Our Administration 

Meet the awesome team and staff behind the magic that is Stepping Out Studios! Our studio is more complete, fun and full of creativity with such diverse and amazing staff! Learn more about our dedicated staff!


George Qiao - Owner

George Ciao, the CEO and President at Stepping Out Studios, originally came from China, attended an MBA program at University of Hawaii from 1986- 1989. After he arrived in NYC in 1994, George started his journey, taking ballroom dance lessons and classes. Through pro-am dance competitions and dance show performances, dancing has become George’s favorite hobby of all his good habits, like eating healthy, going to the gym, stay fit and always keeping in a happy spirit. After many years of owning and operating successful businesses, George obtained Stepping Out Studios in 2005 when he heard the previous owner Diane Lachtrupp wanted to sell the studio, since he was a student at Stepping Out Studios anyway. Not only George has kept the studio's original visions and traditions, but he is also constantly accepting and adapting the changes in the dancing world. Through more diversifications, he has the studio, allowing it to stand on it's own solid ground. 

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JingJing Lai - Executive VP, Director of International Affairs

JingJing is a adjudicator of dance competitions, performer, and director of international relations for Stepping Out Studios. She graduated from the prestigious Central Academy of China in drama and has been featured on CCTV, Hunan TV, and many others.

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Madona Ponce - Manager

Since 2000, Madona is an expert anchor in studio operations for Stepping Out Studios.

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BiBi Marie - Front Desk

A veteran dancer in Hustle, bachata, and Salsa, BiBi is also a frequently sought after performer.

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Gillian Nelson - Front Desk

Gillian is one of our newest staff members and is a regular salsa dancer with plenty of diverse work experience.