Featured Instructor Biographies

 

Shawn Trautman

Shawn Trautman

Originally from Clearwater, FL, Shawn Trautman began dancing at an early age and never looked back. He studied everything from tap, jazz, and modern dance to country, ballroom, Latin, and Line Dancing and began competing and teaching when he was in High School.  From the onset of his teaching career, Shawn has devoted himself to empowering others and getting them excited about dancing.

After completing his MBA in 2001, Shawn began developing an approach to dancing that would encompass multiple learning styles and concepts that made sense to large audiences.  In 2003, Shawn launched a new business venture that focused on delivering the concepts he’d developed and the business quickly took off.  By 2005, Shawn and his team had released more than a dozen DVDs and had build an extensive network for distribution.  In 2006, Shawn and his wife Joanna were selected by Thomson Course Technologies to author Picture Yourself Dancing, a pilot series that has since added nearly 100 titles worldwide using the instruction methods Shawn developed.

Between 2007 and 2010, Shawn continued developing his instruction methods, released a number of dance lesson DVDs, secured a number of contracts including music licensing, built a fulfillment center and production studio in Clearwater, FL and has started producing titles for other instructors & brands under the Dance Videos Direct label.

Read more about Shawn Trautman here

Joanna Trautman Dance Instructor

Joanna Trautman

Originally from Salt Lake City, UT, Joanna Trautman has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She trained in a variety of dance genres from childhood including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, liturgical, and hip hop dancing. Her dancing continued throughout her college years in Massachusetts when she was introduced to Swing (East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop specifically) and taught group fitness classes while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree. Although dance performance remained a part of her life through numerous community theatre musicals and operettas, Joanna discovered a true passion for dance education through her group fitness experiences.

Following the completion of her degree, Joanna Trautman moved to the Tampa Bay area in Florida, where she met and married Shawn Trautman
and was introduced to the wide world of social ballroom, Latin, country, and swing dancing. Soon Joanna’s repertoire of dances was expanded from
East Coast Swing to include favorites from all of the social dance genres including Salsa, West Coast Swing, Two-Step, Waltz, and more. She loved it!

In 2003 Joanna Trautman was instrumental in the launch of Dance Xpress, a series of intensive, interactive dance instruction workshops where participants learned to dance in as little as a day. In 2005 Joanna Trautman filmed the first of the Shawn Trautman Instruction DVDs with Shawn and has partnered with him on over two dozen titles. In 2006 Joanna co-authored the book, Picture Yourself Dancing, and helped launch the teaching structure for the entire Picture Yourself series through Thomson Course Technologies (more than 60 books to date). Her expertise in dance instruction and video production has been applied since to several titles including Dance Lessons 101 and other top-selling beginner titles.

Today, Joanna Trautman is a busy mother of four, and works full-time with Shawn and the Dance Videos Direct Team in producing the latest titles from Dance Videos Direct, including Shawn Trautman Instruction products. Take a look at the instruction videos she’s a part of, both as an instructor and a contributing producer and reap the benefits of her enthusiasm, expertise, and experience.

Dance Instructor Nicole Fry

Nicole Frye

Originally from Florida, Nicole Frye graduated with her Masters in Education and has a strong passion for teaching that is evident in her many students’ successes. Though she is extremely passionate about her dancing and is proficient working with students of all ages, she holds a special place for working with grade-school children on both the academic as well as social sides of life. Most important to Nicole Frye is understanding her student’s goals and striving to help them, whether it be in dancing or in life.

Nicole Frye has been dancing since 1997 and has been involved in many competitive dance events. She was lured into dancing to meet new people and to do something different, and that’s exactly what happened. The first time she witnessed a crowd of people dancing with partners, she knew she wanted to be able to dance like them. Once she tried it and realized how much fun it was, she was hooked!

Nicole Frye soon took her dancing very seriously and began training for competition in the country western dance circuit, UCWDC. For years, she trained with top country, ballroom, and swing instructors around the U.S. and ended up competing in all eight of the available dance categories (Triple Two Step, Night Club Two Step, Polka, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Two Step, East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing). Nicole Frye and her partner quickly worked their way up to Division 1 and accumulated several 1st Place overall finishes at a number of National competitions.

Today, Nicole Frye focuses on her strengths as a genuinely passionate person and delivers her brand of instruction in a fun and unique way. Whether socially or for competition purposes, Nicole Frye can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Take a look at the instruction videos she’s a part of and reap the benefits of her vast knowledge base.

Dance Instructor Kristin Ham

Kristin Geil-Ham

Originally from Boulder, CO, Kristin has been dancing and performing since she was 3 years old.  A seasoned veteran when it comes to competing, Kristin has been sharpening her skills on the dance floor for years and honing her talents as an instructor.  Communication plays a major role in her teaching prowess and it’s portrayed through one of the most fun and enthusiastic deliveries you’ll find anywhere.  She is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and does so in a very encouraging and friendly way.

Kristin is a firm believer in higher education and structured learning.  After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Kristin pursued a career in dance and has toured the world while receiving training from top ballroom, country, and swing instructors.  Her training has been paying dividends as she continues to dazzle judges on the circuits.  Not only does she hold several World Champion titles in country dancing, but she was recently named the Top Female Teacher at the 2011 World’s XIX event in Nashville, TN held by the UCWDC (United Country Western Dance Council).

Today, Kristin is an active member of the Dance Videos Direct team and frequently showcases her talents at national dance events and competitions throughout the world.  If you’re looking to really engage yourself in your learning and have the time of your life, take a look at the dance videos she’s a part of.  Kristin’s first learn to dance DVDs were released in early 2013.