Leading Ladies official website  

Melanie LaPatin :: cast (Sheri Campari), choreographer

Melanie LaPatin (Sheri) - The mere mention of Melanie LaPatin's name in Latin and Ballroom dance circles around the world will prove her renown. U.S. Latin Champion Melanie LaPatin (with long-time partner Tony Meredith) dominated competitors for over 20 years. As a dance coach and choreographer, she has worked with some of the most renowned film and television personalities, including Vanessa Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Patrick Stewart and Jennifer Beals. Melanie co-owns and directs the studio dubbed by Vogue Magazine as "the most fashionable place in New York City to learn to dance..." LaPatin has most recently appeared as a choreographer on television's So You Think You Can Dance. She has also choreographed and appeared on film in such major motion pictures as The Thomas Crown Affair, Dance With Me, and The Last Days of Disco.

Click here for Melanie's IMDB page.

Click here for Melanie's Dance Time's Square (NYC) studio website.



Benji Schwimmer :: cast (Cedric Michaels), additional choreography

Benji Schwimmer was born to famed swing dancers Buddy Schwimmer (“The King of Swing" and inventor of the West Coast Swing form) and Laurie Kauffman. He has won three US Open Swing Dance Championships. After winning the first two, Benji took two years off from his dancing career to work in a mission in Oaxaca, Mexico. When he returned to the States in 2004, he got back into the dancing world and won the 2005 Championship (his third). In 2006, he was chosen as a contestant for the second season of So You Think You Can Dance and won first place. According to the show, Schwimmer brought in 16 million votes during the finale, with a total of more than 70 million votes for Schwimmer over the course of the season.

Benji Schwimmer on IMDB



Laurel Vail :: cast (Toni Campari)

Hailing from southeast Idaho, Laurel attended college in Boston for film and new media. She came to LA in 2004 for a career in computer animation. Things in LA went better than anticipated and she decided that maybe, just maybe, she could have her cake and eat it too. After all, cake is delicious, and denying her deep-down love of acting and filmmaking would only cause regrets later. So after a few years of moonlighting and hard work, she's landed her first leading role in a feature film. And we're very happy about that. Watch for this one in the years to come; she is sure to cause a stir.

Laurel Vail on IMDB

Check out Laurel's blog at www.LaurelVail.com.



Shannon Lea Smith :: cast (Tasi Campari)

Shannon was born and raised in Glenview, Illinois. At the age of three, she began taking dance classes at the Fisher Dance Center in Wilmette, IL. Studio owner Robin Fisher motivated Shannon artistically in dance, as she always inspired her to follow her dreams. After receiving her BFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Shannon received a job with the Palace Theatre in New Hampshire, where she was a part of three productions: Cats, Swing and Grease. Soon after her run at the Palace Theatre, Shannon auditioned for the National Tour of Cats and landed the job as the Dance Captain and Swing. After 10 months of traveling the country, Shannon moved back to the East Coast and became the Dance Captain/Swing for the Westchester Broadway Theatre's A Wonderful Life.

Shannon's website


Nicole Dionne :: cast (Mona Saunders)

Ms. Dionne studied dance and theatre at Dean College. After landing her first role as Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, she learned she could cry on cue and that Shakespeare doesn’t sound so good with a Boston accent. So she dedicated her life to serious study and has pursued it ever since. Recent Los Angeles projects include Stella in A Sreetcar Named Desire (The Repertory East Playhouse), Sooze in subUrbia (which garnered her a local People’s Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama), and roles in Hurly Burly & Steel Magnolias. Nicole is a dancer/choreographer for Caitlyn Carradine’s Lace Productions and was seen in Layers In Motion and LA’s ART walk. From Crying Wench in Pirates of the Caribbean 3 to a Strange One in Apocalyptic Playground, Nicole loves the opportunity each and every role offers for transformation.

Nicole Dionne on IMDB


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