Meet Our 2024 Talented Group of Dancers

We are excited to share the local Columbus Celebrities & their Professional Dancers will be demonstrating their dance moves as the entertainment for the evening. Please vote for your favorite Celebrity & Dancer couple. The winner gets a mirror ball trophy.

Lisa Horn & Braxton Knowles

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Lisa Horn

Physician

Lisa Horn is an internal medicine physician affiliated with the Upper Arlington office of Central Ohio Primary Care. she is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Medical College of Ohio. After her residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus , Lisa worked nine years at Berger Hospital in Circleville where she was Medical Director and cared for patients in the community.

Daryl Kamer a co-founder for BalletMet introducted Lisa to dance at the age of four and she was hooked. From that experience, Lisa became interested in ballet , studied with BalletMet’s Academy, and at the age of twelve performed the role of Clara in BalletMet’s production of the Nutcracker. To this day if there is a song playing you will find her dancing to the music.

Lisa’s greatest love is her family which includes husband Ben and sons Dylan and Brayden both at Bexley High school .You can see them running races in the Columbus area ,biking the trails, and competing on the pickleball courts.

Because she is passionate about helping people in need, Lisa is interested in supporting the Byron Saunders Foundation. She is a 6 time participant in Pelatonia, raining money for the James Cancer Hospital for cancer research. She ran the Columbus half marathon to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and most recently fall 2023 ran the New York City Marathon in support of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation.

Lisa believes that challenging oneself to new life exeriences such as ballroom dancing is important and so she is honored to be participant in Dancing with our Columbus Stars 2024.

Braxton Knowles

Dance Instructor

Braxton Knowles is a distinguished dance instructor currently ranked among the top 20 teachers at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. For the past 15 years, dance has profoundly shaped his life, starting with hip hop and jazz in his childhood. His love for musical theatre blossomed in 7th grade, leading him to perform in numerous shows, from “CATS” to “Phantom of the Opera.”

After high school, Braxton began his ballroom journey at the Youngstown Fred Astaire school, where he trained intensively for two years. Now, as a lead teacher, choreographer, and dancer for the Fred Astaire schools in Powell and Pickerington, he holds the title of the number one teacher in Ohio. Braxton has developed into a versatile professional performer, mastering all ballroom and rhythm dancing styles.

His accomplishments include winning the National Hustle Championships at the FADS National Competition and earning national recognition as a choreographer for his amateur students from Ohio, who have clinched numerous national titles. Braxton’s passion for dance shows and his competition with his professional partners is evident in every performance. He cherishes every moment of his life and expresses deep gratitude to everyone who has contributed to his journey.

Amy Ross & Andrew Loewen

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Amy Ross

Owner & Instructor

Amy Ross began dancing Ballroom in 2001.  She has since dabbled in each of the dance communities,  Vintage Swing (Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Charleston), West Coast Swing, Latin Dancing (Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk) and Argentine Tango. Amy started her professional dance career in 2012 in Chicagoland, training under Champion dancers including Chantal LeClerc, Daniel Rutherford, Ginette Cournoyer, Ilya Ifraimov, Kimberley Mitchell and Izabella Lewandowski. Today, she competes Professionally in Smooth. Along with her professional dance training, Amy holds a BA in Music Education with a Dance Minor and an Entrepreneurship Certificate from Youngstown State University
After managing one of the best studios in Columbus, Amy followed her dream to open her own studio to support the local dance communities and elevate the expectations of dance instruction to a higher level. Amy has a passion for creating connection with others through music and movement, and would love to share that passion with you!

Andrew Loewen

AFLAC – Regional Sales Coordinator

Andrew Loewen is a passionate goal oriented individual. He realized the importance of writing goals down the year before he became a Division I collegiate hockey player at Canisius College. He had written down that specific goal and placed it at the front of his bed to see every night before he went to bed, and to wake up looking at it. Since then Andrew has made and exceeded many of his short term goals that he has set in his life. He moved on to play minor professional hockey in Columbus, GA. Realizing hockey would not be his long term career he pursued his MBA from Columbus State University. Upon completion Andrew started working in the Marketing Department at Aflac. His desire to be in control of his future led him to leave marketing and move to the sales side of Aflac where he has worked in 3 different states with 3 promotions over the first 6 years of his sales career. Andrew has now been a Regional Sales Coordinator with Aflac in Columbus, OH for the past 2 and a half years. As an independent agent with Aflac Andrew is now running an organization with more than 50 active Benefits Consultants. Andrew originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, currently resides in Westerville Ohio with his wife Morgan and two daughters Finley and Maren.

Angela Lutz & Rostislav Toporski

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Angela Lutz

Holistic Life Coach

Angela Lutz, Holistic Life Coach inspiring transformation at Westerville Chiropractic and Nutrition. Radio show host of WGRN’s Boundless Living. From NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to award-winning stage performances, and now a published author!🌟 #HolisticWellness #Transformation #Author #PerformingArts

Rostislav Toporski

Dance Instructor

Rostislav Toporski is a professional dance instructor whose passion is to connect and move better. He is a certified teacher with American International Dancers Association and was a former rhythm coach for the MIT dance team. His specialties are ballroom dance and west coast swing. He also is an Anatomy Trains Graduate which allows him to understand body movements on and off the dance floor.

Rostislav was born in Ukraine and has been passionate about dance for over 30 years! His inspiration is his mother, a well-known dancer, and choreographer. At age 6, he performed in a local folk ensemble with his mother and traveled the former Soviet Union, performing and competing at national festivals. In 1995, after immigrating to Israel, he continued his dance education in a new troop, adding Latin and Standard training to his weekly routine. After moving to the US in the early 2000s, he continued his training and began working with world-renowned coaches in Latin Standard and Smooth. He competed in 9 Dance American Styles across the US, focusing on smooth dances. Rostislav was awarded Rising Star champion and has been a  finalist in multiple competitions throughout the United States.

Alexandria Vogel & Chris Weible

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Alexandria Vogel

Dance Instructor

Alexandria Vogel has loved to perform and dance since she could walk. She was a competitive cheerleader for 13 years and a competitive hip hop dancer/instructor for 5 years. She graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Theater. She started her ballroom career as a student with Fred Astaire Dance Studios, she fell in love and honored to be a professional within the same company she found her passion. She is grateful to the owners Pamela Baragona, Gina Snyder and Devin Taylor for the opportunity to become a teacher and explore this career path further. Alexandria is currently a 2-time Regional Mixed Novice Champion and Regional Theater Arts Champion.

Chris Weible

Licensed Insurance Agent – HealthMarkets Insurance Agency

Chris Weible is a self-driven, family-oriented husband and father who embraces change. He has transitioned from performing in musicals and running a health and fitness business for 12 years to managing an insurance business. As a licensed insurance agent, he proudly works alongside his mother, sister, and dad.

Fun fact: Chris met his wife Cara on the 1 train in New York City. Both are Ohio natives.

Chris graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a Bachelor’s in Music Theatre and a Broadcasting minor. Memorable roles include Danny Zuko in Grease, Prince Charming in Twice Charmed, Harold Hill in The Music Man, and the Scarecrow in The Wiz.

Currently, he enjoys dancing with his partner Alexandria, reconnecting with his performing roots.

“Get ready for a show!”

Corrie Bott & Josh Maloche

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Corrie Bott

Design Manager

Growing up, Corrie Bott was immersed in the world of Irish dance, where her innate creativity flourished. While an Irish dance student she saw a need for the performance costumes to be altered. Taking advantage of this opportunity she molded that need into a successful business venture. By the age of 25, Corrie had established herself as the preferred seamstress for dance schools across three states and earned international recognition among costume designers.

While building her reputation in the dance community, Corrie pursued her academic interests and obtained a degree in digital design and graphics. This educational journey served to further refine her creative abilities, leading her to assume the role of design manager with Union County Tourism for nearly ten years.

Because Corrie’s creative drive cannot be stopped, she is currently designing and building her own home, a log cabin, with her family. Additionally, she is at the helm of Thonen Studios, a growing brand management company where she continues to channel her innovative vision.

 

Josh Maloche

Dance Instructor

Josh Maloche joined the Crystal Ballroom Team in Fall of 2023.  Josh’s love of people and authentic joy in everything he does helps put students at ease and make their experience learning fun and upbeat!  Josh has his Dance Vision Bronze Smooth Certification and is working towards Rhythm next.  When not dancing Josh is an avid baker, enjoys meeting goals at the gym and spending time with family and friends!

Sameen Dadfar & Cedric Eaton

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Sameen Dadfar

Owner/Cupcake Artist, Sameen’s Boucakes

Sameen Dadfar is the owner of Sameen’s Boucakes where she specializes in creating unique floral cupcakes. What started as a passion project has grown into a full-time business that allows Dadfar to create and design baked goods that are almost too pretty to eat!

Before starting Sameen’s Boucakes, Dadfar worked for Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, where she led award-winning programs such as the Paganini Violin Exchange and the CIRCLE Program. She also worked at the Ohio Development Services Agency and the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C., where she administered training programs for international journalists.

Dadfar holds a dual bachelor’s degree in International Studies and French from Bowling Green State University. She has traveled to over 35 countries and speaks Farsi and French. She lives in Upper Arlington with her husband and #1 taste-tester, Jon.

Cedric Eaton

Dance Instructor

Cedric Eaton began his dancing journey in 2018 and has since become a Certified Instructor through DVIDA. He has competed in Standard and currently competes in Rhythm. Cedric has dedicated experience with strength training and bodybuilding, skills he transfers over to his dancing. 2023 marks the third year Cedric is performing with Dancing With Our Columbus Stars. Cedric has always had a passion for the arts and storytelling; having gone to school for film and was a Puppeteer’s Apprentice. Dance can tell stories, Cedric believes, and everyone has a story to tell. So everyone can dance. Naturally calm and patient, Cedric is always excited to share in anyone’s dancing journey.

Deborah Grayson & Troy Myers

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Deborah Grayson

Project Manager

Deborah Grayson is a registered nurse and has worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for the past 6 years.  Her nursing career has taken a variety of paths and she has worked as a psychiatric nurse, ICU nurse, researcher, and currently is employed as a public health nurse promoting health prevention programs for Ohio’s youngest residents. As a nurse, Deborah is acutely aware that many Ohioans struggle to put food on their table. She recognizes that healthy food is a privilege for those who have access and can afford to purchase grocery items for their families.

Deborah’s favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving, because to her, it is about enjoying family and friends rather than having expectations about gifts or observing religious traditions. She believes that food is a way to connect with people from all backgrounds and that it is a honor to bring family, friends, and acquaintances together to share a meal. After attending the Byron Saunders event last year, Deborah was determined to participate in this year’s Dancing with our Columbus Stars, and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her 60th birthday and 10-year anniversary of being a breast cancer survivor than raising funds for those in need.

When Deborah isn’t working, she can be found walking her two dogs with her husband, face timing with her 19-year-old son, stand up paddle boarding with friends (sometimes dressed as a witch), or promoting safe firearm storage with police and fire departments, schools, and other community partners.
She is both nervous and excited to be selected as a participant in Dancing with our Columbus Stars 2024!

Troy Myers

Dance Instructor

Troy Myers is a UPS driver on the east side of Columbus, and has been dancing competitively for over twenty years. Starting on the country circuit, he twice finished in the top five at the UCWDC World Championships in amateur divisions. Since then he has danced in the Rising Star division, and competed with his students in the pro-am routine and strictly swing divisions. A two-time director of the Columbus JT Swing Team, Troy is also hired as one of the professional instructors for both Cash Bash and Jammin In July.

Holly Thomson & Bradley Minnard

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Holly Thomson

Realtor

Hi! My name is Holly Thomson (with no “p”!). I am a Christian and mother of two incredible boys, Marco and Thomas. I am a REALTOR® in the central Ohio area and absolutely love what I do. I am part of the Key Advantage Group at Keller Williams Capital Partners. I’m 75% therapist and 25% negotiator and problem solver ;). Formerly, I worked for and helped get multiple technology and non-profit start-up companies up and running in the San Diego, CA and Dublin, Ohio areas. I was also a professional cheerleader/dancer and community ambassador for over 10 years. I cheered/danced for the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL team, Columbus Destroyers AFL team, and the Cincinnati Bengals NFL team. I am a Midwest girl, through and through. Born in Minnesota, with family all over Wisconsin, raised in Ohio, with a stop in Sweden (And southern California) along the way… I love all things “Midwest!” I am diehard Columbus Blue Jackets, Ohio State Buckeyes and Green Bay Packers fan. My mission in life is to help others have a better life. I thrive on putting a smile on people’s faces. My mantra is, “Start small. Dream Big. Stay faithful.”

Bradley Minnard

Dance Instructor

Bradley Minnard grew up in a small farm town outside of Lancaster, Ohio as a multi-sport athlete playing football, wrestling, and racing motocross, with no dancing experience. After graduating from Amanda-Clearcreek Highschool, Bradley enlisted into the United States Marine Corps serving four years active duty where he would deploy with the 15th MEU in 2015. After this deployment he decided to leave the service and pursue a degree in either athletic training or personal training.

In 2017, he enrolled in classes at Otterbein University to earn his Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with a minor in nutrition. It was during this time where he would stumble into the Westerville Fred Astaire studio at the behest of a friend he met while on the competitive cheer team at Otterbein. It would be this “Screw it, why not” decision in August of 2018 that would lead Bradley to discover a love for dance he did not know he had, as well as a new career path. He currently competes professionally in the American Closed Smooth, American Open Smooth, and Cabaret divisions with his dance partner Renae Smith, while also teaching lessons at the Fred Astaire Powell studio sharing the joy and health benefits that partnership dancing provides with all who enter into this amazing world of ballroom dancing.

Born and raised in South Africa, my journey in the world of dance began at the tender age of 6 when I discovered my passion for ballroom and national senior student dancing. Competing at Dance Sport South Africa (DSSA) from a young age, I quickly made a name for myself in the world of ballroom and Latin American dance. Over the past 18 years, I have dedicated myself to honing my skills and becoming a top competitor in South Africa and beyond.

Want to Get Involved in our Dance Event?

We are always looking for enthusiastic and talented people to join our volunteer team.  If you would like to be a part of our next event, please add your contact information to the our Get Involved At Our Next Dance Event.

CONTACT US!