IGOR and IRINA SUVOROV top
Amateur Champions U.S.B.C. Rising Star International Champions in 1992
Igor Suvorov started dancing at the tender age of 9 in the “House of Culture” in St. Petersburg. At 14, he had won all major competitions and was the Champion of the Baltic Republics. By the time he reached 17, he was Champion of Northern Russia. At age 23, in 1988, together with Irina, he became the 10 Dance Champion of the former Soviet Union and they danced in competitions all over the world. He also received a degree as a judge of dancing in the Soviet Union the same year. Irina is a graduate of the Moscow University, majoring in Russian Literature, as well as being a top professional dancer.
Igor and Irina’s first visit to the United States was in 1990, when they competed as amateurs with a select Russian team at the Southwest Regional Ballroom Dance Competition in San Diego. It was during that visit that they decided to make the United States their permanent home.
Since turning professional in 1990, they have become one of the favorite competitors and demonstrators, traveling all over the world. In the United States, during the past year, they were finalists at the U.S. Championship and the Ohio Star Ball, and placed 1st in the 1995 San Diego Holiday Ball and the Challenge of Champions held in Las Vegas. During the past year they also competed successfully in several world-wide competitions, including the U.K. Rising Star where they placed 2nd and the Open Taiwanese Championship where they took 1st place. They have appeared on television and travel extensively giving dance instructions and lectures to both amateurs and professional dancers. In addition to their hectic schedule, both Igor and Irina make their own ball gowns and tail suits, as well as customized dance wear for amateur and professional competitors.
PIERRE ALLAIRE and MIREILLE VEILLEUX top
Pierre and Mireille have been dancing together for nine years. Their accomplishments during this time are endless, but the most impressive titles include: Canadian Professional Modern Champions, Canadian Professional 10 Dance Champions, and British Rising Star Latin Champions at Blackpool (host to the yearly World Championships).
They were recently voted the “favorite couple” of this year’s Ohio Star Ball; Champion Ballroom Dancing. Pierre and Mireille reside in their home town of Montreal, Quebec where they are co-owners of a leading ballroom dance studio. Teaching and performing at home or abroad, they are considered one of Ballroom’s greatest showmanship couples.
VICTOR VEYRASSET and HEATHER SMITH top
Victor has been the United States Standard Champion 10 times. On a visit to Cherry Hill to watch the North American Championships, Heather was inspired watching the Professional Standard in which her current partner and husband Victor Veyrasset took first place. Heather teamed up with Victor in March 1993 and after 3-1/2 weeks they went to England and danced their first competition. They were overwhelmed when they made the final and finished 5th. In May of 1993, they danced their first British Championships in Blackpool and finished 3rd in the Rising Star and made the top 12 in the Open Division. They were the United States International Standard Champions from 1993-1997 and were the Asian Pacific Champions in 1995. Heather is originally from England, and Victor from California. They now reside in Torrance, California and both travel throughout the country coaching and competing.
Corky & Shirley Ballas top
Corky Ballas has been dancing literally since he was a baby, having been reared in a family with diverse talents as entertainers and entrepreneurs. His mother was a great and talented Flamenco dancer who together with Mr. Ballas owned and operated the largest dance studio in the United States (44,000 sq. ft. under one roof). Mr. Ballas was also a gifted inventor and is known as the genius behind the most commonly used American lawn tool—“The Weed Eater.”
Shirley began her dancing career at the ripe old age of two years. As she danced away her first nine years in her tiny tutu, her mother was quick to recognize her talent and sent her to St. Chad’s Church where she learned her basic techniques in the International style of dancing. By age 21 Shirley held every title available to her…The British Open, The Star, The European, The International, The Canadian Classic Du Quebec and The U.S. Open.
When chance brought together Corky Ballas and Shirley Stopford during an International competition in Montreal, Canada, both quickly reassessed their definitions of “First love”. They married two years later and formed a partnership and went on to win the following titles; 5 time United States International Latin Champions, 3 time United Kingdom National Champions, International & Star Champions, 2 time Winners of the most prestigious competition in the World—Open To The World British Championships.
They retired from competitive dancing in 1996 and now live in London & the United States. They are also Producers of the Compact Discs “Passion” and “Passion Too." They travel widely around the world judging and coaching top professionals and amateurs.