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.

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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
    Ballet Instructor

Amanda began competing professionally in June 2007. She has competed in more than 144 competitions and 254 professional events. She has received top placements in the American Rhythm, American Smooth, and Showdance Divisions. Her esteemed accomplishments include, United States National 9-dance Champion, 5x United States National Rhythm Finalist and 4x World Rhythm Finalist, 4x Eastern United States Rhythm Champion, Costa Rican Rhythm Champion, Canadian Rhythm & Smooth Champion and 2x North American Imperial Star Rhythm Champion. Amanda is the organizer of the American Star Ball Championships in Atlantic City, NJ and Maryland DanceSport in Baltimore, MD. She is a Championship certified adjudicator with the North American Dance Teacher’s Association (NADTA), recognized National adjudicator with the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) and is a member of the World Dance Council (WDC). Amanda recently relocated to Columbia, SC with her four year old daughter, Zoe and is excited to be on staff at Elite Ballroom Academy.

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Amanda Reyzin
                      Instructor

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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.  Jamie is also a real estate agent with Home Advantage Realty. Jamie and her husband, Mike have 3 sons and 2 grandsons.

  Jamie Barrett
Owner & Operator
Stefano Placidi
Head Instructor 

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