Group Lessons

The Big Apple Country Dance Festival is committed to offering you the BEST when it comes to dance instruction. We offer two choices each hour – from beginner through advanced level in virtually every hot dance style. The classes will be taught by the very best instructors today’s dance community has to offer. Dance Camp participants must have a daily or weekend admission pass. Non-specialty workshops are included in the 3-Day Gold Pass. Workshop tickets for the 1-Day Pass can be purchased on site for $10 each.

Intensives with Robert Royston, $60 each, $100 for each
Saturday - Shared center system! For better lead follow in all dances
Sunday - Elements you must have for a successful J&J dance
Both - Shared Center and Elements Intensives

Workshop schedule posted here.


Marc Davidson & Sylvie Raymond

Marc and Sylvie met in 1997, where else..on a dance floor.. I saw this great looking girl doing a line dance and boy could she move, so I walked on over and asked for a two step. We then became friends, partners and lovers. We started teaching couples and line dance in 1998 at local bars and dance clubs. And we've never stopped since. We started competing in 1999, and joined the UCWDC circuit in 2003. Teachers, Choreographers, and Competitors, we consider ourselves lucky to have the greatest Job in the World..DANCE..

They join us from Canada, and are the reigning UCWDC Showcase Masters World Champions. They are a wonderfully entertaining couple, bringing speed, breath-taking tricks, and humor to the floor.


Chris & Emily Bailey

Collaboratively, we have been competing and teaching dance for over 20 years. We specialize in teaching social dancing and believe that anyone can learn to dance. We hold World Championship titles in 2009 and 2010, and are current Master competitors. Being both World Champion competitors and coaches, we have been blessed by the people that have come into our lives and have been able to travel the world to share our gifts with others.


Sam & Chris Wetzel




Richard McMurrich & Suzanne Mosley


Richard McMurrich and Suzanne Mosley are Classic Masters competitors representing the Northeast, from New York City and Philadelphia. They are dance teachers, judges, and choreographers, but their first love will always be entertaining audiences by bringing their brand of speed, style and sass to the dance floor!


Vanessa & Bradley Montoya

Vanessa grew up studying music and martial arts and earned a degree in music education and a black belt in Aikido. Both these skills helped when she fell in love with dancing after taking her first Cha Cha class as a teenager. Since then she has dedicated her life, passion, and education to becoming a successful ballroom competitor, teacher, and performer. With professional partner Bradley Montoya, she has won championships in Open Professional American Smooth and American Rhythm (NDCA). She is also a seven-time Showdance Champion, Salsa Champion, and national finalist in Stage Argentine Tango, placing third in the United States (Official Argentine Tango Championships, USA) in 2013. Most recently, Bradley and Vanessa won the World Championship for Country Dancing in Division 1, and will now be competing in the top tier of competitive Country Dancing: Masters. Dancing with her students, Vanessa has won the Top Teacher award 5 times while competing in the pro-am division at Arthur Murray Inc, NDCA and World Dance Council competition and has trained champion dancers. She has owned a dance studio, and managed and trained dance instructors. Currently, Vanessa is active in the West Coast Swing circuit in social dancing and competition, and competes in Country Dancing with the United Country Western Dance Council. As a teacher, her strengths are patience and effective instruction; for those who want to achieve a higher level of skill and style in their dancing, regardless of level. Dances of expertise include all of the American style ballroom dances and popular social dances like salsa, night club 2-step, hustle, west coast swing, and Argentine tango. Vanessa also specializes in customized wedding or special event choreography, creating a unique dance to fit your time frame, experience, and song.


Mariel Manzone

Mariel began teaching West Coast Swing in 2010 after leaving the world of competitive ballroom dance (International Standard & Latin). In 2012, she co-founded The Swing Dance Studio to bring her unique methods of teaching movement to Boston-area WCS dancers. Prior to 2012, Mariel was a featured instructor, DJ, and marketing guru at another Boston-area WCS program, where she also co-ran Boston Dance Challenge (a WSDC event) in 2011 and 2012.

Mariel travels extensively as a competitor and instructor in the US and Canada. She draws on her rich education and movement backgrounds, including her recent Master's degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education in Mind, Brain, and Education. Her lessons are enhanced by her movement training in ballroom, yoga, and pilates, her past musical training as a violinist, and her extensive experience as a competitive athlete and coach. She is known for her creative lesson plans and her ability to provide supportive encouragement and tailored clear feedback to each student.

For information about privates or workshops, email


John & Dee Soares



Darin Paden

Darin is originally from Franklin Pennsylvania but now attends Point Park University where he is a Jazz Dance major with a dual concentration in Ballet. Darin has been on the Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) circuit where he has been competing for the past 11 years. Darin is also a professional instructor with the UCWDC taking his students to events across the United States where they compete with Darin in the pro-am couples division. He also competes in the country line dance division.

Darin is a 5 time World Champion title holder of the UCWDC turning professional at the age of 17 when he took his first young student who was 9 years old to win her first world championship title.

Darin has extensive training in many styles of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Line Dance, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Polka, Night Club, Triple 2-Step, Country 2-Step, West Coast Swing, and East Coast Swing and many styles of Ballroom Dance.


Jeff & Lynn Bartholomew

Jeff Bartholomew has been dancing all his life, first on the ballroom circuit and now country western. His dancing career started with Arthur Murray in 1954 as a student. Before he finished in 1967 he had been a teacher and competitor for 19 years; the Dance Director, Choreographer and Lead Dancer in the traveling show team, "The Arthur Murray Dancers"; and had choreographed for the Arthur Murray TV Show "Dance Party" and productions of Broadway musicals "Damn Yankees", "Finian's Rainbow", Applause, Applause", and the opera "Die Fledermaus". His thousands of students include such notables as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Regina, the Queen of England; DuPont heiress Mrs E. I. Dupont, her children and grandchildren; Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America; Barbara Streisand; and exotic dancer Blaze Starr. Jeff holds over 100 medals and championships in 54 dances.

Jeff converted to country western in 1979 and has been dancing, teaching, judging, and coaching social dancers, competitors, instructors and judges ever since. He was elected to direct the Bootscooters Dance Festival which began in 1988 and became a UCWDC® founding event. Jeff inherited the event from the club and it became Halloween In Harrisburg & SwingZing® which is still going strong.

Jeff was instrumental in the development of the North American Rules and Scoring Format for country western dancing, now known as the UCWDC® Rules, Contest Proceedures and Scoring Formats. In 1989 Jeff was elected the first President of the UCWDC® and served for 10 years. He resumed the Presidency in 2005. He took the lead in creating and developing the UCWDC® Bylaws, and under his guidance the UCWDC® received not-for-profit status in 1998.

Jeff, now retired from his Burger King business, has served the dance community for many years. He had a vision for the UCWDC® that weathered the storms of time and served as the foundation for this organization, and has worked hard to keep the group strong over the years.

In 1998 Jeff was awarded the honor of being inducted into the UCWDC® Hall of Fame for his years of service promoting the spirit, art and sport of country western dance.


Dale & Anita Strawser

Dale & Anita Strawser are the co-owners with Jim & Peggy Kiesel of Potomac Swing Dance Club - a weekly country/swing mix social dance held in Vienna, Virginia, where they and their partners teach a variety of dance styles: west coast swing, two-step, waltz, nightclub, salsa, hustle, east coast swing, polka, and cha cha. PSDC currently offers a social dance on Friday nights in Vienna, Virginia offering beginner and intermediate lessons.

They are also co-owners with Sam Arvidson of the MidAtlantic Dance Classic – an annual UCWDC weekend dance event in Baltimore, Maryland with competitions, workshops, social dancing, and a show featuring professional dance performances from a variety of dance genres.

Dale & Anita met and began social dancing together in 1993 and became amateur dance competitors in 1994. They have won numerous dance competitions in a variety of dance styles, including the UCWDC World Title for Classic Couples Diamond Division I in Stockholm, Sweden, and currently compete at the advanced Crown level.

They are members of the National Dance Council of America (“Ballroom” dance styles) and the United Country Western Dance Council (“Country” dance styles), and are certified UCWDC judges. They teach, choreograph routines, and dance Pro-Am with amateur students in competitions, while also competing at the Pro-Pro level. They offer private dance instruction from their studio, Danzn4fun, located in Fairfax, Virginia.

In addition to dance, Dale & Anita have regular day jobs – Dale is a realtor with Remax Premier, and Anita is a management consultant with SRA International. They have 3 sons, 4 grandchildren, a dog and 3 rescue kitties; it’s never a dull moment !!

For additional information, or to inquire about private instruction, private functions, and availability for performances or demonstrations, contact Anita Strawser at 571-221-3683.


Dawn Garrish

Dean and Dawn Garrish have been teaching and competing in the dance community for over 25 years. With thier extensive knowledge in competitive dancing they have won two UCWDC World Titles, 6 US Open Swing Titles and over 50 Top Teacher awards.

They pride themselves in having the largest continuous group classes in the Maryland and DC area. Their goal is to provide a relaxed, comfortable, and fun atmosphere for people to learn how to dance, refine their dance skills, and socialize with friends who enjoy the same hobby.


Mike Wagner



Solomon Singer

Based in NYC, Solomon grew up surrounded by art and music and studied ballet and folk dancing as a child. His mother gave him his first ballroom lessons, teaching him the waltz box and the polka basic when he was eight.

Solomon competes in International Latin, American Rhythm, Country Western and Swing competitions and also enjoys all types of social dancing. He has appeared in the award winning documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom," the Julia Roberts film “Mona Lisa Smile,” the US premiere of the Phillip Glass opera, "The White Raven," international charity event "Wigstock" the Stardust dance weekends in the catskills, the David Byrne music video "America," and, on the WB as a John Travolta look-a-like.

Solomon has a BA from Hofstra University where he studied ballet with Lance Westergard of the Tudor company and modern dance with members of the Graham and Taylor companies. He began his ballroom training with 2001 Country Waltz masters champions, John Knapp and Meredith Stead and received his instructor’s certification from Stepping Out Studios in Manhattan. With his partner Richard, he is the 2005 United States Same Sex Rising Star Latin Champion.


John Whipple

John is a member of The National Dance Council of America (NDCA is the official governing body for dancing in the United States); a certified UCWDC Master Level Judge and has certified as a Judge for competitive line dancing.

John has danced many divisions, both Classic and Showcase, UCWDC Division 1 and holds the title of 1999 World Champion in the Classic Diamond Advanced Division along with 39 Top Teacher Awards for his success with ProAm competitions; Including the 2009 World Champion Natasha Overcash, 2008 World Champion Cathy Jean.


Group Lessons with world renowed instructors.

Country Fri/Sat

Swing Fri/Sat