Ronel Harris – Owner

The best way to describe Ronel Harris is to call her an extremely driven serial entrepreneur. Even though being a mother of 3 and wife to husband John Harris is her first priority, she still makes time to actively pursue her dreams and this year her bucket list has become even shorter.

As the owner of Outdoor Education Africa one of the largest School Tour Operators in South Africa, co-owner of Uniglobe Gateway Travel and being co-owner of ATKA SA online media marketing, she will soon be a published Author of her first book called Break Free – Find Your Power, Rewrite Your Story And Create An Awesome Life (the aim of which is to empower women to take control of their lives and to show them that no matter where you come from in your life you can be successful) due for release later this year, as well as taking to the stage with her Self Development Training program called The Personal Diamond Power Program that will provide women of all walks of life with the tools necessary to change their lives and reach their full potential be it in business or their personal lives.

Having fallen in love with the beauty, grace and elegance of dance, and being passionate about dancing since starting her own lessons with Fred Astaire under Gerhard Waldeck up to competition level, she grabbed the opportunity presented to her by Fred Astaire Dance Studios to become their franchise holder for Roodepoort. Ronel hates going to the gym and that is why dancing is the perfect way to keep fit while doing something she loves with people who share her passion. She believes that everyone can learn this beautiful art and she can’t wait share in this part of their lives.

Vision and Mission for Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Roodepoort

Ronel’s vision for the upmarket Roodepoort Fred Astaire Dance Studio is to become the first choice of studio for anyone who wants to learn how to dance, as well as a reputable training academy for Dance Instructors.

Leon Marinus – Co owner

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Leon Marinus started his dance career as a complete beginner at the age of 19 when he started training as a dance instructor. He trained up through the ranks with Fred Astaire Dance Studios after which he stopped social dancing for over a year. He then started training and competing at an International Level with his then partner Terri-Leigh Wood, training with Craig Riviere for Latin/Freestyle/Rock & Roll/ Hustle and Brian Schmidt for Ballroom.

Leon and Terri competed at Championship level and in the 4 years they competed together never failed to reach any final in South Africa, and were crowned SADF Gauteng Latin and Ballroom Champions.

In 2012 Leon and his partner represented South Africa at the Prestigious Blackpool Dance Championships in the UK where they placed 212 out of 478 couples from all over the world. They then went on to become the South African Latin American & Ballroom 10 Dance Champions in 2012 as well as the South African Rock & Roll & Hustle Champions.

Leon also now focusses on business as he is a Director in Multiple companies and also an Executive Board member of the Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Leon is also a renowned International speaker in the field of marketing and business.

Shade Theron – Receptionist


Shade Theron at your service. I fill the role of Fred Astaire Roodepoort receptionist, responsible for making you feel like part of the family. Although I’m in no way a professional dancer, I have a growing passion for the art. You are likely to see me on the dance floor a few times during our Friday night social events.

Speaking of, my true passion lies with my profession as event coordinator. I still invest that same passion into Fred Astaire Roodepoort’s events.
I commit to always greet you with a smile and bid you farewell with a hug.

Eugene Schlebusch – Dance Instructor


Hi there, my name is Eugene and I am 28 years old. My dancing career began in 2009 in Pretoria, where I learned a lot from a variety of teachers, colleagues, and trainers, which I will always value and be thankful for.

I am fortunate to be trained in Ballroom, Latin American and Contemporary, and did a lot of Eisteddfod and Theatre work.

After 7 years, I am part of a new family; the Fred Astaire Roodepoort Family. Here we all strive to do the best we can for our clients — be it with competing or just having fun. As for me, I am truly blessed to be working with such amazing
colleagues, students, franchisees, and trainers. You all make it worthwhile.

I firmly believe dancing is the movement of the soul.

Melani Botha – Dance Instructor


I am Melani Botha, naturally referred to as ‘Mel’. My dancing addiction started at 8 years old and at 20, I still enjoy every moment. I enrolled at a dance studio where I did ballet, modern and tap for 6 years. The highest I had achieved was Intermediate and thereafter I passed grade 7 with distinction through the royal academy of dance.

I started ballroom and latin classes for fun in 2015. Immediately I fell in love with the elegance and sizzling sexiness of the ballroom and latin dance genres.

A wonderful opportunity arose to become a dance instructor at Fred Astaire Roodepoort, I jumped at the opportunity and would not trade it for anything in the world. I love my coworkers and students to bits. My passion for dancing is like an inextinguishable flame!

Love xxx


Shannon Messerli – Dance Instructor

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“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” A quote every dancer should live by. I am Shannon Messerli, a dancing instructress at Fred Astaire Roodepoort. When did I start dancing? Well, the evidential kicking to Michael Jackson music in my mom’s stomach could have already given it away. Dancing has been my ultimate bliss. Passion is used by most dancers but the word “bliss” really distinguishes the amount of joy even just tapping a foot to a Latin beat gives out. I believe in taking risks, putting in the work and seeing the results. Teaching dance allows me to express this bliss to others. The enjoyment, intensity and dedication that each student possesses define their bliss for dance. Yes, it’s true, dance instructors are multi-talented robots. During each lesson, I will be your psychologist, partner in crime, choreographer, coach, motivator and most of all your smile enhancer mechanism. I have done showcases, formations, wedding dances, competitions and many student exams. I have won 1st place in every Latin section I have competed in and nothing lower than second place for ballrooms at the SADTA Gauteng championships and SADF national championships. Safe to say I am most certainly a Latin baby and love to get my students’ hips moving – these hips don’t lie. I have choreographed in counting over 35 wedding dances and many showcases. I express the outstanding character of a person’s individuality; there was never a person just like you and there never will be. Every individual is unique and there is a definite need in understanding this as it is crucial when planning lessons. Dancing is about the feeling of your toes moving to the beat, the smile on one’s face and the inner happiness it brings to people, which is exactly what makes me fall in love with my job each and every day. I love putting on music in the morning and visualizing the next great routine, heading to work and try to perfect it. The enjoyment I get out of teaching is indescribable — I love interacting with people, making people laugh and feeling good about themselves. I also believe the major benefits of dance such as how it improves the condition of your heart and lungs, increases muscular strength, endurance, motor fitness, and aerobic fitness. Furthermore, it improves muscle tone and strength, weight management, and promotes better coordination (so, yes ladies and gents, the workout session is hectic. It’s not called sweat – it’s just your fat crying). The environment I work in and the people I work with just brings about so much laughter. My dedication to keep succeeding in the dance industry outweighs all other obstacles placed in front of me. Thank you for reading my biography, hope it made you smile. Come through to Fred Astaire Roodepoort, where the magic happens (always wanted to say that).