Jurga and Vaidas
Jurga was born in Kaunas, Lithuania. She has loved to dance for as long as she can remember. Her love for physical sport and artistic expression is grounded in her broad background and her exposure to a variety of physical and artistic disciplines. Jurga came from a family of gymnasts; following in the footsteps of her mother and her older sister, she began taking Rhythmic Gymnastics at five years of age. Within a year, she was also enrolled in ballroom dancing lessons, and learning to sing and play piano. She quickly realized that her greatest love was dance. With her first partner, she won First in International Latin dance in Lithuania, and Second in International Latin dance and Fifth in International Standard in the former Soviet Union in the 12-14 year old division. Similar successes soon followed, as Jurga grew older and worked with different partners. These early experiences in dance competitions and performance taught Jurga discipline and dedication, and allowed her to travel abroad and learn about different cultures in Europe. In 1994, Jurga enrolled in Klaipedos Art University. She recalls that this was a period of rapid growth in her life as a dancer. She studied to be a choreographer, and she took classes in Ballet, Character, and Modern dance. Jurga also studied Folk dance in the formation team “Zuvedra” for two years. While dancing with them, the team took Second place in the European and World championships. Dancing with the team taught Jurga discipline and teamwork. She says, “It made me realize how tough you need to be, if you want to win that sort of accomplishment.”
Tomas and Aira
Tomas and Aira started dancing together in 2000. They represented Lithuania in European and World Championships for four years. In 2001, after only one year of dancing together, Tomas and Aira earned Second Place in the Blackpool Dance Festival Rising Star Championships, and were Semi-Finalists in the European Professional Championships. In 2003, Tomas and Aira moved to the United States, and now live and teach in the San Francisco Bay Area. During their career, they have been Finalists at: US National Professional Standard Championships, Ohio Star Ball, US Open, Dutch Open, Jakarta Open, Singapore Millennium, San Francisco Open, Emerald Ball, Holiday Ball, Desert Classic, Yankee Classic, and Imperial Championships, just to name a few. Tomas and Aira retired from competitive dancing, and are focused on growing a new generation of dancers, managing Dance Vita Ballroom, and organizing the Pacific Grand Ball, an annual ballroom dance competition in San Mateo, California. Dancing is their life, and their goal is to share their passion, knowledge, and experience with other people who love dancing as much as they do.
Aira was born in Lithuania, in Kaunas city. When she was 6, Aira’s parents took her to a dance school, where she started dancing International Standard and Latin. After one year she was in love with dancing, and it became her life. At the age of 14, she started training in England with the best coaches in the world. She was very successful at an early age. The following titles are among her highest achievements as an Amateur:
• World Youth Ballroom Champion 1997
• Under 21 Blackpool Ballroom Champion 1998
• Amateur World Cup Ballroom Champion 1998
Tomas was born in Kaunas, Lithuania. He started dancing International Standard and Latin when he was 8 years old. Although that was a decision made by Tomas’s family, eventually Tomas himself started to like dancing, especially after winning his first national title in the 14-16 year old age category. His other highest achievements as an Amateur are:
• 4 time Lithuanian Amateur Ballroom Champion
• 2 time Lithuanian Amateur 10 dance Champion
• 1st place in IDSF World ranking list
Tomas has been teaching dance since 1992, and has trained numerous couples who have gone on to become Juvenile & Youth World Champions. He graduated from the Lithuanian Physical Culture Institute (now Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education) in 1995, where he became a professional DanceSport teacher. From 1999 through 2000, Tomas toured the United States, Europe, and Australia as a member of the world renowned dance show Burn the Floor.