Meet Our Staff

Our Story

Katie Franco

Office Manager


Katie has been with Sway since the beginning and we adore her.  She is most likely the first voice you hear and the first face you see at Sway. Katie is more than just a receptionist. She keeps us all on task with our schedules, from the teachers to the managers, and makes sure we follow through on all the details that we sometimes forget about.  Katie has a gift for making new students feel welcome and comfortable when they first walk in the door.  She always enjoys catching up, and chatting with those who have been around the studio for a while. 
 

Alex Boiko

Instructor

Alex is originally from Ukraine, and moved to the United States in 2018 to pursue his dance career.  He began dancing as a young child, and it has been a part of his life ever since.  Winner of the Ukrainian National competition in the Latin division Alex has had the opportunity to take his passion for sharing dance around the world.  He worked on multiple cruise lines entertaining with performances, and teaching the passengers on the ships.  Being a renaissance man of sorts Alex is also gymnast focusing on tumbling, as well as being a phenomenal singer, even appearing on The Voice Ukraine.  Alex’s student love his patience, and how clear he can explain even the most complicated aspects of dancing.




Lisa Cristiani Brown

Instructor / Owner


This globetrotter was introduced to ballroom dancing while living in Hong Kong. Apparently seeing samba after dim sum inspired this well trained gymnast to try it out. Lisa worked with world class coaches and was rocking triple turns while still in middle school. Learning overseas meant that Lisa knew ballroom was cool before ballroom was cool. When Dancing with the Stars hit the screens in the US, Lisa was already dominating the amateur ranks in American Rhythm and Smooth. She was awarded "National Professional Rising Star Smooth Finalist" in 2011. Aside from that, this smarty-pants attended Smith college studying biology and sports medicine. Her brains, her kindness and her dance talents come together as she builds her vision for Sway. Today, her heart is growing three more sizes as she welcomes her third baby to the world. Great job mama!

Lisa@SwayBallroomDance.c

About Us

Stefan Badea

Instructor


Stefan, originally from Romania, moved to Canada when he was a young child with his parents, where they enrolled him in Ballroom Dance Lessons. Even at a young age Stefan loved the work ethic it took to become a good dancer, and he soon found a dance partner, and they competed on the Canadian amateur dance circuit.  They had quite a successful competitive career where they won the Under 21 Canadian Standard division, and were the Canadian Amateur Adult Standard Vice-Champions.  Stefan has a focus and determination with his own dancing, and that translates to his lessons with his students. They love how he pushes them to be the best dancers they can possibly be, and they work hard to achieve the high expectations he has for each. While he is a technician at heart, Stefan also knows how to incorporate lots of laughter on his lessons which makes striving towards those high expectations fun and enjoyable

Illia Sydorenko

Instructor


Illia has been a dancer his entire life with many high achieving accomplishments.  He began dancing at the age of seven, and has not looked back.  He is originally from Ukraine, where he earned his sports specialist degree from the Ukrainian University of Culture and Arts.  Illia is three times Ukrainian National 10 Dance Champion, five time Ukrainian Formation Champion, and European Standard Dance Champion in his division.  After moving the United States, in 2017, he met his current dance partner Tanya. They started to compete in the Smooth category, and together they have won many dance competitions in the Rising Star division.  Illia loves all things musical.  When he is not dancing he enjoys playing the guitar, and exploring all different kinds of music.  He loves teaching his students, and seeing how the magic of dance can make a person’s day.  When the light bulb goes on, and everything clicks for a student, those are the moments he enjoys best

Inspiration
Dancing inspires our creativity. Sway professionals help you develop your creative voice, your sense of passion, your love of glamour, or grit or funk. Give yourself permission to express yourself physically and emotionally in a way you can’t in your daily life.

Connection
​In a world full of social media, dancing with a partner is a real-world, hands-on way to genuinely connect with the people around us. Real human connections bring real human joy. We’d love for you to come share a smile with us!

Whole Body Health
Ballroom dancing today is athletic. We believe the best kind of workout is a fun one, and dancing is great because you’re focused on your moves, not your muscles. Physical intensity naturally develops as you progress in your dancing skill so you’ll always get just what your body is ready for.​

Danny and Kayla Parker

Instructors

Danny and Kayla have a love of dance unmatched by nearly all.  With over 30 years of experience together, they have performed in front of all types of crowds with fun, creative routines, entertaining their crowds of all types.  Danny and Kayla felling love on the dance floor, and believe there is no better way to get to know someone.  They now have two young children themselves, and love having their kids involved and participating in the kids ballroom program.


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Your first private lesson is free​

Matthew Brown

Instructor / Owner


Matt’s dancing started at a young age in a not so traditional way. His mom never knew where it would all lead when she signed him up for Folklorico (Mexican folk dancing) class in 5th grade. This California native has been in the business for over 15 years, and he has worn many 'shoes' including being an instructor, a competitor, a choreographer, a manager, and now the big cheese himself – OWNER!  Matt works to synthesize what he has learned from his diverse experiences to build a studio that delivers an amazing experience every time.  He comes from a big, loving family that knows how to take care of each other and put each other first.  While Matt is “Mr. Business” at the studio, deep down, he’s a giant goof ball, who loves hanging out and playing with his four kids.  

Matt@SwayBallroomDance.com

Alexey Ryazanov

Instructor


Alexey started his dance journey at the young age of eight, and it was such a passion that he studied at the Kyiv National University majoring in acting, dance, and choreography. Originally from the Ukraine, Alexey was a part of a National Formation Team that took 1st place while he was a part of it, then he lit up the TV on the show "So You Think You Can Dance, Ukraine.”  Alexey is always kind and patient with his students.  The all adore how thoughtful he is, and how much he cares about helping them improve their own dancing.  Alexey is a “dancer dancer.” He feels the music deep in his soul, and let’s the music move him.  He also has a great sense of humor, and while he is quiet, he is also one of the funniest guys you will ever 

Tanya Kuts

Instructor


Originally from Ukraine Tanya started dancing Ballroom and Latin when she was just six years old.  As she progressed in her dancing she earned her degree in choreography from Kharkiv State Academy of Culture, and won the Ukrainian Latin Championship in her division.  Tanya was able to take her talents, and work on cruise lines for 5 years on the Regent Seven Seas cruise lines working for Jean Ryan Productions.  She eventually moved to California, and fell in love with the American Smooth style of dance, and now competes with her partner Illia.  They have moved up the ranks quickly winning nearly all of their competitions most recently in the Rising Star division. Her favorite part about teaching is seeing they same passion she has for dance grow in her students as they progress through their dance journey.  When Tanya is not dancing she loves to cook/bake everything and anything

Hanna Weiss

Instructor

Current USA Dance Amateur Champion 


Hanna came out of the womb dancing, as both her parents competed in the Latin division, and both are still very involved coaching, and judging competitions around the country.  She currently competes in the American Smooth division, and recently took first place at the USA Dance Nationals with her dance partner Charles, and won the Pro/Am World Championship in 2018.   Before Hanna started in the Smooth Division she had previously competed in the 10 Dance Division (Standard and Latin). What Hanna enjoys most about dancing is how the music inspires her.  Each style has it’s own unique elements, and she loves playing with different roles/characteristics/personalities that each different dance brings.  When she is not dancing she enjoys other art forms such as painting, drawing, digital arts, and course dress designing

Call Us 949.297.3840

Matt and Lisa always dreamed of their own dance studio. After ten years working at various different ballroom studios, each with unique strengths and challenges, Matt and Lisa took the plunge to put their own fresh personal stamp on ballroom dancing.

From the beginning, their mission was about delivering the fun, infectiously happy, positive experiences they knew could be reached through dance. With uplifting personal experience as the primary focus and a solid technical dance background to support it, Matt and Lisa set about creating Sway in 2012.  Since then, they have never let their people-minded vision slip out of focus. They tap into their own fun personalities to connect with students, staff and the local community. When you support Sway, you are supporting a local family business with an earnest vision to bring the positive energy of dance in to our lives and community.

"The instructors are not only fun and friendly, but they are experienced, knowledgeable, and so talented."

-Marilyn J.

Stephen and Elisa McCann

Instructors


Stephen and Elisa each have years of dance experience, and currently compete in the Open Professional Circuit in the American Smooth Division.  Elisa has had much success coaching and choreographing on the collegiate ballroom circuit, and Stephen has a had years of competing internationally with a world ranking in International Latin.  They both are amazing instructors who care deeply about their students success, and the thing they love most in the entire world is they son Bobby (who is actually one of the cutest little dogs you'll ever meet.