Where You Get Your Dance On!
The Ballroom of Sacramento

DJ's and Instructors

Linda I

LINDA I has been DJing since 1986. Starting out in Country, she has also done West Coast Swing and Ballroom, which she still does every Sat. night at The Ballroom. She has Dj'd for most of the major Country Dance Competitions in California, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. She Dj'd for the UCWDC World Championships for many years traveling between Nashville and Disneyland. She also DJ'd for most of the major West Coast Swing Dance Competitions in California and Nevada for many years before retiring from the competition circuit in 2005. She won the 1994 Peoples Choice Award for Best Event DJ, 1995 Feather Award for Best DJ (only 2 ever given) and in 2008 was inducted into the Swing DJ Hall of Fame. In 2019, Linda was awarded one of the prestigious *Pioneer of Country Awards* , from the U.C.W.D.C.

John Maricich

JOHN MARICICH has been DJing since the young age of 17. He started DJing for his school dances and his friends siblings weddings in 1983. He started spinning the tunes for Country dances in 1992. He plays a wide variety of music, not just country. He has played for Christian Singles, Wagon Train, in Placerville, many fundraisers, school dances, weddings and corporate events too. He also says he's one heck of an emcee too!

Gordon Hunt

GORDON HUNT has DJ'd at In Cahoots, Gatlins, Stoney Inn, Country Couples, Downright Country, Pony Express and now at The Ballroom! His easy going style has made him a favorite with the dancers since 1992. Being one of the first instructors at In Cahoots and Gatlin's (America Live) in the hey day of country, he continues to teach and DJ for the dancers that grace our country dance floors today. He is also available to DJ or teach at private parties. Gordon donates all his pay from Djing to Shriners Children Hospital, his favorite charity. He is one nice guy and you will love him too, on Friday nights!

Adam Watts

ADAM WATTS comes from a long line of dancers, musicians, singers, and performers and artists of all kinds, including wing-walkers, dance instructors, and music directors. While he specializes in virtually all of the American Smooth/Rhythm dances for both social and performance dancing, he can also get you off the ground in International Latin. Adam has studied dancing at studios in the Sacramento area for more than a dozen years and has been teaching exclusively at The Ballroom of Sacramento since early 2015. Adam feels that by giving students a solid foundation of lead and follow technique, as well as a basic understanding of the characteristics of each dance, there is no limit to where they can go. Adam teaches Bronze to Silver (beginning to intermediate) level in the following dances: Foxtrot, Waltz, American Tango, Bolero, Rumba, Cha Cha, Merengue, Salsa, Night Club Two-Step, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, Hustle, East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing, as well as the Samba Line Dance.

Amy Farhood-Sterling

AMY FARHOOD-STERLING: Teaches Beginning to Intermediate American Smooth, Rhythm, Salsa, East Coast Swing

Christy Cloud

CHRISTY CLOUD grew up wanting nothing more than to dance! Her parents were more sports minded, however, and enrolled her in a multitude of competitive sports. She finally got her wish as a teenager and began formal and rigorous ballet training, which was woefully late in life to be a serious ballerina. Nevertheless, in college she majored in Music Theatre and minored in dance. Her teaching career includes six years of elementary school teaching and substituting K-6 (1996-2001). Participating in all those sports growing up paid off with owning and operating a Fencing Salle (2000-2002), coaching foil and epee to both youth and adults with her own National Ranking of #7 in epee & #21 in foil (2000), being certified as a personal trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine (2003), and being a certified Pilates Instructor through The Pilates Coach™ (2003). She captained a Women’s Doubles Tennis team from (2002-2008) at the tennis club where she was General Manager. In 2007 Christy came to The Ballroom of Sacramento and was introduced to partner dancing. In 2008 she started working for us in a variety of capacities. She began her formal teacher’s training with our in house program in 2008. Bitten immediately by the Argentine Tango bug, she specializes in Argentine Tango but can teach the other dances and choreograph for special events and weddings.

Dave West

DAVE WEST has been dancing since 1982, teaching since 1984. Dave dances Country, Swing and some Ballroom. He competed on the *West 40 Dance Team*. He has competed, judged, taught up to Masters level in Country, was a Master Choreographer, Master Judge and a Master Instructor for the UCWDC and CWDI. He has worked with over 18 teams and 136 couples, many of which became Grand Champions. His greatest accomplishment was finding and molding Robert Royston, who is now world renowned. Dave has taught at clubs and studios all over the bay area. He built and owned *Dave's Dance Place* studio from 2000-2003. He has taught at The Ballroom of Sacramento since 2010.

Genya Malko

GENYA MALKO (Evgeny) is a certified professional instructor and adjudicator. He graduated from St. Petersburg Russia University with a Masters Degree in Ballroom Dancing and Performing Arts. The Russian Federation awarded him the qualifications of Instructor and Choreographer in Creative Arts, Master of Dancesport (Ballroom Dancing and Ballet). Evgeny is semifinalist of National American Smooth professional championships, and a finalist of the first American Smooth British Open in Blackpool. He teaches all styles and levels, from beginning to advanced. Genya will be teaching Ballroom classes on Saturdays. Check out the calendar for more info.

Grace Kato

GRACE KATO: The blur of activity you see at the studio would be Grace Kato. Her high energy and passion are apparent in all aspects of her dancing. Whether she is working on her own dancing or yours, her energy and enthusiasm is non-stop. Part of the Ballroom's Family since before they laid the first plank of wood on the floor, Grace has been active in our dance community since 1994. She started dancing as an amateur in the International Latin Style, followed by American Rhythm, International Standard and American Smooth. As an amateur, she and her partner, David Stewart competed and achieved national recognition in every style of dancing they have undertaken... even West Coast Swing! David and Grace turned "pro" in 2003 and they have continued with their dancing success together as well as with their pro-am students. She consistently has top placements with her students. If you see her out on the dance floor, be sure to ask her for a dance!!!

Jamie Cooper

JAMIE COOPER has traveled the world competing and performing. She did her first international competition in 2004 in Berlin, Germany and has won numerous titles since. Some of her titles include 10-dance champion at the Gay Games in 2006, 2nd place in Latin and 3rd place in Standard at the Same-Sex World Championships in 2005, and 3rd place in Standard in 2006, 1st place in both International Latin and Latin American Showdance and 2nd place in American Smooth at the US Championships in 2010. In 2011 she was awarded 2nd place in the Classic American Showdance at the US Championships and 3rd place in both International Latin and 10-dance at the Same-Sex US Championships. Most recently, Jamie became the Female World Champion in 9-dance and Rhythm at the 2014 Gay Games. Although Jamie loves to compete and perform, her true love is teaching. Jamie teaches both American and International styles. She is certified by the World Dance and Dance Sport Council and has also obtained a certification as a Zumba Instructor. Jamie is a 2011 graduate of University of California, Davis, with a Bachelors degree in Fashion Design and a minor in Dramatic Arts. In her spare time she designs and sews costumes for dance competitions and showcases.


JOHN-MARK started dancing ballroom while attending college for his bachelor’s degree where he was introduced to dancing through local dance events. He quickly became involved in social dancing and teaching dance at the local college and dance studios. He teaches beginning to intermediate American Smooth and Rhythm, West Coast Swing, Nightclub 2 Step, and Country 2 Step. In 2020 John-Mark won two world titles at the UCWDC Country Dance Worlds Championships for line dancing. He currently competes in the UCWDC Division 3 couples and Intermediate Line Dance.

Johnny Ochoa

JOHNNY OCHOA has been at the Ballroom since 2000. He has been dancing swing since 1997 and teaching since 1999. He teaches East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag. His students remark to us how much fun he is in class and how much they enjoy his teaching and attitude towards swing dancing. He is also a member of The San Francisco Jitterbugs, a professional dance troupe that performs all over the country to standing ovations. All of this has helped make his Tuesday night swing dance in downtown Sacramento a huge success, and the longest running swing night in Northern California. For more information on Johnny, his lessons and dances, go to www.sactownswings.com.


KAT has been teaching for many years specializing in Country. She teaches: Country Two Step, Schottische, Triple Two Step, Country Swing, Polka and line dancing. She also teaches East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Night Club Two Step, Bolero, Salsa, Bachata and Hustle. Kat teaches beginning to advanced levels. She has also taught modern, jazz, beginning ballet and contemporary dance. She focuses on social dancing but also competes in Country and has several competition students also.

Mitzie Traynor

MITZIE TRAYNOR began dancing and performing at 4 years old, in her mothers dance studio, in Stockton. Mitzie's mother was a member of the San Francisco Ballet and passed the love of ballet and dancing on to Mitzie. Along with ballet, Mitzie, studied Piano and flute. She went on to become Head Banner and Drill Team Captain of her High School Band , for 3 years. In College, she was chosen to be the Captain of the Cheerleading and Drill Teams for 2 years. She went on to become a Pre-School teacher and Kindergarten teacher for 13 years. Mitzie has studied ballet for 15 years passing the Cecchitti Classical Ballet tests of Grade 1 and 2 . She has also studied with many West Coast Swing Champions and still attends their workshops and classes. She was the owner of the Smallie School of Dance, in Lodi, for 40 years, where she taught Ballet, Lyrical Dance, Tap and Zumba, for many ages. She also taught at Berkeley College for 3 years. She competes in West Coast Swing, Country, Hustle, Night Club Two Step and Pro-Am events at many of the national events, in several states. She started taking classes at The Ballroom in 2004 and after assisting many instructors, starting teaching herself in 2017, at the Ballroom. Mitzie's love and knowledge of dance has been a fulfilling part of her life and she receives much happiness sharing the gift-of-dance with her students.

Paul Zimny

PAUL ZIMNY has over 25 years of teaching experience in dance movement, theory & choreography. His ballroom training came by way of the Arthur Murray School of Dance where he trained & taught for over 10 years, eventually owning two dance schools. In addition, Paul has taught high school students for over 25 years. He is currently teaching at Folsom High School as well as conducting ballroom dance classes at American River College & holding dance movement clinics for students & teachers of all ages, backgrounds & skill levels. Paul has performed at both amateur & professional levels throughout the United States & Canada for over 35 years. He has designed & choreographed movement & staging for major motion pictures, musical productions & dance competitions. Paul's teaching style is fun & easy to understand, providing beginning dancers the information & basic skill to "hit the dance floor," as well as advanced technique for those seasoned dancers who want to take their dancing to the highest level. He conducts group classes & offers private instruction, specializing in Ballroom, Latin, East Coast Swing, Hustle and Argentine Tango.


RACHELLE started dancing ballroom in high school, at an after school program, where she fell in love with partner dancing. She teaches beginning to Advanced American Smooth and Rhythm, West Coast Swing and Country Two Step. She also enjoys creating choreography for UCWDC couples and musical theater. She currently competes in UCWDC Division 2, with her dance partner Jonathan, where they placed 5th in 8 dance at the UCWDC Worlds competition, this last January.

Robbie Black

ROBBIE BLACK started dancing ballet and tap when she was 8 years old and continued until she graduated from high school. In 1995 she discovered country dancing and a year later her instructor handed Robbie her CD's, audio tapes, step sheets and said "I won't be back" and so began Robbie's teaching career! She has been teaching line dancing ever since. She is very good at breaking down the dances no matter what level she is teaching. She is greatly respected for her knowledge and teaching of line dancing. She still continues to go to line dance workshops and learn new steps and dances whenever possible along with teaching at these workshops herself. She has been teaching at The Ballroom of Sacramento since 2003. She also teaches Tuesday afternoons in Nevada City along with teaching for Pony Express and Downright Country dance clubs. She is a valued asset of our country dance program.

Schuyler Howson

SCHUYLER HOWSON - Teaches beginning Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Foxtrot, Rumba, Merengue, Salsa & Waltz.

Sheryl Emmons

SHERYL EMMONS began Ballet dancing at the Barbara Briggs Ballet Studio when she was five years old. Her love of dance quickly took hold and she also began studying Tap, Jazz, and Modern dance with Ron Cisneros. Throughout high school, Sheryl was a member the Bishop Manogue Drill Team. She performed during halftimes for Christian Brothers football games, as well as for the Los Angeles Rams, the Oakland Invaders, several college football teams, at the State Fair and in various parades. You may even have seen her as a background dancer in a commercial for a Music Circus production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ballroom, Latin and Swing entered her life at age 22, when she began taking lessons at a local Dance Studio. Since then, she has studied Ballroom, Latin, and Swing with several Sacramento instructors, as well as with instructors in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York. Sheryl also enjoys dancing many other styles of dance, including Country, Flamenco, Kizomba, Lambada-Zouk, Hula and Belly dancing, but admits her favorite dances are Kizomba and Balboa. In her free time, Sheryl enjoys Archery and Fencing (Foil and Sabre). Sheryl’s other love is theatre. She studied theatre at UCLA and UC Davis, majoring in technical theatre. When she isn’t on the dance floor, she is likely backstage dressing a performer or stage managing a production.

Shirley Hartman

SHIRLEY HARTMAN has been teaching for 58 years and at The Ballroom since 1996. She has taught Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar and Gold Star levels. She won Best Dancer/Teacher competition in 1958. Shirley not only teaches but is a dance director, choreographer and adjudicator. She teaches individuals, couples, groups and teams of all ages. She specializes in social dancing, timing, lead/follow and presentation in all Ballroom, Rhythm, Swing and specialty dances. She has been the mistress-of-ceremony at various events including Let's Dance Ballroom's Holiday Gala. Shirley was inducted into the California Swing Hall of Fame in 2010.

Theresa McGarry

THERESA McGARRY has background in Jazz, Modern Dance, Hula, Belly Dancing, Ballroom, County, Hustle and Swing. She is primarily known for her West Coast Swing dancing in numerous competitions across the State. Her biggest reward in dancing is sharing the joy of dance with someone who is just learning! Theresa teaches West Coast Swing, Salsa, Night Club Two Step, and Hustle.

Tierney Howson

TIERNEY HOWSON - Teaches beginning Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha Cha, American Tango, Argentine Tango, Night Club Two Step, Salsa, Merengue, East Coast Swing and Rumba

Tyler Appian

TYLER APPIAN - Teaches beginning to advanced American Smooth, Rhythm, Club Dances and Competitive Dancing.