Fred Astaire Dance Studio struts to 4th straight win

Adedamola Agboola

For the fourth year in a row, Eugene Yeremenko’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Manhasset has won the Cross Country DanceSport Championships in Winsconsin.

The championships, which were held on April 22, 23, and 24, are one of three national championships that takes place every year among the Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios.

This year’s event featured 50 participating studios, more than 100 instructors and more than 150 students.

“We couldn’t be happier to be considered a top studio for the most famous name in ballroom and Latin dance studios,” Yeremenko said. “It’s an honor and a tribute to our terrific staff and all the wonderful students.”

School student Mille Munich won a bronze medal for females and fellow student William Hiller won a bronze medal for males. 

Hiller and his wife Carol Hiller,  won the gold medal for top amateur couple in the student category. 

Yeremenko and two teachers in the Fred Astaire studio in Manhasset — Alex Costa and Marisa Yatsenko — won first, third and fifth respectively place in the Overall Teacher Award category.

Yeremenko opened the studio location with his childhood friend Yatsenko, in 2010 after working in studio’s Westchester County locations.

“We met in Ukraine and we were dance partners. We’ve danced and competed professionally together as partners since we were six year old,” Yeremenko said. “Our families are very close.”

Yeremenko, 32 and Yatsenko, 29, both immigrated from Ukraine. 

“We’ve always wanted to make a career out of it and when the time was right and the opportunity came, we jumped at it,” Yeremenko said.

The Manhasset Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which is located at 20 Park Ave., teaches various dances from cha cha, tango, foxtrot, rumba to swing. 

“We teach pretty much everything. You know like Dancing with the Stars,” Yeremenko said. “The best way to describe it is ‘fun’ because the people who come to the studio enjoy it. Some people go to the gym, some people like to dance.”

Munich, who lives in Floral Park, said dancing is not only an enjoyable activity, but that the health benefits have been remarkable.

“In addition to having fun, I find that dancing benefits my brain and body like nothing else,” she said. “I’ve maintained weight loss and increased my flexibility and posture.”

Members of Yeremenko’s dance studio all share different reasons why they decided to join a dance studio.

For some, it is fun to dress up and dance. 

“Doing a jazzy foxtrot wearing tails with a top hat and cane with a fabulous professional partner in a real theater in a national competition before judges who are world champions. Now that is a real blast for a born couch potato,” said Hiller, a resident of Port Washington.

For others, it was meant to be a creative outlet.

Christina Vricella recalled joining taking dance lessons in 2014 as a way to explore her creative soul.

“Dancing has not only enabled me to express my feelings, but further embrace life’s blessings,” Vricella said. “The instructor’s love of dance is not only infectious, but they are also driven and enthusiastic to pass this joy on to each of their students.”

“They enjoy it. Not only that, we have get togethers, professional presentations,” Yeremenko said. 

Yeremenko said the studio’s youngest member is 30 years while the oldest is 80 years.

“We’re good but no one knows about us,” Yeremenko

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Manhasset is one of only three locations on Long Island. 

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