Elite Ballroom Academy
103 Legion Plaza
Columbia, SC 29210
Meet Our Staff
Stefano is the third generation of passionate dancers, born in Rome, Italy. He began dancing in his parents' dance school at the age of 6, and at age 8 started competitive dancing with his first partner. At 16, he won his first Italian Championship, and at 17, he began competing internationally in Standard, Latin, and 10 Dance events. He won his first Italian 10 Dance Championship in that year.
During his years as a premier international competitor, he accomplished an impressive record of success in Italy, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, and other venues throughout Europe. Among the most notable and recognizable successes are multiple Italian Championships in the Latin, Standard, and 10 Dance categories throughout his competitive years. He also accomplished significant results around the world at major international competitions He and his partner were also named to the “Top 12” pairs in the IDSF World ranking.
Stefano now turns his considerable talents to teaching, coaching, and choreography. While Stefano has enjoyed great success as a competitive dancer, instructor, coach, choreographer, and judge, he will tell you his proudest accomplishments are his two children, Anna and Cristian.
Jamie began dancing in 2009 and it has been a growing passion in her life ever since. Jamie always dreamed of dancing competitively and enjoys traveling and competing with business partner Stefano. Jamie manages the studio and is the go to person for booking lessons, or finding the answer to any question you may have about our services or upcoming events. She is excited to share her dream of ballroom dancing with the Columbia area.
Under the skillful guidance of teacher Stefano, Jamie currently holds the 2021 WDO World Ballroom Championship, the 2021 WDO World 10 Dance Championship, the 2022 NDCA World 10 Dance Championship, the 2021 and 2022 National 10 Dance Championship, the 2021 Rising Star Latin Championship and was a world and national finalist many times. Owning Elite Ballroom and perusing her love of dancing is a dream come true.
Jamie is also a real estate agent with Home Advantage Realty. Jamie and her husband, Mike have 3 sons and 2 grandsons.
Owner & Operator
A native of Columbia, SC, Erin received her early training from William Starrett, Mariclare Miranda, and Professor Susan E. Anderson. At the age of 16, she entered the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School's Professional Division, where she studied under Jacqueline Webber and Galina Yordanova. Upon graduation, Erin returned home to study at the University of South Carolina, training under Stanislav Issaev. In 1998 she competed in IBCs in Jackson, Mississippi and Varna Bulgaria, where she was a semi-finalist. Erin danced professionally as a principal with Columbia Classical Ballet. In 2000, she began studying and competing in international style Ballroom and Latin, under Valery Ganiev. In 2005, Erin opened a full-service ballroom studio, Vista Ballroom. At that time she began training in Argentine Tango under Harby Gonzalez and then Orlando Farias. Erin was invited to perform during the 2008 - 2010 Spoleto arts festival with Quintango Orchestra, of Washington, DC, in Charleston, SC. In 2009 she created an original Argentine Tango show "Tango Dream," which was performed annually, through 2013, touring South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. In 2010 she produced an annual Argentine Tango seminar called "Mad Hot Tango." The workshop hosted notable Argentine Tango instructors and brought students from across the United States to study Argentine Tango in South Carolina. Currently, Erin is an Adjunct Ballet Instructor for the University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, Board Member of USC Dance Company, Company Teacher for Columbia City Ballet and Freelance Dance Writer for The Free-Times in Columbia, SC. Erin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina.
Erin Jaffe Gardner
Zoe began her journey with dance at her home studio in Charlotte, NC at the age of two. At the age of seven, she joined that studio’s competitive dance team. She danced competitively until the age of 18 in several different styles of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and acrobatics. She has traveled to various cities throughout the country to compete, has won multiple national titles, and has trained with several different choreographers. Zoe has taught different styles of dance to all ages, and has continued her own training with the University of South Carolina’s dance company along with being President of the university’s club dance team
Zoe Beausoleil Contemporary, lyrical, hip hop
David Killinger & Jessica King
West Coast Swing Instructors
I was born and raised in Greenville, SC. I have an extensive background in emergency medicine. I started dancing here, then moved to Clearwater, FL to work as Hugo Miguez and Stacy Kay's apprentice and teach at their studio, The District. My goal was to become a good dancer, an inspiring teacher, and a quality community builder. After a few years with Hugo and Stacy, I moved back home to Greenville to become the local West Coast Swing professional. I also teach East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Shag, Salsa, Bachata, Hip Hop, and other dances on request.
I subscribe to the KISS philosophy of teaching (Keep It Super Simple) and make sure my students understand what they are doing every step of the way. I believe that simplicity and patience are a teacher's best tools.
My goal is to build a community of dancers who are kind and welcoming to all. If you can move, you can dance; if you can be kind, you can be part of our dance community.
I was born and raised in Connecticut. I started dancing tap, jazz and ballet at the age of 2 and I found my love for west coast swing in 2016. I recently moved to Greenville, SC to partner with David as Greenville hometown West Coast Swing Professionals!
I'm excited to work with David to help build the local dance community.