Meet your New USA Dance Officials
Jean Mills Krupa and Katrina Volgina were not present for Zoom call
President - Ken Richards
In case you were wondering who that guy is that you just elected president – here is some insight.
My mother was an Arthur Murray teacher at the 79th Street Studio in Miami, during the late 1950s. She gave up all that fun and glamour to have me — an only child, left-handed, Virgo with a moon in Scorpio… That may be too much information, but I will continue.
Happy memories, of my mother standing me on her feet to teach me a box step, led me to apply for a job as a part-time Arthur Murray teacher, while working my way through community college.
That was when trainees had to commit to three months of training, for four hours a night, five days a week, without pay, in a sequestered room to earn their bronze level certification and meet their first students. What a blast…me and three young ladies, training until 10 p.m. and then hitting the discos to try out our new moves! The dancing “bug” bit me hard.
After a progressive career inside the franchise system, as a teacher and competitive dancer, I opened a small independent dance studio. While competing Pro/Am at the 1986 U.S. Championships at the Fontainebleau, I met my wife-to-be, Roseanna, who was sponsoring the Italian and French teams for the World Professional 10-Dance Championships and Team Match. Lucky for me, the Poodle Lounge in the hotel’s lobby was a great place to unwind and go dancing after the day’s competition. All the top dancers in the world were gathered in that club and somehow, I managed to convince Roseanna to write her phone number on a napkin, that I still have after 30+ years of marriage.
During the early years, I went back to school to secure my Bachelor of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business, while freelance teaching and helping Roseanna run her special-occasion dress shop in Delaware. My job was pretty easy, hang out by the dressing room and tell the customers that the dresses made them look great! I also occasionally danced them around the store to see how fabulous they were going to look at the charity ball.
We spent seven years living back in Miami, while I worked as the Marketing Director for the Arthur Murray franchise headquarters. This provided time to finish my Master of Business Administration and to connect with many facets of the dance world. We then went back to Delaware, where Roseanna began to assume management and eventual ownership of her family business.
After working in the world of marketing and advertising for a number of years, including seven years as marketing manager for twelve automotive franchises in the DC metro area, we decided to open the BlueBallRoom Dance Studio, with the goal of providing dancers with an elegant ballroom for training and dancing.
Of course, volunteering for USA Dance has been a big part of my life since joining the organization’s Governing Council, after an introduction from Vivian Beiswenger, the senior vice president back in 1997. Now, I look forward to the next four years as your president with Roseanna, Bella, and Luna (our two Chinese cresteds) by my side.
Secretary - Roger Greenawalt
First, many thanks to our members who elected me national secretary. I welcome the opportunity to once again serve USA Dance, this time in a different capacity.
I have been a 27-year nonstop volunteer for USA Dance. Markers along the way include:
- Founding the Indianapolis chapter in 1993. I have been an active volunteer for the chapter ever since.
- Serving as initial chapter president and returning as president two years ago.
- Helping coordinate 20+ chapter-hosted competitions, including the 1998 National Championships.
- Helping start three other Indiana chapters: South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Kokomo.
- With my wife, Amy, winning more than a dozen national titles in Rhythm, Smooth, and 9-Dance.
- Serving as a DanceSport delegate 15+ years, representing athletes on the Board of Directors.
- Cofounding a 501(c)(3) dance event that raises funds to teach Special Olympics athletes to dance, gives them an exhibition opportunity, and provides funds for their participation in a special-needs USA Dance competition in Fort Wayne. I also assisted the Fort Wayne competition organizer in launching that event.
- Assisting with area Dancing With the Stars-type fundraisers since 2008.
Amy and I have always been active social dancers and members of two or three additional dance clubs, and have volunteered within them as well. In the “pre-COVID” environment, it was not unusual for us to attend three social dances a week, in addition to taking lessons and practicing.
Many years ago, I signed up for a beginning dance class, and one other person showed up without a partner (Amy). We recently celebrated our 34th anniversary and continue to share a passion for dance. It has brought innumerable blessings into our lives, including my current honor of serving our members as national secretary.
With my background, I plan to be a voice on the Board for all dancers, social and competitive. I understand and appreciate the challenges that chapters face, and can speak to those issues as well as those of competition organizers.
I am committed, as is the new Board, to greater transparency and providing pertinent information in a timelier fashion.
If you have questions and are not sure where to direct them, don’t hesitate to contact me. If I don’t know the answer, I likely can track down the person who does and will be glad to help.
DanceSport Vice President - Katrina Volgina
My passion for ballroom dance began in Vladivostok, Russia. I danced competitively for 20 years, representing Russia at international competitions, and taught children and adults, from my home country to as far as Hong Kong. However, in 2007, I decided to move to the United States in pursuit of my ambitious plans of opening a studio and becoming a successful dance coach on the other side of the world.
I currently live in Atlanta, GA, where I founded a team of some of the most amazing and talented young dancers: Volga Dance Academy. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling all over the world in support of my students, who represented the United States in places like Italy, Ukraine, and anywhere in between. My students are also a vital asset when it comes to teaching the younger generation of dancers, and I couldn’t be more proud of them for stepping up as assistant coaches. Along with my huge team of ballroom dancers, I own a child development center, clothing line, online fitness program, and two annual competitions: Volga Cup and Atlanta DanceSport Cup. Needless to say, my decision to move to the United States was a good one.
Although I feel as if I am a mother to all my students, I am happily married and have two children of my own: my 14-year-old daughter Kiana, who I hope will out-dance her mother someday, and a one-year-old son Armando-Ruslan, who already bounces around at the beat of samba music. Regardless of whether they choose to continue dance or not, I want my children to have the ability to grow within a strong federation of amateur youth couples.
I am very proud to be the Vice President of DanceSport in USA Dance, and I am looking forward to developing the future of USA Dance and all of its members together.
COVID-19 has impacted the whole world and my studio is no exception. I understand that many of us feel restricted to do what we love, but we must stay strong. These unprecedented times are temporary and these difficulties should not outweigh our love for ballroom dancing. Keeping that in mind, if we work hard, maintain discipline, and show up instead of showing off, we will be very successful in the world arena.
Professional Vice President - Vladimir Karpov
I was born in Moscow, Russia and began dancing at the age of six-and-a-half. I took interest in the venture because I fell in love with a girl who went to those dance classes. Three months later, after I began dancing in a couple with this young love, the girl sadly was to relocate and could not continue dancing together in a pair with me. This did not stop me from continuing on a journey that shaped and continues to shape my life’s career and pathway – it all began in Moscow’s “Russian Club”.
My competitive career began at the age of eight, and I ended up dancing my first competition with four different partners. A year later, at the age of nine, I became the Vice-Champion of Moscow in the “E” Class, competing in the six-dance program. After some time, I transitioned into the Junior I age division and began dancing with a new partner my age. After only half a year of dancing together, we went to our first-ever international competition, the German Open Championship, one of the most prestigious competitions of the DanceSport world. We ended up winning the Junior 1 Latin Championship, taking 3rd in Standard, and 3rd in 10-Dance.
I soon became the Champion of Russia and won all major Russian events. With my partner, Elena Erchova, I also achieved becoming 4th in the World Championship, a semi-finalist of the Junior Blackpool Dance Festival in Latin and standard, and made the final in the Viennese Waltz at the Junior Blackpool Dance Festival.
In 2007, at 22 years of age, I began dancing with Maria Tzaptashvili, with whom I danced Latin and Show Dance until 2013. The year of 2013 was the time when we were deemed one of the best couples of Show Dance and took part in the first-ever, and last, World DanceSport Games in Kaohsiung of the Chinese Taipei. We were victorious in being crowned the Show Dance Latin Champions. Our passionate Show Dances have received worldwide recognition and led to invitations to perform around the globe for both dance and non-dance audiences. At the highest point of our careers, Masha and I were ranked 5th in the WDSF World Ranking List.
My competitive titles include but are not limited to: World Latin Show Dance Champion, two-time World Cup Amateur Latin Champion, Latin Champion of the first World DanceSport Games, as well as the Russian Latin National Champion in both the Professional and Amateur divisions.
For the last six years, I have been living in the United States, and now live in Staten Island New York with my beautiful wife, son and daughter. I work in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia where I have coached and trained couples who have become USA National Champions, World Championships finalists, and one time World Game representatives.
Social Vice President - Jean Mills Krupa
I am originally and still from Daytona Beach, FL. I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up here and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I have had a very diverse life, road riding for pleasure and competing in motorcycle trials during my 20’s and 30’s. I worked for an electric motor repair shop and trained in rewinding and rebuilding motors up to 200 hp. After 20+ years, I wanted to do something different and, being very good with my hands, fell into a career as an esthetician/massage therapist.
During my motherhood years, I was active with my son in Boy Scouts, taught some Merit Badge classes, and even earned my own Wood Badge Beads as an adult leader, (the second woman in Florida to do so). It was not easy, but nothing worthwhile is.
At age 36, I gave up motorcycles, took up swing dancing, and quickly moved on to ballroom dances. My life has been a whirlwind ever since. We formed a club and then merged into USABDA. I started out on the social committee and eventually served in all four offices.
I also dabbled in local Pro-Am competitions over the last several years. I achieved a bucket-list item in 2019 of becoming a USISTD certified dance instructor, and hope to add more certifications in the future. In addition, I teach in after-school programs for 4th and 5th graders at several local elementary schools.
I was raised with the sense of responsibility and unique desire to give back and do my civic duty. I belonged to several clubs during my teen and young-adult life and always was driven to ask, how can “I” help. I try to convey this attitude to others and show how rewarding it is not just to belong, but to be a part of a social group, planning, and organization.
Now, I can’t imagine a life without dancing. The friends I have made over the past 30 years have been a blessing and serving on the National Board brought me such opportunities to travel across the United States and meet other members/dancers/friends all over. All have added greatly to my happiness, and now I get to do it all again. I hope to meet more of you soon and renew acquaintances from the past during my term as Social Vice President.
DanceSport Delegate - Eric Austin
My wife and I met through MIT Dance Club group lessons and continued to dance while finishing our degrees and getting married. After a few years we had our first daughter and then the second and that pretty much took all of our time outside of work for the next 12 years. Eventually we decided to try practicing together once a week just to get out of the house and get some exercise with no particular goal of competing together. Then during one of our practices we saw a flyer for the 2016 New England DanceSport Championships. We had never seen a USA Dance competition and had no idea what to expect, so we entered Silver and Gold Standard in Senior II and Senior III and hoped for the best. It was a blast, so we looked up the next competition, Carolina Fall Classic, and moved up to Gold and Novice. Then at Chicago and MAC we did Novice and Pre-champ, and finally did Championship at the Mid-Atlantic. They were all a lot of fun and we were hooked.
I have only been competing with USA Dance since 2016, but in just these few years I have seen a decrease in the number of competitors. I have not paid that much attention to the organizational side of USA Dance up until now, but I thought that I would see if I could help the organization grow back to what it was by becoming a DanceSport Delegate. As I get toward the end of my regular working career and so have more time to devote to other activities, I want to make sure that there are lots of competition opportunities around for quite a while. I would like to make it to Senior V and still be going strong in competition.
DanceSport, along with so many other group activities, has suffered significantly over the past couple of months due to the pandemic. Even before the pandemic we saw reduced attendance at several major competitions over the past couple of years. It is important that USA Dance do all that it can to make sure that we regain a strong network of events, both from the viewpoint of the competitors and for the organizers.
A new approach to doing this that has come out of the pandemic is the innovation of virtual competitions. We want to develop policies that encourage and guide organizers into this new arena so that it is a good and fair experience for the competitors and so we can keep people engaged and looking forward to the new normal of competition, whatever that will be. We may decide that there is a role for virtual competition for quite a while even after we are able to start in-person comps again.
Another big challenge for the DanceSport Council is to work with USA Breakin’ to figure out how to fold in Breakin’ competitions under the USA Dance umbrella. With Breaking getting the nod for the 2024 Paris Olympics, they are appropriately a focus of much attention. But no one wants or expects USA Dance to give up on the importance of ballroom dancing to the organization. So how we bring the two organizations together to the benefit of both is the work of several years with long lasting implications. In my view, DanceSport as a concept encompasses all dances that structure themselves as a competitive sport, Ballroom, Breaking, Rock & Roll, Boogie-Woogie, etc. Many of these have their own organizations and are doing just fine, but if the WDSF and USA Dance are to be the Olympic organizations for DanceSport then we need to be open to incorporating those other styles if they want to go in that direction.
I would like to encourage anyone who has questions or comments about what the DanceSport Council is doing to contact me.
DanceSport Delegate - Igor Golovach
I started dancing when I was five years old in the Ukraine, and my dancing journey has brought me many bright memories and unforgettable emotions. It has also introduced me to many amazing people who have helped me become who I am today. Being a part of this DanceSport World is like living a dream. Since the very beginning, Ballroom Dancing occupied the biggest part of my life, and every decision that I made was based on dancing as my priority. After high school, I went to college and finished with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education. In 2015, I moved to the United States to continue following my dream. Here, I started a new partnership with my future wife Michelle-Angela Blank. Within this short period of time, our partnership took us around the world to the most beautiful and distinguished competitions, from where we became the time U.S Vice-Champions, 2019 WDSF World Show Dance Finalists, and top three finalists of various WDSF events internationally.
Besides our competitive career, we created several projects for the DanceSport industry. In 2015, we launched the first-ever online Encyclopedia of DanceSport (WikiDanceSport.com) and within the first two years, received views and readers from over 200 countries monthly. In 2017, we became certified instructors with the NADTA. In 2018, we opened DanceSport Studio in New Jersey and in 2020, extended it to our second location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am also one of the initiators and creators of “The Art of DanceSport Training System” as well as the creator of the media broadcasting channel, DSS Productions, and two series: “The Life of a Dancer” and “DanceSport – Stay United”.
Right now my life mission is to share the beauty of the DanceSport world with as many people as possible and to give an opportunity to the new generations to live the life of a dream, the same opportunity that I was given.