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Andre' Strinadko, Master Instructor
Widely regarded for his artistry and technical precision, Andre’ holds an array of national and international Latin titles, including: two-time World Masters Champion, US Open Professional Finalist, two-time US national Amateur Finalist, US National RS Champion, and UK Open RS Finalist. He has placed as a finalist or champion in all the major US competitions, and has been the highest ranked professional Latin competitor in New England for the last eight years.
Andre' began his dance training in Ukraine at age six, and then moved to New York City, where he enhanced his ballroom training with a variety of other dance styles before making the decision to dance professionally. In 2005, he moved to Boston to open his first studio.
As a teacher and coach, Andre’ enjoys working with dancers of all backgrounds and abilities to help them advance to the next level. "I love it when my students realize something they thought was not possible," he says. "Each student is different, and each student is special. I work to highlight what is most special about each of them."
Andre's students have achieved many successes over the years, including World Pro-Am C Champion, World Pro-Am B Silver Medalist, World Pro-Am A Bronze Medalist, and National Pro/AM A Silver Medalist. He has also worked extensively with collegiate dance teams for more than a decade, including Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, and the University of Connecticut.
When asked why he made the decision to become a dancer, Andre says, "I can't imagine doing anything else. Dancing is a continuous self-discovery, and medium for self-growth. I love exploring those discoveries, and I love sharing them with my students."
Ching Kao, Ph.D., Master Instructor
For Ching, ballroom dancing is both an art and a science. It’s also her passion.
When she made the decision to leave her successful career in neuroscience and transition to professional dancing full-time in 2013, she had no idea how much the two disciplines would continue to inspire and inform each other. Today, she continues to draw on her academic training to understand individual differences and learning styles, creating a unique fusion of diagnostics and problem-solving with a heartfelt, intuitive approach tailored for each student’s needs.
A lifelong dancer and champion herself, having placed as a finalist in numerous U.S. competitions throughout her career, Ching knows firsthand what it takes to build and sustain a dance journey. As a master coach, she is also continually inspired by her own coaches, who represent some of the best in the world. Her training has included deep mentorship with luminaries such as Bryan Watson, Hans Galke, Richard Porter, and Colin James. Although each brings a unique approach, she notes that they all offer tremendous clarity to what they prioritize as a dancer.
“There are many roads to the same place, and different techniques serve different bodies,” she explains. “After working with my coaches, I now understand why. That clarity is so powerful. They all teach from a multi-modal standpoint, because it’s important to make someone feel something before analyzing it. Feel first, analyze after. Your body is often smarter than your brain. And with a great coach, they know how to make you feel.”
Ching is also passionate about infusing the compassionate side of coaching throughout Firebeat, meeting students where they’re at, and addressing the whole person in every lesson. “As coaches, we are in the experience with you, and we’re rooting for you, but it’s not about us. It’s really about what the student needs, whether they are aware of it or not, and holding space for that discovery. Often, I am showing my students how to be kind to themselves. It’s another version of self-care.”
Within this judgement-free zone, Ching works with students of all levels, from wedding couples stepping on to the dance floor for the very first time, to the most seasoned international competitors. “Technique evolves, ideals of beauty evolve,” she explains. “Here at Firebeat, we always want to ensure that we are offering the most advanced information, and that we’re doing it in a way that even beginning dancers can benefit. We truly want to ignite your passion for dance!”
Brad Lowe, Instructor
Brad’s dance journey began at age 14, when he signed up for ballroom lessons to impress a girl, and ended up falling in love with dance, instead.
A few years later, a move to Boston prompted him to explore the competitive side of ballroom, where he began to focus on International Latin. While teaching at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Brad received accolades as a Regional Professional Smooth/Rhythm Finalist and a Regional Top 10 Teacher. His passion for Latin then led him to Firebeat, where he quickly achieved a new goal—Professional Latin Rising Star Finalist at Capital Dancesport with his then partner, Ching Kao.
As an instructor, Brad enjoys teaching dancers of all levels, from social and wedding couples to competitive Pro-Am students. "I've seen how dance can transform people's lives," he says. "They become happier and more focused when they begin to see what’s really possible. You can tell when something starts to click for them – it’s exciting."
No matter your background or reason for coming to Firebeat, Brad looks forward to helping you fall in love with dance!
Vladimyr Derisier, Instructor
Motivated. Dedicated. Creative. Firebeat’s newest instructor, Vladimyr Derisier, embodies all of these qualities on the dance floor—and so much more!
“The way I approach dance today is the way I first discovered it for myself,” he explains. “Everyone has the ability to dance, but we get to choose whether we develop that ability or not. When I meet someone who is a reluctant dancer, and I’m able to help them get to a place where they realize they can do something they thought was completely out of their reach—those are the moments that touch me more than anything else.”
Vlad first discovered his dance ability as a student at UMass Amherst, when he happened to see an audition announcement for the school’s ballroom dance team. With no formal training, he made the team on his first attempt and never looked back, going on to achieve remarkable success as Ohio Star Ball Amateur American Rhythm Runner-Up, Manhattan Amateur Classic Rhythm Champion, and USA Dance National Amateur Rhythm Champion.
Despite his many accomplishments over the years, Vlad still has a knack for tapping into a beginner’s mindset. “Everyone has to start somewhere,” he says. “I often say that as much as I teach dance, I also teach confidence. That’s really what it comes down to. Once you can start to find your confidence, the rest is easy.”
Vlad’s inspirational and positive approach to dancing makes him a natural fit for the Firebeat team. “Regardless of your goals – whether you want to prepare for your wedding dance, or become a pro-am champion – the whole Firebeat team is here to support you,” he notes. “It’s a true collaborative effort, and a place where hard work really does pay off.”