Living The Dream: Erik Pali

I learned from Mrs. Fordney that many dancers from Europe do not compete in the United States at all. There are all these splendid dancers that the judges and other people associated with dance know very little about in the U.S., yet they win top awards in their country and other European countries! One of these huge winners is Erik Pali. Erik Pali is a 6’1” dancer from Hungary. He has danced both International Latin and Ballroom styles practically all of his life. He is a five time Hungarian champion within the Junior II, Youth Standard and 10 Dance categories. Erik also represented Hungary in the World Championships of Standard dances: 2003 – Vienna, Austria, in 2004 – Vilnius, Lithuania, and in 2006 – Krefeld, Germany. And was runner up in the Adult Hungarian 10 Dance Championship.

In Hungary he gained experience in the development and motivation of the 6 – 18 age groups and competitors. He was the teacher of the Hungarian Juveniles II Championships in 2008. He worked with the Hungarian Champions Team in 2008 and was also involved in adult training in his hometown. His coaches include Hungarian champion, Csaba Laszlo, world-class professionals; Mirko Gozzoli, Alessa Betti, Michelle Bonsignori, Monica Baldasseroni, Fabio Selmi and Simona Francello.

This is a good time to mention that Erik also has a sister, Viktoria Pali; who is in her own right, a very accomplished dancer and competes in Hungary. I will feature a picture and video of her dancing with the famous Csaba Laszlo. Marilyn Fordney is friends with Erik and Viktoria’s mother, and when she visits Hungary with her husband Sandor (Alex) Havasi, they visit her!

Now here is where the story coincides with what John DePalma has said happens if you love what you do and want to carry it forward. Erik did come to the United States. When he came, he did not come with much. However, in time, Erik combined his passion for both dancing and teaching. While dancing pro-am in Boston, he joined SuperShag Dance Studio in Waltham, MA and soon developed a huge number of students (Email: At this studio, they teach Latin Dance and Standard Ballroom instruction and are associated with the United Kingdom Alliance Association. Erik is now the proud owner of a number of properties that he rents out so he has income besides dancing.

There you have it, a tale of doing what you love, and paying it forward, just so you can continue to follow your dream. Thank you John DePalma and Marilyn Fordney for sharing your pearls of wisdom, so I can help others find their “dance” ways special to them too!

Thought Of The Week:

Life isn’t about finding yourself…it’s about creating yourself



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