Meet our instructors.
Chuck Danza- Studio Director
Chuck has been dancing for 25 years and coaches Professional, Amateur, and Pro-Am couples in International-Style Latin & American-Style Rhythm & Smooth. He is a former Italian National Latin Champion, was a finalist at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, and has won numerous titles in other competitions throughout the world. After retiring from competitive dance, Chuck became a world-class adjudicator and received DVIDA, IDTA, and ISTD certifications. He is also a certified examiner for DVIDA. Chuck has traveled all over the world to teach and coach dancers at every level and most recently starred in Italy’s production of “Dancing with the Stars”. His other performing arts credits include training professional dancers in the film “Mad Hot Ballroom” and the popular U.S. TV shows “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “Dancing with the Stars”.
He was one of the originators of “Burn the Floor” and also played a leading role in the film adaptation of the legendary musical “Evita”.
Chuck has owned and managed several studios throughout Europe, and currently directs three studios in the Tri-State Area: Philadelphia and Exton, P.A.
He coaches all of The Academy instructors on a regular basis and requires them to attend training sessions multiple times a week to meet detailed DVIDA syllabus requirements. In his personal life, he trains in Jujitsu and MMA and was a Golden Glove boxer.
Chuck’s competitive experience and effortless dancing style combined with his coaching ability and innovative vision enable him to provide our instructors with top-flight leadership and guidance, which ultimately benefits our students.
Ed Campbell- Center City Manager
Ed is from a family with a rich history in dancing. From early childhood, he excelled in
sports such as hockey and cultivated an interest in Aikido and other martial arts. Ed also
developed an interest in music and became a professional musician, landing a recording
contract right out of high school and touring in support of those recordings. Ed’s love of
music gave impetus to his desire to dance, and he became an instructor at The Academy,
where he is now the manager. He introduces students to the poetic movement of
Argentine Tango and frequently accompanies students to Buenos Aires to experience the
dance. He also competes at pro-am competitions nationally and internationally and has
won numerous “Top Teacher” awards.
Leslie Lu- Exton Manager
Born and raised in Taiwan, Leslie was a top-ranked National youth gymnast.
She came to the United States as a teenager and later attended the
University of Delaware where she graduated with a BS degree in Accounting.
It was not until 1999 that she discovered and fell in love with Ballroom
Dance, and several years later she decided to leave the corporate world to
be involved with the dance industry full time. With a strong business
background and her passion for ballroom dancing, she plays a pivotal role as
Co-Director of the Exton Studio. In addition to her business responsibilities,
Leslie is also a talented dancer in her own right, a certified instructor
continuing to help students learn and achieve their dancing goals. She
trained with the Academy of Social Dance under Chuck Danza’s guidance
and has taught numerous students over the years. Throughout the years
she has also studied International Latin and enjoyed dancing and competing.
Vincenzo Minieri- Dance Director
Enzo was born in Naples, Italy and began to study Standard and Latin dances at a very young age. He achieved the highest level at his “International Class” in 2004 and was also trained in Caribbean, tap, and Jazz. In addition to winning various top awards in worldwide competitions, he also appeared on Italian version of Dancing with the Stars for 5 seasons and became one of the show’s choreographers. Enzo also performed in “High Society” and the Academy Award winning “Hair Spray” musicals. His well-recognized talent earned him invitations to perform for the King of Dubai and Pope John Paul II. Enzo came to Philadelphia to join the Academy of Social Dance in 2009. He specializes in International-Style Latin and Standard dances and has already won many Pro/Am competitions with his students.
Stephanie Stevens- Center City Instructor
Originally from California, Stephanie began dancing at the age of five. With a strong background in ballet, modern, jazz and theatre she eventually made the transition into ballroom dance. She made the move to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, where she worked studied under the guidance of Ronen Koresh, Kim-Bears Bailey, Scott Jovovich and Andrew Pap among others. After graduating from the University of the Arts in May 2012, she performed in an off- Broadway dance play entitled ‘8 Million Protagonists’ in New York City. She is very pleased and excited to be teaching at the Academy of Social Dance at the Philadelphia studio.
Rosaria Vivone- Center City Instructor
Born in Eboli, Rosaria began dancing at the
age of 7 in the styles of Latin and Standard.
Over the years, she has participated in many
competitions and international championships
in which she gained International Class status
in 2007. She has had many victories and
made the finals in some of the most important
International competitions such
as, “league of Southern Europe”, “Malta
Open”, and the “Sardinia Open.” In 2006, she
participated as a dancer in the RAI TV show,
“Morning in the Family.” In addition to being
qualified as a Latin and Standard instructor,
she is also a qualified “Zumba” instructor.
Since making the transition into the
professional class in 2012, she is now
partnering with Enzo here at the Academy
preparing to compete in the US.
Fico Prieto- Center City Instructor
Fico was introduced to a variety of Latin dance styles at a young age, spending many of his summers in Puerto Rico with his family, many of which are dancers. His family has a strong musical background in which Fico has followed learning guitar, percussion, and compesition. Balancing his love of music with his love of technology, he landed himself a postition with IBM as a network technition right out of high school. During his time with IBM, Fico immersed himself into body conditioning through gymnastics, parkour, Capoeira, and Ballroom Dancing. His love of ballroom landed him under the tutelage of Chuck Danza, and when the announcement of the opening of the Exton was underway, Fico worked and studied hard to become an instructor at the Academy to fulfill his passion of teaching and body movement.
Rachel – Exton Instructor
Rachel began her dancing career at the early age of 3 and did most of her training and performances with the Accent School of Dance in Allentown, PA where she was born and raised. She continuously studied jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop from her early years through high school. After high school she was accepted at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia as a dance major and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis on jazz performance. Rachel assisted with dance instruction at Accent while in school and performed professionally with Fancy Pants Productions, Inc. at Dorney Park in Allentown along with other professional companies. Rachel wanted to further her dance career and was highly recommended from people in her field to the Academy of Social Dance. After working for Chuck Danza at the Philadelphia Festival Dancesport Championship, she was asked to join the Academy staff. Because of her extensive dance experience she was able to easily manage the intense training she received from Chuck. Rachel is an enthusiastic ballroom dance instructor and continues her training to compete professionally in American Rhythm and Smooth dance under the guidance of Chuck Danza.
Klajdi Kasemi- Exton Instructor
Klajdi was born in Albania and began his dance training at a very young age. He had trained with top professionals
in multiple dances including ballet, jazz, and ballroom and had traveled all over Europe to perform and compete. He
regularly appeared and performed on the national TV shows and was a member of Albanian Dance Sport Federation.
His love for Ballroom lead him to the United State and joined the ASD in January 2013. Klajdi is passion about
bringing the joy of Ballroom dance to his students and is proficient in both American Rhythm and Smooth dances as
well as International Latin and Standard styles.
Chelsea Simon- Exton Instructor
Chelsea stepped into a studio for the first time at the age of 4 with her pink tutu and her ballet shoes on the wrong feet. Growing up dancing was a given for her and she soon became proficient in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, gymnastics, and contemporary. She then went on to study dance in college. While in college her choreography was Featured at the American College Dance Festival Association and adjudicated by a panel of professionals. After 4 years of intense training, learning, and choreography Chelsea graduated from Eastern University with a BA in Dance. After college she emerged into the world of ballroom dance where she has now found a home at the Academy of Social Dance in Exton.
Emilie Cole- Exton Instructor
Like many little girls, Emilie grew up wanting to be a dancer. Her first encounter
with dance started at age 8 with ballet classes, and she has received multiple dance
scholarships during her student years. Although Classical Ballet was her focus,
Emilie’s training also included Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and much
more. Her Ballet training included Alabama Ballet and Nashville Ballet, and at
seventeen she was invited to be a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet School. Working
with instructors such as Amanda McKerrow, John Magnus, Tracey Alvey, Roger Van
Fleteran, and Anna and Barry Van Cura fostered her love of dance as well as honing
her technical skills. Emilie discovered Ballroom and fell in love with it as a teenager.
She has trained with Ron Montez, and Jim and Janell Meranto, just to name a few.
She has found a home at The Academy of Social Dance which allows her continue
her passion for Ballroom, train under Chuck Danza, and share her love for dancing