Dance Instructors - Dance Louisville

Dance Louisville

Louisville’s Most Highly Skilled & Fun Dance Instructors


Brian Barakauskas (Owner, Instructor, Professional Competitor, Judge, Coach)

Years ago, Brian took his first dance steps right here in Louisville. He has now been dancing professionally for almost 18 years. Through competitive ballroom, country & swing dancing, he has danced in over 22 countries around the world as a competitor, performer, judge and teacher.

His journey has come full circle. In 2005 his dream of a fantastic studio in Louisville came true. “I’m completely committed to making Dance Louisville the best studio in the city for you – the new dancer.”

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010 UCWDC Superstar World Champion.
  • 1999 & 2003 UCWDC Renegade World Champion.
  • 2005 3-time Grand Champion UCWDC Division 1.
  • World Championships Division 1 – 6th place in 2004, 5th place in 2005.
  • 2003 Star Award Winner ‘Favorite Dancer’.
  • 2005 Star Award winner ‘Favorite Teacher’.
  • 2007 Japan’s Favorite Country Dance instructor.
  • 2011 3-time Professional American Rhythm Rising Star Finalist.
  • 2012 6-time Professional American Rhythm Rising Star Finalist.
  • Former UCWDC Certified Judge.
  • Performed on television on the BBC in England.
  • Guest Instructor on Lifetime TV and ABC.
  • Instructor on the soap network series “Southern Bells Louisville”.


Megan Anderson (Instructor, Amateur Competitor)

Growing up with a mother who was a professional dancer, Megan was destined to be a dancer. She started ballroom dancing in 2004 and has been with Dance Louisville since we opened. With a background in competitive ice skating and ballet, Megan has had an impressive amateur competitive dance career traveling all over the United States. She has successfully competed in all four styles of Ballroom & Latin as well as Country, Bachata, Line Dance and West Coast Swing.

Awards and Recognition:
  • USA Dance Novice Rhythm finalist.
  • 6-time UCWDC World Championship competitor.
  • 3-time Pro-Am Swing Routine winner.
  • Collegiate Nationals finalist.


Spencer Cottrell (Instructor, Amateur Competitor)

Spencer began dancing back in 2011 after attending college dance classes. He began competing immediately and placed in the top 5 of his first American Rhythm Ballroom competition garnering him the nickname ‘the Natural.’ He has continued that success with several top 2 placements in the summer of 2014. After several years of traveling around the country competing with his partner Kristy Merker, Spencer joined the Dance Louisville staff as an instructor. He has proven to be a fantastic enthusiastic teacher for all of his students!

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2011 Bronze American Rhythm Gumbo DanceSport Championship – 5th Place
  • 2014 Chicagoland Dance Festival – 2nd Place
  • Indy Dance Explosion – 2nd Place


Kelli Romanchuk (Instructor)

Kelli began her career as a ballroom dance instructor and choreographer in Lexington, KY. She studied theater at the University of Kentucky while teaching and training at the Franklin Cottrell Dance Center. She continued her career as an instructor & choreographer in Los Angeles, where she specialized in teaching beginners and choreographing wedding dances in Culver City.

She is excited to be back in Kentucky and to be a part of Dance Louisville where she can share her love for dance in her home state.

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2008 Music City Swing – 2nd Place Novice Hustle.
  • 2008 Music City Swing – 5th Place Pro-Am West Coast Swing


Emily Larsen (Instructor, Professional Competitor)

Emily Larsen was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She was introduced to Ballet at age three and continued adding on various dance genres over the years such as Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and Musical Theatre. Emily received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Texas at Austin.

She had always wanted to learn how to partner dance, and quickly caught the bug after joining a ballroom dance studio in Austin about 5 years ago. She had a competitive partner for 3 years in which they placed first in numerous local and national competitions and placed second at the UCWDC Worlds Competition in January of 2013.

In 2014, Emily joined the Dance Louisville staff and has quickly become a big part of the studio. Emily has a special gift, as she always makes students feel welcome; she is a big part of what makes this studio such a happy, warm environment. We’re lucky to have her!

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2014 US Open Swing Team Division – 1st Place
  • 2013 UCWDC Worlds Division 1 – 2nd Place Overall
  • 2014 UCWDC Worlds Female Pro/Pro – 4th Place Overall
  • 2013 Show Me Showdown Advanced Jack & Jill – 1st Place


JoAnn Lewis (Studio Manager)

JoAnn is most famous in the studio for being Brian’s mom. She started working at Dance Louisville in 2012 and has continued to be a great asset to the studio. JoAnn is in charge student scheduling, studio rental and other important functions that allow the the dancers to dance and the studio to run smoothly!

There is a good chance that JoAnn is the first person you will talk to on the phone and the first smiling face you will see as you walk in for group class. We are excited to have her!


David Royer (Salsa Program Director, Instructor, Amateur Competitor)

It was 2004 when he began to learn Salsa after being inspired by finding clips on the internet of world-renowned Salsa dancers. After beginning training in Social and Ballroom dances, he began fusing all style of dances to create his own personal style, which now sits at the forefront of the social dance floor. With this more contemporary style, he helps to bring Louisville a look at a cutting edge style of dance, which can already be seen in more contemporary areas globally. He continues to work to put Louisville on the map as a city of progressive dancing.

David is the leading Midwest Salsa teacher and performer. He is a regular in the Cincinnati and Indianapolis Salsa scenes as well as being the director or our Salsa dance program – including the ‘Art in Motion’ Salsa team here at Dance Louisville.

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2010 Carolina Fall Classic Bronze and Silver Rhythm Champion
  • 2012 USA Dance Gumbo Pre Champ & Novice Rhythm Champion
  • 2010 Tri State Salsa Championships – 3rd Place
  • 2011 Tri State Salsa Championships – 1st Place


Michelle Flowers (Instructor, Amateur Competitor)

Michelle danced ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz and tap from the ages of 3-20 including several years of Hip-Hop dancing. She began her partner dancing as a ballroom and salsa student in 2004. In 2006, she entered the competitive world in American Rhythm with our owner Brian Barakauskas as her coach. In 2009, she began assisting in lessons at Dance Louisville and over the past several years she has continued her teaching and performing of Swing, Latin and Salsa.

Michelle in an important part of our latin dance and salsa program. She is very well versed in many of the different styles of Salsa including, LA Style, New York On2, Casino, and Rueda.

Awards and Recognition:
  • 2007 Volunteer State Bronze Rhythm Scholarship – 5th Place
  • 2007 Nashville Starz Bronze Rhythm Scholarship – 5th Place
  • 2012 USA Dance Gumbo Bronze and Silver Latin Champion