April 24, 2009 05:04 PM by Britteny Elrick
This season on Dancing With The Stars, ABCis letting the audience decide who will win the opportunity ofa lifetime to replace Julianne Hough as a professional dance instructor. We were briefly introduced to the dancers last week as they performed their first dance off. Want to know a little bit more about them?
The competition is starting with three men and three women. Last week they were paired off into couples and the man and woman receiving the lowest votes will be sent home next Tuesday. However,in the followingweeks only one dancer will be eliminated until it’s down to the final two. According to the ABC website here are the bios of the dancers:
Mayo Alanen was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He started dancing when he was 13 years old. Mayo was the recipient of a talent awarded collegiate scholarship, which allowed him to nurture his love for ballroom dance while receiving a collegiate education. He attended Brigham Young University, dancing as a member of their world-renowned formation team.
After college Mayo partnered up with his current professional dance partner, Lisa Vogel. He moved to the New York area to fulfill his dancing dreams and has since had access to and trained with the top coaches and dancers in the world. Mayo and Lisa have followed in the American tradition with their youthful unique style rising to the top of their division in record time. They are the Open Professional World and United States American Smooth Finalists, the 2008 French Open Champions, and the winners of the 2007 United States Professional Rising Star American Smooth Title, the 2006 Ohio Star Ball Professional Rising Star Smooth Division, and of almost every professional rising star event in the United States in 2006.
Brent Borbon was born and raised in Alief-Houston, Texas. Brent began social dancing at 14, after being encouraged by his mother to give it a try. He later found his passion for competitive dancing in High School when he began transferring his past focus from music & martial arts to ballroom, which he now attributes to his fast rise in dancing.
Working for the Houston Rockets for six seasons as an equipment crew member, Brent was at first jokingly nicknamed “Twinkle Toes” by the players. With practice and persistence, he later surpassed expectations performing at NBA events and half-time shows. He was then lead to perform all over Texas, at events such as the Superbowl Half-Time Show, and programs including Star Search.
Afton Delgrosso was born the 6th of 8 children and younger sister to professional dancer Ashly Delgrosso. Afton Delgrosso was raised in Utah where her love and extreme talent for dance were encouraged from a very young age. After becoming a finalist in the Blackpool Junior Latin competition at the age of nine, Afton returned home to her family’s dance studio where she has since trained in all styles of dance. Afton’s specialty is Ten Dance, in which she and her former partner, Bradley Gregory, became the national champions of in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Afton has performed in many shows alongside other Dancing With The Stars professionals Julianne Hough, Mark Ballas, Lacey Schwimmer and many others. She is currently a Dance Captain for “Le Reve” at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and is the youngest cast member to ever be a part of the group. She also choreographs many of their numbers which have received much critical acclaim.
Anna Demidova was born in Moscow, Russia. She started dancing when she was just 6 years old in an after school program at the local community center, following in the footsteps of her older sister, world champion Katusha Demidova. At the age of Fifteen Anna won the British Open Junior Ballroom Championship and the Ireland Open Championship. After finishing high school in Moscow, Anna moved to New York to live with her sister and pursue her dancing career.
She began dancing with Andrei Begunov, with whom she was very successful. After becoming the United States Youth Champions in 2005 and 2006, they represented the U.S. at the World Championships where they made the finals. They also placed 1st at the Ohio Star Ball, Kings Ball, Tri Sate Challenge, BYU Championship and many more competitions in the youth category. After her partnership with Andrei ended, Anna started dancing with Igor Mikushov, with whom she won many competitions such as the Ohio Star Ball, Emerald Ball, Manhattan DanceSport Championship, Tri State Championship, San Francisco Open. They were also Blackpool Under 21 Ballroom Finalists, United Kingdom Open Finalists and International Championship Grand Finalists.
Genya Mazo was born in Gomel, Belarus. He began his dance career at the age of 3 and became the national pre-teen champion of Belarus at the age of 6. Having found his passion for performance early in life, Genya became fascinated with being on stage and performing for crowds of people.
When Genya was 10 years old his family immigrated to the United States. Due to the lack of popularity for competitive dancesport in the U.S at the time, and the absence of dance schools for children, his parents decided to start a school of their own which would provide for an opportunity for Genya and his brother, professional dancer Alec Mazo, to continue their dance training and presence in the world dance circuit. The family owned studio, Genesis Dacesport, is based in San Francisco and focuses on training children ages 3-18 in competitive dancing. Genya and Alec have been the main instructors at the studio and have lead many of their students to national and international titles.
Genya has traveled the world competing in various international ballroom championships and has trained with some of the most highly regarded coaches in the world dance circuit. He has won a number of the most prestigious titles in competitive dancing, including the titles of US National Champion, World Rising Star Champion, and International Latin Champion. Genya danced competitively for 23 years.
Snow Urbin was born in Siberia, Russia. By the age of three she had already enrolled in ballet, modern, folk and jazz classes, with her acclaimed choreographer mother guiding her. Practicing a grueling four to six hours a day, Urbin excelled at Latin and ballroom dancing and began competing in ballroom dance at the age of five. She was already the Russian Juvenile Junior in ballroom and Latin champion by the time she and her dance partner were discovered and invited to train in the U.S. While in America, she maintained a successful amateur career, winning the U.S. Youth Latin championship and competing in the Ohio Star Ball, Manhattan Classic and Amateur Latin Championship. Urbin was also honored to represent the U.S. at the World Latin DanceSport Championships on four occasions.
Urbin began teaching children at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios in New York, where she became a top-ranking teacher. She eventually taught kids at additional schools including the Rising Stars Academy, where she met Dancing With The StarsMaksim Chmerkovskiy. The two became dance partners and also competed together.
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Photo Credits: pbs.org