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Our Instructors

Areté Dance Center was created to provide excellent dance instruction in an aesthetic and inspiring environment in our Los Altos dance studio. Our dance instructors are artists with very deep backgrounds in the styles of dance they teach.


Kristina Mola Kuvshynov

A lifetime of experience in classical ballet and modern dance brought Kris to pursue ballroom dancing. In addition to training the outstanding community of ballroom dancers within Areté Dance Center, she loves inspiring people to move freely in her LaBlast fitness classes and is certified in Zumba and line dancing. Kris attended the Juilliard School, graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and holds a BFA from the Ohio State University in Dance Performance.




Yuriy started his dance teaching career assisting nightclub and ballroom dance classes at Foothill College. From there, Yuriy began teaching International Standard and International Latin dance full time at Areté Dance Center, eventually becoming a co-owner of the studio. Yuriy teaches private lessons as well as ballroom and Latin group classes. Yuriy competes pro-am in ballroom and Latin with his students, and professionally with his partner, Kris, in Rising Star Ballroom.

Dima and Olga Sukachov

Dima and Olga Sukachov

(Master Coaches)

Dima and Olga Sukachov are a professional Latin couple from the San Francisco Bay Area. They are former United States Professional Rising Star Champions, Grand National Finalists, and World Quarter Finalists in the International Latin division. Trained by the legendary Ray Rivers, Dima and Olga bring a strong passion for dance and authentic technique into their private coaching and master workshops.

Mark Scolieri

Mark Scolieri


Mark is well known in the dance community for his expertise in many styles of partner dancing.  He is a classically trained dancer who also has studied jazz and theater arts extensively.  Mark also teaches and judges competitions for the Bay Area’s large ballroom community and beyond.


Alejandra Serrano

Alejandra developed a passion for dance by training in classical ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance throughout her childhood. To explore other dance styles, she began to take social ballroom dance classes at Foothill College and from there began her serious training and teaching at Areté Dance Center. She made her competitive debut with a cabaret routine in the showdance category at the 2019 International Grand Ball. Recently, Alejandra won first place and earned a standing ovation as the professional partner of a newcomer doctor in a "Dancing with the Doctors" fundraiser in Florida, which raised $300,000 for charity. She currently teaches private ballroom dance lessons at Areté Dance Center in both Latin and Standard, as well as ballet.


Arthur Nabok

Arthur was born and raised in Ukraine, where he grew up competing in ballroom dancing nationally and internationally since the age of 5. His titles include Blackpool China Rising Star Champion, Ukrainian Ballroom Champion, USA National Finalist, and others. Arthur specializes in working with kids - in his work he takes great care to raise kids according to proper body mechanics. He holds a college degree in kinesthetics and dance coaching.  He uses his background to educate young students about the demands of being a champion. In 2017 dance brought him to the US, where he has been dancing and teaching since.

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Kami Dickerson

Kami is a slight dance addict, but don't worry - it's not a problem! Areté Dance Center inspired her to delve further into the International styles of dance (Standard and Latin), after first exploring social dancing and the American styles. Outside of the dance studio, Kami loves animals, theatre, and banana bread. 


Chrystal Chen

Growing up with a background in fashion and costume design, Chrystal tried dancing for the first time while attending college in her late teens. She learned the basics of ballet, belly dance, jazz, tap, and hip hop, but her favorites were Latin and ballroom. She stayed on the Contra Costa College ballroom formation team for three years, and then joined Sukachov Dance Academy to train in Latin under Olga and Dima Sukachov. Almost a decade later, she now frequently competes in open Latin with her partner, Oscar Rodriguez, winning many awards all over the West Coast. Other styles she offers include American Smooth, Rhythm, and Club.


Oscar Rodriguez

​Oscar Rodriguez began his dancing at the age of five, inspired by the one and only Michael Jackson. Throughout his teen years, he focused on hip hop. In college, he tried ballroom dancing out of curiosity, and decided to make that his new focus. After three years of being on the college’s ballroom formation team, he began training in International Latin with Sukachov Dance Academy. Now, he frequently competes in open Latin with Chrystal all over the West Coast. Other styles he offers include American Smooth, Rhythm, and Club. 

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MacKenzie Soldan

MacKenzie started dancing at the age of four with tap and ballet. Her love of dance grew as she did, and she added jazz and contemporary to her practice. She performed and competed through high school and some of college. After college, she began learning International Standard and International Latin at ADC. MacKenzie brings her backgrounds in dance and education into her teaching.


Cortez, Rex, Sophie, and Gemma

Cortez: Chief Resource Manager

Rex: Human Rexources

Sophie: Branch Manager

Gemma: Barketing Intern


Cortez (tricolor), Rex (ruby), Sophie (blenheim), and Gemma (black and tan) are our studio mascots! They are all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and have been a staple in the studio's office since 2017. They enjoy long naps, lots of toys, and the occasional waltz around the ballroom. Will work for treats and cuddles.

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