American DanceSport Festival Founder Aims To Elevate U.S. Amateurs

The American DanceSport Festival is just a year removed from its debut, but in the mind of founder Ronen Zinshtein, the competition's roots can be traced back to the countless hours he has spent on the dance floor.

A three-time U.S. Amateur National Ballroom Championship winner, Zinshtein created the ADF for the purpose of building the U.S.-based WDSF amateur division up to the standard of “the best couples in Europe.”

After debuting in Boston last year, the competition has moved to Miami for its second edition on Oct. 14-15.

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"One of my goals was always to be able to give back to the community who have supported me for so many years, whether it is as a coach, a studio owner, and a competition organizer," Zinshtein said.

Zinshtein's love affair with dance began at age 7 when his elementary school in Israel required all students to take an introductory class. By the time he reached the age 14, he had already decided to pursue dance as a career. 

Three years later, he left his home in Israel for the United States determined to turn his dreams into a reality. 

Taking that leap of faith turned out to be the right decision for Zinshtein, who captured a multitude of prestigious titles in DanceSport, the highest being his three-year undefeated run as U.S. National Amateur Ballroom champion. 

"As a competitor, among all crowns that I have won, one of the memorable memories is that I was undefeated U.S amateur national champion for three years -- something that till that time was reputed only 10 years ago or so," he said. 

Since his retirement from competition, Zinshtein has spent his time adjudicating competitions and coaching ballroom couples who are hoping to win a title of their own.

He is also focused on doing whatever he can to "give back to the amateurs, whether it's the young ones or our very own top amateurs."

The American DanceSport Festival is one of the few U.S.-based events that gives Americans exposure to the international side of DanceSport that is so popular in Europe and other parts of the world. 

There will be over 30 countries represented at this month's festival, and world championship titles will be crowned in the Senior 3 Standard division, World Open Adult Standard Championship, International Open Adult Latin Championship, and Professional Division Championships.

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