About us

Theo & Ganine

Dancing Gardens Lake Hartwell owners, Theo and Ganine Derleth, have extensive careers in the dance and entertainment industry and are United States Dancesport Top Teachers, coaches, judges, and event emcees. 

In 2018 Theo and Ganine Derleth moved to Hartwell Georgia, a charming Hallmark town on a premier lake destination at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They named their property 'Dancing Gardens Lake Hartwell'

Theo is a five-time U.S. Top Teacher in all four Ballroom dance styles; American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard, International Latin; he is a WDC World Pro/am dance champion and three-times honored as Top Teacher at World Championships.


Ganine is U.S. Ballroom/Latin dance champion, U.S. Dancesport Top teacher, professional artist, former Broadway entertainer and Radio City Rockette.  

They owned the the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Broadway in New York City, where together they performed for The Rainbow Room, The Tavern on the Green, Ciprianis, The Copacabana, for Columbia Pictures NY premier of Shall We Dance,  Lincoln Center's Midsummer Nights Swing, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Theo and Ganine’s Dance Center is know as one of the top schools in the country and home to many pro/am dancesport champions. Theo and Ganine are responsible for training hundreds of professional dance teachers and competing pros, many of whom now own their own schools. 

Theo J. Derleth has produced and choreographed shows for stage, television and film. As an ambassador for the ballroom dance industry Theo reached around the world to bring top dance champions to the United States.  He was a driving force and strong influence to the influx of foreign competitors in America by securing them visas, sponsorship, housing, training and employment.  Many are now the top dancers representing the United States as well as teachers and studio owners.  Theo has touched countless lives in the dance industry. Breaking down borders and encouraging the exchange of information, techniques and styles, the dance standard has been raised and will continue to grow. 


Ganine Giorgione Derleth is an artist, singer, dancer, her credits include original Broadway companies of The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Two For The Show, national Actor's Equity companies of 42nd Street and A Chorus Line, The Cotton Club, Abracadabra, MGM Grand’s Hallelujah Hollywood, The Grammy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors.  She performed as a Rockette in the Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular, was dance coach for Tony Bennett's music video "Steppin' Out", opening act for Sammy Davis Jr. & Jerry Lewis, Cleopatra for Caesar's Palace Las Vegas, and a member of the first United States Olympic Dance Corps.  Ganine taught jazz, tap & musical theatre classes for Dance Rochester, ballroom dance at Columbia & Fordham Universities, Wagner College, CSI,  Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute, and at her own schools. Ganine is an oil painter artist and owner of Giorgione Fine Art Gallery.

After moving to the Florida Keys in 2003, long time Rotarians Theo and Ganine became very involved with their local community and helped create the Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Program to bring new business to Marathon. They raised funds for Habitat for Humanity with yearly shows, wrote ‘Keys Culture’ for The Weekly Newspaper, Ganine was secretary of the Marathon Rotary Club and organized Rotary Club’s ‘Paradise Big Band’ dance and show. Theo took over the following year as President of the Rotary Club and together they participated in every event. They performed annually for Marathon Community Theatre fundraisers, Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Dance away cancer, BPW’s Taste of the Islands, produced and performed in John Rudolph’s ‘A Night of Music’, started "Dancing with our Island Stars" in Islamorada to benefit art in schools, “Dancing with our Island Stars” in Sanibel to benefit their historic community center, were the pro-show in the Boca Raton "Dancing with the Stars”, judged Boca’s Ballroom Battle benefitting the George Snow Scholarship fund, 2010-13 they were asked to take over the Fort Myers Fred Astaire Dance Studio -which quickly became the FADS National Top Studio under their leadership, together they coach dancers, create choreography and direct shows for their own dance schools and others including Ft. Myers FADS, Boca FADS and Enchanted Ballroom in Bonita Springs, they put on ‘Dancing with the Docs’ to support the JFS food bank, Performed for Coldwell Banker Schmidt Charitable Foundation, Theo & Ganine were invited to teach at Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and to judge/emcee large Ballroom dance competitions, Theo advised on and assisted demonstrations for Dancing Classrooms throughout Monroe County, taught a free weekly dance program for teenagers at Theo & Ganine’s Dance Center and oversaw the Rotary Interact Club, Theo traveled to other countries and helped organize the WDC/WP World pro-am championships in Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Monte Carlo. Ganine opened Giorgione Fine Art Gallery, her original oil paintings were featured in both solo and group art shows in Marathon and Key West. Ganine hosted the FKCA Connections Mosaic and opening reception in her art gallery, painted a mural for the Florida Keys Celtic Festival which provides free food and after-school care for children, and for four years she was the vice-chair of the Florida Keys Council of the Arts serving Monroe County. Theo & Ganine's Dance Center in the Florida Keys celebrated the art of movement and was home to Ballroom & Latin dance lessons, Martial Arts, Ballet, Feldenkrais/CFR, Pilates, Play Gymnasium, and Yoga. 

In 2018 Theo and Ganine Derleth moved to Hartwell Georgia, a charming Hallmark town on a premier lake destination at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They named their property 'Dancing Gardens Lake Hartwell'



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Ballroom and latin dance champions and teachers, Theo and Ganine Derleth

Ballroom and latin dance champions and teachers, Theo and Ganine Derleth