Fordney Foundation’s First Top Studio Interview – Brilliant DanceSport Studio

Emerald Ball, 5-6-18

Nina Estrina, Marilyn Fordney, Freddie Brock, Photo by Alex Havasi

We are excited to present our first Top Studio interview! This is the first time in our dance series that the “Three Top Studios” for the year will be recognized in November 2018 during the Ohio Star Ball. The Top Studios will win trophies! We want to bring this to your attention and make you aware that the Fordney Foundation is able to show you the monthly top-ranking studios on our leaderboard, although it constantly changes and the scores are not always posted in event order. These scores are based on the number of entries at a competition from each dance studio.

Fordney Foundation wants you to meet the passionate and wise, Nina Estrina, owner of Brilliant DanceSport Studio. We were very impressed with the students that Nina has trained at her studio when we caught up with her at the Emerald Ball. We were also able to meet some of her students, performing that day. Nina’s students were deserving recipients of awards from the Fordney Foundation and we will be able to interview these winners, as well as their parents, in later blogs and tell you more about them.

Freddie Brock: Tell us your name and where you are originally from?

Nina Estonia: My name is Nina Estrina. I am originally from Ekaterinburg, Russia.

FB: Tell us the name of your dance studio and where it is located?

NE: My studio is Brilliant DanceSport Studio located in Warminster, PA.

FB: Can you give us a little background info about your career before you became a dance studio owner?

Kirill, Valerie @ Emerald Ball, Photo by Alex Havasi

NE: I worked as an instructor for another studio owner for over a decade before I took the leap to own my own studio, where I could be free to make my own decisions and plans for my dancers. I went to Temple University’s Fox School of Business and received my Bachelors in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. I always dreamed of owning my own business and combining that with my passion for dance just made sense.

Daniel Zakirzyanov, Irene Yarovoi, Emerald Ball 2018, Photo by Alex Havasi

FB: What led you to become a studio owner and dance instructor?

NE: I danced pretty much my entire life my self and found a passion for teaching, inspiring, and creating little champions. Though I worked as an instructor for other studio owners, I never felt like I could take my students in the direction I really wanted to take them in. Owning my own studio is the perfect way for me to be able to create the program that would help young dancers reach their highest potential as competitive Ballroom Dancers! I am now able to provide my students with the guidance, support, knowledge, and experience which I know will help them reach their goals!

FB: How many years have you been involved in studio dance ownership and what does it take to be successful at it?

NE: My studio is very young, just a little over 2 years old. I think that the success of my studio comes from the support and guidance I offer to my students while allowing them the freedom to grow and experience outside coaching as well. My students know they can trust me to be their coach, friend, biggest supporter, and sometimes an extra parent. I like to think that my students love being in the studio and treat it as their second home. Some kids even tell me they spend more time with me than with their parents or siblings, and they truly love being here!

FB: When working with the dance students, do you have other instructors that also teach in your studio?

NE: I have 12 instructors that also teach at my studio. Each has found a niche dance training skill in which they excel; so I have coaches that work with very young beginners, Ballroom Experts, Latin Experts, Technicians, Performance Experts, Physical Conditioning Experts, Gymnastics Experts, etc. But we also welcome outside coaches all the time, holding workshops and providing outside coaching private lessons. We also support the camps held by other studios in surrounding states, by sending students to learn from those guest coaches.

FB: Wow, that is very thorough and impressive!

FB: Is there a special ballroom dance that your studio is known for, or maybe a particular dance you enjoy teaching more than the others?

NE: I think we excel at both the Latin and Ballroom programs, but I can say that we really stand out for the quality of our Technique! The instructors at my studio and I have really found a way of explaining the technique to our students in a way that they understand and are able to do!

FB: I noticed that very clearly when I saw your dance couples perform at the Emerald Ball. The choreography in their dance moves was precise and quite outstanding!

FB: Why would an inspiring ballroom dancer want to be involved with your studio? Is there any type of technique or strategy you use that brings special confidence to your dancers who enter competitions?

NE: I feel that my studio provides a competitive but motivating atmosphere, where students are able to grow to their fullest potential. My theory is that it doesn’t take one magical coach to create a successful couple. It actually takes an entire team of people who are experts in one or two of the specific skills that are needed for a dancer to succeed. I feel that I am always striving to provide my couples with access to that team of experts who can make them the best. So any couple looking to have a team behind them, Brilliant DanceSport Studio is the studio to be in!

FB: Are you aware of the 2018 recognition to the “Top 3 Dance Studios” who have the most students competing in our dance series? Isn’t it great that you now will be recognized for your hard work and efforts? Does this give you the incentive to do anything differently, to go the distance, to snag that award?

NE: I think it is absolutely amazing whenever there is recognition given to the people who invest and contribute to our dance community. I would be thrilled to be recognized for the investments that my instructors and I put in. I have many more couples who are interested in participating in the Fordney Foundation events, so I would definitely start preparing them. I hope that recognition is also given for quality and not just quantity.

FB: For all our readers and inspiring ballroom dancers, what would you say to them about the most important element they need to have if they want to be continually successful in placing in the top 6 at dancesport competitions?

NE: I think the most important element to success is continuous improvement. Without it, we cannot grow and move up and forward. Practice, practice, practice, until you simply cannot get it wrong!

FB: I think you nailed it and I like what you said about “practice until you simply cannot get it wrong.” True words spoken!

FB: What advice do you have for a person that knows they want to become a dance instructor/owner?

NE: I would say that someone who wants to own a studio or be an instructor needs to really do it because they want to make a difference in the life of dancers and influence them to be their best. I know many people who do it for the money, and it just doesn’t cut it. Passion and inspiration must be there, otherwise, you will not last!

You can see how important it is to be proud of what you do and passionate about your work! I hope you enjoyed learning about an owner, Nina Estrina, and can take in some of her great advice! If you would like to contact Nina Estrina at Brilliant DanceSport Studio, here is her information: 96 Park Avenue, Suite B, Warminster, PA 18974, (267)-566-4872, In the weeks to come, we will get to interview some of her “winner” students and their parents too, to see what they think of their studio experience. Stay tuned for that!

Besides the studio category, you can check out all the other categories featured on our website: by clicking on Youth Series on the homepage and then click Ranking Results. These are the categories you can view anytime on our site, so you can keep up with the latest leaderboard results.

Thought Of The Week:

To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking. – Agnes de Mille



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website