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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.

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.


Yuriy Kuvshynov


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 Arete Dance Center. Yuriy teaches private lessons as well as ballroom and latin technique. He cross trains in ballet, jazz, Zumba and other martial arts and dance forms.


Richard Hornor


First introduced to the Fine Arts through Theatre, Richard approaches Ballroom Dance with a unique perspective. Using concepts and skills learned through theatre performance, Richard curates his dancing to showcase his independent spirit. Combined with a deep technical understanding of movement and dance, Richard crafts unique performances that deliver an artistic message. Richard enriches the lives of his students through their dancing and hopes to make a contribution to the history of partner dance.


Zi Guo

Zi first started ballroom dancing at community college in 2017. He remembers feeling so nervous for the first few weeks that he couldn’t step into the classroom, but over time, he was able to learn and have fun. His dance journey has given him many different experiences, from performing in front of an audience to meeting amazing individuals he would have never met in any other circumstances. Since dancing has changed Zi's own life for the better, he wants to share this positive experience with others and help them learn to dance as well.


Bud Ayers

Bud Ayers is well known in the Bay Area as one of the best teachers. He has won numerous top solo honors for his choreography skill and love for performing. Bud is well-versed in both American, International, and Social dances styles. He teaches Both American Smooth and American Rhythm dances. 

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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.


Amanda Janesick

Amanda Janesick heads our ballet program. She trained in the Vaganova method and is formerly a soloist with Nevada Ballet Theatre. Her passion for classical ballet was first inspired in an adult class learning environment, and she leverages this experience to tailor her Sunday morning class specifically towards adults, emphasizing artistry, movement, and musicality. Amanda encourages the emulation of original ballet choreography as a method to cultivate technical skill and also incorporates education in partnering (pas de deux) in collaboration with Mark Scolieri.


Olivia Pritchard

Olivia's dance journey started in gymnastics and ballet at the age of 7. In high school, she shifted her focus to jazz and competitive ballroom, where she earned many gold medals in American Smooth and Rhythm. In college, she found her true love for dance through contemporary, improv, and ballet, where she studied the Vaganova style. At ADC, Olivia uses her diverse dance history alongside her experience working in healthcare to help students grow as dancers in technique, strength, flexibility, and in finding their own voice and expression through their bodies. Olivia teaches ballet, stretch and flexibility, and strength and conditioning classes for dancers.


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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