Karen has been dancing all her life including ballet to ballroom and other styles. Since becoming involved in the dance community 30 years ago, she has been a member of the Paducah Dance Academy, Derby City Bop Club, Music City Bop Club, LEXDANCE Club, USA Dance, and is part of the Gulf Breeze Bop Club founding team. Karen has taught swing and ballroom dance classes in Paducah, Lexington, Somerset and Northern Kentucky. She is a guest instructor at local USA dances, and has taught many private classes across the county. Karen has served as President of LEXDANCE Dance Club for the past two years, and was instrumental in organizing that club. In 2016 she was inducted into the National Living Legends of Dance Hall of Fame.
Doug and Jane Harrington
Doug and Jane Harrington have been members of the Tampa Bay Beach Boppers for twenty-five years. They fell in love with the Carolina Shag the first time they were exposed to it in 1993 and have faithfully supported the dance community and the music ever since. In addition to their love of dance, Jane is a highly respected DJ and is known for her ability to play songs that delights a variety of dancers that love to Shag, Bop, West Coast Swing, and East Coast Swing. Jane has been a featured DJ at “Sweet Home Chicago” and Tampa Bay’s “Beach Boogie” for the past ten years. Jane is TBBB’s club DJ while Doug assists her in a supporting role. Doug and Jane are both members of the National Living Legions of Dance, Florida Shag Dance Hall of Fame, and Tampa Bay Beach Boppers Hall of Fame. Doug and Jane were inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame in 2018.
Although Cindy is a registered nurse with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Master’s degree in Theology, dance has been the common thread throughout her life. Cindy began dancing at the age of 9, studying ballet, tap, jazz and what was then called “modern” dance, focusing primarily on ballet. She studied ballet in New Jersey, Manhattan and London, England. Cindy danced professionally with two ballet companies and feels blessed to have experienced the travel and opportunities this afforded her. As a ballroom dancer Cindy has competed in all four categories - American Smooth and Rhythm and International Standard and Latin. She has received many years of instructor training with Bruce Akioka of Aki’s Dance studio as well as coaching from professionals with training from the United States and Europe. She has taught group classes and private lessons, choreographed for weddings and exhibitions, and currently teaches at Elegant Studios in Fort Myers, Florida.
Mike and Debbe Lapina
Debbe and Mike Lapina have been members of Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club since 1993 and have been the club dance instructors since 1995. They have done everything from scheduling, instructing, designing flyers, handling registration, to creating workshops, to name a few duties. When they attend dances, Debbe and Mike never miss an opportunity to seek out and dance with new students which encourages the students and provides them with a sense of belonging to the club. They are well known nationally and provide exhibitions and instruction throughout the ABA circuit. They always have "one more dance" left in them for anyone, regardless of their dance ability. See a demonstration dance here.
James Clemens, who owns Modern Steps Dance Studio, started his Ballroom Dancing career with his wife and partner Tammy Clemens in 1984. Together they competed professionally around the country in the American Smooth Division.
“My favorite part of Ballroom Dancing is the Social Dancing. No Judges. No routines. Just my partner, the music, and me. Though social dancing is where I find the most joy, I could never dance with any partner the way I am able, had I not competed and performed first. Testing and pushing myself in competitions and shows prepared me to be able to dance with anyone, regardless of their skill level.”