Empowering Lives Through Dance
Aleksandar is a Professional dancer, fully certified instructor and choreographer with over 22 years of training and over 8 years of teaching experience. He possesses a wealth of experience in competing and performing in various dance styles and disciplines. He began his dance career at the age of six in his hometown of Ruse, Bulgaria. He received his dance training in Bulgaria, Russia and the United Kingdom. Prior to discovering his passion for ballroom dancing, Aleksandar had studied modern ballet and gymnastics in his early years. In 2010, Aleksandar was selected as one of the professional dancers for Bulgaria’s version of Dancing with the Stars “DWTS”. Following the success of DWTS, Aleksandar went on to instruct and choreograph for Impulse Ballet, one of Bulgaria’s largest dance companies. In 2011, Aleksandar graduated from the High School of Agribusiness and Developing Regions in Bulgaria.
Aleksandar decided to bring his knowledge, experience, and passion for dance to the United States in 2011. He formed North Shore Dance Society in 2013 after having spent several years teaching and training at several franchised studios in Chicago. The formation of North Shore Dance Society is the result of Aleksandar’s hard work and childhood dream. It was founded on the belief that dance, in its many styles and benefits, is achievable to anyone of any age or experience.
“Hard work, dedication and commitment” — those are the words that students of Aleksandar would use to describe him. Aleksandar cares about passing on his knowledge to his students, and he inspires them to take their own dancing to the next level. His strengths as a dancer lie within his creativity, versatility, energy and musicality. Due do his hard work, Aleksandar was awarded and recognized seven times as one of the Top Instructors at the Chicago Harvest Moon Ball DanceSport Championships between 2013-2019, 2017 Indianapolis Open DanceSport Competition and Wisconsin State DanceSport 2018
In 2017, Aleksandar followed his dream and organized the 1st annual Extravaganza DanceSport Showcase, a weekend event that combines individual dance showcase & competition.
Aleksandar has trained with esteemed and world renowned champions of Smooth, Standard, Rhythm and Latin, notably, Bill Sparks, Slawek Sochacki, Alain Doucet, Ray Rivers, David Hamilton, Maria Hansen, Paul Holmes, Anna Mikhed, John Swick, Bonita Brockert, and many others. He continues to coach regularly with top coaches.
As an instructor, Aleksandar competes Pro/Am with his students. He and his students have coached with Bill Sparks, Slawek Sochacki, Marzena Stachura, Kasia Kozak, Emmanuel Pierre Antoine, Maxim Kozhevnikov, John Swick, Alain Doucet and Bonita Brockert. His students have also participated in ballroom camps and workshops taught by Slavik Kryklyvyy, Ricardo Cocchi, Yulia Zagoruychenko, Maurizio Vescovo, Victor Fung, Anastasia Muravyeva, and Eugene Katsevman.
In the Professional competitive circuit, Aleksandar has competed in Professional American Smooth and American Rhythm. In 2017, he was an American Rhythm Rising Star and Professional finalist at the following competitions:
– Cincinnati Ballroom Classic
– Cleveland DanceSport Challenge
– Motown Showdown DanceSport Challenge
– North American Imperial Star Ball
– Chicago Harvest Moon Ball DanceSport Championships
Since 2018, Aleksandar and his professional partner Olga have been competing in American Smooth Division. They have been increasingly recognized as highly talented couple. Aleks & Olga’s achievements since they have started dancing together:
~ 2018 Windy City Open Chicago Open Professional Finalist
~ 2018 RS Smooth Winners, Best Overall Dance Techniques Winners & 3rd in Open Professional Smooth at Cincinnati Ballroom Classic
~ 2018 – 3rd place in Open Professional Smooth & RS Smooth at Northcoast Dancesport Classic
~ 2018 Cleveland Dancesport Challenge 2018 – PRO RS American Smooth 3d place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth 6th place finalists
~ 2018 The Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge 2018 – PRO RS American Smooth 2nd place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth 3rd place finalists
~ 2018 Chicago Harvest Moon Ball DanceSport Championships – PRO Open American Smooth 4th place finalists
~ 2018 Yuletide Ball – PRO Open American Smooth finalists
~ 2019 Golden Star Dancesport Championship- PRO RS American Smooth finalists
~ 2019 Maryland Dancesport Championships – PRO RS American Smooth 4th place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth finalists
~ 2019 Indiana Challenge Dancesport Competition – PRO RS American Smooth 2nd place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth 3rd place finalists
~ 2019 St. Louis Star Ball – PRO RS American Smooth 2nd place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth 4rd place finalists
~ 2019 Nashville starz 2019 – PRO Open American Smooth 4th place finalists
~ 2019 Indianapolis Open Dancesport Competition – PRO RS American Smooth 2nd place finalists and Pro Open American Smooth finalists
~ 2019 Wisconsin State Dancesport Championships – PRO Open American Smooth finalists
~ 2019 Northcoast DanceSport Classic – PRO Open American Smooth finalists
Apart from dancing, Aleksandar believes in being charitable and giving back his time to the community. In 2017, Aleksandar shared his love of dance with a group of special needs people at Misericordia, where he brought joy and provided these people with the beauty of artistic movement and empowered them to overcome their limitations.
Personally, Aleksandar is passionate about sharing his love of dance with his students. His commitment and goal-oriented mentality are the qualities he most enjoys to pass on to his students. He believes that dance can empower and enrich people’s lives and he looks forward to cultivating confident dancers in all types of ballroom dances.
Peter Minkov is a certified Ballroom and Latin dance instructor, professional dance competitor, and has over 25 years of dance and teaching experience. He is a ballroom dance adjudicator with the US Terpsichore Association and the owner of the oldest ballroom dance competition in the USA – the Chicago Harvest Moon Ball Dancesport Championship.
Peter was introduced to ballroom dancing at the age of 9, in his native country Bulgaria. From the first moments on the dance floor, he knew this would be his lifelong passion, which eventually became his profession and life.
As a professional competitor, Peter is a former winner and champion of over 20 U.S. professional ballroom championships.
He was a U.S. National Professional top 10-dance Finalist, combining Latin & Ballroom styles and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the country as well as top 16 in the world for several years in a row.
His experience as a dance instructor combined with his wide breadth of knowledge, expertise and life experience, makes him the perfect instructor for students of all backgrounds and ages.
His exposure and involvement in his family business of wedding planning and photography makes him an asset in the ballroom industry as he is well versed to help students prepare for their wedding dance or special event.
As a renowned coach and trainer who is well sought after, Peter loves to teach and is passionate in teaching dancers of all levels. Whether you are a beginner, recreational social dancer or an advanced competitor, Peter can help bring your dancing to the next level.
Olga has 23 years of experience in ballroom dance competitions and has earned more than 65 diplomas in international latin and standard, 10 dances.
She currently competes in the professional American Smooth Division with her partner, Aleksandar Bonev.
Olga began dancing back in Ukraine at the age of 7. She competed successfully throughout the Ukraine as one of the top dancers, and she earned recognition through her performances in the most highly respected ballroom dance competitions. Included among them are:
- Blackpool Dance Festival (England) – 2004, 2007,2008, 2009,2010 & 2012
- UK Championship (England) 2007
- Dutch Open (Holland) 2005
- Spartak Cup (Russia) 2004
- Tropicana Cup (Poland) 2003, 2005
She honed her skills as a dancer in international standard and latin through her work with renown coaches including:
Marat Gimaev, Leonid Pletnev & Sergey Rupin
Olga relocated to the US in July of 2015. Her success as a dance coach and choreographer in the Washington DC area brought recognition and lead to opportunities in Chicagoland.
Olga began dancing with her current professional partner, Aleksandar Bonev in January, 2018. Since their first competition in April 2018, they have been increasingly recognized as highly talented open professional dancers.
Olga brings a quiet sensitivity and charm as she engages students of various levels. She presents a model of grace and elegance, and her love of dance is infectious. She is a gifted and inspirational instructor for both female and male students of all ages. She adeptly assesses, guides, and encourages others as they begin or continue their dance journey.