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Rising Stars: Meet Stefan Ilies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefan Ilies.

Hi Stefan, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I always dreamed to have my own dance studio one day!

I started to dance at six years old in my hometown Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. My parents took me to a local dance studio and that’s how the story started. I always was very competitive and next thing you know I am competing and winning local dance competitions.

In 2005, I moved to Romania where I continued my dance career, and also at the same time I finished my University and Master. School was always an important part of my development. I represented Romania at all the top competitions in Europe and in the World. I was part of National Team of Romania for six years. Romania gave me so many possibilities to train and develop as a dancer. I had the opportunity to meet top dance teachers that shaped me into who I am today. I am very grateful for all the experiences and all the lessons I learned.

I came to America on November 10th, 2014. I always dreamed to live in America, and I knew one day my dream will come true. After four years working in another dance studio, I opened Let’s Dance Miami together with my wife Gabriela, who is one of my biggest supporters. A brand new dance studio with a warm and friendly atmosphere. I incorporated all the years of experience and my vision to open this place. I always was committed to connect and give back to the community.

Unfortunately, we opened in November 2019 and only after four months we had to close for three months. We reopened with all the safety measures in place and we kind of started again. The reopening was hard since no one was ready to dance again and come back in person at the studio. But little by little, things changed around and people are more willing to dance than ever.

I met 99% of my students during the pandemic. We changed and helped so many students to go through many tough moments in their lives. The best reward for us all the happy stories of how dance changed their life.

Today we are a team of four teachers that can introduce you in the wonderful world of dancing.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
At the beginning, it was hard to find a nice a relevant name and to find a wonderful logo. Thanks to my wife’s creativity and too many sleepless nights, we came up with Let’s Dance Miami.

We found this amazing place and we started to research how to get started. Then we had to do the buildout, this was an amazing journey where I learned a lot about how to paint, modify and do many things that I never thought I could do.

After we opened, we wanted to find the right team of people so we can create this magic atmosphere.

Today – together with Gaby, we have Jonathan, Bianca and Dan. We can’t be more proud of our team and we can’t wait to create many memories together with our students.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We introduce students to the amazing world of Dancing.

We specialize and Ballroom and Latin dances. Some of the popular dances that we teach are: Salsa, Tango, Rumba, Swing, Bachata, ChaCha, Merengue, Quickstep and many more. All the dances that are on Dancing with the Stars and many more. Next time you go to a party, you will not have to stay and watch others how they dance. We also specialize in people with two left feet 🙂

We will give you all the basics steps so you feel comfortable on the dance floor and you can lead/follow any partner.

I most proud of the wonderful team of teachers that we have and together with our amazing students, we compete in different national and regional competitions and win different awards.

What sets us apart is our friendly and relaxed atmosphere where anyone can come and learn how to dance.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite memory is traveling and competing in many different cities across Moldova. We had an amazing group of dancers with whom we stayed friends even until now.


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