Meet the Pros

Diana Barrera

Diana is a Certified Dance Instructor at Carolina Ballroom Dance Studio.  She is originally from South Texas. She started her 14-year Ballroom career training along the major cities in Central Texas (San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas), then settling in Tulsa, OK where the performing arts are thriving. She is a 2020 graduate double majoring in Theatre and Musical Performance while simultaneously teaching as an adjunct professor at the prestigious University of Tulsa. Diana has an extensive performing background with a fortuity to perform with Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Oklahoma Showgirls, and Royal Caribbean entertaining audiences in a multitude of musicals including Company, Cabaret, West Side Story, Chicago, and Mamma Mia! to mention a select few. Diana has regularly attended DVIDA Mastery Camp in Las Vegas, College Thespian Festival, and Open Jar Institute Broadway College Summer Intensive. Besides teaching advance dancers, Diana excels with beginners. Her students describe her as a fun and most patient teacher. She is also a choreographer for wedding dances, specialty dances, and formations.

(Dancing with Bill Sweezy)

Crystal Chang

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.

(Dancing with Peter Finazzo)

Ciara Ikein

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 Kasey Coffey)

Lindley Mayer

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 Nick Merritt)

Ihor Pylyay

Ihor is a Certified Dance Instructor at Carolina Ballroom Dance Studio.  He started dancing in his hometown of Poltava, Ukraine in 1992. He was competing in the International Style, showing outstanding results in both Ballroom and Latin dance programs and becoming either a winner or finalist for numerous National and International dance championships.  He studied at Poltava University with a major in choreography.  Ihor was the National Ukrainian Champion in 1999 and was awarded the title of Master of Sport of Ukraine in 2004.  Ihor is a certified instructor in both International and American Styles and with his knowledge, experience and great personality, you will enjoy dancing to the fullest extent.

(dancing with Dianna Gracely and Emily Yepes)

Sponsors
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas
Cintas