A Note From the Director, Paula Iacono
All staff at the Iacono Ballroom Center are selected for their talent, great attitude and dedication to their dance and teaching profession. Each staff member attends regular training sessions in American and International Dance Styles. Training includes teaching the beginning dancer or wedding couples with no prior knowledge of dance to the advanced styles of competitive dancing for students who enjoy studying more intensely. We are confident that you will find our studio to be unique in the quality and delivery of instruction to you. We all share a passion for dance and love what we do!
Phoxay (poh-sigh) Bouthsavong, AISTD
Phoxay Bouthsavong is the Senior Instructor/Assistant Program Director of the Iacono Ballroom Center and a resident member of its affiliate dance company, The Buffalo Ballroom Theatre. He has been with the Iacono Ballroom Center for fourteen years and holds his Associate Degrees in the International Standard and the American Ballroom Branches of the ISTD, Imperial Society Of Teachers Of Dance. Phoxay is passionate about his chosen career and has always enjoyed growing as a professional dancer, teacher, and performer. He is well known for his patience and fun, easygoing personality and making his students feel comfortable learning challenging material. Phoxay enjoys helping his students achieve their personal goals whether it be training for competition, performance, learning to social dance or prepare for a wedding.
Phoxay also holds an Associate Degree in Architectural Drawing. After graduating from college, Phoxay worked as a Draftsman and, although he liked technical work, he also enjoyed theatre and the arts. This led Phoxay to audition for a teaching position with the Iacono Ballroom Center where he found that he had an untapped talent. Phoxay soon came to realize that his love of dancing, teaching and performing was something that he wanted to do as his full-time career.
Phoxay has competed with his students in both American and International styles in major US Competitions, Puerto Rico and Canada. His performance background includes: Amherst Symphony Orchestra, UB on The Green, The Buffalo Ballroom Theatre, Television, Buffalo's Dance Reality series for Fox TV, and various community events.
Why I Dance: "Dancing for me started out as a way of making a living. I applied to a dance studio not really thinking that anything would come of it; just thinking that it would be an easy paycheck. As soon as I stepped into this world of ballroom dance I was immediately drawn to it and taken with it. It was the first time I truly felt free and inspired by what I was doing. I felt dance allowed me to express myself in ways other careers of my life never had in the past. There is a certain satisfaction that I feel when I am dancing or performing that exhilarates and makes me want to strive to be a better dancer and performer."
Dixie Andrews, Instructor/Office Assistant
Ms. Andrews received her dance training in Ballroom and Latin dancing while living in Houston, Texas. She was trained by American Style dance champions Jan Mattingly, Vernon Brock, Joe Lozano and, former International Latin Champions, Corky and Shirley Ballas. Their son has been a regular on the popular TV series, "Dancing With The Stars". Dixie is experienced in teaching singles, couples, group classes and has an extensive background performing with her students in showcases and competitions from her days in Texas. Dixie is excited to return to her love of ballroom dancing and looks forward to teaching and performing here at Iacono Ballroom Center. You will always see Dixie with a smile on her face. Her outgoing personality make you feel relaxed and right at home. Her favorite dance? The Hustle!
Sharon Vasser, Instructor
Ms. Vasser began dancing at the young age of two in ballet, tap and gymnastics. She was introduced to ballroom dancing at the age of six when traveling with her parents six hours every weekend for their competition ballroom lessons. Shortly after Sharon begged to take lessons of her own and participated in her first ballroom competition by age eight; a love of dancing and performing was born. Sharon went on to further her studies in ballet, point, jazz, modern, hip hop, contemporary, tap and acrobatics, but still her fascination with ballroom remained.
Sharon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance and Production. She has dedicated her life to dance, performing with several dance companies in Texas and Ontario. Sharon has acted and danced in numerous plays, musicals and films and, has made her living teaching dance in all genres to students of all ages from toddler to adult.
Ms. Vasser believes that dance is for everyone and strives to bring just the right mix of fun and hard work to every lesson so that each student walks out of class feeling confident and a sense of accomplishment whether it be the beginning dancer, competitor or aspiring professional. Sharon has found a home in dance and lives every day sharing her passion with others. She is ecstatic to be back in the ballroom world where the love began years ago.