Our San Francisco Dance Instructors


Arto began dancing in the age of 9 in Moscow, training with world renowned dancesport coaches including Shirley Ballas, Colin James, Dmitry Timokhin, Slavik Kryklyvyy, and Donny Burns. He quickly became one of the most distinguished dancers in his category and, with a world class status, began representing Russia internationally. At the age of 18, Arto moved to America where his successful competitive career continued in both the amateur and professional divisions. He has trained competitive couples and pro-am students of all ages – many of which have gone on to win national titles. He is one of the most sought-out dance instructors in the Bay Area. Arto has performed for Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) as well as with a cast from So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Now the proud owner of Genesis DanceSport Studio, Arto continues to perform and compete both professionally and with Pro-Am students.

Arto Tsaturyan


Irina is a trained professional specializing in Latin American Dancing, bringing extensive education, experience and expertise in the areas of dance, teaching, competing and performing. She has trained with world-class coaches and has captured numerous prominent titles across North America, including: North-American Under-21 Latin Finalist, Canadian Youth and Under21 Latin Finalist, Canadian Amateur 10-Dance Finalist. Irina believes that dancing should be a fun, liberating and energizing experience that heightens awareness of the body and creates a unique connection between people. From working with newcomers, wedding couples, competitive dancers and pro/am students, Irina strives to meet the needs of each individual or couple. She loves to share her passion with her students and feels rewarded seeing how dancing brings joy to people’s lives.

Irina Goncharouk


Our Ukrainian instructor Natalie started discovering the dancing world when she was 7 years old. Before she found her passion for ballroom dancing, she enjoyed ballet, modern, and folk dancing in her local studio. Each style stimulated the development of her dance ability and her competitive success. As her star continued to rise, Natalie found passion in sharing her knowledge and inspiring the love of dance in students of all ages. Her top priority as a teacher is to bring out confidence in her students, giving them the ability to enjoy dancing at every level. For this, and many other reasons, Natalie has quickly become one of the most adored instructors at Genesis Dancesport Studio.



Photis, a Greek Cypriot, first performed Folk Dancing in Kindergarten continuing through his teenage years. While attending college in Athens, Greece, he taught ballroom dance at the Gene Kelly School before completing a choreography program in Berlin, Germany and opening his own ballroom dance school in Cyprus. Photis moved to San Francisco in 1994 where he taught for Arthur Murray’s Dance studio for 8 years.
Photis established Vima Dance Studio in San Francisco in 2005 – 2014. Competing in the US, Canada and Europe, Photis and his dance partner, Ron, won the 2012 US and California and the 2013 US and North America Men’s Ballroom Standard champions. They got a GOLD medal in the 2013 World OutGames in Antwerp!
 Their most recent exciting accomplishment was winning silver medals for the world championships in Men’s Ballroom and Latin division at the 9th Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio. Photis is a certified professional ballroom dance instructor and has competed Pro-Am with Students as well as professionally in Dance Sport competitions, earning him a Top Teacher Award.
He dances Country Western and studied clogging with Barbary Coast Cloggers. Photis is a founding member of the all male performance group Vima Vice squad who are the reigning 2011 – 2014 US and 2013 North America Formation Team Champions. Recently Vima Vice Squad won the world championship with a gold medal at the 2014, Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photis Pishiaras


Teaching dance since 1993, Garry Johnson has earned a reputation as a knowledgable dancer and teacher. He truly loves to share what he has learned with dancers of all levels. He found dancing through a push from his mom at a young age, and loves to recount his beginnings, so don’t be shy to ask him.  Garry specializes in teaching the fine art of social dancing, and believes it should be treated, and studied as seriously as “competitive” dancing.  He considers himself an eternal student of dance and music: This includes studying and doing other dance styles and percussion to increase his Jedi powers. Garry says “you never really know from reading a bio on the Internet if someone is the right dance teacher for you, so the best thing to do is come try a class in person. I am very proud of the Bay Area social dance scene, we have one of the best. Hope to see you become part of it.”

Garry Johnson


Irina began dancesport at the age of six and have been competing for over 20 years. From 1991 to 2004 represented Russia in dance championships and became the finalist and the winner of numerous ballroom dancing competitions of such countries as Russia, USA, France, Denmark, Poland and Lithuania. During 2000-2001 worked as an instructor and choreographer assistant and since 2002 as a full-time instructor at DanceSport School “Oniona” Kaliningrad, Russia. September of 2002 until May of 2004 worked as a teacher of ballroom dancing at the Children School of Art, Municipal Educational Establishment of Kaliningrad region, Russia. In 2002 received the title of Candidate of Master of Sport and attained the Adjudicator’s License through the Russian DanceSport Federation. In 2005 moved to San Francisco to continue her dancing career and to share her love of dance with students at Genesis DanceSport Academy.

Key dance achievements:

  • 2001 1st Place – Open Cup of Kaliningrad Region – Kaliningrad, Russia
  • 2002 received the title of Candidate Master of Sport of the Russian Federation
  • 2002 1st Place – International Dancesport Championship – Torun, Poland
  • 2009 Finalist – USA Dance Southwest Dance Sport Championship-San Jose
  • 2009 1st Place – USA Dance California State DanceSport Classic, Oakland
  • 2010 1st Place – USA Dance Southwest Regional Championships, Long Beach
  • 2010 1st Place – USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. Pre-champ Latin, Los Angeles
  • 2010 1st Place – Annual Cardinal Classic, Stanford
Irina Decoux


Andriy Besyedin was born in Kharkov, Ukraine he started dancing when he was 7 years old. Shortly after he started competing Andriy was placing in finals of prestigious competitions around the world. Andriy was trained by Top World coaches including: Barbara McColl, Graham Oswick, Gaynor Fairweither, Mirko Saccani, Michael Stylianos and many others. Under the guidance of these world renowned coaches Andriy reached results such as:

  • 5th place in the Dutch Open Championship (Youth II, Latin) in Assen, Netherlands.
  • Vice-champion of the Zerkalnaya Struya-EDSF European Championship (Youth II, Latin) in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
  • Semifinalist of the Imperial Championship (Youth U21, Latin) in London, England
  • Winner of the Parade of Hopes-IDSA European Championship (Youth I, Latin) in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • 4th place in the Blackpool Dance Festival (Juniors II, Latin) in Blackpool, England.

At age of 19, Andriy moved to New York to continue his competitive dancing career in the amateur division. He is a certified DIVIDA teacher in all four styles (International latin, International standard, American Rhythm and American smooth). Now Andriy moved to San Francisco to continue his career and share his knowledge with kids and adults!


Julian and Claudia have been dancing the Argentine Tango in San Francisco since the community began establishing in the Bay Area in the early 1990’s.  World-renowned performers and instructors from Buenos Aires who have their own unique way of dancing have ultimately influenced Julian and Claudia’s own signature style. The versatility of their self expression is one that can reflect the unique and innate qualities of a true milonguero/salon style, raw and understated, with a profound subtle interpretation of music, to a more modern version incorporating highly innovative complex patterns with sensual and dynamic movements.

Along with teaching weekly classes, they host weekly milongaspracticas.


Raffaele Sabato is a professional ballroom dancer, instructor and judge. Originally from the beautiful town of Ginosa, Italy, Raffaele moved to the US in the 2010 and has since established himself as one of the few Dance Artists who has maintained permanent self-employment without any sponsor or studio’s employment.

Starting at the young age of 6 in ballet, Raffaele soon switched disciplines to Ballroom and has since acquired over 20 years of experience, training with top coaches from all over the world. His elegant style is expressed by his unique approach of developing efficient body mechanics to achieve elegance in movement in combination with musicality.

Competing in the Pro-Am division, his students have achieved great results, training from the ground up and/or strengthening their fundamentals to improve and enjoying dance at any skill level. His natural talent for teaching coupled with a great personality and dedication to support of his students make their learning experience a positive and fulfilling journey.

Achievements include:

– World Pro Am finalist

– USPro Am finalist

– Pro Am Best of the Best Champions

– Finalist in most prestigious Pro-Am competitions in the US

He currently teaches primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, but will travel outside California to meet the needs of his students.


In 1991, Pascale taught her first classes as a guest at Marin Ballet and Contra Costa Ballet, and also at the Ruby Christensen School in Mill Valley. The following year she was teaching company class at the Compagnie Nomades in Vevey, Switzerland, where she was also dancing. Upon her return in San Francisco, Lola d’Avila invited her to teach for the SFB School 1993 Summer Session, and she was subsequently asked to join the  faculty. Over the years she has taught all levels of Technique, Pointe and Repertoire, and rehearsed the students in the company productions of Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty.

She started teaching adult classes in several studios in the mid 90’s for advanced professionals and dedicated amateurs alike.

She was awarded the first endowed position in the association in October 2012 and recognized as special” representative of the SFB ethos”.

For more information, please visit http://www.pascaleleroyballetcenter.com/


Danielle is a San Francisco native, and has been dancing ever since she could remember. Up until the age of 13, Danielle was training under the coaching of a Russian Olympic Rhythmic Gymnast, and even won a Silver Medal at the Gymnastics Junior Olympics. She had to quit gymnastics due to an injury, but discovered a new passion for Ballroom Dance shortly thereafter. In addition to Ballroom Dance, she has training in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Bachata. Danielle has had the pleasure to train under some of the most influential international coaches in Ballroom Dance. She loves to work with students of all levels and backgrounds, and share her passion for dancing.

Some of her recent competition results include:

Finalist – 2014 U.S National Amateur Dancesport Championships
1st place – Vegas Open Dance Challenge
1st place – California Open Dancesport Championships
1st place – International Grand Ball
1st place – City Lights Ball