Dancing With the

Turlock Stars

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Dr. Antoine and Anokeen Varani - Coached by Gabrielle Aguiar-Forrest

Antoine, 41 and Anokeen, 40 have been married for 18 years. They have three daughters Nienebra (11), Eatana (9) and Akadina (5).  Together, they own Varani Smile where Antoine is a dentist and Anokeen is the Marketing Director. Both are active in the Turlock community. Anokeen is a Turlock Chamber Board Member, Fusion Charter Board Member and assists with TUPD Widows and Orphans and the Police Activities Leauge. Antoine is a member of Turlock Masonic Lodge. Antoine’s favorite thing about Anokeen is her humor and that she is a “free spirt”. Anokeen loves “everything” about Antoine…especially his personality and humor! A couple of interesting notes, Antoine missed the 9-11 attacks by just one hour and Anokeen hosted a satellite TV show for several years. They are both looking forward to DWTTS and meeting new people and raising money for the Salvation Army.

Gabrielle, 28, has been dancing for 24 years, ballroom dancing for 14, and is the owner of Alegria Ballroom Dance Academy in Turlock!  She began her professional dance career in 2009 at Arthur Murray in San Jose, where she became a certified instructor and competed professionally in Waltz and Tango.  She was awarded a Top 20 instructor from Arthur Murray International in 2010.  Born in Turlock, she moved back to the area in 2011 to be closer to her family.  Passionate about instilling the passion for dance in other people, she can be found teaching a variety of different ballroom dance styles at Alegria, which opened 3 years ago.  Alegria, which means “happiness” in Portuguese, is truly her happy place!  She is working on starting a vocational school through Ballroom Dance Teachers College at Alegria, where she will be training new ballroom dance instructors every year in 17 different styles of ballroom dance. To add to her long list of endeavors, Gabrielle recently started a new business called Sips & Salsa where wine and dancing go hand in hand for what’s sure to be a fun night with friends!  When she’s not dancing her heart out at the studio, you can find her at Aguiar Milk Testing with her sisters or on her family’s new 10 acre Forrest Farm ranch in Atwater. During her spare time she enjoys working on home improvement projects and spending time with her husband and 2 boys.