Rita Gekhman was born in Minsk Belarus. After attending a gymnastics school from age 7 to 13, she fell in love with ballroom after attending a competition in Vilnius. Soon after, she was accepted in a ballroom company and together with her partner she became one of the leading couples in Belarus.
After immigrating to Israel in 1990, she became the first Israel Latin American amateur champions in 1991 with her partner Gena Kigher. They became the first Israel Latin American amateur champions in 1991. They represented Israel in the World Latin American Championship in Oslo, Norway. From then, she was Israel National Amateur Champion in Latin, Standard 10 dance and Classic Show dance divisions.
In 1995 she turned Pro and starting dancing with a new partner, Garry Gekhman. she represented Israel in numerous World and European championships. In 1999 she moved to America and started working in an independent studio in New Jersey. She was eager to learn and develop further her dancing and technical knowledge. It was then when we started taking lessons abroad with the best teachers in the world: Michael and Vicky Barr, Marcus and Karen Hilton, Kenny and Marion Welsh to name a few.
In 2002 they became first couple to win US national open and close rising star Championships the same year. They started making rising star finals in England shortly after that. They made US national Championship finals twice. Their most memorable victories in open standard division in prestigious competitions such as Yankee Classic, World Masters, Philadelphia Dance festival, Constitution State Challenge, North East Invitational, Maryland Dance Sport Championship, Virginia State Championships just to name a few.
The highlight of her career was an invitation to perform the Robot Show dance in Blackpool 2008. That was her last public performance and she decided to retire from competitive dancing and focus on teaching and Judging. Just when I thought I would never dance again in front of a large audience as a professional, we received an invitation from the television show
Dancing with the Stars. This was one of the best experiences of my dance life.
Werner Figar is an International Latin dancer who has been Austrian Champion 3 times and has placed in the top 31 of Professional International Latin dancers of the world. He recently performed on the Austrian version of Dancing with the Stars (Dancing Stars Austria). Werner started as a gymnast at the age of 5, but when he was 8, he was inspired to dance by the movie Dirty Dancing. He started competing with his sister with whom he was 3 times Austrian Amateur Latin Champion! When he was 18, he decided pursue other dance styles and learned modern, ballet and jazz. He performed in West Side Story in Germany, then he moved to New York City to study modern at Alvin Ailey. After completing the program at Ailey, he joined the Elisa Monte Dance Company and toured all around the globe. In 2009, he fell back in love with competitive ballroom dancing and has continued to explore and develop his International Latin dancing!