Richard "Richie" Balász grew up in a dancing family from the Szatmar region of northeastern Hungary, which is known for its strong Cigany (Gypsy) dance tradition. In fact his father, Dr. Gusztav Balazs, a renowned authority on Hungarian Cigany tanc and folklore, first introduced this tradition to North America in the mid 1980s.
In his youth, Richie had extensive training in the broad spectrum of Hungarian dance while serving in a number of ensembles and teaching experience at his father's International Dance Camp.
Joining the Duquesne University Tamburitzans in 1995 Richie gained even wider experience in ethnic dance. He maintains a connection with the Tammies by continuing to choreograph for them as well as other dance groups across North America. All in all he has earned a reputation as a congenial, clear and precise teacher.