PROFESSIONAL BALLROOM / PROFESSIONAL LATIN / AMATEUR BALLROOM / AMATEUR LATIN / TEN-DANCE / AMERICAN SMOOTH / YOUNGSTERS / SENIOR / WHEELCHAIR
Petar Daskalov & Zia James
British Amateur Latin Champions Petar & Zia have firmly established themselves as regular finalists in the Amateur Latin division. Since starting to dance together in 2013 after Petar chased Zia for four years, they've always been one of the leading couples nationally, winning four British Nationals Amateur Latin titles. They made their first Blackpool Amateur Latin final in 2016, finishing in sixth place having only made the top 28 the year before and they describe this as one of their most special moments. Since then there's been no looking back as they have constantly put pressure on the other leading Amateur Latin couples around them. Their favourite dance is the Paso Doble.
They joined our #IDSEliteTeam in 2015 though they had been wearing our shoes for years before! Petar wears our 'Rumba' in Black Calf and Zia wears our 'LTB' in Tan Satin, although she has often worn our 'Mia T-Bar' in Tan Satin, Gold and sometimes even Black Satin. You can follow Zia on Instagram here.
Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze
Austin & Nino joined the #IDSEilteTeam in 2015 having started to dance together in 2014. Since then, they've rocketed through the rankings and have firmly cemented their place in the upper echelons of Amateur Latin, with their proudest moment coming when they reached their first Amateur Latin Final at Blackpool in 2017.
Austin's favourite dance is the Samba and for Nino it's the Rumba. Their many dance inspirations include Donnie Burns, Vibeke Toft and Franco Formica and outside of dance, Austin is a big Basketball fan and Nino is into her fashion.
Joel Lopez & Kristina Bespechnova
Joel & Kristina have been part of the #IDSEliteTeam longer than most couples, having been a charismatic and forever entertaining part of our team since 2014!
These passionate dancers, now based in Hong Kong, teamed up having talked at a World Youth Championship in China many years ago and despite now being established finalists and semi-finalists in major competitions across the world, meeting each-other is what they consider their greatest achievement.
Off the dance floor, Joel can often be found in the gym, which is where 99% of his Instagram stories are filmed. Kristina loves her yoga and psychology.
Carlos Gu & Susan Sun
Lloyd Perry & Rebecca Scott
Having been a part of our #IDSEliteTeam since they were Juniors, we've worked with Lloyd & Rebecca through an impressive rise which includes them winning the Under 21 Latin Championships at Blackpool in 2017, their greatest achievement so far.
Lloyd looks up to the famous Slavik Kryklyvyy and Rebecca takes inspiration from the sensational Ina Jeliazkova. Off the floor, Lloyd enjoys boxing and Rebecca enjoys yoga.
Oleg Skaskiv & Viktoriya Maister
Artem Liaskovsky & Kseniya Zaputryaeva
Giacomo Ballarin & Alessia Altieri
Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze
Oskar Odiakosa & Lauren Claydon
Despite having known each other since they were kids training at JJ Dance Studios, Oskar & Lauren only formed their partnership in 2020 and became a part of our #IDSEliteTeam in 2021.
Whilst Lauren holds her hands up to being the most bossy in practice, Oskar is the more creative in the partnership. Lauren loves a Rumba but Oskar feels that he connects with the Samba the most - identifying with the music, the character of the dance and the complexity of the variation of the rhythms. Oskar is West-African, and with the origins of the Samba associated with Africa - naturally feels a strong connection.
So far their greatest achievement is winning the South African Open Championships in 2020 - an event they loved and found inspiring such was the diversity of the backgrounds of the competitors taking to the floor. As for individual inspirations, Lauren loves the artistry and expression of Ina Jeliazkova. Oskar looks up to Motsi Mabuse as a huge influence on him. She was the first Black woman he ever saw competing in Latin American dancing and it is this that gave him the confidence and belief to take his first steps on the competition floor.
Away from the dance floor, Lauren loves to play netball whilst Oskar enjoys quizzes and working out in the gym. Oskar also has a huge passion for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives which help advocate for the voices of people in marginalised communities.
Of our shoes, they love the fit, feeling and innovation in them and recognise the importance in the recent additions to our Nude collection in encouraging greater inclusivity in dance.
Their fun fact is that one of them suffered a dramatic fall at the UK Closed Amateur Latin competition, bringing a halt to the competition with a requirement for a medical escort off the floor. They won't tell us though so if you're reading this and see them - please find out for us!
Oskar wears 'Rumba XG' in Black Calf and Lauren wears 'Elena' in Tan Satin. They teach at JJ Dance Studios (click here to visit their website) and you can follow Oskar on Instagram by clicking here and Lauren by clicking here.