Our Owners & Instructors
John Abrams, Owner and Artistic Director
John is a nationally-recognized professional, licensed and certified Ballroom and Latin dance instructor, coach and adjudicator. He has been competing professionally, choreographing and teaching dance for more than 20 years and has trained hundreds of competitive pro-am students of all ages. His students hold over 50 United States titles and several former students have themselves gone on to pursue successful professional dance careers as competitors and instructors.
John was trained as a jazz dancer and theater performer and began his ballroom and latin dance training in 1988 with the Arthur Murray franchise. He relocated to Milwaukee in 1990 and continued his training at East Towne Ballrooms, becoming co-owner of the studio in 1992. Throughout his professional career, John and his dance partners have taken first place at nearly every major U.S. DanceSport competition. In 2001, at the Ohio Star Ball, the largest DanceSport competition in the world, he and his professional partner won the World American Rhythm Championship. For 15 years, John and his professional partners were consistently ranked in the top six in the world in the American Rhythm category. John also holds more than a dozen Professional Showdance titles. His amateur students have taken numerous U.S. and world titles and consistently place in the finals at major competitions throughout the region and the country.
John’s dance philosophy and teaching style have evolved from 20 years of steadfast dedication to the art and science of dancing. His artistic talents and keen understanding of body movement are incorporated in all aspects of his instruction - from beginner group classes to coaching professional competitors.
A passionate proponent of youth dance instruction, John founded the WYDE Foundation (Wisconsin Youth Dancesport Education Foundation) in Milwaukee in 1999 to introduce children to the sport and art of ballroom dancing. The program grew quickly and exponentially, involving nearly 70 students, and was a model for studios around the country developing youth programming in ballroom and latin dancing.
As Tempo's Artistic Director, John oversees all aspects of dance instruction. for more details.
John specializes in American Rhythm, American Smooth, International Latin and Theater Arts styles.
Samantha Ewert, Instructor
Samantha began dancing when she was four years old, studying ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop throughout her youth and college. She began teaching dance in her teens, mentoring younger students and developing her skills as an instructor. Samantha graduated with a BA in dance from University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 2007 and soon after decided to pursue study in ballroom, latin and other social dancing.
Samantha's diverse dance background gives her students a distinct advantage on the dance floor - from developing creative choreography to understanding body mechanics, balance and advanced technique, she is able to convey challenging material in a way that allows her students to develop their skills rapidly and thoroughly. Samantha’s own dancing is infused with both emotional energy and graceful fluidity that she is able to share with her students - from wedding couples to ambitious competitors.
Joshua Gilchrist, Instructor
Joshua Gilchrist was born in Chicago and grew up in Milwaukee, graduating with honors from the Dance Department at Milwaukee High School of the Arts. Joshua is truly a student of dance, with experience and training in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, African, lyrical, contemporary, contemporary ballet, theater/Broadway and creative movement. He began teaching ballroom and latin dance in 2008 and particularly enjoys dancing and teaching the Latin and Rhythm dances. Students enjoy Joshua’s constant smile, inability to be still if music is playing (or even when it’s not), his sincere love of dancing and the energy he devotes to learning and refining his own skills as a teacher, dancer and performer.
Joshua specializes in beginner to advanced instruction in American Rhythm, American Smooth and Theater Arts.
Therese Clarke, Instructor
Therese Clarke is originally from Sydney, Australia and has been working in Los Angeles as a professional coach, teacher, competitor and choreographer. Therese is a former Australian Latin Ameteur Representative and current Professional International competitor. She moved to the United States after enjoying a very successful amateur career dancing in Australian film and television shows like Australian Peoples Choice Awards and on stage at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic games. As an amateur competitor she has many national and international titles including representative to the World Amateur Championships.
Her style of instruction focuses on the art of movement along with the physical AND mental aspects of dance. She does a fantastic job of making learning to dance fun. She loves meeting students at their levels and helping them build their level of proficiency and takes great pride in watching her students reach their goals socially and competitively.
Anton Karadzhov, Instructor
Anton Karadzhov has been dancing International Latin and Standard for 15 years in his home country, Bulgaria. From 2007 until the present, Anton has been working as a Ballroom dance instructor/Artistic Director in the United States, successfully competing in Pro-Am and coaching couples from different levels in all styles. His career as a competitor started at age 13 and by age 18 he was competing in the highest class (S) of the IDSF. Anton Karadzhov has been a finalist in most of the Bulgarian DanceSport Amateur championships from 1999 to 2003. His achievements include 3rd place in the Bulgaria rank list for Standard and Latin in 1998, and 2nd place in both styles in 2000.
Anton furthered his knowledge of DanceSport at the National Sports Academy, specializing in DanceSport Instruction. His studies included subjects like: functional anatomy, biomechanics, kinesitherapy, sports management, and conditional preparation. In 2002, he was given the award for Highest Results in Bulgarian DanceSport, and the same year he was invited to the International DanceSport Gala Show in Macedonia to represent his country. In 2002, he opened his own studio, "Dance Time," and worked to develop competitive couples of all ages.