IN THE FIELD
Michelangelo Marsili is a native-born Florentine. Our Italian travel expert has a degree in environmental science and is happiest outdoors admiring the beautiful views. In 2001, Michelangelo guided his first group in Tuscany, and he knew immediately that his job would also be his pleasure. He now guides in many of Italy’s regions sharing both his vast knowledge and good humor. He and his wife Francesca help plan many of our group and tailor-made travel experiences in Italy. Other than guiding, he is interested in all things nature, and poetry. He is always happy to share a copy of his poetry book “Il Dio.”
Francesca hails from a village in the mountains east of Rome. She combines a degree in botany and an extensive knowledge of Italian culture, wine and food to bring the best to each client. Her love of hiking and passion for life result in the highest degree of customer service. Francesca’s warmth and humor will win over any guest. This year she was named her “Queen of Positivity,” a well-earned title. Her knowledge of all things Italy will make you want to return over and over again.
Giovanni is an expert and native to Cortona. For many generations his family lived and studied in this hilltop town. He will show you the layers of civilization, from the Etruscans, to the medieval times, to the Renaissance, to the modern era. He takes you to fabulous renaissance art hidden in small obscure churches, the monasteries hidden in the mountains of the Franciscan monks, or through the winding streets of Cortona.
After many years living, studying and teaching in England Giovanni has returned to his home in the northern region of Tuscany. An expert on Etruscan archaeology, Giovanni has lectured as a guest for the commonwealth club in California and was an escort to Prince Charles on his tour of Montepuliciano nearly twenty years ago.
Luigi Gamba hails from north Italy where he worked in the interior design industry. His passion for cycling led him to shift gears, move to Tuscany, and become a cycling guide. He shares his enthusiasm for the sport and for the countryside and introduces guests to all that is Tuscan.
Carlos is a native of Cusco and leads many of our Machu Picchu hikes. He likes to share his perspectives of the Peruvian culture in a casual and personal way. He continues to study natural history and archaeology and is an advocate for responsible tourism – a philosophy that we at Evia also promote. He is currently researching botany and zoology related to the Inca era.
Jimmy Vásquez Calderón
Jimmy Vásquez was born, raised and educated in the city of Cusco, where he has worked as a professional guide for since 2004. Before this, he worked in a cultural exchange program in the United States, followed by some time at the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco. He is passionate about the traditions and legacies of his Andean ancestors and this passion can very much be seen in his own, contemporary lifestyle. He is also particularly interested in South America’s breathtaking natural biodiversity. When not guiding Jimmy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.
ON STAGE: BALLROOM DANCE TEAM
Danny brings 25 years of experience as a highly accomplished ballroom dancer and international dancesport competitor. In both 2004 and 2005 he won the prestigious “Latin Amateur Canadian Dancesport Championship” and was the Canadian representative at the World Championships in Germany and the Czech Republic. In 2008, Danny was one of the top 10 finalists on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada.” Since 2008, he has been competing as a pro Latin dancer.
Known as well for his teaching and his choreography, Danny has and continues to choreographd for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, the film “Funky Town” and CBC’s “Les Dieu de la Danse.” He is certified by the Canadian DanceSport Federation in Latin, Standard, Rhythm, and Smooth. Danny is the co owner and founder of Studio Danza, where he brings a unique mixture of technique, dedication, and fun to his teaching. Danny will lead our New Orleans Cruise in December 2018.
Olé holds the record as six-time undefeated champion in the Amateur Championship in Ukraine for Ballroom dance, was a finalist of Open European Professional Ballroom Championships and of the Open Canadian Latin Championships. Upon starting his career in Canada, he quickly rose to the top in the Pro-Am world of dancing, becoming the Arthur Murray champion in both styles of international Latin and Smooth. He is recognized on the dance floor for his constant smile and graciousness. For 6 consecutive years he has received the award for top teacher at the Crystal Leaf International Dancesport Championship and he is consistently one of the top 10 teachers at the Ballroom dance competition La Classique. He has also been the top teacher finalist Dancesport Series 2016 and 2017. Olé will be our lead teacher on the Mediterranean cruise starting April 8, 2019 in Monte Carlo. His charm and teaching style is sure to win you over.
Annie has been dancing for more than 20 years. She’s trained and competed both in her native Estonia, in England and now in North America. Her strength is her enthusiasm and an ability to make technique accessible to students at all levels. The joy of seeing a student progress gives her a personal sense of achievement. Annie loves helping them reach their dance goals. She is a certified member of the CDF in International Standard and Latin, and American Smooth and Rhythm and a certified competition adjudicator. Annie is unstoppable and brings her curiosity, analytical mind, grace, technique and experience to each student. Annie will team up with Ole Burlay for the Mediterranean cruise starting in Monte Carlo April 8, 2019.
Sylvain has been dancing since the age of fourteen and has been involved in the ballroom dancing industry for over thirty years. During his career, he has danced in the Latin, rhythm, and Ballroom categories. His competitive success was in the Ballroom styles of Standard and Latin. His credits include two-time Canadian Standard Champion and North American Standard Champion. Sylvain competed at the world-famous Blackpool. In 2000 he competed with great success on the pro-am circuit while cultivated his other career in finance. Alongside with his ballroom dance involvement, Sylvain has climbed the ladder of the banking world and is now a financial planner for the Banque Nationale du Canada (National Bank of Canada), owner of the dance competition Extravaganza, and is an established dance coach in both standard and Latin styles. He is also a world-class adjudicator. He is a gentleman both on and off the dance floor and we love having him part of our hosting and teaching team.
Maria Elent Golovanevski carries the title of Canadian National Ballroom Champion, is the founder and director of ‘Shall We Dance Studio’ in Toronto and is a member in good standing of Canadian Dance Teachers Association. She is also a certified ballroom & Latin dance adjudicator and Choreographer. Maria’s dance training began at the age of five in Russia. From an early age she performed in theaters, exhibitions and galas and started teaching dance by the age of seventeen. Maria is a graduate of the St. Petersburg State University with Masters Degree of Arts. Her studies enabled her to expand her career to include international experience teaching in Russia, Israel, Europe and North America.
We are honored to have Mathieu join our team. Mathieu is a professional dancer of course, but also an internationally acclaimed ballroom dance and figure skating clothing designer. For the 2018 winter Olympics, Mathieu designed 8 pairs couples costumes including that of the gold -medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Mathiue still dances pro-am in the Latin categories and has competed successfully at Blackpool He is fun-loving, can lead anyone, and is a great asset to our team.
Justine joins Eviactive’s Passion to Dance cruises with 15 years of experience, both socially and competitively. She held 1st place title in the under-21 Amateur Latin championship and more recently in the “Rising Star” and Open Professional categories. Justine’s excellent dance and teaching abilities are supported by her diploma from the Canadian DanceSport Federation (CDF). She teaches both competitive and social dance. Justine still competes with professional dance partner Danny Arbour. Justine has recently trained dancers on the Canadian version of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Les Dieux de la Danse.”
Born is Tashkent, Uzbekistan Stan was destined to become a great dancer. By the time he was 8 years old his parents recognized an unstoppable passion and talent for the Ballroom. Amongst his successes are becoming 3-time champion in International style and Latin programs in Uzbekistan. In 2000, he organized several prestigious competitions, and passed his degree to become a judge in ballroom dance competitions. In 2008, Stan took a leap of faith and moved to Montreal, easily picking up American style dance. He regularly is amongst the top teachers in competitions and with his school Juste Dance and partner Allyson Kassie, is involved in many charity endeavors including “Dancing with the Stars” – a fund raiser for medical equipment at the Montreal Children’s hospital. Stan is an unstoppable machine on the dance floor, with impeccable technique and great charm.
Terrilynn (“TL”) & Chris Rader
TL & Chris’ whirlwind career has taken them to over 141 cities in over 43 countries. They began teaching and performing together in 1996, and then coaching and competing all over North America. Their travels enabled them to receive training in acting, singing, and dancing from many esteemed directors and choreographers. They have travelled and performed all over the world as featured dancers on cruise ship main stages. Chris is consistently one of the top 10 teachers at the international Ballroom dance competition La Classique. It is their zest for life and their love of people that make them great professionals and companions on and off the dance floor.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Eva Stelzer, founder and driving force behind Evia is a licensed travel consultant and expert in bespoke travel. She organizes and hosts Italian walking holidays, Italian culinary and wine tours, and ballroom dance cruises. She also crafts bespoke, tailor-made itineraries for the discerning client. Her love of languages and her former career as a professor of education and physical education has resulted in intelligently crafted and active travel adventures. A graduate of McGill University and Concordia, University in Montreal, with French studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, Spanish studies at the University of Cuenca in Spain, and Italian at the Istituto Michelangelo in Florence. Her passion for languages and cultures has found a place in helping every traveller experience great adventures. In collaboration with GAM-SPS Travel Inc. Eva will help you achieve all your travel needs from Italy to Ecuador, from bespoke custom itineraries, to all inclusive vacations.*
*All trips are booked through GAM-SPS Travel Inc., Quebec License # 703295