Christina Coveyou

~ Christina Coveyou is a third generation dancer and fell in love with dance through her parents that met while dancing. She started dancing at the age of ten with traditional 1930s style exhibition square dancing, clogging and round dancing. After high school she taught Ballroom dance lessons for 5 years at a local ballroom dance studio and has competed in the Ballroom and West Coast Swing world for the past 8 years. Christina took a short break from teaching to spend more time with her growing family but is very excited to dive back into teaching again.

“Teaching always brings me so much joy because I love to see people learn and grow every day and be a part of their growth.” – Christina

To set up lessons you can reach Christina by phone at (303) 589-5243 or email her at  

Private Lessons / Dance Packages

Leyla Dari

Leyla Dari grew up in Iowa. For the past 16 years she has been studying and competing in International Style Ballroom and Latin in the US and abroad. She has been privileged to work for several years with some of the most respected teachers in the world, including 9 time Professional World Ballroom Champions Markus and Karen Hilton, and Latin Champions Sirpa Suutari and Jukka Haapalainen. Dari is a former English Open Ten-Dance Champion and a finalist of many Junior, Under 21, and Amateur National Level Competitions in Ballroom and Latin. She specializes in movement mechanics, dance technique, and choreography, and has a unique ability to make complex skills easy to understand and practice. In addition to her dance education and experience, she also holds a Certificate in Sports and Health Science from London Metropolitan University. Dari provides instruction for all levels and ages, from beginners to the most advanced competitive dancers. For more information, or to schedule lessons or workshops please visit her website or call 352-350-0398

The Instructors


The Smiles in the Shoes

          Our Instructors are available for Private lessons, creating choreography for Wedding dances or special performances, for hire at special events, and many other dance related activities. Not sure if we can do it? Ask us and we will let you know.

           Private lessons are 45 minute sessions that you book with an instructor to focus on your dancing. The instructor can help you with learning new steps, better dancing techniques so you have greater success and become a more popular dancer, or your instructor can work on a performance piece with you. The time in a private lesson is yours to tell us what you want and can be scheduled in the afternoons, evenings, or weekends depending on availability.

*Please note that there is special pricing available for wedding couples and for people purchasing multiple lessons.

Markus Cannon

          ~ Markus began dancing, singing and performing on stage in musical theater in high school and continued in the theater at Theatre Cedar Rapids for several years. He was introduced to the world of ballroom through a local dance studio and then broke out on his own to open his studios and forge a new path in the dance world. He continues his growth by continually being coached by nationally recognized judges and dance champions from around the world. The combination of Mark's fun personality, attention to detail, and his competitive nature has driven Markus and his students to win top honors at several dance competitions around the country which include: Wisconsin State Dancesport Challenge, Heritage Classic, Heart of America Dance Competition, Twin Cities Open, Empire State Dance Classic, Holiday Dance Classic, the Snow Ball, the Dallas Invitational, the Nebraska Invitational, the Emerald Ball, and the Ohio Star Ball. His approach to dancing and the education of his students has made him one of the most sought after instructors in the midwest.

260 33rd Ave SW, Ste G

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Marcus & Kristen Bratsch

~ Marcus and Kristen both came from families that love to dance, with all four sets of their grandparents dancing socially over decades, and one set teaching lessons for several years. Seeing his grandparents dance is where Marcus’ enjoyment of dancing began, and Kristen grew up dancing on stage with a focus on jazz and acrobats. She was drawn to ballroom dance during a basic class in college, and college is also where Marcus learned many of the basics. It wasn’t until Marcus and Kristen met that they got into ballroom again, and they have grown in their enjoyment of dancing and teaching since then. Married in September 2015, they love teaching together and seeing the excitement of students when they experience breakthroughs in their dancing.

Tallis Strub

~ Tallis began dancing at the age of seven, studying ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. In her second year at Iowa State University her love for ballroom dancing began. Tallis started competing at the college level and now competes professionally in American Smooth. Her students have received top student awards from Dancesport competitions accross the Midwest. She enjoys teaching people all ages and abilities. Her greatest joy is to witness the proud smiles upon the faces of her students.

"I believe we all have a dancer within. We must dare to let it shine." - Tallis