History

Firebeat was founded in March 2009 by Andre’ Strinadko and Ching Kao, through their love for ballroom dance and for each other. Their shared dream was to create a sanctuary where people would feel safe to explore their potential, discover self-acceptance, and embrace dance as a modality for healing body, mind, and spirit.

Firebeat found its first home in Boston, Massachusetts, on the top floor of a historic firehouse. The studio was encased by a large Plexiglass dome where the fire pole once hung, and this unique space became an inspiration for the philosophy and energy of the studio. Given the location of the space, and that Andre’ and Ching are both fire signs (Aries and Leo, respectively), the name Firebeat was born. Firebeat: where passion, dance, music, and heart come together and ignite!

The first sparks of Firebeat included one group class and private lessons with Andre’ as the sole instructor. But within just a few, short months, the dance floor was flooded with couples and Pro/Am students. During its five years in Allston, Firebeat experienced abundant success and growth, as the studio became known for elite training in International Latin. More importantly, the heart and energy of Firebeat created a strong community of students passionately committed to dancing together and supporting one another. During this period of growth, Andre’ also formed several successful professional dance partnership and achieved significant competitive milestones. With Agnieska Kaniowska, Andre’ placed in the semi-finals of Blackpool R.S. Latin, and with Tatiana Banko, Andre’ was a finalist in the UK Open R.S. Latin and in the U.S. Open to the World Latin Championships.

Soon, it became clear that Firebeat was outgrowing its Allston home. Andre’ and Ching had always envisioned a larger space where people could move and dance freely, and in the summer of 2013, two clear signs pointed to a Firebeat expansion. First, Ching left her career in science to devote 100% of her time to Firebeat. Second, Andre’s professional partnership dissolved upon the retirement of his partner. Together, Andre’ and Ching decided to form a professional dance partnership and fully dedicate their lives to their greatest passion: their love for Firebeat and each other.

The moment they made this commitment, the perfect space revealed itself in the perfect location. In Winchester, Andre’ and Ching built their dream studio from the ground up. Every decision was made with love. With 7000 SF of raw space to work with, they built a top-of-the-line dance studio with three ballrooms, including one with a competition-sized floor. They also wanted Firebeat to be a sanctuary where community was nurtured and intentional; where students would come not only to dance, but to nourish themselves and build lasting friendships. With this in mind, they added locker rooms, a retail shop, aromatherapy, and a healthy café to the studio. Firebeat’s home in Winchester is truly a refuge for all dance lovers.

Now in its eighth year, the blaze of Firebeat continues to grow, attracting top professional talent from around the world and a community of passionate students from all across the greater Boston area. We invite you to start your own Firebeat journey and ignite your passion for dance!