Who We Are
Joyce became certified as a ballroom and Latin dance instructor in 1987. During her career, Joyce won numerous awards and enjoyed many performances, among the most memorable are her wins as the 5-time Michigan Swing Champion, 5-time Michigan Hustle Champion, Hustle USA Champion, finalist at the American Swing Dance Championships, Northcoast Ballroom Classic and Detroit International Star Ball Lambada champion and cabaret finalist, featured performer at the Feather Awards in Beverly Hills, California, performed in the USSR ballroom dance tour in 1989, featured in commercials for NBC affiliate, and in 1997, Joyce was inducted to the Michigan Swing Dance Hall of Fame and the National Hustle Hall of Fame. To compliment her career as a dancer, Joyce went on to attend the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she graduated with honors and wrote The Detroit Hustle, a manual defining the Detroit Hustle while sharing its unique history through dance and verse and the Dance Project syllabus which adds inspiration to her new venture as founder of the Social Dance Project, a youth outreach program that ties social dance to schools curriculum. The Social Dance Project will be based out of her studio, the Center for Social Dance located in Okemos, Michigan.
Growing up in Detroit is not an easy task and finding a positive activity for ML was of most importance for his single mom Dianna. Dianna decided to enroll ML in a ballet class at the age 9, at the O’day School of Ballet on Detroit’s west side and at age 12, ML started partnering in ballet. Dianna introduced ML to ballroom, Latin, and swing dancing when he was 13. ML remembers being hooked the first time he saw “Master” Bob Budzynski perform with his wife Beverly. Then, a year later ML joined Michigan’s first junior Swing Dance Team, Swing Shots, under the direction of Joyce Stoughton. In 1996, ML age 14 and his dance partner Gina Soave age 12 became the first Michigan Junior Hustle Dance Champions. From there, ML began studying the classic ballroom and Latin dances and continued to compete in ballroom and swing competitions until he graduated from Cody High School in Detroit. ML then joined the team at Dance Academy in Garden City and began his professional career in hip-hop, Lindy swing, and Salsa under the direction of Jon Ross. In 2005, ML began teaching for the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed department in Ann Arbor, Livonia Public Schools in 2006, and joined the team at Tronix Entertainment in 2014 where he developed his skills as a DJ. In 2015, ML was approached by his former dance coach, Joyce Stoughton-Kim, to join the Center for Social Dance and help develop the youth outreach program the Social Dance Project.
Master Bob Budzynski
Growing up in Bob’s family, if you didn’t dance Polka by age seven, something was considered wrong with you; so, Bob learned to Polka. Surprisingly, dancing was just a sideline when Bob was young. During his first years in college, Bob left his job at “General Motors Overseas Operations” to work at Fred Astaire’s Dance Studio, and during his junior year, he transferred to a university in Houston, Texas to work at the largest Fred Astaire Studio in the U.S. Graduating with a degree in music, Bob opened his own music store, during which he taught Accordion and social dancing for nearly 17 years. In his thirties and forties Bob continued teaching East Coast and Ballroom dancing while holding other professions. After meeting his wife Beverly, Bob started attending dance competitions and becoming more involved in dancing. Bob accidentally discovered West Coast Swing when they attended Robert Bryant’s United States Swing Dance Championships. Robert convinced him to start a Michigan event, which became the Michigan Swing Dance Championships. The Michigan Swing Dance Championships has been going for over 25 years and is now under the name the MIC. When Bob studied with West Coast Swing Masters such as Mario Rabau Jr., Robert Bryant, and Skippy Blair, (among others) traveling across the United States, determined to learn the dance correctly. In 1994, three years after the Michigan Dance Classic was in full swing, Bob and Beverly started the Mid-United States Jack & Jill Championships and the Petoskey Party. Shortly after, Bob and Beverly founded the Michigan Society for Swing and Hustle Dancers Club, which is still going strong. Over the years they have also competed across the country in Masters Divisions, Jack & Jill’s, etc., with Bob winning five first place awards in major Jack & Jill Championships. As a result of their efforts and competition results, they received two “Feather Awards,” presented in 1996 and 1997 and Swing to name a few. Bob has been inducted into the World Swing Dance Council Hall of Fame and the All Swing DJ Hall of Fame. Other accomplishments for Bob include multiple first place wins at the St. Louis Swing Dance Championships, the Chicago Classic, the World Swing Dance Championships in Swing, Salsa, and Hustle, and placed 1st in the Grand Prix of Swing. Bob’s dedication to preserving and introducing West Coast Swing to Michigan dancers has been his life’s work for over 30 years. The Center for Social Dance is very excited to have his experience and expertise.