Jonas Kazlauskas & Kathleen Ilo
Jonas was born in Kaunas, Lithuania. His parents brought him to dancing when he was 5 years old. Jonas represented Lithuania as the top dancer in his age category until his dancing brought him to England at the age of 14. He and his partner then became the representative couple for England for many years. While in England, he attended Bournemouth University where he finished a performing arts degree. At the age of 22, Jonas decided to move to America to continue his dance career. He put an advertisement on Dancesportinfo looking for a new 10-dance partner and one month later met Kathleen.
Kathleen was born in Tallinn, Estonia but has spent most of her life living in America. Kathleen is from a dance family. Her grandparents were ballroom dancers, and her parents were Soviet Union champions. She danced for a few years as a child but then did not pick it up again until 18 when she started college. Kathleen attended Indiana University and finished a degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. While there, she continued dancing and turned professional shortly after graduating.
Jonas and Kathleen met from Dancesportinfo. They committed to dancing together almost immediately. It is hard to find a 10-dance partner with the same mindset and goals. They also were evenly matched in both styles which is equally hard to find in a 10-dancer. A few weeks after their tryout, Jonas moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where Kathleen’s parents own a dance studio, Starlite Ballroom. That is where they predominantly teach and train, but they travel the world for lessons and competitions. Jonas and Kathleen are also new parents, welcoming their son, Renzo, in March of 2021.
As a couple, Jonas and Kathleen’s highest achievements are as follows:
- 5x Undefeated United States 10-Dance Champions (2017-2022)
- 5x Undefeated United Kingdom 10-Dance Champions (2017-2022)
- World Professional 10-Dance Champions (2021)
- Bronze Medalists World Professional Classic Showdance (2017)
Kathleen and Jonas have now realized all of their goals as 10-dancers and are ready and excited to push themselves as dancers in the individual styles. Though they plan to specialize, they hope to never stop growing and learning in both styles.