Vassily & Elena Lyashenko
Belarus born Vassily Lyashenko began his dance career at age 22—quite late in USSR countries. But, he came to the dance world with a broad fundamental university education and went on to build a unique and successful dance life. His life long dance trip has been with his only partner, Elena—wife, friend, dance partner and colleague.
About any segment of the Dance Sport industry, Vassily can truthfully say, “I’ve been in those shoes.” This includes amateur, professional and pro-am dancing, creating dance studios and organizations, teaching, adjudicating and examining. This varied path has been penetrated by the CANI philosophy: Commitment to Constant and Never-ending Improvement.
FOUR PERIODS OF A DANCE CAREER
1978-1988. These were the enjoyable (and somewhat innocent) years of amateur dancing. There were more than 300 competitions, leading up to representing the USSR in the international arena during the “Iron Curtain” years. During this time, Vassily continued his intensive research work at Belarus National University
1988-1998 Vassily and Elena turned professional, going to dozens of professional competitions around the globe. With a phenomenal record of 40 official national representations at World and European Professional Championships, the couple reached semi-finals at Worlds. Vassily founded and became president of the Belarus Professional Dance Union; officiated yearly at ICBD-WDDSC-WDC AGM in Blackpool, England; studied with the world’s finest masters; achieved Full Member certifications in the British Association of Teachers of Dancing; was an examiner in Israel and the Baltic countries; adjudicated internationally. He taught and coached young Belarus dancers, many of whom became USA Pro-Champions in International Styles. In 1997, Vassily Lyashenko was honored to receive the BATD Overseas Professional of the Year Award.
1999-2011 Vassily and his family moved to the United States, where he began exploring the relatively new (for Europeans) sphere of the Dance Sport industry. In his Pro-Am dancing, with dozens of competitors in more than 100 competitions around the country, there were National and World Pro-Am Champion titles. Vassily studied the American styles of Dance Sport and Argentine Tango; he earned Fellow Certification on North American Dance Sport Teachers Association and DVIDA Examiner certification; he renewed his adjudicating practice. As US citizens, he and Elena live and teach in St. Louis, Missouri; from there he continues to travel around North America and Europe.
2012 - In this next and very exciting stage, Vassily is re-thinking his vast career of competitor, teacher, coach, performer, organizer, adjudicator and choreographer; he shares his experience with colleagues and students in new spheres. In his attention to the DVIDA Test System (similar to the British Medal System), he offers an excellent opportunity to students who choose not to compete, but who want to become better dancers. Vassily is promoting the DVIDA system to fill the gap between social and competitive dancing.
Vassily Lyashenko brings with him a wealth of technical knowledge and teaching experience, gained over a dance career, which spans 34 years.
Following are some of his Dance Professional Profile milestones.
Teaching Experience and Qualification.
- 32 years of teaching Ballroom and Latin dancing
- Quadruple Fellow of North American DanceSport Teachers Association (NADTA)
- Dual Fellow and Examiner of Belarus Professional Dance Union (BPDU)
- Dual Member of British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD)
- DVIDA Examiner in all four styles of DanceSport.
- Member of National Dance Council of America (NDCA)
- First Teacher of a lot of USA National Professional Rising Star & Open International Style Champions
- Coach of dozens of Belarus National Dancesport Amateur Champions
- Multiple winner of “Top Teacher Award” at NDCA competitions
- Rank in Top 5% Teachers in “World Pro-Am DanceSport Series” since 2001.
- Experience to teach Ballroom as a second profession at USSR University System (1985-1999)
- Lecturer at University Missouri St. Louis since 2008
Adjudicating Experience and Qualification.
- Licensed BPDU Dancesport professional adjudicator since 1992
- Licensed WDDSC/WDC Dancesport professional adjudicator since 1994
- “World Class” Adjudicator for the United States of America since 2009
- 24 years of adjudicating international dance competitions
- NDCA Ballroom Adjudicator with classification of “National Judge” since 2009
- NDCA Performing Arts Adjudicator
- DVIDA Examiner
- BPDU International Examiner for Professional Examinations
Competing Experience and Results.
- 34 years of competing.
- 300+ amateurs competitions in USSR (1978-1989).
- 40 times National Professional Champion and Belarus Representative at World And European WDDSC Championships (1990-1999).
- 4 times World Pro semi-finalist (1993-1998).
- 3 times World Pro-Am Champion (2008-2009).
- 8 times USA National Pro-Am Champion (2001-2010)
- 6 times US “Region Five” DanceSport Superbowl Winner and Team Match Representative (2004-2010)
Other Dance Activity Experience.
- President of Belarus Professional Dance Union – WDDSC Member Body – 1989-2001.
- WDDSC AGM Delegate (1992-1999)
- Columnist at the biggest Russian Dancesport Web-site DANCESPORT.RU – since 2002.
General Educational Background.
- Belarus National University – graduates in 1978 as #1 from 112.
- PhD in Computer Sciences in 1988 in the field of Pattern Recognition
Continuing Ballroom Dancing Education.
- Yearly participation at International Congresses and Workshops : BDF World Congress in Blackpool (UK, May), Wolfgang Opitz “School Of Champions” in Bad-Hartzburg (Germany, December), “Dance Academy Laxholm” in Blackpool (UK, May)
- Multiple yearly workshops and seminars in USA