Champion Dance Instructors: Erwin and Iwona Rybczynski

Iwona started dancing in Poland at the age of 16 at the request of a friend who didn’t want to take dance lessons by herself. After a short time, her friend quit dancing but Iwona fell in love with dance and continued to advance.

After taking a few levels of group classes, she then signed up for competitive dancing (after about a year) with one of Poland’s leading dance teachers.Erwin and Iwona Ryczynski dancing

Erwin grew up dancing just on impulse, and maintains that “he was dancing before he was born”. He left home and moved to the city of Sopot, Poland at the age of 14 to find a dance school where he could find what he was seeking.

Erwin joined the famed Fala Studio– one of the top ranked studios where the students were winning– a year before Iwona arrived. During this time they both went to high school yet found time to practice over 7 hours a day.

Soon, Erwin’s partner had to leave the country and he asked Iwona to try out with him. She did and, as they say, the rest is history. That was in 1989.

Erwin and Iwona progressed through the competitive levels “winning pretty much everything”. That includes winning as amateur dancers in all the major competitions in Poland, Norway, and Germany.

After reaching the Class S (international class) level, the highest competitive level in Standard and Latin American dance, they went on to win all the competitions in both styles, including the Polish Championship.

In 1996 they came to the US as professional dancers, and it was here in Chicago that they began to teach. From ’96-2004 they taught at a school called Interclub which they eventually bought in 2004.

In 2008 they hired an architect to construct their current 5200 sq. ft. studio dance studio from their own design. Thus was born the Interclub Academy of Dance.

Erwin and Iwona have continued to compete and are one of the 6 or 7 professionally competitive couples in the Chicagoland area who also teach.

They still continue with their own learning and get coaching from some of the best teachers in the world. Top coaches are brought into their studio on a monthly basis– including Aleksandra Gisher, Felipe Telona, & Joanna Zacharewicz.

Iwona and Erwin have also been coached by Shirley Ballas, coach of Dancing With The Stars.