About A Step to Gold International Ballroom

The Friendliest Dance Studio in Raleigh
At Least Our Students Think So!

A Step to Gold International Ballroom was founded in 2002 and combines two of Melanie’s greatest passions: dance and fitness. She has recently partnered with Tito Hernandez, previous dance director of the NC Theatre Conservatory. This partnership and their love of teaching dance creates a winning combination.
A Step to Gold International Ballroom stands out among other studios as it offers an approach to wellness, targeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

“We make learning to dance easy and fun.”

Melanie’s Story

Melanie Dale, your ballroom dance instructorclassical ballroom dancing

Melanie Dale is the owner and leading dance instructor based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Melanie has over twenty years of experience in the business. She has trained professionals for years and has an extensive background in American and International styles of ballroom dancing, having been trained by many of the GREATS from Europe and the US, including her former husband, the legendary, Larry Silvers, who was the first United States Professional Ballroom Champion.

For over thirty years, Melanie has seen students transform their lives on and off the dance floor. A Step to Gold staff is ready and willing to help you get started on your life-changing journey into the world of Ballroom Dancing. We work together as a team to ensure that you feel less intimidated and comfortable with the basics so that you can enjoy dancing with numerous partners in the quickest way possible.

We believe that private lessons coupled with group sessions and practice sessions are a sure-fire way to get the most out of your training. It is an indescribable experience to dance with an experienced partner.

So are you ready to start a new chapter in your life? To get fit and gain confidence? A Step to Gold International Ballroom can help you accomplish your goals and have fun while doing it!

Meet the A Step to Gold staff below!!


Jeff Beegle

Jeff was the previous owner and director of Classic Ballroom Dance Studio in New Jersey for nine years. He choreographed for and performed in hundreds of showcases and has been teaching for over 16 years. Jeff is also an experienced competitor and has placed first numerous times. He has studied dance and teaching of dance with Chris Thompson, Lori Woods Gay, John Nyemchek, Daphne Connaliff and Michael Keihm. Dance and the teaching of Ballroom dance has been his greatest passion for years and he expects that to continue!

Antoinette Headshot

Antoinette Santoro

Riccardo Pacini & Sonia Spadoni

Riccardo Pacini with his wife Sonia Spadoni placed 1st in the Latin Italian Championship, 1st in the Italian 10 -Dance Championships in 2010, 2nd in the Standard Italian Championship, 2nd in the 10-Dance Championship in Spain and placed in the top three is some of the most prestigious competitions around the world such as: The UK Open, the German Open Championship and the Disney Cup in Paris, France. They also placed 2nd at the World Latin Show Dance Championships. In 2014, they won the Italian Open Championships Latin dance style when they decided to move to the USA.

Welcome, Riccardo and Sonia to A Step to Gold International…true professionals.


Ted Sowder

Ted has been teaching people how to dance for 39 years and trained with nationally recognized Ballroom Champion Cher Rutherford.  Ted has many years experience managing franchise and independent schools which makes him an asset to ASTG!

Tito Hernandez

Mr. Hernandez credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the National Tour of Evita and The Gingerbread Lady starring Oscar winner Shelly Winters. As a Director/Choreographer, Tito has worked at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars, The Alley Theatre, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, and Disneyland. Mr. Hernandez has also Directed/Choreographed locally at Theatre Raleigh and The North Carolina Theatre, including productions of Evita, (starring Ray Walker and Lauren Kennedy), The King and I, (starring Lou Diamond Phillips) and NCT’s Summer Theatre Arts School (STAS) for the past 15 years. He is most proud of all the accomplishments his former students have achieved. Tito has been privileged to work throughout the community, empowering students to reach their dreams and achieve their goals. You may have seen some of his work at Athens High School, Heritage High School, Zebulon High School, and NC State. With over 35 years of experience, he welcomes new students, young and old alike, to explore the possibilities of music theatre.  

For more information on Tito’s classes as ASTG, please go HERE!