After opening Viva Dance! in Strongsville in 2005, Cleveland native Rebecca Sweet and her eight-instructor crew have taught hundreds of budding Baryshnikovs the essentials of competitive dance moves, from the elegant waltz to the sultry rumba to the adrenaline-charged Lindy hop. And Sweet is a master of them all. While a 10-year member of New York's elite Eddie Torres Latin Dance Company, she fine-tuned a dozen styles under the tutelage of Louis van Amstel. Last year, the Dancing With the Stars
alum honored his star student by giving seminars on the samba and cha-cha at her studio. The sessions must have impressed his reality-show rivals: Fellow high-stepper Karina Smirnoff spent a couple days in August teaching Sweet's students how to dance the Paso Doble.