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"I tried lots of other things but my heart was always in teaching dance", says Rafal Lautenbach, a highly experienced, multi-talented dancer, who is accomplished not only in the ten dances of Ballroom and Latin, but Salsa and Argentine Tango too.
Born in Koszalin, in North Poland, Rafal started dancing when he was 12. He began to compete, first as a ten-dancer, later specialising in Latin, and at 22 he also started studying for his teaching qualification exams with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), one of the world's leading exam boards for ballroom.
In 2007, Rafal moved to London, which he considers "the capital of ballroom". In the UK, he has danced in a number of high-profile showcases and Strictly-style competitions and was picked to be part of the supporting cast for CheektoCheek, dancing alongside Strictly’s Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag.
A born dance teacher, Rafal’s love for ballroom and Latin shines through in his lessons. Although he can be tough on technique ("I always like to push my students slightly harder"), a compliment from him means all the more.
He first became interested in dancing at a very young age and started by learning ballet. Later he and his partner became Regional and National champions of Hungary in Latin and Ballroom as well as the Ten Dance category.
He graduated from the Hungarian Dance Academy teaching became his passion and this has been his profession for the past fifteen years.He was part of a Formation team that entered 'Hungary's Got Talent' and achieved a good result. The same team became Hungarian champions and competed in European and World Championships.
His extensive travel experiences to International competitions and invitations to give guest performances have given him amazing opportunities to exercise his passion for dance, to experience new environments and cultures and to meet with new people around the world.
Paulius Vaskelis is a top Latin dancer who has competed in the seven-time world champion Latin formation team Žuvėdra and won many championships with his competitive partners as well, including events at the Lithuanian Open.
Born in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, Paul started dancing ballroom and Latin at seven and began to compete at eight. He attended Ratuto, the best dance school in Lithuania, where Latin champion Andrius Kandelis used to dance. Paul competed in ballroom until he was 17 and went on to specialise in Latin.
Paul arrived in the UK in 2014. He says, “My ultimate goal is to go as far as I possibly can,” and he dreams of one day having his own studio. Paul competes and performs as Pro-Am partner, where his choreographic and teaching skills shine. Paul is a spectacular performer, a fantastic teacher and – very important! –huge fun.
Nuno Sabroso is a professional dancer, singer, choreographer and performer from Lisbon, Portugal. He just loves the stage! He is now producing his own Cabaret show.
Nuno’s training in ballroom and Latin American began over 15 years ago and since then dance has taken him all over the world. Nuno taught dance continuously for 9 years and is qualified in all styles of ballroom and Latin plus salsa, contemporary and jazz. After completing his BA degree in Dance he worked extensively in Portugal for equal opportunities and wheelchair dance achieving 3rd place at the World Championship as a standing partner.
Nuno recently worked as a choreographer and professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars Panama.
Nuno’s warm, contagious personality shines throughout his classes and he enjoys teaching people of all levels and abilities.
Paula Duarte has been dancing since the age of three and her early dance training involved ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. Whilst studying dance at University she was introduced to the Argentine Tango and fell completely in love with it. Since then she has devoted her life to learning, teaching, performing and perfecting the art of this bewitching dance in studios and festivals across the globe.
She has lived and taught in many European countries such as Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands and Austria. As she was often invited to teach and perform in the UK she decided to establish herself in London in 2013 and she now runs private and group lessons as well as delivering professional shows and demonstrations.
Daniel is a professional dancer, choreographer and qualified teacher. The majority of the past fourteen years have consisted of dance training in Ballroom and Latin, Salsa and Bachata and Argentine Tango. Recently he has invested a great deal of time in learning about the technique and the evolution of the dances he specialises in.
Born in Malaga, in South of Spain. Daniel started dancing when he was six years old. He began competing when he was eight years old, winning the European Retro Championship. Subsequently, he won a several National Championships and was a finalist in many International Championships in the Ten Dance category.He arrived London in 2016. He says: “My main goal is to inspire people to dance and create a new dance generation where there are no rules and limits. Dance is a means of expressing your feelings with your body which you can’t do if you hold back”.
Daniel is a very talented dancer with a real skill for teaching and making even the most nervous clients feel confident. He has already become one of our favourites. He is qualified as a Salsa teacher and is also able to teach Ballroom and Latin.
Catalin Valcu is from Moldova. He started dancing Ballroom when he was five years old. He soon knew that dancing is something more than a hobby and it became his passion. With hard work and dedication he managed to perfect his skills and won The Championship of Moldova for five years in a row starting in 2010. This was when he decided to make a career out of what he truly enjoys and loves doing.
At the World Championship in 2014 he reached the semi-final and a year later started to dance for Germany where he met Pavel Paseschnik who taught him everything a professional dancer has to know. Moving to London was a hard decision but he knows that it was a right one.
He is now working as a Teacher and Professional Partner for Simply Dancing Partners and tells me that he is enjoying working with amazing people who continue to inspire and motivate him to continue doing his job the best way he can.Catalin has been a big hit with our clients who find him very encouraging and patient.
Elza is from Riga, Latvia and is a professional ballroom dancer. During her competitive career she concentrated on Latin American dancing, reaching many finals and won several international competitions.
Her highest achievements include winning the UK Championships Latin Amateur Rising Stars, the prestigious semi-final in International Championships in the Royal Albert Hall, the final in the Imperial Championships and many more.
Since then, she has performed in several shows such as the Broadway production of ‘Burn The Floor’ in the USA. She was also a professional dancer on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ in Latvia.
Elza is licensed as a judge in Latvia for competitions based on the International syllabus of Ballroom and Latin dancing.
Elza strongly believes that dancing can become a part of lifestyle for everyone as she speaks for herself- after 20 years in the industry she can't imagine a day without it! Come and dance with her!
Simply Dancing Partners Ltd Registered Office: Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll Street, London W1F 7LD. Registered in England.
Company Registration Number: 05716025