Empire Ballroom Studios was founded by Sid Zydrunas Pocius, World Class Professional Champion Ballroom Dancer. He started his career at the age of 6 in his native country - Lithuania. By the age of 13, he became National Champion and started competing throughout the world. At the age of 18 he opened his own studio in Europe. After having 5 successful years as a studio owner, he decided to come to the US to share his passion and experience. Now he is a proud American Citizen, Certified World Class Professional Ballroom Judge and Coach, co-owner and organizer of 5 Star Ballroom Events, Organizer of Sarasota Challenge Competition, and owner of Empire Ballroom Studios. ...Ballroom Dancing is a journey through cultures, times, social etiquettes, with a destination of self-fulfillment and well-being...
Vidas Orlovas started his dance career when he was 4 years old in Lithuania. After 18 years of dancing in competitions internationally, he went to Klaipeda University to acquire a degree in Choreography and Dance Instruction. During his college education he continued to dance in a formation team, Zuvedra II, in order to compete in world championships. After graduating from college Vidas moved to the Sarasota area to share his international dance expertise with Empire Ballroom Studios.
Giedrius Sapezinskas “G” began dancing at the age of 4 in Lithuania. He specializes in International as well as American style. After graduating from Klaipeda University of Arts in Lithuania, he came to Sarasota to share his love of dance with students of all levels.
Elina became fascinated with dance early in life, which was inspired by her cultural upbringing and natural passion. In 1991, she moved to the United States from Baku, Azerbaijan with her family at the age of four. Elina took her first ballroom class at the age of nine at a studio near her home in Akron, OH. Eventually she would learn other forms of dance including ballet, jazz, character, and folk. Pursuing further dance education, Elina worked with many of the top ballroom coaches in North America. She has competed across the U.S. and Canada, winning numerous competitions. She now spends her time dancing professionally and bringing her knowledge and love of dance to her students.