Leanne Pham

Receptionist/Social Media Director 


Born in Montana, Leanne brings personality that we love! She manages to be totally responsible and on top of business and at the same time she’s absolutely fun and engaging. We love having her here! 

​Why we love dance

Our Story

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

-Marilyn J.

Katie Franco

Receptionist


Katie has been with Sway since the beginning and we adore her. Her pastimes include binge watching TV shows and sipping apple martinis. Her killer smile and fun personality make everyone feel welcome!

Nikolle Lettig

Instructor

Current United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) Division I Southwest Champion


This kick-butt girl used to be an amateur boxer! Today she competes nationwide with her handsome husband and professional dance partner, Joseph, in Division I UCWDC Country. Since age 4, Nikolle has danced everything from ballet, lyrical, ballroom, latin, swing and country. Her unique mixed dance background puts a refreshing twist on her style and choreography on the dance floor.​ 

Matthew Brown

Instructor / Owner


​His mom never knew where it would all lead when she signed Matt up for a Mexican folk dancing class in 5th grade. This California native has been in the business for over 10 years. He has worn many 'shoes' including being an instructor, a competitor, a choreographer, a manager and now a studio owner! We respect that it’s not easy to be the guy who takes initiative and builds something new. He works to synthesize what he has learned from his diverse experiences to build a studio that delivers an amazing experience every time. Matt comes from a big, loving family that knows how to take care of each other and put each other first. Not only is he growing his own family as he welcomes his third adorable baby to the world, but we feel that he brings this same warmth of spirit to his family here at Sway.

Matt@SwayBallroomDance.com

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.com

Stefan Badea

Instructor


Stefan is originally from Romania, and has been dancing with his partner Madalina, since they were 6 and 7 years old, representing ballroom for 15 years now. They say it was not quite love at first sight for them but eventually there was no denying it. They quickly became the top couple in Canada, winning seven undefeated Alberta Amateur Championships in Standard and 10-Dance. They have achieved high results by becoming Youth Canadian Finalists, Canadian 10 Dance Champions, Under 21 Standard Canadian Champions as well as Canadian Amateur Adult Standard Vice-Champions. On top of being strong in the competitive field, it has not stopped them from venturing into showcase performances and special events. They hope to inspire and encourage others to set and achieve their goals and are proud to continue to be great ambassadors for the sport.

About Us

Madalina Varlam

Instructor


Madalina is originally from Romania, and has been dancing with her partner Stefan since they were 6 and 7 years old representing Canada for 15 years now. We know Stefan is a catch luckily Madalina realized it soon enough. They quickly became the top couple, winning in Alberta and Canada, also being asked to perform in many showcases such as The Singing Christmas Tree. They have won seven undefeated Alberta Amateur Championships in Standard and 10-Dance. They have achieved high results by becoming Youth Canadian Finalists, Canadian 10 Dance Champions, Under 21 Standard Canadian Champions as well as Canadian Amateur Adult Standard Vice-Champions. They have developed their dancing skills throughout their career and they have worked hard to fulfill their dancing dreams and goals, as well as inspire and encourage others to set and achieve their goals too.

Allie Spinder

Instructor

​Current United States & World Open Professional Smooth Finalist


We’ve been told that Allie got in trouble as a kid for egging a house, but quite honestly we don’t believe it. This gorgeous, gracious homecoming queen is the model of loveliness. After dancing as a kid, Allie graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Dance Education. She was a member of the world renowned BYU Ballroom Dance Company. Her team nailed first place at the British Formation Championships in Blackpool. While attending BYU, Allie developed a dance program for people with special needs which continues today. In 2010, Allie married a perfect gentleman and expert dancer, Kyle Spinder. Together they are 9-dance Finalists, 2-time World Professional Smooth Finalists, as well as current United States Open Professional Smooth Finalists. That's a big deal!  In 2015, Allie and Kyle introduced American Smooth, our national flavor of Ballroom dancing, to the world at the championship in Blackpool, England. Sway is so fortunate to have this world class dancer right here with us.

Alexey Ryazanov

Instructor


We’re so glad Alexey’s dad rushed out to find his two year old son who got lost one morning sledding in the Urkaine! At eight, Alexey danced for the first time and then took it to the next level in school. At Kyiv National University he majored in acting, dance, and choreography. Alexey was a part of a National Formation Team that took 1st place! Then he lit up the TV on the show "So You Think You Can Dance, Ukraine”. Alexey’s success led to him opening his own studio in the Ukraine. If you know about dance, you know that Ukrainians are some of the best Ballroom dancers in the world. We are so lucky he’s sharing his skills here with us!

Kyle Spinder

Instructor
Current United States & World Open Professional Smooth Finalist


Kyle's ballroom dance journey began when he enrolled in a preteen ballroom program in Utah. He was a winner from the start and kept moving forward. He must have been dashing even then, because we hear Allie developed a crush on him when he was only 12! Luckily Kyle is a smart guy and he recognized what a gem Allie is and they danced, dated and were married in 2010. They have won many dance titles together. Ready for it? Kyle and Allie are US Amateur 10-dance finalists, US Amateur Standard semifinalists, 2 time US Amateur Smooth Champions, Professional Rising Star American Smooth Vice Champions, 9-dance Finalists, 2-time World Professional Finalists, as well as United States Professional American Smooth Finalists. Can we just say they’re really good? This BYU grad has been with Sway from the beginning and has helped shape who we are today

Get Started Today! 


Your first private lesson is free​

Amanda Ponce

Instructor 


Amanda was born and raised in Orange County, and she began dancing at an early age focusing on ballet and jazz as all little girls do.  After graduating high school her love for dance continued, and it was at that point she discovered ballroom dancing.  She had never tried partner dancing so she thought it would be a unique challenge, and in just a short period of time she became obsessed with both rhythm and smooth styles.  After competing for about a year she received an opportunity to continue her education in Boston MA.  While earning her Bachelors in Psychology, Amanda competed at the amateur level, and found success in both Standard and Latin.  During her time competing with a college ballroom team she taught classes at the social level, and helped choreograph routines for the Harvard Ballroom team.  After completing her degree Amanda continued working with the ballroom team, and was a pre-school teacher for a year.  In the summer of 2015 Amanda moved back to Orange County, and began working for Sway Ballroom Dance.  She loves teaching her students, and has a blast making her students express their creativity, and laugh…a lot.

Joseph Lettig

Instructor

Current United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) Division I Southwest Champion


From age six, Joseph started exploring all kinds of athletic skills including baseball, gymnastics, martial arts, salsa and hip-hop. He developed his dance skills and competed in American Rhythm, West Coast Swing and currently Division I Country. This University of Arizona student in Business & Marketing decided to pursue his true passion, dance. A former So You Think You Can Dance contestant, Joseph now dances with his beautiful wife Nikolle!  

Call Us 949.297.3840

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.​

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.

Hanna Weiss

Receptionist

​​

It’s not even fair that her parents are two of the best looking, most awesome dancers in town. This teenage sweetheart grew up in a home full of dance and probably danced her first cha cha at about the same time she learned to walk. We can’t wait to see what Hanna brings to the world of dance!

Meet Our Staff