Benji Smith - Owner / Instructor
Benji Smith began teaching ballroom dancing in 1990, while in College at UNC-Wilmington. In 1991, he came to Memphis in a make-or-break career move. In his first few days, he realized he would be successful in Memphis. With hard work,long hours, and dedication, Benji became the top dance teacher in the MidSouth and, with his wife Beth, a winning ballroom dance competitor. He has also partnered many students at various dance competitions across the country and abroad. His specialties are developing new students in to top performers, and advanced students into competitive winners.
Always looking to the future, Benji strived to learn every detail of the dance business, so that one day he would have his own. In August of 2000, DanceSmiths, Inc. opened it's doors. Their studio was part of a national chain until 2013, when they mutually agreed to part ways. Benji holds his certifications in high regard. He is certified C+, D+ with United States Terpsichore Association.
In business he has received many Top Teacher honors: Most lessons taught, most referrals, and most lesson sales. Earning the trust and respect of his dance students played a key role in his success. All of this was accomplished with a simple philosophy: Win/Win/Win. A win for the students, a win for the studio, and a win for the teacher.
Beth Smith - Owner / Instructor
Beth Smith began dancing at age 5 in Crown Point, Indiana. After moving to Memphis in the fourth grade she continued to dance through out her child hood, taking lessons at Patricia Williams School of Dance. Beth began doing Country Western dancing in 1990, focusing mainly on line dancing. She was first introduced to ballroom and Latin dancing when her mother invited her to a Guest Party at a local ballroom dance studio. She began taking ballroom lessons, eventually realizing that ballroom dance would be a career choice. She had two very different options in mind: 1. Teach at the local ballroom studio or 2. become a dancer for Disney. Luckily for us all, ballroom won!
Beth worked furiously at getting her teaching credentials in order, completing the American Style Syllabus in only 2 years. She is certified C+, D+ with United States Terpsichore Association. It was during that time that she began competing professionally in ballroom dancing with Benji.
Frances - Instructor
A native Memphian, Frances Hord grew up dancing from an early age. She trained in ballet, flamenco, and modern dance at New Ballet Ensemble and School. Upon graduation from high school at St. Mary's Episcopal School, she earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of South Carolina. There, she received rigorous dance training from a former New York City Ballet soloist, a former Boston Ballet principal dancer, and former Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers, among others. She performed in various productions at USC including multiple stagings of Balanchine works, while striving for academic success in the classroom, maintaining a leadership role in a campus ministry, and even choreographing her own work. Since graduating in May of 2016, Frances has performed professionally, taught various levels, and worked as a dance administrator. She has been trained in American Smooth & American Rhythm styles by Benji Smith and other nationally acclaimed dance professionals. Frances loves dance and sharing that joy with others in the studio.