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Barbara Ambroz

See also: Categories: Instructors, Adjudicators, Dancers, Lecturers, Latin, WDSF

Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Current location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Current status:

Barbara Ambroz is a renowned specialist in Latin American dancing. With over 38 years of experience through instruction and adjudication, she has trained and raised various champions of the DanceSport industry including WDSF World Amateur & Professional Latin Champions, Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun. She is the author of Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing which supplements her documentary Back To The Roots | The Cuban Footprint, a film detailing her dancing experiences in Havana, Cuba.


Barbara Ambroz was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. After finishing grammar school, she studied pedagogy and the Romance languages at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. In her youth, she also finished seven years of music school, playing the piano.

Barbara has concluded her education as a dance teacher, trainer and adjudicator within the Sports Faculty in Ljubljana. As an adjudicator and trainer, she has more then 31 years of teaching experience with a license and has taught, lectured, and adjudicated in 51 different countries on all five continents - with a total of over 38 years of experience in the dancing industry.

Barbara began teaching at the age of 18 years old. Her mother worked in a kindergarten and her aunt was a teacher as well, so she believes that maybe it was all in her genes from the very beginning. She knew that dancing was what she loved to do and found this out very early in life - for this reason, she considers herself very lucky.

"I feel that everybody is born with a particular mission in life and our purpose is to discover it and find what you want to do with it. Luck was by my side and I realized at an early age that I wanted to dance and that it’s the present that counts. I became aware that dancing happens here and now!"


Her teaching experience started out with children, where she would instruct in primary schools, teaching students. After two years of this work in Ljubljana, she and her co-workers established their first competitive group with those children that were interested in a future professional dancing journey. This is how her studio actually started to work systematically with the first juvenile and junior generation of dancers. Many of those kids later on achieved great results worldwide by becomming Junior Blackpool Winners, Under 21 Blackpool Winners, and overall Champions in all age groups.

Below is Barbara's thoughts on her approach to teaching:

"First of all you have to recognize precisely with whom you are dealing, so you have to have an eye open for every student separately because people, we are all different. There is no one method which would work for everybody or one approach, so we have to be pretty much adjustable."


Barbara Ambroz has trained Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun when the couple moved from Maribor, Slovenia to Ljubljana. She helped them achieve many feats in their competitive career, leading them to overall victory.

The Cuban Experience and Back to the Roots

As a teacher and lecturer, Barbara specializes in dance technique, dance education, holistic approaches to dance training, characterization, music-movement relationships and partnering. Her special interest lies in studying and researching Latin American music, rhythms, and authentic dance forms. She collaborates on a regular basis with Dr. Olavo Alen Rodrigues from Havana, Cuba.

Since February of 2014, Barbara organized yearly an educational project known as the Cuban Experience in Havana in cooperation with leading Cuban experts from the Instituto Superior del Arte. The purpose of this project was to research into the authentic Cuban and Latin music and dance forms and their influence on competitive Latin American dance styles. The project so far has joined 272 participants from 28 different countries.

A documentary titled Back To The Roots | The Cuban Footprint has been filmed detailing the experience, where we can see such dancers as Marius-Andrei Balan, Khrystyna Moshenska, Andrea Silvestri and Martina Varadi taking part in the fun. Barbara has even written her book Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing which further emphasizes her passion about this endeavor.

"We focused on the implementation of the Cuban authentic values into the international competitive style of dancing. When I was preparing the script for the documentary, I realized I have more things to say and share with the dance community and I needed a medium for that. That’s why I have organized all the materials I collected along so many years of lecturing, in a three chapter book called Back to the Roots. It’s mainly about awareness in dancing, how to be inspired by Cuban values in competitive dancing, and going back to the source of music and dancing.

I am lucky to have great friends and colleagues like Prof. Dr. Ruud Vermeij or Peter Townsend with whom I share my thoughts regularly. Honest criticism is a two way street. For this reason, we attend each other’s lectures. We discuss new literature and we give each other feedback."


A Few Words of Advice

"Nowadays, I see mainly two ways in which people approach dancing: either they use the dance to present themselves, or they use themselves to present the dance. Unfortunately, we live in a material world focused on winning, achieving and becoming (as fast as possible). This is sad because this way of thinking will make you lose contact with yourself. Being driven by the destination and not the journey, will stop you from noticing what’s here and now and be inspired by it. It’s only in the present where you can react, be creative and get inspired.

Teachers are like a bridge between the past and the future. It is very important to know the past and think about the future. But the present is the most important because it is here when you act: WE ARE WHAT WE DO!

My ultimate motivation: the sparkle I see in my student’s eyes when they invent or discover things.

It’s exciting!"


World Renowned Adjudicator

Aside from being a National Adjudicator for the DanceSport Federation of Slovenia, Barbara Ambroz is also an adjudicator for the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF). She holds an "A" License as well as a "PD" License.


  • Studied pedagogy and the Romance languages at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Finished seven years of music school, playing the piano
  • Teaching since the age of 18 years old
  • Holds a teaching license for over 31 years
  • Total of over 38 years of dancing experience (teaching, adjudicating, lecturing, dancing)
  • Filmed the Documentary Back To The Roots | The Cuban Footprint in Havana, Cuba
  • Author of Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing - detailing her experience in Havana, Cuba
  • One of the main trainers of WDSF World Amateur & Professional Latin Champions, Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun


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