It's official. Nikolai Voronovicha and Maria Nikolishina have become #AIDADanceLegends after retiring from competitive ballroom dancing. Nikolai and Maria have represented AIDA Ballroom Dance shoes for over a decade already! After a competitive dance career that saw them become Blackpool Champions, they have decided to move on to the next chapter of their dance career.
So before we bid them farewell, let's recap their dance career a bit:
Nikolai Voronovich and Maria Nikolishina are Professional Latin dancers and coaches from California. They have been dancing together for 16 years, starting their career together in Russia. While in Russia, they achieved success and international recognition in the Amateur division, before turning Professional and moving to the United States.
Nikolai received his "Full Higher Education"Degree (Russian equivalent to a PhD) in Economics and he is one of the only high level dancers to have achieved this sort of degree. Maria finished her "Full Higher Education Degree in Pedagogy and was granted the official title "Master of Sport" by the Russian Ministry of Sport. This is one of the highest honors for an athlete to have! In addition, both Nikolai and Maria have had intensive education and training in Yoga, making them certified Yoga Instructors as well! In 2004, Nikolai and Maria decided to study Contemporary dance and "Contact Improvisation" with the head of the Russian Modern Company, Natalia Korolikhina. They always add to their repertoire of dancing and teaching techniques, most recently studying the "Alexander Technique" in England, Finland, and the USA which allows dancers to maintain great posture and healthy alignments. This makes a huge difference for any of students whom they teach. They've also had a chance to work privately with best Latin teachers of modern time: Shirley Ballas. Corky Ballas, Hans Galke, Espen Salsberg, Jukka Haapalaine, Sirpa Suutari, Richard Porter, Carmen Vincelli, and Paul Killick, just to name a few. When they're not on the competition or practice floor, they are choreographing or performing one of their infamous dance shows with other couples on stage!
Their main achievements include:
- Russia Championship finalists
- Amateur Latin European Championship Silver medalists
- Finalists of every Grand Slam in the Amateur Latin series
- Blackpool RS Professional Latin Champions
- Bronze medalists in the Professional Latin USA National Championships
- Winners of the US Open Professional Latin
- Winners of the Professional Latin at the Ohio Star Ball
Not only do they make a splash on the competitive circuit, but they also are renowned worldwide dancing shows in Japan, China, Korea, England, USA, Canada, Argentina, Germany, and Russia. They've had experience filming TV advertisements in Russia. Participated in multiple live Dance Shows on Russian television and even were in a few movie scenes here in the USA.
Did we mention that they are amazing coaches as well? Among some of their students achievements are:
- 2x Junior 2 Latin Russian Champions
- 2x Junior 2 Latin World Champions
- Senior Latin World Bronze Medalists
They are owners of a very successful studio in California called "Dance Street" and are always looking to grow themselves as coaches. They even attended a Tony Robbins seminar, and have been able to transfer that knowledge to their students. Their life motto is quite simple: "Nothing is set in stone in this world. If you believe and work hard, there is nothing you can't achieve."
So we wish this couple the best of luck in their future pursuits and for them to achieve everything and anything they want!