Meet the Pros
Crystal Chang started dancing at age 5. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, Crystal was classically trained in ballet, but her love of dance eventually led her to expand her knowledge, learn new styles and ultimately pursue dance as a career. Crystal launched her instructing career with a worldwide franchise in the D.C. area. Within her first year, Crystal made her company’s list of “Top 20 Teachers,” and by her second year, she was promoted to supervisor. After that, Crystal took the opportunity to move to Greenville and continue teaching with her company. In December 2012, Crystal opened Studio C. A couple years later, Crystal added 4-Time NDCA Rising Star Professional American Rhythm Finalist to her list of accomplishments. Currently, Crystal continues sharing her passion for dance with novice and advanced dancers through private sessions and group classes in the Upstate. Crystal will be coaching two of our stars this year.
Sebastian Hernandez is a native of Guatemala and came to this country 13 years ago. Sebastian did not know how to dance but he was very curious to learn the “Salsa Dance” which later became his passion. He began to learn to dance at Jaramillo’s Latin Dance Academy six years ago with Cesar Jaramillo and since then he hasn’t stopped dancing, becoming one of the instructors of the dance studio. Sebastian has not only represented the academy but also the city of Greenville in different dance competitions that he has attended: Salsa Summit 2016, Atlanta Bachata Festival 2016, Rocket City Latin Festival 2016, Port City Salsa Splash 2016, Southeast Salsa Open Qualifier couple Salsa first place 2016, Dirty Dancing premier, Oxygen Ball upstate Dancing with the Stars first place (dance), 7th Annual Atlanta Salsa Festival 2017, and an innumerable list of local presentations.
(dancing with Erin Hester)
Asangwua Ikein is a DVIDA certified instructor and owner of Ballroom Alchemy. He has trained social and competitive dancers since 2010. His specialty is developing impeccable technique, graceful movements, and presence. Students enjoy lessons with Asangwua because he is consistent and patient. He meets students where they are and challenges them to build upon a strong foundation. In 2013, Asangwua and his partner won first runner-up at the Dancing with the Fort Wayne Stars event. In 2015, he and his partner won 1st place at the Oxygen Ball.
(dancing with Heather Devine)
Ciara Ikein is an instructor and owner of Ballroom Alchemy. She began partnership dancing in 2011, then began teaching in 2012. Her specialty is music and choreographing fun routines to match. She enjoys introducing students to partnership dance and helping them learn to connect with another person. Ciara and her husband, Asangwua, showcase and compete throughout the Upstate and surrounding areas.
(dancing with Walter Bennett)
Cesar is the owner and director of Jaramillo’s Latin Dance Academy. He is also an experienced choreographer. Cesar has been with the cast of Dancing with the Carolina Stars since the very first show in 2010 and has taken home the dance champion trophy several times. Cesar is originally from Colombia, where he was taught all latin style dances. With over 25 years as an instructor and choreographer, Cesar makes an excellent teacher that will motivate and inspire all to learn to dance.
(dancing with Clara Sowell)
Moses is an outgoing and energetic choreographer/dancer based in Spartanburg, SC who is trained in a variety of social dances including hip-hop, street dancing, animation, and pop-lock. He is an activist who has become a huge part of the Spartanburg community by participating in Dancing with the Spartanburg Stars, an event that raises money for cancer patients/survivors, and several rallies that promote anti-bullying. Moses has an extensive background you can see at mosesjproductions.com, Moses has the creative ability to express different genres through movement that expresses ideas and stories. With a passion to be a choreographer who gains a widespread success through creating some of the most original, versatile, hip-hop dances, Moses plans to create a different meaning to the word dance.
(dancing with April Hughes)
Lindley Mayer has danced for 23 years and more than anything her passion is to entertain and perform. She moved to Los Angeles, CA after high school where she resided for six years. She can be seen on projects such as; GLEE, The Oscars with Host Seth MacFarlane, Bunheads on ABC Family, Americas Got Talent, Victorious and performing for Lady Antebellum for the American Country Music Awards and more. She most recently worked on a campaign with Kay Jewelers to represent Jane Seymour’s Open Heart Collection. She can also be seen on Hunger Games in the role of Kaysa Minox, as well as The Walking Dead, short film entitled “Sangria Lift” and a pilot television series that was filmed in the Upstate as well as in California entitled “Morningside”. She is experienced in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-hop, Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theatre and Lyrical. She has appeared in commercials for NASCAR, Wii (Just Dance), Camp Rock Promo and The Big Help with iCarly. One of her favorite experiences was performing at Christina Aguilera’s home for her son’s 2nd birthday.
Lindley has trained professionally and worked for choreographers such as: Brian Friedman, Zach Woodlee, Mia Michaels, Marguerite Derricks and more. She has done choreography for many National Champion competition teams, college teams, studio teams as well as pageant soloists. She is the choreographer and lead dancer for a KCET Television show called “Shushybye”. She also performs the role of Magic Carpet in Disneyland’s “Aladdin- A Musical Spectacular.” She is currently the spokesperson for Benson Nissan and lead model for clothing company, Marley Lilly.
She was Miss South Carolina Teen 2005 and along with finishing 1st runner up to Miss South Carolina in 2013 she won overall talent for 2 consecutive years and now works on staff as the Prince/Princess Director and the Children’s Miracle Network Assistant! You can read and see more about Lindley’s professional career as well as her non-profit organization at www.LindleyMayer.com!
This will be Lindley’s 5th year as a part of our pro team. She and her partners have taken home the Dance Champion trophy two times in 2014 and in 2017. She and her partner placed 2nd in 2016.
(dancing with Edward Burton)
Although Misty Renfro is a native of the United States, for 18 years she was raised in the beauty of the tropics in The Republic of Panama. Much of her dance experience began with the sultry sounds and rhythms of steel drums and Latin music. Misty has always remained a raw dance talent with a passion for the art. Although formal training was not a pursuit of hers until she reached her 20’s, she successfully trained herself in different forms of free-style dance. Once she moved permanently to the United States, these skills allowed her many opportunities as a professional free style dancer within major clubs in the Tampa Bay area.
Her love for Ballroom dance began in her late 20’s when she became a full-time professional within the industry. She experienced massive success with her professional competitions as well as her Pro-Am competitions including regional victories and national platform finishes. However, her greatest passion and biggest success in dance has not been about herself. She will explain to you, with pride that her greatest achievements have been learning to instruct all forms of students successfully. She believes the most amazing part of dance is its ability to infuse confidence and self-awareness into the dancer. Misty also believes what a great gift it is to teach someone to become confident with themselves and learn to be comfortable in their own skin!
Misty is now practicing the art of dance instruction part-time and has become a beloved part of The Bachtel Realty Group of Greenville, SC. She loves her newest roll in life as “The Dancing Realtor”! Misty is coaching two of our dancing stars this year.
Bryan, a Colombian salsa dancer, started dancing in 2003. He has performed and taught in multiple Latin dance festivals and events throughout the entire Southeast area including the biggest cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Columbia, Greenville, Memphis, Houston, Virginia, New Orleans, and many others. He currently works for Jaramillos Latin Dance Academy coaching young talent, creating choreography, and developing and producing events. He also has experience in hip-hop and tango.
His latest highlights include: performing for Harlem Globe Trotters half-time show, performing for Red Cross 100th year celebration, Judge’s choice award at AHA Dancing with the Stars (Greenville, 2016), Overall Champion at AHA Dancing with the Stars (Greenville, 2017), performing for the premiere of the remake of “Dirty Dancing”, teaching and performing at “Atlanta Salsa and Bachata Festival”, and production of “Salsaturdays” event in the Greenville area for the past two years.
(dancing with Sangeeta Hardy)