Meet The Team
Two time International Professional Cabaret Champion and two time US Open Cabaret Champion, Alyenendrov was originally born in Michigan, though he now resides in Cincinnati. Alyenendrov has a background in Martial Arts, wrestling, cheerleading, and athletic training - a unique and powerful combination of that has strengthened his dancing through his knowledge of body and movement. He began training and performing in Argentine Tango, but quickly realized his passion for American Rhythm. He and his partner, Maria Wheeler, train together in Rhythm and Theater Arts/Cabaret.
They are 2016 and 2017's International Hustle Salsa Congress, Professional Cabaret Champions, 2016 and 2017 US Open SWING DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS Cabaret Champions, and winners of the 2017 USA Grand National Dance Championships (SWING WORLD) Cabaret division.
Alyenendrov also competes nationally with his students in Latin, Standard, Smooth, Rhythm, Niteclub, Argentine Tango, Theater Arts, and Cabaret. He and his student, Malaki Woodward, became the 2014 World Champions in Pro-Am Theater Arts and the 2015 National Champions in Pro-Am Theater Arts.
When not dancing, Alyenendrov - a published author - enjoys writing poetry, drawing, Game of Thrones, coffee, Ancient Egypt, spending time with friends, and living out his life mantra "Renewed, Reborn, Reclaimed".
A lifelong resident of Cincinnati, OH, Maria has been dancing since she wore diapers under a tiny pink tutu. She brings years of teaching, choreography, and competition to the table at Phoenix Rising. Maria has a background in ballet, tap, jazz, clogging, and modern dance. Maria also enjoyed performing on stage for many years, and has been seen in many theater productions, including “The King and I” and “Guys & Dolls”.
Maria and Alyenendrov train in American Rhythm and Theater Arts. They are 2016 and 2017's International Hustle Salsa Congress, Professional Cabaret Champions, the 2016-2019 US Open SWING DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS, Cabaret Champions, and winners of the 2017-2019 USA Grand National Dance Championships (SWING WORLD) Cabaret division.
Maria loves to teach, perform, and compete with her students as well. She has a special soft spot for her wedding couples and likes helping them make their first dance something to remember. Maria's talents also includes ballroom/prom/wedding/special occasion hairstyling.
Outside the world of ballroom dance, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, sewing, reading books set in Ancient Egypt, and inserting apropos quotes from FRIENDS into conversations whenever she can.