Yuriy Simakov and Oksana Klyuchnyk are owners and professional dance instructors of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Durham, NC.
Yuriy and Oksana both began their dance careers at the age of 7. Oksana competed in the Ballroom and Latin programs, becoming either the winner or finalist of numerous National and International Dance Championships. By the age of 12, Yuriy had become the champion of the Ukraine for his level. As a competitor, Yuriy won numerous International Ballroom Dance Sport competitions in Germany, Russia, Poland, Moldova, Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. As a member of the Ukrainian Dance Team, Oksana represented the Ukraine at the European and World Dance Championships in Holland, Germany, Poland, and Russia. The Ukrainian National Sports Committee awarded Oksana the title Master of Sports in recognition for excellence in Ballroom Dancing.
Oksana graduated at the top of her class from one of the most prestigious schools, University of Art, with a major in dance. She also has a Bachelors Degree in Pedagogic. Yuriy also graduated from the Kharkov National University of Art with a major in Dance.
In the Ukraine, Yuriy founded the Ballroom Dance Studio “Evrika”. His students became winners of several National and International tournaments such as Blackpool competition in England (junior category), Czech Republic (juveniles and junior category), Poland and Germany. Yuriy is also the organizer of International Classification and Rating Ballroom Dance Sport Competition Severskiy Donets in 2001 and 2002.
Yuriy Simakov and Oksana Klyuchnyk came to the USA in 2003 to develop Ballroom Dance in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area. Their relationship later blossomed into marriage. Not only did they become the owners of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Durham, NC, but the couple is also still actively competing at the highest level all over the USA. Together they bring their knowledge and excellence to the Triangle area in NC.
- Fred Astaire Smooth Champion
- US Rising Star Smooth winners and finalist: Heritage Classic 2007 (3rd Place), Carolina Classic 2007 (1st Place): Millennium Dance Sport 2007 (2nd Place): Atlanta Open 2007 (4th Place): Carolina Classic 2008 (2nd Place), Heritage Classic 2008 finalist, Manhattan Dance Sport Championship 2008 finalist.
- Open Smooth finalist: Puerto Rico (2006 2nd Place), La Classique du Quebec , Canada(3rd Place), 2007, Millennium Dance Sport finalist 2007, Atlanta Open 2008, Nashville Stars Dance Spectacular 2008, Mexico Open to the World (Mexico finalist, 2008)
- Fred Astaire Top Teacher in Regional & National Levels
- Top teacher Nationally, at the United States Championships
- Published in newspapers and magazines: Herald Sun, News and Observer, 15-501, and Skirt.