Meet Our Accomplished Panel of Experts

Liz McGiffin – Master of Ceremonies

Meteorologist at NBC4

Liz McGiffin is a meteorologist at NBC4 in Columbus. 

Liz earned her degree in atmospheric science, and minored in math at University of Missouri.  She started doing TV weather at the local NBC affiliate while she was a still a student, and made her first on-air appearance her sophomore year.  Her career has taken her from Missouri to Oregon and how to the Buckeye State, where our crazy weather keeps her busy! 

Liz grew up golfing, swimming, dancing, and being involved with as much as possible!  As far as dance experience goes, Liz grew up doing just about everything that her dance studio offered including ballet, modern, jazz and tap. 

While she was living in Oregon, Liz started taking west coast swing dance classes.  She hasn’t had a chance to learn about other partner dances, but loves the opportunity to get connected to people through dance.

Liz is a member of the American Meteorological Society, and has served on several committees including ones that help to plan part of the annual conference.  She loves giving back to her community, and her family hosts an annual golf tournament that raises money for Head For The Cure. 

Louis van Amstel – Judge

Three-time World Dance Champion and Emmy-nominated choreographer

Louis van Amstel is best known for his ten stunning turns on the smash hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” Louis has enjoyed amazing seasons on the show with partners such as Paula Deen, Trista Sutter, Lisa Rinna, Monique Coleman, and Priscilla Presley.  In Season 9, Louis was partnered with Kelly Osbourne, whom he helped transform from underdog to fan favorite and lost 35 lbs along the way. In the following seasons Louis partnered Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho, Kendra Wilkinson, and Sabrina Bryan in the All-star season. This Fall, Louis is joining the Dutch version of “Dancing with the Stars” as an expert judge on the nations biggest TV-network.

Louis served as Choreographer, creative director, and performer, for the immensely popular “Dancing with the Stars” live tours in 2006 and 2007. His creative vision helped to make the tours one of the most successful live shows.  

In 2008, Louis was sworn-in as an American citizen, which marks a very proud mile stone for the Dutch-born dancer.

In 2009, he served as a choreographer on FOX’s dance hit show “So You Think You Can Dance,” marking the first time any “DWTS” talent had crossed over to work on both shows at the same time. Three of the seven dances he choreographed made it to the finale and were mentioned as the judges’ favorite picks at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. With much pride he continues choreographing on the groundbreaking show currently on its 13th season.

For the past ten years Louis has traveled the world developing his revolutionary dance fitness program LaBlast. This program is based on all the dances seen on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon and currently has over 3500 instructors (lablastfitness.com).

“LaBlast” is completely partner free, uses music from ALL artists, genres, eras, and is a “workout in disguise” LaBlast has been featured on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “Dr. Oz,”, “The Talk,” where Louis demonstrates how LaBlast burns away the calories, promotes fun fitness, and helps people create a healthier lifestyle. “This program is for people who think they can’t dance or have two left feet, as it offers multiple levels catering to everyone, from the absolute beginner to the already experienced dancer!” van Amstel says. He has established himself as the world’s foremost expert on fitness through dance!

In the off seasons from “DWTS”, Louis has choreographed and appeared on ABC’s “Agent Carter,” choreographed for Fox’s “Lie to Me” and he trained the contestants on the ABC reality show, “The Bachelor Pad.” His other choreography credits include sitcoms such as “Hanna Montana” and “Happily Divorced”. Additionally, Louis has had guest-star cameos on “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody”, “All My Children”, “Million Dollar Match Maker”, and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva!,” where he was reunited with his former “DWTS” partner Margaret Cho. 

A well-known and respected figure in the dance world, Louis is one of the most experienced professionals on “Dancing with the Stars,” having coached many of the pro dancers before the show started, helping further their careers. Louis was also helpful in getting most of them involved with “DWTS,” and he had the pleasure of competing with fellow pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, and they became finalists in every major Championship Worldwide in 1999 and in the United States Latin Champions in 2000.

At the age of ten Louis first began his dance career training in a theatre school where he gained a background in ballet, tap and jazz while simultaneously engaging in rigorous Ballroom dance competitions. As a young adult he attended the University of the Arts in Amsterdam to further strengthen his skills. Training under lifelong dance coach and mentor Dr. Ruud Vermeij, Louis is a student of Laban choreology and is well-versed in human movement behavior.

During his competitive ballroom dance career, Louis has amassed a staggering number of accolades, including: 7-time Dutch National Amateur Champion, European Amateur Latin Champion, 2-time World Amateur Latin Champion, Grand Slam Amateur Latin Champion, World Professional Showdance Champion and Professional World Latin Finalist.

Three years after immigrating to the US in 1999, Louis created his own Broadway production of “Latin Fusion,” a feature production of Ballroom dancing at City Center in New York City. The success of “Latin Fusion” resulted in a second creative effort, “Latin Revolution,” in Salt Lake City, 2004. Many of the past and current Pro dancers of “DWTS” where part of these productions.

 One of the world’s foremost experts in dance fitness, Louis is incredibly passionate about his craft, and firmly believes that dance is not only a beautiful art form, but can also offer an incredible way to get people in the best shape of their lives.  Whatever it takes, Louis will continue to dance his way into all of our hearts, as he believes that nothing will stop him, and nothing can stop you!

Kimberley Mitchell – Judge

Kimberley Mitchell Studios

British and American National Latin Dance Champion. Travels the country as a Judge for National Dance Council of America competitions. 

As a Consultant Kimberley works with dance studios across the country, educating their staff and students virtually and in person.

Being the Dance Director for Fred Astaire Columbus, she has familiarized herself with the franchise curriculum, and can now add her own flare and knowledge to support in building the Ohio region.

She also has the great privilege to have two children, Ava and her Husband.

Joseph Morrer – Judge

Musician and Comedian

Joseph Moorer has been performing in Columbus since 2003. He then joined The Conspiracy Band in 2009, and an improv comedy group in 2013. You can find him covering your favorite songs, taking a picture of you having a good time, making you laugh at an Affirmative Distraction improv show, or being a loving father to his daughter Emerald.

Last year, he and Amy Ross of The Crystal Ballroom Dance Centet added “ballroom dancing” to his resume. This year, a new entry. “Special Guest High Judge of Ballroom Dancing Competition and Performance” (self proclaimed). And he’s not going to make it easy for you, Vince Workman!  #TheMoorerYouKnow

Want to be a Judge or Alternate Judge?

We are always looking for enthusiastic and talented people to join our volunteer team. If this sounds like you, contact us and let us know you’re interested. We will contact you with more details on how you can make Dance With Our Columbus Stars 2020 the best Bryon Sanders Foundation event ever!

CONTACT US!