Ballroom Coach & CHEK Practitioner
As a child, Maria Hansen studied ballet, tap, jazz and gymnastics and beginning in 1986, began to study ballroom dancing. She instantly fell in love with the idea of partner dancing and decided that this would be the path that her life would take. She began her career in professional competition in the American style Smooth and Rhythm divisions, but later switching to International Style.
After only a year of competing, Maria became a finalist in the U.S. National Rising Star Latin. She had also began competing in the Ballroom division and then decided to pursue that style exclusively.
In 1990, Maria began a partnership with Stuart Cole and within 3 years, made every final in the United States and had climbed to win the 2nd place spot at the United States Championships in 1993. They had the honor of representing the United States at the World’s Championship held in Denmark and also represent the United States in the infamous Team Match in Blackpool, England.
In 1996, Maria became partners with Nicholas Cotton. Again with this partnership, making every final and also winning the Ohio Star Ball Showdance competition with the infamous “Toilet Paper Number” (see video below) making us the North American Showdance Champions in 1997.
Maria’s last partnership was with Paul Holmes. Together they made every US final but both partners were towards the end of their careers and decided to retire together after a year.
After retirement from competitive dancing, Maria took her adjudicating exams and now is an in-demand judge across the country. In 2008, Maria became very interested in studying kinesiology, postural and movement correction at the CHEK Institute in California and have implemented many of these ideas into her teaching and training program. She is also co-organizer of Vegas Open Dance Championships.
Titles & Accomplishments
- 7x U.S. National Professional Ballroom Finalist
- U.S. Representative to the World in Ballroom
- North American Showdance Champion
- Certified CHEK Practitioner
- National NDCA adjudicator
Maria is a dedicated, passionate coach. She strives to provide her students with the latest information, and pulls from other disciplines outside of dance to give the clearest, most efficient teaching. Maria herself is always learning, which keeps her coaching fresh and relevant as dancesport continues to evolve. Maria is also an encouraging coach, whose personal interest in her students’ progress is evident in their success.
Who says waltz has to be serious? Maria and partner Nicholas Cotton combine seriously exquisite dancing with some levity. This routine won them the title of North American Showdance Champions.