Richard “The Britt” Blachford began dancing at the age of four in South Hampton, England. By nine years old, he had competed in his first World Championship and made the final round, placing 7th out of 200 couples.  Richard became a major finalist in Standard, placing 2nd in the UK and South of England Championships multiple times, and ultimately went on to place 6th in the World during his time on the Amateur circuit. Richard also worked for the BBC, appearing as a dancer in the 2010 version of the film, “Great Expectations”, where had the honor of working with Paul Harris, who is credited with choreographing the wand combat scenes in Harry Potter and numerous other dance sequences in Hollywood blockbusters. Richard moved to the United States in 2011 to further pursue his passion for dance, as both a competitor and instructor.  He was Standard Runner Up and a Professional Smooth Semi Finalist in the Fred Astaire Dance Studios World Professional Championships.Richard has been in the dance world for over 36 years and began sharing his knowledge and passion with those who want more from their dancing just over 15 years ago.  He loves seeing his students develop and grow as they are awakened to what he has loved for so long. 

A professional artist, ballroom dancer, coach, and choreographer, Cherisse Goodwin Blachford was raised between Ghana, West Africa, and Austin, Texas and now resides in the Washington, DC area.  Her work reflects her international upbringing and love for the arts.Cherisse began dancing at an early age with ballet and modern-lyrical then musicals.  She performed with the Ghana National Ballet in Accra and danced with the Ballet Austin Company in Texas before a serious neck injury forced her to retire from ballet.  Yet her passion for dance and art never left.  After a successful career in the fast paced worlds of high finance and the oil and gas industries in Texas and Oklahoma left her burned out, Cherisse decided to pursue her passion in oil painting and dance.  She studied at the University of Houston and The Glassell School of Art, then went on to study partnership dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, competing on the Regional and National levels, and performed at various venues including the Hobby Center in Houston.  Ballroom dance has enabled Cherisse to help others experience the same healing power and joy of dance she has found. Her work ranges from choreographing wedding dances to dance and yoga therapy for recovering cancer patients and brain surgery survivors. Cherisse now shares her passion as a professional ballroom dance instructor with her husband, Richard. They cofounded DC International Dance in the Washington, DC area.  Together, the Blachfords offer ballroom dance lessons to individuals, couples, and groups for all skill levels, including amateur and competitive. 

Our website is:

The link for the TV segment

Dance by Cherisse & Richard 


Dean Garrish has been teaching & competing for over 25 years.  During this time, he has been sharing  love of dance with thousands of people all across the country.  Dean has an extensive knowledge in competitive dancing and is the co-event director of the annual New Orleans Dance Mardi Gras competition event in Louisiana.  Dean teaches the largest continuous group classes in the Maryland & DC area.

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