Rita O’Connor, Professional Instructor, Competitor and Member of National Dance Council of America – Unique in the Maui dance community, Ballroom & Latin Dance Professional, Rita O’Connor has been teaching Latin & Ballroom dancing from New York City to Maui, Hawaii since 1988 and is an active Professional Member – license #5546, Instructor and Competitor with the National Dance Council of America, a nationally recognized governing body in Ballroom & Latin Dance. Along with her partner, Brian, they enjoy sharing their love of Latin & Ballroom dancing with others!
Since 2000, they have contributed enormously to the tremendous emergence of partnership dancing in Central, West and most notably in South Maui. Rita & Brian have given freely of their time and talent over the years to various dance events and charitable organizations.
On February 7, 2007, Dance Professional Rita, along with Brian conducted the World’s Largest Dance Class at the Academy & she continues to teach the State of Hawaii’s largest Latin & Ballroom dance classes!
In addition to Rita’s numerous awards as an International Latin dancer, Rita’s professional background includes being an Instructor at Pierre Dulaine’s, as well as an Instructor, Pro-Am Competitor and Professional Competitor with Paul Pellicoro’s DanceSport, NYC and Stepping Out Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio, NYC. Rita has been a competitor in both the International Latin, American Style Rhythm & Smooth and Theatre Arts divisions and has over 20 years of experience as a Latin & Ballroom Dance Instructor with full professional training, plus many years as an Amateur Competitor. Rita has also been a featured instructor at the Hawaii Salsa Festival!
Rita has appeared on TV shows (including “Good Morning America”), performed in dance videos (including “MTV”) & in instructional dance videos. Her Maui performances include Maui Arts & Cultural Center, The Hui’ Nu Visual Arts Center, Rotary Club, Maui Bridal Association Show, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association & the Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy.
Rita is a Latin and Ballroom dance choreographer for solo exhibitions & team formations and she teaches individuals and couples (from social to wedding couples), as well as a coach & train Competitors and Dance Professionals in her private dance lessons through her dance company Private Image.
Rita’s competitive students have always placed first and second in national competitions and ranked in the top ten solo performances. Rita also holds degrees in Fashion Design (Rutgers University, NJ and The Fashion Institute of Technology, NY) and is a Ballroom & Latin costume designer.
One of the things Rita loves most about teaching is watching her students grow in confidence, proficiency and enjoyment of partnership dancing. Rita has brought people together in a cultural and health-minded environment combining movement, music and artistic expression! Her expertise in technical coaching, partnering and unparallel styling has earned her statewide recognition by her students and her Professional colleagues!
Please click on “Student TESTIMONIALS & KIND WORDS” for more insight into Rita’s dancing!
- THE MAUI NEWS ARTICLE FIRST PLACE Gold Medal @ West Coast Swing Teacher’s Intensive 06/12/11: http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/550391/Kihei-dance-professional-earns-gold-during-recent-competition.html?nav=12
- YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddd-eaA7ybA
- Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy Summer Ball 2008 – featuring Rita & Noe Garcia Robles dancing Salsa!
- MAUI WEEKLY ARTICLE 04/15/10: http://www.mauiweekly.com/page/content.detail/id/501315/Aloha-Ballroom-Dance-Academy.html?nav=11
- Rita Featured Dance Professional at Maui Tangofest’s “Inspiration Del Tango” at Maui Arts & Cultural Center!
- DOCUMENTARY: Love of Tango (Argentine Tango):
- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1042753710/for-the-love-of-tango Trailer (2:04 min) …More to Come!
- FEATURED INSTRUCTOR @ HAWAII SALSA FESTIVAL 2011: http://www.HawaiiSalsaFestival.com/rita
- Corporate Events: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb8fnwLITGQ
- MAUI WEEKLY ARTICLE 12/05/12 Community Charity: http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/567669/Aloha-Ballroom-Dance-Academy-collecting-gifts-for-Maui-homeless-resource-centers.html?nav=15
- Community Involvement: http://www.mauimixer.com/door-prize-salsa-lessons-from-rita