Semion & Maria
Rolf Eirik Hegrand
If you have seen PJ at a dance event you know that he is One of the most approachable pros in the business. He always wears a backwards hat, may talk a little funny, A big cheesy Grin, Down to earth, Dances with everyone, animated on the floor, brings a smile to your face with his southern charm. These are some of the reasons that he is one of the most sought after pros!! His Classes are always super fun with his BOOM MOMENTS so always be prepared for him to scare the pee out of you or not because its more funny! LOL.
PJ started Dancing at 10 years old with Clogging (form of tap). His Brother was going out to a local club to learn line dancing and came home telling these amazing stories so At the age of 12 PJ started Line dancing where his brother was going. Started partner dancing at the age of 14 (when he met his wife), she taught him the East Coast Swing, some mixer dances, and the Sweetheart Schottische. He discover that his grandmother became very sick and could not come to see him and his brother dance. PJ’s family discovered there was a national TV show being filmed in Knoxville called Club Dance. So they all went on it and his grandmother was able to see them both dance!!! PJ met a bunch of new people and stayed on this show for the next 3 years. this is where he learned 2step, triple two, waltz, cha cha, polka and then he saw WEST COAST SWING!!!! Discovering that this dance suited him very well he stopped with the other dances and focused on WCS.
In 2001 he went to his very 1st Dance event/competition. Peach State in Atlanta GA. Dancing now in a bar for 8 years, this was a huge change. Seeing WCS for the 1st time in its real form from Robert Royston, Mario Robau Jr., Kyle Redd and Sarah Vann Drake, his dream was to become one of those guys. He entered in to his first Jack and Jill contest and placed 3rd in a big Novice Division.
A few years later he was apart of of small dance team called Team Joe. They traveled all around the southeast of the U.S. teaching, competing and social dancing. Competing and Placing in teams divisions, strictlies, Jack and Jills at events such as Grand Nationals and UCWDC Worlds They developed quite the reputation and people were excited to see them! Team Joe had a great run and ended in 2011.
PJ started traveling the Swing Circuit all over the nation competing in Jack and Jills and strictly competitions. He was on a mission for the NASDE tour, In 2012 he was rewarded the NASDE tour Champion. Along the way he also was the recipient of several Social Dance awards including the Prestigious Bob Preiss Social Dance Award from Swing Diego, Boogie by the Bay and River City Swing. In 2013 He partnered with Tashina Beckmann King and they had a great run as well. Putting 6 routines on the floor including Feel Again, Counting Stars, Demons, Livin on a Prayer, Let the Good Times Roll and Helium. They were US Open finalists and performed in an Off-Broadway show in New York called Swango. They were invited all over the U.S. and internationally to teach judge and perform.
In 2015 he quit his job and went dance professional full time. He has never regretted the decision. PJ loves dancing and is extremely passionate about teaching and social dancing. Now PJ Travels all over the world Teaching Judging performing competing and learning! PJ NEVER Forgot the most important thing is family. He has an AMAZING SUPPORTIVE FAMILY that is his rock and cheers him on. If you see PJ out at an event don’t ever hesitate to ask him to dance. His motto is and will always be: Just make her smile!!!
Maria and Semion have been dance partners for about five years. Semion has been dancing ever since he was eight. He started with ballroom dancing first, then got into social dancing, and finally into West Coast Swing. He is known for his musicality and great connection with his partners. Maria has been dancing since 2007. In 2008 she fell in love with social partner dances. She started learning hustle/discofox and salsa. She had been dancing hustle and discofox for 4 years, working on her solo choreography as well when West Coast Swing came in to her dancing life. After that she couldn’t stop dancing WCS. She enjoys the versatility of the dance, bringing new emotions, options for musicality and styling to every dance. Semion and Maria were the first Russians to ever get to US Open Classic finals in both 2016 and 2017. They also got the second place at The Open Classic finals in 2018. Their partnership emphasizes technique, musicality and connection. They love the possibilities for communication and dialogue between partners during every dance, and seek to help their students discover this incredibly fun aspect of WCS. They share a philosophy that care and attention are the best things partners can give to each other during any dance.
Victoria Henk's shenanigans began at age 4 with ballet and gymnastics, with hip hop and jazz soon joining the mix at age 6. At the age of 8 she starting training at the Schwimmer´s 5678 Dance Studio where she was quickly placed onto both the juniors West Coast Swing and Jazz teams. Victoria´s passion and ability for both the solo dances and West Coast Swing was cultivated at the studio until she began to dedicate as much time to it is as she possibly could. When she began to compete she quickly met with success, culminating in her winning the 2014 NASDE All Star Tour and immediately afterwards beginning to place and final in Champions divisions. She now teaches hip hop at Buddy Schimmer´s Dance Center, continues to train at the Edge Performing Arts Center in LA with the top choreographers in the world, travels around the globe to teach West Coast Swing with her new partner Ben Morris, and is a full time student at a University. In her spare time she likes to…wait…spare time? What spare time?
Estelle began her dance journey at age 13 when she discovered Lindy Hop. She was hooked with her first dance steps, and swing dancing quickly became a true passion and a lifestyle that pushed her to follow her second passion - traveling. She decided to travel the world and learn as much about the dance as possible, and eventually discovered West Coast Swing. She realized that this was the dance for her - mixing smooth, graceful, and technical qualities with her beloved swing - and she immediately fell in love. In 2011, she moved to Montreal for two years to teach, learn, and improve herself among the best of the community. She traveled to places where she could compete, and she became the first French All-Star. She also trained professionally as a dancer and teacher of the dance during this time, developing her technique and pedagogy. Estelle now lives back in Europe, where she competes, teaches, judges, and head judges at WSDC events. She continues to travel the world to share her passion with everybody. Her joyful personality and easy-going, open attitude make her a renowned teacher, and her way of making harder concepts easy to understand will make everyone in her class walk away with more confidence and understanding of the dance.
Rolf Hegrand discovered West Coast Swing online in late 2015.
Since taking his first West Coast Swing class in 2016, Rolf quickly rose up the ranks. He has been teaching the dance since 2017 while working full time in the Norwegian armed forces.
Rolf is the only male WCS dancer from Norway to competie in the WSDC All-Star Division.