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eileen - Posted on 11 December 2010

Principal Dance Instructors | Senior Dance Instructors | Staff Dance Instructors


Principal Dance Instructors

The Cinema Ballroom principal instructor have received high honors as professional dancers and teachers in the industry at a National level in ballroom and/or Latin dance.

Eric Hudson | Michelle Hudson

EricMichelle Eric & Michelle Hudson
Eric: Principal Dance Instructor/CEO
Michelle: Principal Dance Instructor/Dance Director



Michelle Hudson is co-owner, Dance Director and Principal instructor of Cinema Ballroom, one of the largest independently run studios in the United States.  In addition to teaching out of Cinema Ballroom, she travels all over the country to coach, compete Pro/Am with her students and to judge as a registered adjudicator with the NDCA.  With her husband Eric Hudson she is United States professional Rising Star American Smooth Champion as well as an Open Professional United States and World American Smooth finalist.

Eric Hudson (co-owner of Cinema Ballroom and Principal Instructor) is one of the highest ranked dance instructors in the United States, renowned for developing champion dancers. His personally tailored teaching style brings out the champion dancer in each individual.  He is proud to have instructed and partnered many students to United States and World Championship titles.  Eric has received Top-Teacher awards at numerous events and Circuits in North America.

A successful professional career has afforded Eric the experience and skill to guide students with style and ease on and off the competition floor.  He has achieved a high level of success as a professional in American Rhythm and American Smooth.  Together with amazing wife and partner Michelle, he is a United States professional Rising Star Champion as well as a United States and World Open finalist.  Continued education and a passionate pursuit of excellence are hallmarks for Eric and Michelle and all Cinema Ballroom staff.  If you believe dance is not just wonderful, but could be wonderful for you, mind, body and spirit, then Eric can help you discover your dance goals and make them a reality!

American Smooth Competition Results

2006 Indiana Challenge Champions
2007 Heritage Classic Rising Star Champions
2007 Heritage Classic Open Finalist
2007 St Louis Star Ball Rising Star Champions
2007 Wisconsin State Rising Star Champions
2007 Emerald Ball Rising Star Champions
2007 Twin Cities Open Champions
2007 Capitol Dancesport Rising Star Champions
2007 Embassy Ball Rising Star Champions
2007 Holiday Classic Finalist
2008 California Open Rising Star Champions
2008 California Open Champions
2008 Heritage Classic Open Finalist
2008 Dancing Ala Carte Champions
2008 American Star Ball Rising Star Champions
2008 United States National Rising Star Champions
2008 First Coast Classic Champions
2009 Mexico Open Champions
2009 Dancing Ala Carte Champions
2009 Emerald Ball Finalist
2009 United States National Finalist
2009 World Finalist

Michelle is certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

Senior Dance Instructors

The staff instructor has all the qualifications of an associate staff instructor plus the following:

  • Have passed nationally recognized teacher's certifications in four styles and two levels.

Dustin Donelan | Kirsten McCloskey | Grace Peterson | Martin Pickering

Dustin Dustin Donelan
Dance Instructor

Dustin started his dance career while pursuing his degree at the University of North Dakota. He started with jazz/tap/ballet/modern but was later invited by a friend to try the ballroom class that was offered. It didn't take him long to become addicted to partner dancing. He eventually went on to teach that same class until he graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Theatre Arts.

After graduating Dustin moved to St. Paul and started his career at Cinema Ballroom. Since then, Dustin has really evolved into a fun, high energy teacher that can teach anybody no matter their ability level or goals. He teaches everything from social beginners to national champions. He has quickly moved up both in the Pro and Pro/Am ranks finding himself in numerous Top Teacher and finalist lineups. Dustin has also been successful in his professional dancing in both American Rhythm and Smooth, making many rising star and open finals. Some professional accomplishments include:

  • Twin Cities Open Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Snowball Theatre Arts andRising Star Rhythm Champions
  • 2012 World Theatre Arts Finalists
  • Indiana Challenge Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Heart of America Rising Star Rhythm and Smooth Champions
  • 2014 United States Dance Sport Championships 9-Dance Finalist

Dustin is certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

  Kirsten McCloskey
Dance Instructor
Grace Grace Peterson
Dance Instructor

Grace began dancing at an early age, starting ballet at age four.  She continued her studio training for fourteen years in her hometown of Aberdeen, SD, studying ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, character and celtic.  Grace came to St. Paul, MN to study music at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance in piano and a minor in Spanish.  For several years, she taught private piano lessons, developing her technique and love for teaching students of all ages.  When Grace began taking ballroom lessons as a pastime, she quickly rediscovered her love for dance in its musicality, artistry and athleticism.  She became immersed in studying both American Smooth/Rhythm and International Standard/Latin, competing successfully in Pro/Am American Smooth and Am/Am in all styles throughout the Midwest and East Coast.  At the same time, she began working at a small dancewear store on Grand Avenue, where she received expert training for fitting dance shoes and apparel and became the Ballroom and Marketing Manager.

Grace is an instructor for all styles of ballroom and partner dancing and is also the Cinema Ballroom Salsa Director.  With her experience in both social and competitive ballroom dance and her extensive dance training, she is well-equipped to work with students at any level.  Grace has a passion for sharing her love of dance and music and empowering others in both developing and achieving their dance goals.  She is dedicated both to her students and to her own continued training, studying regularly with nationally-acclaimed coaches and competing professionally in American Smooth with her professional dance partner.

Grace is certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

Martin Martin Pickering
Dance Instructor

Martin has been dancing since he was 18 and teaching since 2002. Originally from Missouri, where he was well known in the community as a top-notch instructor and dancer, he is certified by the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in both American Ballroom and American Rhythm. He is also qualified in International Ballroom and International Latin styles. Mr. Pickering helped to found the now annual event Dancing with the Mid-Missouri Stars, a fund raiser for a Missouri based ballet company. In addition he was the head of the University of Missouri Ballroom Dance Club teaching and competition program. With a insatiable passion for teaching, performance, and competition Martin loves to help students to achieve any and all of their dance goals.

Since moving to the Twin Cities, Mr. Pickering has continued to hone his skills in teaching and competition, and more recently has found a love for creating choreography for solo and group exhibitions. In addition to his success with students he has been fortunate to enjoy a successful pro-dancesport career with past and current partners. His Achievements Include:

  • Consistent Rising Star and Open Finalists during 2009 competition year.
    Notable Highlights Include:
    2nd Place Rising Star and 3rd Place Open Finalists Twin Cities Open
    1st Place Rising Star Champions First Coast Classic
    2nd Place Rising Star 3rd Place Open Finalists Chicago Crystal Ball
  • 2009 Dancers Cup Tour Top Professional Couple of the year
  • 2010 2nd Place Rising Star Finalists Nashville Starz
  • 2011 2nd Place Rising star and 4th Place Open Finalists Chicago Crystal Ball
  • 2011 2nd Place Rising Star and 5th Place Open Finalists Twin Cities Open

Today Martin continues to travel and compete in both Pro and Pro/Am events around the country. Always ready to share his knowledge and passion with others, he takes on all levels of students. Martin's greatest strength is his enthusiasm and belief that anyone can become a great dancer and have blast while they're doing it!

Martin is certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

Staff Dance Instructors

The staff instructor has all the qualifications of an associate staff instructor plus the following:

  • Have passed nationally recognized teacher's certifications in at least two styles and levels.
  • They have completed the Cinema Ballroom instructor training program.

Madison Fields | Yvette Harvieux | Elsa LattimoreBella Rogers | William Schendel

Madison Fields
Dance Instructor

Madison is certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

Yvette Yvette Harvieux
Dance Instructor
Yvette Elsa Lattimore
Dance Instructor
Yvette Bella Rogers
Dance Instructor
 Yvette William Schendel
Dance Instructor