Slawomir Woźniak was born on 2 November 1967. In 1977-1986, he attended the Poznań ballet school. He gained his first stage experience partnering artists of Teatr Wielki in Poznań in performances of Cinderella. Slawomir Woźniak’s professional debut took place in 1986 at the Wroclaw Opera where he danced the Prince in Cinderella choreographed by Teresa Kujawa. He was employed there in 1986-1988.It was in Wroclaw that he met his future wife, also a soloist of ballet company of Wroclaw Opera. Their performance in Swan Lake left an unforgettable impression on all those who had a chance to see it. In 1988 he became a soloist and in 1989 the principal dancer of Teatr Wielki in Łódź. His first premiere there was also Cinderella. In 1991 he joined the ballet of the National Opera in Warsaw as a first soloist. From 2000-2011 he was a principal dancer with the company. He was a Guest Artist with Bulgarian National Ballet, Greek National Ballet, Arena Di Verona Ballet and many others. In 2000 Slawomir Woźniak graduated from the Ballet Pedagogy at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. For many years he had conducted dance courses for young Americans during Summer Intensive programs.Together with his American partner Kathleen Arcierci, he won a bronze medal at the Third International Ballet Competition in New York in 1990. In 1993 Mr. Woźniak won a bronze medal at the First International Ballet Competition in Nagoya, Japan. Slawomir Woźniak was also a Jury Member for Polish International Ballet Competition in Gdansk, Poland.For the last several years he has also created many choreographies for Ballet, Opera and Drama theatres. His choreographic works include:
Irena Woźniak started her ballet training at the age of eleven in Gdansk, Poland, at the State Ballet School. At age sixteen, while Irena was still a student, she was asked to dance with the Professionals in Opera Baltycke’s, production of Snow White. Irena had the opportunity to train under some of the world’s most esteemed Dancers and Teachers including; Nathalie Bessmertnova, Yuri Grigorovich, Cynthia Harvey, Pierre Lacotte, Natalia Makarova, Lorca Massine, and Irek Mukhamedov, all of whom inspired Irena with an incredible passion for ballet. Irena graduated with high honors after performing and touring in many concerts and galas throughout Europe.
After graduating, Irena received the position of soloist at Wroclaw Opera House in Poland. It was there that she met her husband, Slawomir, as they performed leading roles together, such as Cinderella, Swan Lake and Giselle. Their performance in Swan Lake left an unforgettable impression on all those who were fortunate enough to see it. Irena performed in a host of other ballets including: La Gitana, D’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers, Chopiniana – Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker.
In 1988 Irena joined the Teatr Wielki in Lodz, Poland, along with Slawomir, where they both performed in all of the company’s Repertories and Tours throughout Europe. A few years later, in 1991, Irena joined the Warsaw National Opera House as soloist and she danced with the company until her retirement which brought her to the Valley of the Sun. She moved to Phoenix in 2007 with her husband, while her two sons, Slawomir Jr. and Michal, were training on full scholarships in New York City at American Ballet Theatre.
Since living in Phoenix, Irena has trained hundreds of young dancers at Master Ballet Academy, the studio she owns and operates with her husband Slawomir. Since 2007 her accomplishments as a ballet instructor include training her students for international ballet competitions in Berlin, China, San Diego, Florida, and New York in which they have placed with medals and scholarships. Irena instills in each of her students, her love for ballet, and she passes along her own training and performance experiences. Irena inspires her students with her passion, attention to detail, knowledge of classical ballet, and understanding of expression. All of these qualities make Irena one of the most sought after Instructors in Phoenix.
Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was evident from the beginning that he was a prodigy with a flair for the stage. He studied at the world-renowned Kirov Academy in Washington, DC. As a teenager he made dance competition history with honors including the Special Jury Prize from the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition, the Gold Medal in the Junior Men's Division of the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Gold Medal in the Senior Men's Division of the Jackson, MS USA-IBC.
In 1995 he became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France and in 1997 was invited to be a Principal Dancer with the Hartford Ballet. His guest credits include the Russian Imperial Ballet, National Ballet of China, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, Inoue Ballet of Japan, Ochi Ballet, Universal Ballet of Korea, Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, CityDance and Philadanco. He has been a featured soloist at many galas, including Le Gala Des Etoiles. In 2001 he was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as its youngest principal dancer.
Thomas has danced diverse roles including "Albrecht" in "Giselle", "Basilio" in "Don Quixote", "Ali" in "Le Corsaire" and "Death" in "Debbie Allen's Soul Possessed". Television credits include a Bravo documentary in 1997, CBS' Breakfast with the Arts (1991), Sesame Street (1969), a featured solo during the 1999 Academy Awards and the Spring 2000 international ad campaign for The GAP.
He appears as "Timmy Chambers" in One Last Dance (2003), starring Patrick Swayze. Thomas has starred in Twyla Tharp's Broadway hit "Movin' Out." Critics have described Rasta's dance style as a mix of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson, "a force of nature". A truly multi-talented artist, Rasta spends most of his free time writing songs and scripts.
Lacey Mae Schwimmer is an American ballroom dancer and singer. She is best known as a fourth place finalist of the third season of So You Think You Can Dance. She is the daughter of noted dancer Buddy Schwimmer, as well as the cousin of Heidi Groskreutz, who placed fourth on the second season of So You Think You Can Dance and younger sister of Benji Schwimmer, the winner of the show's second season. She participated in the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars as a professional dancer paired with Lance Bass of 'N Sync, in the eighth season of the show paired with Jackass star Steve-O and in the ninth season paired with actor and Iron Chef America host Mark Dacascos. Schwimmer returned to Dancing with the Stars for its eleventh season and she was partnered with Disney Channel star Kyle Massey and in the 12th season, paired with radio host Mike Catherwood. In the thirteenth season, she was paired with transgender activist Chaz Bono. Schwimmer did not return for season 14 of Dancing With The Stars'.
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