Ilya Abdullin and Tara Barakov

Ilya Abdullin and Tara Barakov are Professional American Rhythm and Smooth dancers in Princeton, NJ. They formed their partnership in January of 2015 representing the Fred Astaire Dance Studios. 

Ilya is originally from Russia where he competed in International Latin and Standard as a child. After that, he spent many years dancing in the top ranking formation team 'Impuls' and later became the team's head coach and choreographer, leading them to win many championships. He also has a degree in dance and choreography. Ilya moved to the United States to join Fred Astaire in 2014 and has since become one of the top male teachers regionally and nationally.

Tara began dancing at the age of 5 and has over 15 years of training in ballet, as well as jazz, modern, and contemporary. She received most of her training at The Washington School of Ballet in DC, and moved to NJ in 2009 to study at the Princeton Ballet School on scholarship. Tara began her ballroom dancing career in 2010 at Fred Astaire Princeton and has since become the Dance Director and Manager of the studio.

Ilya and Tara have enjoyed considerable success in their short time competing together. Some of their accomplishments include: 

  • United States Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • United States 9 Dance Bronze Medalists
  • Fred Astaire National 9 Dance Champions
  • Fred Astaire Open Rhythm & Smooth Finalists
  • Fred Astaire National Rising Star Rhythm and Smooth Champions
  • Fred Astaire World Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Millennium DanceSport Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Capital DanceSport Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Manhattan Dance Championships Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Empire Dance Championships Rising Star Rhythm Champions
  • Tri-State DanceSport Open Rhythm Champions 

They have been dancing in AIDA Dance Shoes since the beginning of their partnership! Ilya dances in the Smagin - 136T while Tara chooses the Karina - 070E!  They consider themselves to be lucky to wear the best, most unique & the highest quality dance shoes available. Having the legendary Ilya Ifraimov as a mentor since their very first practice has been guiding them in the right direction. 


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