Deborah began her performing career as a gymnast at 9 years of age. After 3 years of climbing the competition circuit, she was forced to quit gymnastics due to permanent injuries received in a serious car accident. It was not until many years later in 1994 that she found herself in a ballroom dance studio for the first time. After graduating training class, Deborah began teaching and shortly thereafter competing in ballroom and country-western; both with students and as a professional partner. Knowing that her injuries might cut short her career at any time, she put every possible hour and effort in to her dancing. As a result, Deborah and her professional partner, Bob Blake, amassed many titles and accomplishments.
In spite of a busy career teaching and competing, Deborah and her partner opened “Shall We Dance” in September, 1997. Their studio took off and quickly became Tucson’s premier dance school. In 2002 they purchased their central location building of over 10,000 sq ft. During this time, the busy partnership also took 1st place overall champions in the 1997 Arizona Dance Classical Division 2, champions in the 1997 Sundance Dance Festival Division 2, grand champions in the Palm Springs Dance Festival Division 1 in 1998, champions in the 1999 Sundance Dance Festival Division 1, 2000 & 2001 champions in the Paradise Country Dance Festival Division 1, 2001 champions in the Dallas Dance Festival Division 1 and the New Mexico Dance Fiesta Division 1, as well as champions in the 2001 Fresno Dance Classic Division 1. They were the Grand Champions from 2000 to 2003 in the Arizona Dance Classic Division 1 and the 2003 Las Vegas Dance Finale, Nationals, Division 1 grand champions.
In addition to these accomplishments, Deborah is the director of one of Arizona’s largest and fastest growing dance competitions, the “Cactus Classic”, which just celebrated its 14th year. In 2011, Deborah created a second independent competition called Saguaro Ball, which will celebrate its 6th year this November.
Deborah recently retired from regular teaching after 17 years of dedication to the art, but enjoys continuing to coach students and groups (when she gets the chance to sneak away from her managerial duties). Her favorite activity has become choreographing and coaching amateur and professional group formations for annual performance at the Cactus Classic.