Despite his elegant Romanian name, Alyenendrov was born in the United States in the great state of Michigan. Alyen is the 3rd of 11 children and learned responsibility early in life. At the age of five, his family moved to Ohio, where they eventually bought a farm. He has many fond memories of his pet donkey Ed and of riding his horse Shania bareback through the fields at breakneck speed. He has yet to get Maria on a horse (she is scared of them) and laughs at her constantly for being a “city girl.”
He was also a track and field star at his high school and still holds school records in discus and wrestling. (Perhaps a sign of his future career in dance, Alyenendrov was known to utilize his ability to do the splits to break his opponent’s concentration during wrestling matches.) He wrestled at 160lbs. his freshman year and 275lbs his senior year. Alyen was a state finalist, in the Top 10 for fastest pins, and achieved 30 pins in under a minute. Even after a heartbreaking withdrawal due to injury in the state tournament his senior year, he made his school’s Wrestling Hall of Fame. Alyenendrov also studied martial arts and achieved his black belt in Judo.
In college, Alyenendrov’s athleticism and agility (and the ladies) led him to become a member of the cheerleading squad. He aced his Anatomy & Physiology classes, but slept through his math classes, and his intellectual side was fed through long games of chess and endless conversations and debates with his best friend about Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”
Majoring in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training, Alyenendrov initially planned to work with the Cincinnati Ballet. However, after taking an elective class at college to fulfill a PE requirement, he discovered his life’s passion for dance. So, he decided to make ballroom his career, dropped out of college & began training in Cincinnati twelve hours a day, determined to make his dream a reality. It was during this training when he would meet a blonde named Maria. The rest is history… years later, Alyenendrov & Maria are a couple on & off the floor.