Ardena comes from the United States, where she danced as a professional ballroom dancer and received an education in psychology, leadership development and personal fitness training. She later moved to Norway where she completed a master degree education in International Development in parallel to running her business Argo Dance & Fitness. She has helped to fuel the growth of the WCS community in Norway by regularly teaching and consistently bringing International WCS professionals to Scandinavia for intensive dance training workshops. One of her most popular events is the Winter White West Coast Swing WWWCS, a yearly World Swing Dance Council Registry event that takes place in the Oslo region. Ardena believes that dancing allows all individuals to grow mentally, physically and spiritually. She strives to show the world that we can all "enhance through dance".
Ardena first began ballroom dancing at the tender age of 6 in her native country, Kosovo. Her family immigrated to the United States when they were forced to leave Kosovo during the ethnic cleansing in 1999. After arriving in the USA, she wanted to expand her range of dances. She joined dance teams in her adopted community of Lexington, Kentucky, which emphasized jazz, pompom, and hip-hop dance styles. During her high school years, her highly competitive dance team had won the state championship for two consecutive years, and regularly performed at national level sporting events.
While attending college, Ardena volunteered for public speaking engagements around the US and raised over US$100,000 for the International Book Project, a non-profit organisation that collects textbooks for war-torn countries that had lost books due to war. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Dual Bachelors in Community Communications and Leadership Development & Psychology and uses her knowledge to teach dance internationally.
In her early 20s, Ardena was hired as an instructor after only six lessons at Lexington’s Arthur Murray Dance Studio, one of the most sought after dance studios in the world. While there, she taught over 18 partner-style dances, both competitive and non-competitive. These dances included waltz, foxtrot, tango, salsa, bachata and west coast swing.
She continually educates herself by attending international seminars, workshops and competitions. She also regularly takes privates from international champions. Among some of the past and present professionals; Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova (The World Mambo/Rhythm Champions), Nick Kosovich (United States American Smooth Champion), Jason Miklic ( WCS Champion), Stephen White (Wcs Champion), Robert Royston (Wcs Champion) and Tatiana Mollmann (Wcs Champion).
After moving to Norway, Ardena concentrated on instructing social (non-choreographed) dancing, in particular west coast swing, argentine tango & salsa. Being the first all-star dancer and the only American in Norway teaching West Coast Swing, Ardena has brought much inspiration to WCS dancers. She has helped to fuel the growth of the WCS community in Norway by regularly teaching in Oslo, Vestfold and Follo. She has also been consistently bringing International WCS professionals to Scandinavia for intensive dance training workshops. One of her most popular events is the Winter White West Coast Swing (WWWCS), a yearly event that takes place in the Oslo region. Ardena now teaches regularly in Ås and Oslo and continues to organise weekend workshops with international instructors to come to teach in Norway to keep the inspiration and the continues growth of WCS.
Through her passion for dancing, Ardena has gained a fascination with the human physique and the mechanics of body movement (kinesiology). During her time as a dance student, Ardena found that some dance instructors lacked the knowledge behind the anatomy and physiology of the body. This meant that they did not know the proper way to train people and often did more harm than good during instructions. Personally experiencing such injury due to poor instruction, Ardena was inspired to attend the Lexington Healing Arts Academy and earned a Diploma in Personal Fitness Training. She is also certified by the National Academy of Sport Medicine (2011) in the USA and the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She has worked in both the USA and Norway as a fitness instructor (group or personal).
Partner danced for the first time in Kosovo.
Ardena remembers learning east coast swing.
Ardena was forced to flee her country, Kosovo, due to an ethnic cleansing, so her family moved to the USA in 1999 to Kentucky.
Ardena tried out for the middle school dance team;
she did not make it.
Ardena tried out for the dance team again;
she did not make it.
Her mother offered her coupon to try 2 free partner dance lessons at Arthur Murray.
She did the two and was told she had natural dance abilities, but her family could not afford more lessons.
Ardena walked to a free WCS session Cody´s lesson, and the studio happened to be 2 minutes from her new home. She left in the middle of the lesson because this dance required the follower to walk forward; later in life she recalled it was WCS.
She tried out for the high school dance team again. For the 3rd try, she made it. She had spend hours learning a double turn, a toe touch and leaps, as she had no prior dance experience.
Ardena pulled her hamstring and could no longer stay on the dance team.
She studied abroad in Costa Rica.
She begin going to Salsa Clubs weekly.
The 1st day after returning from Costa Rica,she bought her first pair of dance heels and went to Arthur Murray again. She was told to take 6 lessons and then join the staff. She was addicted and would be in the studio for 15 hours a day learning and teaching.
She was constantly pulled and pressured to learn WCS by a staff member.
She join Lexington Healing Arts Academy to get a perspective on the body and anatomy and how it would help her to be a better dancer and teacher.
She went to her first WCS event, Chicago Classic
Ardena moved to Norway and hired WCS professional Stephen White for Winter White WCS Weekend
She traveled to Tanzania with her International Development master program, there she realised that it was International Dance Development was her purpose and she had a realisation to start her own studio, Argo Dance & Fitness when she would return, which she did within two weeks upon her return.
2015 - 2018
Teaching locally and Internationally
She decided to do dance full time for the 1st time, and partnered with French dancer Thibault Ramirez
She became a mother, finished her masters degree and ran her 1st WSDC EVENT
The ARGO Bands were born.