Beth joined the ballroom dance formation team at the University of Southern California to satisfy her Physical Education requirement. Little did she know that her very first Cha Cha steps put her on the path of an illustrious career. By the time of graduation, Beth had turned professional and was a finalist in all major competitions in the US. She and her partner (then husband) Stephen Cullip became National Champions in 1991, just six years after Beth began dancing. When Stephen retired from competition, Beth went on to dance with Tommy Newby and continued to gain the respect of the competitive dance community.
After retiring from competition in 1995, Beth continued to study various aspects of the dance industry. With a successful professional career finished, she helped many students win Pro/Am competitions, and was one of the US’s Top Teachers in 1998. In 2008 she retired from Pro/Am competitions to be available for more judging and to further her dance education. In her rare off time, Beth is pursuing another education degree, in Gerontology.
It took many years of hard work and persistence to gain the knowledge and experience Beth now has, but in her opinion it has been worth every minute! She is highly sought after as a judge and coach, and travels extensively to competitions and studios across the US and Canada.
About ballroom dancing:
Formal ballroom dancing has been standardized since the mid-1920s. Over the years, social dancing evolved into competition dancing, with the greatest of all competitions held in Blackpool, England. The Open British Championships is a week-long festival of dance, complete with two days of lectures and the most prestigious titles in the world awarded to the best dancers. The United States is home to the largest competition in the world, the Ohio Star Ball, which is dominated by thousands of Pro/Am entries. World titles are awarded in several categories. The Worlds’ Championships for both professionals and amateurs are held in different cities around the globe, but is not as prestigious as the Open British, as traditionally each country sends only its top two couples. That is changing, however, with Open World competitions held for amateurs, and qualifying events held for professionals.
Social dancing remains the backbone of the industry, especially in the US. Dance studios, both independently operated and chain schools, offer social dance lessons (group and private) as well as weekly or monthly dances. Syllabi in both styles of dancing provide a structured learning system, and a method by which anyone can go anywhere in the country (or world) and dance with anyone. Each style has four levels of syllabus: Bronze (beginner), Silver (intermediate), Gold (advanced) and Open (very advanced, allows any variation except aerial lifts).
There are two different styles of ballroom dancing, International and American. International style is the style that was first standardized in England in the 1920s, and encompasses ten dances: the Ballroom dances—Waltz, Tango Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep and the Latin dances—Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive. The Ballroom dances are characterized by the partnership staying in closed dance position, with body contact. The Latin dances are distinguished by a particular leg and hip action and choreography that is unique to the style. International Style dances have one syllabus that is used worldwide.
American style was invented in the social dance studios of the US in the mid-twentieth century. Although based on the International dances, the American dances have their own character, steps and terminologies: the Smooth dances—Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz and the Rhythm dances—Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo. American social dances include Merengue, Hustle, West Coast Swing, Salsa, and Nightclub Two Step. American Style dances have multiple syllabi that have been codified by various teaching organizations. The National Dance Council of America has standardized a set of steps for the Beginning levels (Bronze).
Beth was a US Champion in the International Ballroom Style, and finalist in all US competitions in the American Smooth. She has danced all the styles with students in competition, has written syllabi in the American Styles, and has taken her teaching exams through the highest (Gold) level in all styles.
- 1991 US National Professional Ballroom Champion
- 6-time US Representative to World competition
- 2-time Ohio Star Ball Champion
- 8-time undefeated International Grand Champion
- former owner: Washington Dance Club (Seattle WA)
- DanceSport International (Seattle WA)
- former organizer: Galaxy Dance Festival
- former dance director: Imperial Academy (Buena Park CA)
- Fellow, US Terspichore Association
Ballroom, Latin, Smooth, Rhythm, Theater Arts
- National and World-Class Adjudicator, registered with
National Dance Council of America
USA Dance, Inc.
World Dancesport Council
- US Invigilation Committee