formal training is in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop, but it wasn’t long before she found competitive dance. After dabbling in some ballroom style partner dances, she decided to stick with solo dancing as her outlet. In her teens Ariella joined a competitive cheer and hip hop team. It wasn’t until after she saw Ben Morris and Jennifer Deluca’s hip hop style classic routine in 2013 that she decided to give West Coast Swing a try. In July 2015 shortly after meeting Christopher, Ariella decided to pursue West Coast Swing competitively and currently competes at the Advanced level. Growing up dancing, she always dreamed of becoming a dance teacher and her love for West Coast Swing has inspired her to do just that!
Since moving to Charlotte Ariella has not only taken on her teaching passion with Christopher teaching West Coast Swing, she has also merged her love of children with her passion for teaching dance. After having a couple jobs teaching ballet, jazz and tap to children she landed at The Little Gym of Huntersville / Lake Norman and absolutely loves the classes and children she teaches there!
Christopher found West Coast Swing in 2012. Being that he was just 18 years old at the time, the sight of so many ladies dancing influenced him at first. However, it didn’t take him long to appreciate West Coast Swing and the community that comes with the dance. Christopher started competing just a few months after learning West Coast Swing. He was inspired by watching the Champions compete and social dance. He quickly set goals to compete against them one day so he could inspire everyone watching just as they did him. After his goals were set he quickly ranked up in divisions and currently competes at the All Star level in competitions. Now that he competes next to the people that inspired him, his new goal is to share his passion for this fun, adaptable social dance with locals in his area so they can experience this amazing escape from reality called, West Coast Swing.
Since living in Charlotte, Christopher enjoys his full time job as a professional dog trainer. Teaching obedience to dogs doesn’t stop at the interaction with his furry friends, a big part of the job is teaching the pets owners how to consistently educate their fur babies. Dog training has given Chris irreplaceable experience in communication and education that he also uses when teaching dance.
Together, Chris and Ariella take their teaching very seriously. Which is why they have each looked for further education to take their teaching to the next level. Christopher is a certified GPDIA instructor as of February 2018 under the instruction of Michael Kiehm. Ariella has taken multiple teacher training courses such as the SLDM under Myles and Tessa, a hands on training program under Taletha Jouzdani and Kyle and Sarah’s teaching WCS seminar. All of these courses combined give them both great perspective on pedagogy, progressive skills, and hands on experience under the instruction of already well established teachers.
Next time you are looking for quality dance instruction, breathe easy knowing Chris and Ariella have your best interest in mind and only want you to succeed as quickly and easily as possible!