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Paul Lagatore

Professional Dance Instructor

Paul began his ballroom career at the age of 19 under the guidance of Sal Marino at Fred Astaire's of Columbia and received his considerable training from, among others, national theater arts champion and former national dance director for the Fred Astaire dance schools, Pete Taylor; international ballet champion, as well as ballroom coach and adjudicator, Sarwat Kaluby;  three time undefeated American style ballroom champions, Lee and Peggy Santos; and five time national rhythm champion, Susie Thompson. In January, 1991, he opened his own studio, Columbia's Ballroom Company, and over the past twenty-two years has built a solid reputation for excellence in teaching. His students consistently garner top marks in competitions across the US, including the American Star Ball (New Jersey), the Grand Nationals (Miami, Florida), and the Carolina Classic (Raleigh, North Carolina), while he himself has earned innumerable top teacher awards, and together they have often brought home top studio honors.  In addition to the competition and showcase routines he has choreographed for his students, he has lent his vision to productions of Grease, Songs for a New World, and Nothing but Nat: a Nat King Cole Review; coached and choreographed for competitors in the Miss South Carolina pageant; choreographed and performed for a local trade show featuring Morgan Fairchild; and donated his time performing in fundraisers for various non-profits, including the AIDS Benefit Foundation and the Lexington County Arts Association.

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