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Instructor Jake Lavender

jake lavender

Principal Dance Instructor

Hometown: Asheville, NC

Specialties: American Smooth, American Rhythm, Country Western, Nightclub

Favorite Dance: Right now, Mambo

Dancing Since: 1997

About Jake


Jake started dancing ballroom at just 11 years old in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. At 19, he began his professional career teaching at the most successful franchise dance studio in the World - Arthur Murray in Alexandria, VA. For nearly a decade, Jake was one of the top male instructors in the company, competing with students across the United States as well as Italy and France. Jake competed professionally in both American Smooth & American Rhythm styles, performed countless showcases and performances, and received the best teaching training the industry can offer. 

In 2014, Jake married fellow instructor Meghan McDonald and moved to Asheville where the couple opened Asheville City Dance. For eight years, Jake & Meghan ran a successful dance studio, launched their professional dance career in the independent world, organized the annual Asheville Dance Classic, directed Dancing with the Local Stars - Asheville, and trained with some of the best dancers in the United States. 

In 2022, Jake & Meghan relocated the City Dance headquarters to Charlotte, establishing Charlotte City Dance in the Queen City. They continue to compete professionally in the American Smooth division and organize multiple student-focused events & competitions throughout the year. 

Teaching Philosophy

Jake believes that above all things, dance should be FUN. He focuses on injecting joy into each and every lesson, while still providing the highest-level dance instruction possible. Jake is dedicated to continuing education and believes that there is always room for improvement. He wants dance to be a source of happiness and health for all of his students, at every level.

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