Joel & Clara first met at The University of British Columbia Dance Club. Each of them had never danced ballroom before and had joined purely for the social aspect of it all, but before long, they found themselves involved in local competitions at the novice level. As they began their romance off the dance floor, they danced with separate partners and were in close competition against each other. However, pretty soon they realized that they saw more of their dance partners than of each other. Therefore, during the summer of '98, Joel & Clara finally decided to team up and compete in the Latin & American style together.
It was only until April of '99 that they started to dance Ballroom together. Joel and Clara were successful in both Latin and Ballroom styles, winning various events and moving up the levels at an extremely fast pace. However, because they were both full-time university students, it was difficult to find time to practice all ten dances and pay for two sets of lessons and costumes. They came to the point where they had to make a decision to concentrate on only one style of dance. In the end, they decided on Ballroom, and that decision ended up shaping the rest of their lives...
After graduating from university with their degrees in hand, Joel & Clara decided to take the road less traveled, and pursue their dancing dreams. Since then their pursuit of great dancing has brought them all around the world and has brought them many championship titles such as: BC Champions, Western Canadian Champions, Canadian World Championship representatives, and many other international titles won in the USA and as far away as Singapore. Living out of their suitcases and in search of the best teachers the world has to offer, they relocated from Vancouver to Toronto, then to London, England, and finally to Casina, Italy. Like many top dancers, time spent at home with family and friends was very limited.
The last stop of their amateur career brought Joel & Clara to the studio and hometown of their mentors, Luca & Loraine Baricchi, who are 3-time Blackpool Champions and World Champions. After training with them for close to a year, Joel & Clara were invited by Luca & Loraine to relocate to Italy to work and train with them on a full-time basis. Joel & Clara accepted this unique opportunity in October of 2004 and trained under Luca & Loraine's constant guidance in Italy for more than a full year.
Although life was difficult, especially in a country where they didn't speak the language, Joel and Clara look fondly on their time spent in Italy. Casina, where they lived, is a small town up in the mountains, where the weather is great and the landscape is breathtaking. Joel & Clara enjoyed living the small-town lifestyle, being surrounded by a new culture, and meeting numerous dancers from all over the world that travelled to Italy to take lessons with Luca & Loraine.
Having traveled the globe for many years, Joel and Clara have learnt a great deal about dancing, life and about love. They have shared so many unique experiences together along with numerous special people they've met along the way. However in January 2006, due to a number of different factors, Joel and Clara decided to settle down and start a new chapter in their lives. They decided to relocate back home to Vancouver to begin their career as Professional Dance Instructors, Competitors and Showcase Demonstrators.
After settling in Vancouver for two and a half years (and having been together for 11 years), Joel and Clara finally got marrried on August 15th, 2008. They had a small and intimate ceremony at Kitsilano beach, followed by a wonderful cocktail party in the evening at the Rowing Club in Stanley Park. It was absolutely the most gorgeous day to celebrate their love for each other, love of the great outdoors and the love of family and friends.
Ever since Joel and Clara became romantically involved and formed their dance partnership together, not much has changed between them. They have gone through a lot of experiences in their lives, and they're both still very passionate about each other, about life and about dance. Joel and Clara feel blessed to have found passion and purpose in their lives, and are excited about sharing that passion with others.