About Our Coaches
Didi von Deck
Didi started ballroom dancing 25 years ago at MIT. She was a United States Amateur Standard finalist and Eastern US amateur champion with her first partner. She started dancing professionally in 1989 and was Eastern US Rising Star Standard Champion. With her current partner Mark Sheldon, she was 5-time US Senior Ballroom Champion (2000-2004); North American Senior Champion; US Northeast Regional Amateur and Senior Champion; Belgian Open Senior Champion; US Amateur finalist; British Open (Blackpool) Senior finalist (3 times); International (Elsa Wells Championships) Senior finalist; US Representative to the World Amateur Championship, the World Senior Championship, and the 2001 World Games. She started teaching at the MIT Ballroom Dance Club 25 years ago and has been coaching the MIT Ballroom Dance Team for 14 years, where she and Mark currently coach the syllabus and open levels of Standard. Didi believes that working with a partner to create movement together as an expression of the music is one of the most challenging but satisfying activities to pursue. You can visit their website at: http://www.psrg.lcs.mit.edu/~sheldon/dance/
Born in London, Christine began dancing at an early age and has been dancing, competing, and teaching for the last 45 years. Representing England, Christine was consistently a finalist in all the major European and World Championships. Her competitive career has taken her to many parts of the world and eventually to Massachusetts where she has become one of the most sought after coaches in the area. Christine is a World Class Adjudicator and judges competitions all over the United States. She is also a member of the Fred Astaire National Dance Council. Christine has coached the MIT Ballroom dance Team for over 6 years, where she currently teaches the silver and gold syllabus levels in the standard style. In her teaching, she concentrates on working the feet and ankles as to create a solid foundation for dance, and she also thinks dancing is all about enjoying and having fun. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 617-584-7399.
Armin started Latin Dance at age 12 in his home country of Austria. His curriculum there included not only dance steps, but also human anatomy, bio-dynamics, and other dance and sports related subjects. Armin continued his dance education when he moved to London and was coached by world-class dancers such as Colline and Lene James, Barbara McColl, and June McMurdo. Later, his understanding of musicality, expression, and partnership matured and was shaped by his friendship with former world champion Vibeke Toft. As a dancer, Armin holds numerous honors, including winning the North American Professional Latin Rising Star Championship and placing 7th at the US Professional Championships. Armin has been teaching dance for 20 years, and draws heavily on his structural understanding of the human body to explain Latin technique and to teach his students to develop ease of movement, awareness, feeling, and an understanding that dancing should feel natural and easy as opposed to forced and contrived. The effectiveness of Armin’s teaching method is apparent in the success of his students; their heavy presence in collegiate competitions’ finals and national rankings speak for themselves. He has been the sole Latin coach of the MIT Ballroom Dance Team for over 10 years. Visit Armin’s website at: http://www.bostondance.com/
Larinda started dancing in college. She holds over 150 professional wins and Championship titles, including: North American Champion, United States Dancesport Championships Open Finalist, Ohio Star Ball Finalist, Manhattan Dancesport Champion, Emerald Star Ball Champion, Capital Dancesport Champion, Yankee Classic Champion, Classique Du Quebec Champion, Classique Du Quebec Showdance Champion. As a competitor, Larinda maintained a place in the top of her field for over 10 years, in the Professional Open American Smooth division. Larinda started teaching shortly after she started dancing in college. She holds teaching credentials in both American and International styles by the ISTD and Terpsichore, and has been recognized as a USDSC Top Teacher. She is a registered Professional National Adjudicator for the NDCA. Larinda joined the team of our professional coaches about 4 years ago and currently teaches silver and gold levels in Smooth style. There is a rumor that Larinda was once a contortionist in a Russian circus; but she says that this is not true. You can contact Larinda at: 860-922-8198.
Mark has represented the United States at 7 World Championships and at the 2001 World Games. His titles include: 5-time undefeated US Senior Ballroom Champion; North American Senior Champion; Northeast US Amateur and Senior Champion; Belgian Open Senior Champion; US National Amateur finalist; 3-time British Open (Blackpool) Senior finalist; International Senior finalist; Professional Rising Star finalist. He started teaching ballroom dancing over 20 years ago. He has been coaching the MIT Ballroom Dance Team in Standard style for the last 20 years. In addition to being a dance coach, Mark has a PhD in Computer Science from MIT and is a visiting professor of computer science at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. To learn more about Mark and his dancing career, visit: http://www.psrg.lcs.mit.edu/~sheldon/dance/