VBDC 2022

Jack Carpenter

Master of Ceremonies

Jack Carpenter began his dance career in 1990 with the Fred Astaire organization.  He is a former dance studio owner and FADS National Rhythm Dance Champion.  He has won many regional and national Ballroom and Rhythm dance competitions, both professionally and Pro/Am. His many teaching accomplishments include Top Teacher regionally and placing nationally in the top five for 5 consecutive years.  Some of his other dance titles include:  American Smooth Regional Champion, American Rhythm Rising Star, and Open Dance Champion for the Southeast Region.  Jack currently enjoys participating as a Judge and Emcee for competitive ballroom dance events

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Rick Zilonka


Rick is a former ballroom dance instructor studio owner and area licensee and franchiser of Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Virginia.   He is a licensed adjudicator and member of the Fred Astaire National Council of Dance. Rick is a championship qualified ballroom judge recognized and registered with the National Dance Council of American.  Now retired after 40 years in the Ballroom dance industry, Rick Zilonka is a much sought after adjudicator and scrutineer for ballroom dance competitions across the United States.

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Joan Caviness



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Kem Overby


Kem has been teaching all forms of social and competitive dancing for more than 35 years beginning when disco dancing was on the rise. He went to work for Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio in Raleigh, NC where he was trained in ballroom dancing. Over the years, his dance career has taken him all over the United States. He has competed in, and won, numerous competitions, as well as being recognized as Top-Teacher in many of them. Kem has trained several dancers whom, in turn, have also become professional dancers. After a long and rewarding career, Kem moved back home to South Hill, Virginia to be closer to his family. Kem now teaches ballroom dancing in both South Hill and Asheville, North Carolina. He enjoys taking his students to community events where they can show off their newly acquired dance skills and to competitions all over the country.


Deborah Carpenter

Registrar & Scrutineer

Debbie began her dance career in 1986, when she met Rock Foster, owner of Dance Masters Studios, in Richmond, VA. Having a life-long love of dance, she studied jazz dance while in college and fell in love with partner dancing when the Disco craze hit in the early 1980's. Her initial ballroom training began with Rock Foster and continued later on when she met her husband, Jack Carpenter, a former Fred Astaire Dance Studio owner and National Rhythm Dance champion. Debbie competed on the Country line dance team, Quicksilver Express, in the 1990's, and studied country western dance and used her knowledge to teach classes in North Carolina. Today Debbie teaches dance independently at Ann Witt School of Dance in Sutherland, VA. She also competes in ProAm events at USSDC Dance Challenges and is Registrar and Scrutineer for various ballroom, competitions throughout the year.


Peter Collins

Music Director

Peter Collins is a nationally-known ballroom dance champion, ballroom dance coach, and an accomplished music director and music provider for ballroom dance competitions throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. He has done national and major regional events for the NDCA, Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire, USA Dance, and the collegiate circuit.  He was the DJ for the world-famous Rainbow Rom atop Rockefeller Center in New Your City.

He, and his partner Amy Cousins, are five-time undefeated US National Amateur Champions, US representatives to the World Amateur Championships, and two-time Feather Award winners.  In addition to teaching ballroom dancing, he has competed with his Pro-Am students, and has been a finalist in many professional competitions. He was one of two couples selected to demonstrate ballroom dancing as a competitive sport at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.