|Irina Amzashvili started lindy hopping at the age of fifteen. After attending her first social dance she was immediately hooked . Under the close guidance of some fantastic local dancers and many, many hours spent social dancing, Irina exceeded normal expectation of a beginner and was teaching by the end of her first year. She is still constantly pushing herself and trying to achieve new heights with her dancing. Irina loves teaching and helping her students individually with their basics and technique; She likes to focus on clean technique first, and then styling that comes from comfortability in one's basics.|
|Grace Babbes started lindy hopping in 2012, and quickly fell in love! She grew up loving jazz music and performing, but it wasn’t until she took her first Lindy class that she was able to put those two loves together. Grace regularly social dances and teaches all across Southern California, and competes in many regional and national competitions, both in partnerships and with the award-winning team Special Delivery Stomp. In addition, Grace is a member of the performance company The Hollywood Hotshots, performing in live events, music videos, commercials, and more. Grace brings a sense of playful fun to her teaching, keeping a strong emphasis on connection technique. She believes that Lindy hop is a conversation between two people and brings her love of that conversation to every lesson, reinforcing strong connection, solid basics, and the joy of the dance.|
|James Bianco Bio coming soon...|
|Sarah Breck fell in love with Swing dancing at the age of 10. Growing up in Santa Barbara, she quickly moved to Los Angeles after high school to work on a fashion degree while working in the entertainment industry and swing dancing every free chance she got. After a short stint for Women’s Wear Daily in New York, Dax contacted her looking for a new dance partner (2009). If Sarah could pack up her life and move to Montreal, Canada than Dax would take her around world to do what she loves most, Dance! In no time, Sarah was on a plane. Quickly did Dax and Sarah fall in love with each other and decide to move back to their home state to get married and start a family.|
|Aaron Brown (BLUES) has been Blues dancing since 2007 after falling in love with dance at the start of his time at Pomona College. He co-founded and ran Underground Blues at the Claremont Colleges, and currently teaches and DJs throughout California, as well as competing at events across the nation. He has finaled or placed at a number of competitions including Rain City Blues, North Star Blues, Bambloozled and bluesSHOUT. He has studied a number of different dance styles over the years, but his heart will always be lost to Lindy Hop and Blues and he hopes to share that love with every one of his students.|
|Sam Chan (aka LindySam) has a wide variety of experience and mentors including Jazz, Tap, and Salsa. He has been a member of many swing dance troupes over the years and loves to learn as well as teach. Sam has been a member of the national award winning Swing Troupe Super-Cali-Lindy-Licious as well as the award-winning One2Swing Jitterbugs. He has also placed in many of the local and national dance competitions. Sam is currently a sought after guest teacher for many swing dance clubs and is excited to be teaching regular weekly classes at LindyGroove.|
|Vicky Chan first fell in love with Lindy Hop at UCI in a class by Audry Wilson in 1996. She loved the dance so much that she founded the UCI Swing Dance club in 1997 with fellow students and began teaching and spreading the joy of the dance on campus. Vicky is a member of the award winning One2Swing Jitterbugs.|
|Jasmine Cheung started dancing at UCLA, where she headed the university's swing club. She has performed at various events and is a member of the One2Swing Jitterbugs. She teaches weekly classes and at clubs and events in the Los Angeles area.|
|Kelly Corrigan (BLUES) has admired and appreciated Blues music since the age of 5.. She discovered Swing dancing which led to Blues Dancing in 2013. Kelly has studied with some of the best instructors in the world and has hosted workshops to share those instructors and their teachings with LA dancers! Within her own dance, she focuses on grounding, relaxed aesthetic & rhythm variation. Her students enjoy her concise & fun exercises along with her relaxed teaching style. After years of honing her skills, she can’t wait to share her knowledge with you!|
|Juan Cuadra Juan Cuadra first fell in love with jazz music at age 10 and after moving to the Bay Area naturally fell into dancing to the music he loved so dearly. While in the Bay Area Juan taught swing dancing classes on the UC Berkeley campus (Lindy on Sproul) for 3 years and performed with the swing dance troupe, the Sproul Stompers for 2 years. As a teacher and social dancer, Juan focuses on solid foundations, an active partnership, and clarity. To Juan, lindy hop is a joyful, silly, physical manifestation of jazz music and therefore emphasizes having fun, listening to the music, and being creative.|
started dancing in early 2007 and hasn't stopped to take a breath. He was the co-owner of Rhythm, an Albuquerque based swing dance studio, one of the founding members of the nationally recognized Lindy Hop team, Groove Juice Special, and a founding instructor for The Rhythm Project, Albuquerque's premiere swing dance school.
Brett has been a finalist in numerous competitions at events such as ULHS, Midwest Lindy Fest, Lone Star Championships, Inspiration Weekend, Lindy on the Rocks, and 505 Stomp. He is known for his quick wit and happy-go-lucky personality as both a dancer and an instructor.
just recently moved to LA from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was co-owner and operator of the swing dance studio, Rhythm. Since she began dancing in 2004, she has taught classes, workshops, and organized national events such as The Albuquerque Lindy Exchange and 505 Stomp. Additionally, she’s a co-founder of The Rhythm Project, Albuquerque’s premiere progressive swing dance lessons.
Rachel is a founding member of Groove Juice Special, a nationally acclaimed swing dance team. She has won several awards at competitions such as ILHC, ULHS, Midwest Lindyfest, and Lindy on the Rocks. She has also been a featured dancer in several dance shows, commercials, and music videos. Rachel has taught classes and workshops all over New Mexico, in Texas, and in Colorado, including at Lindy on the Rocks. As an instructor, Rachel is known for having clear communication, teaching solid basics, and throwing in a high kick, just for fun.
|Bryson Daich started dancing ballroom at the age of ten. His parents ran a social ballroom dancing club threw one of the local collages . He has taught lindy hop, blues and westcoast swing workshops all over the USA. he has also won or placed in comps all over the USA in all three dances as well And has spent several years on the road just teaching dance traveling city to city .|
|Morgan Day has been dancing since 2001, and teaching since 2003. He discovered Lindy Hop while attending UC Riverside, and helped organize and foster a swing dance scene there. He regularly teaches at The Riverside Junction, a weekly dance in Riverside, California, and loves to inspire new dances to find joy in the dances of Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston and Collegiate Shag. His attitude toward teaching is to have fun, while being clear and concise about technique and ways to approach dancing from different perspectives. As a dancer, he is known for creating and maintaining CollegiateShag.com, and his placements at the National Jitterbug Championships (aka Camp Hollywood), which include: First Place in the 2012 Amateur Classic Lindy Division and winning the “Golden Budgie Rock The House Award” in 2011 for his “Super Mario Brothers” showcase routine, which went viral and appeared on G4TV’s Attack of the Show and Yahoo! News in the United States and Japan.|
|Eric Eltringham interest in swing dancing was first sparked by movies in 1999 and after some experimenting, he was drawn to Lindy Hop in 2005. Despite challenges like having 2 left feet and feeling inadequate, he devoted himself to continual improvement and has competed and danced all over the US and in Sweden. He has been a standard fixture at LindyGroove in Pasadena over the years and love teaching about music, movement, connection, improvisation and having fun most of all!|
|Natalia Eristavi has been dancing since she was 5 years old. Like many young girls, she explored Ballet, Tap, Jazz and even figure skating. In 2010 Natalia began dancing Lindy Hop at Atomic Ballroom and came to not only love it, but practically obsess over it. Shortly after, she discovered Balboa and obsessed over it all the same. As an outcome of consistently practicing most of the days of the week, she progressed rapidly. Natalia adores teaching and finds it a growing experience for both herself and her students. Her goal with each student is to help them find what she believes makes Lindy Hop a beautiful dance. Once you find it and experience it, not a lot will compare.|
|Peter Flahiff is a swing and tap dancer. He performs, instructs, DJs and speaks as a jazz music and dance historian. Peter began swing dancing in 1993 and teaching just one year later. He’s taught from Los Angeles and Seattle to London, Helsinki and Munich -- including Camp Hollywood in California and the amazing Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden. He’s studied with many of the past masters of these dances. Today, Peter counts some of the world’s top dancers and instructors as his own former students. Not a competitor himself, Peter’s worldwide reputation is as a highly sought-after social dancer and instructor. He helped create several thriving venues over the years (Rusty’s Rhythm Club in LA, ATOMIC Ballroom in Orange County, and Eastside Stomp in Seattle.) Peter’s classes are legendary for their clarity, humor and high spirits. He always continues to further his own education, taking instruction from some of the greatest dancers in the world. Yes, he’s pretty much always in a suit.|
|Cat Foley and Alex has been working together since October 2011. Alex and Cat focus on technique and silliness. They love to create and perform comic routines, make stupid jokes in class, have funny social dances and generally make fools of themselves. But Alex and Cat also love to GEEK OUT about technique. They train super hard and love to learn, and then share what they discover. Alex and Cat were awarded the ‘Euro-Star Award’ hailing us the ‘spirit of lindy hop’ and won tickets to many many swing events around the world. So they opted for a sleep deprived life of living out of a suitcase, eating mainly peanut butter and devoting every moment to teaching, learning and swinging out ’til the wee small hours. Alex prefers smooth peanut butter. Cat likes crunchy|
|Augie Freeman has been teaching Lindy Hop for the past four years. He has traveled across this wide world to study with some of the most renowned instructors and competitors in the business. His teaching is focussed on dance in a social context and, therefore, focusses on technique, musicality, and helping each student find the dancer within themselves. Augie is always striving to make himself a better dancer and a better to teacher to help push the dance community in Southern California to a higher level while never forgetting what the dance is all about, fun.|
|Debbie Gitt is known for her unique and innovative styling, creative musicality, and high energy on the social and competitive dance floor. She began dancing the lindy hop in 1997, and has had the privilege of training, competing, and performing different styles and techniques of lindy hop with dancers all over the United States and Europe. Continuing to add to her repertoire of crazy yet musical styling variations, Debbie has also trained under many of the top Westcoast Swing Dance and Carolina Shag Dance Champions. Here in LA, Debbie is one of the key players in maintaining the world renown dance venue, LindyGroove. Debbie is the 2002 American Lindy Hop Championship's 'Classic Division' Champion, and was the 1st place champion in the Strictly Lindy Division at Boogie By the Bay 2002 and 2003. In 2003 she was runner up in Strictly Lindy at the US Open Swing Dance Championships, and at the 2004 National Jitterbug Championships she received 2nd place in the Pro Lindy Division and 3rd place in the Pro Jack and Jill division.|
|Miriam Grill is a Lindy Hop and Blues dancer who just recently moved to LA. She has spent most of her time dancing and teaching classes in San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong. Miriam helped run and teach Cat's Corner and Mission Monday Swing in San Francisco as well as teaching Blues at Friday Night Blues and Shades of Blues. On the East Coast, Miriam taught at You Should be Dancing, Friday Night Blues, Brooklyn Swings, and Yale University. Recently, she was the resident Lindy and Blues instructor in Hong Kong and completed an Asian dance tour throughout China.|
|Amanda Hanson Gates has been dancing since the age of 5 and has extensive training in ballet, jazz and tap, swing and ballroom dances. She first fell in love with Lindy Hop in 1999 while dancing at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Since then she has traveled, taught and competed across the country. She loves the social nature and lead follow communication of lindy hop. Her classes focus on how to make the dance more enjoyable for both partners through improving connection and teamwork. She looks forward to helping you maximize your fun on the dance floor.|
has background in ballet, jazz and belly dance before swing. One of the main names in Brazil, she gathered experience learning many different styles and approaches around the world. Elegant, graceful and musical, she currently teaches with lindy and collegiate shag champion Stephen Sayer, in Los Angeles and internationally.
is an ultra passionate teacher and avid Lindy Hopper. He has been dancing, teaching and competing internationally for over 15 years and is finally settling down in Los Angeles to work locally at the Lindy Loft!
He is known for his keen understanding of body movement, rhythm and communicating body movement between partners for the most advanced forms of improvised social dancing.
|Kerry Jones (BLUES) first started dancing at Lindy Groove 8 years ago. He spent hundreds of hours training, first with Lindy Hop and then with Blues, where he found his passion. He started traveling for every local and national event, winning his first blues competition in 2010. Recently returning from travels that took him all across Europe where he danced, competed and taught, he has found home once again in Los Angeles. He specializes and enjoys breaking down concepts into easily doable steps and quickly finding the fastest route to improvement through traditional blues movement. Whether it is core blues aesthetic, musicality or moves, he is happy to help!|
|Andrew Jose discovered swing dancing in 2008, and quickly fell in love with lindy hop. An avid social dancer, he would regularly go 5 or more nights a week to dance, and is still very active in the Orange County and LA scenes. Andrew is a member of two fantastic OC swing dance troupes, the Atomic Lindy Hop Colliders and the Fly Rights. As a teacher, he focuses on building a solid foundation by practicing good basics and movements. He also emphasizes good partnership; connection, attentiveness to his partner, and teamwork are some of the values he holds dear as a lindy hopper.|
|Sheri Kang Yau was first exposed to swing dancing at the Hi-Ball Lounge in San Francisco while visiting friends. She had so much fun that when she returned home to Southern California she started taking lessons, workshops, and dancing with the famous Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association. Sheri wanted to get better and be in the highest track possible at workshop weekends, and boy did she get better. Through dancing, Sheri met her main dance partner and now husband Ben Yau. Since those “humble” beginnings, Sheri has traveled the world to compete, teach, judge competitions, and of course DANCE her butt off! As One2Swing, Ben & Sheri continue to build the community through weekly classes, private lessons, workshops, their popular “Third Saturday Swing” venue, and through their memorable One2Swing Jitterbug team performances. Sheri’s mission has been to entertain, energize, and inspire others through dance and she is still going strong! She’s very happy to be a part of the LindyGroove and looks forward to re-connecting with old friends and meeting new friends!|
|Erin Kelly (BLUES) has been haunting the dance floor since 2003. With a huge variety of dances from blues and swing to Ballroom and belly dancing, you will find her feet moving to any beat. Having a deep belief that anyone can dance if their willing to put in the effort, Erin skillfully breaks down dance movements to what people do in everyday life. Furhermore, she believes that dancing is a joyful physical expression and that reflects in her teaching. She teaches both locally and nation-wide, is a frequent competitor, and part of the all-star women's blues troupe, Mojo Aristocracy. She's frequently dressed to the nines, so be on the lookout for her and ask her for a dance!|
|Morgan Kestner Jazz dancing has brought happiness to many people and she wants to share that happiness with you! Morgan found her love for teaching in 2007 at the MTSU swing dance club. Sharing her passion for vintage dancing became close to her heart since first witnessed new dancers enjoying east coast, lindy hop, and solo Charleston! Morgan has continued to broaden her repertoire by attending to workshops across the US, studying a variety of dances, and social dancing. Morgan's mission is for you to have a good experience in a lesson and be able to apply the material to your dancing. Preparation, fun material, and a happy attitude are key elements in her classes.|
|Adam Lee started down his swing path in 2nd grade when he started playing clarinet, and his grandmother bought him his very first record, which happened to be a Benny Goodman record. Growing up as a jazz musician, the addition of Lindy Hop to his life was a natural one. Adam started dancing in 1997 and in 2001 he moved to Beijing, China where he started the Lindy Hop scene and led a 17 piece big band. In 2010 he returned to the USA to do a Master’s degree in Music Education at NYU and taught music and swing dance lessons in New York City for the last 4 years. He has recently relocated to the Los Angeles area to teach band at a local High School. His passion is for the music of the swing era, specifically that of the Kansas City sound from the 30s. As a devotee of historical accuracy and cultural legacy, he teaches classes on music history and theory at every Lindy Hop and jazz dance event he can.|
|Andy Lee Bio coming soon...|
|Heather Martelle first learned Lindy Hop at the Carnation Plaza in Disneyland in 2001. Since getting the Lindy bug, she has taken her dancing all around SoCal and even taught a beginning class in Uganda in 2008. Since returning to the states, Pasadena and LindyGroove has been her home. She loves to add in silly moves to her lindy, especially "Spank the Baby" and believes in having fun most of all!|
|Michael Mizgalski aka “Sailor Mike” has been dancing his smooth style of Lindy & Collegiate Shag since he began dancing in 1998. In those 17 years he’s accumulated enough awards for his Lindy & shag, including two National Jitterbug Championships, to make him one of the most decorated Collegiate Shag dancer in the world.|
|Maggie Moon has been dancing ye olde lindy hop since the heady nineties when she fell in love with the music and the art of it all. Then, she won some championships (notably, World Lindy Hop Championship, 2000), and got sucked into the intense side of competitions, traveling to teach workshops around the world, and the grind of show tours. Fairly seasoned and grounded after, holy crap, like 16 years, she’s back to dancing for nothing but love. She knows a thing or two, and will try to help you know them, too. Resume|
|Christine Nguyen started lindy hopping in 2008, thanks to City College of San Francisco and the renowned Carla Heiney. Christine's lindy philosophy is that each dance is a conversation, and we are all working to become the best conversationalists we can be. Her teaching style involves a lot of pop culture references, sound effects, and analogies.|
|Tim O'Neill (BLUES) started dancing in 1997 and couldn’t stop! He has studied and taught Blues, Lindy, Ballroom, and Argentine Tango and even wrote two theses for an MA in Sociology on social dynamics and body language observed in dance venues. Since 2009 he has trained or taught at over fifty events and has thirteen Blues competition titles to his name from the biggest events in the US. Tim believes the best way to dance is to have fun, and learning dance enhances that ability. When taking Tim’s classes expect to laugh, have fun, be entertained, and learn—a lot. And be sure to ask him to dance!|
|Alex Parker and Cat has been working together since October 2011. Alex and Cat focus on technique and silliness. They love to create and perform comic routines, make stupid jokes in class, have funny social dances and generally make fools of themselves. But Alex and Cat also love to GEEK OUT about technique. They train super hard and love to learn, and then share what they discover. Alex and Cat were awarded the ‘Euro-Star Award’ hailing us the ‘spirit of lindy hop’ and won tickets to many many swing events around the world. So they opted for a sleep deprived life of living out of a suitcase, eating mainly peanut butter and devoting every moment to teaching, learning and swinging out ’til the wee small hours. Alex prefers smooth peanut butter. Cat likes crunchy|
|Alan Pinel was drawn to swing music early in life through Sunday afternoon classic movies & watching live big bands at Disneyland. In 1994, Alan was “bribed” into taking his first ballroom dance class by “the girl next door.” He visited Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association (PBDA), and he quickly fell in love with dancing. He soon convinced both of his younger sisters (Marlene & Dora) to join him at class. A chance meeting with, Steven Mitchell changed his life and gave him a new perspective and appreciation for Lindy Hop and the various ways to teach to a variety of students. Swing Camp Catalina exposed him to inspiring dancers & amazing dance legends including his mentor, Frankie Manning. The term “two left feet” was easily applied to Alan. With passion, persistence and help from great instructors (and VERY patient sisters), Alan was transformed from a gawky kid into a gawky kid who could dance. Alan started teaching his friends how to dance and they would dance ANY TIME and ANYWHERE. Alan prides himself on being able to share his love for dance with even the most uncoordinated dancers. If he can learn to dance, anyone can. WARNING: Beware of his corny jokes!|
|Marlene Pinel had always wanted to learn to dance, even before she knew it was "popular". Classic movies, dancing, and "swinging" music were always on her list of favorite things. Swing dancing entered her life after high school and it united her with her 4 siblings. PBDA graciously and patiently took her and her family under their wing. Swing Camp Catalina exposed her to inspiring dancers & amazing dance legends including Frankie Manning, Steven Mitchell, and the "Stevens Sisters". Marlene was naturally athletic and quickly picked up the steps and (because of her gawky, uncoordinated brother) the ability to follow anyone. Marlene helped to teach her family and friends how to dance and they would dance ANY TIME and ANYWHERE. By 1996, Saturday night dancing at Disneyland Carnation Plaza became a weekly staple for Marlene, her siblings Dora & Alan and her “cousins,” followed by Sunday evenings at Twin Palms Restaurant in Pasadena. Marlene inspires people with her infections smile and is really fun to dance with.|
is an exceptional multifaceted performer and instructor. He started young with Jazz and Hip-Hop. In 2005 he visited LindyGroove for Halloween and his love for partner dancing began. Shaheed is one of the few leaders in the country who is proficient in Blues, Lindy Hop and Westcoast swing. His natural talent and extensive training has given him an innovative style and musical creativity that is inspiring to watch. His loveable personality and comedic teaching style offers students easier access and faster progress.
|Paul Riding runs a weekly dance venue in his hometown of Apple Valley, CA called Jitterbug 66. He has been lindy hopping for over 10 years in the SoCal scene and loves to teach, perform and compete. He started dancing in Riverside, and now regularly dances at the Metro in Pomona. He has competed with “The Bobbysox Brigade,” performed with “The Hollywood Hotshots” and earned third place in Camp Hollywood’s Intergenerational competition. Paul’s favorite thing about swing dancing is that tingly feeling you get when when a jazz soloist, a lead, and a follow share a totally awesome moment in which all parties improvisation perfectly correspond.|
|Roy Samson is a local Los Angeles dancer who induces smiles from people he dances with or those who are simply watching him dance. He started dancing Filipino cultural dances with Sining Ginto (Golden Theater) and learned other ballroom dances from all the "Aunties" and "Uncles" at family parties. After learning his first swingout in 2001, he caught the jitterbug and never recovered. He continues to perform and compete with Ben and Sheri's "One 2 Swing Jitterbugs" earning both 1st and 2nd place at the National Jitterbug Championships 2008 team division. He also performs with the Hollywood Hotshots and has shared the stage with bands such as Mora's Modern Rhythmists, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums and others.|
|Stephen Sayer is a swing dance instructor, performer and choreographer based out of Los Angeles. While having a love for all things that swing, he specializes in 40’s and 50’s LA Style Lindy and Collegiate Shag. He has won countless titles in Lindy Hop and Collegiate Shag competitions at such events as Camp Hollywood, US Open, Camp Jitterbug, ILHC, and was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2012. He is also the co-founder and choreographer of the award winning LA Shag and LA Lindy teams. He has taught and performed all across the world and has even shared the stage performing with Aretha Franklin. He is dedicated to preserving and sharing the techniques of his dance inspirations while also bringing in his own style and ideas.|
|Laura Shigemitsu has been dancing since 1996 and teaching since 2000. She has taught in Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego Counties, as well as Seattle, Hong Kong, Quebec, Vancouver, and on ships. Laura focuses on timing, musicality, and also injury prevention. Her favorite dances (besides Lindy) are Shag, Balboa, and Foxtrot.|
|Doug Silton began dancing in 1992 and since 1999, he has been teaching, competing, and performing internationally. Doug is a three-time American Lindy Hop Champion and a 2-Time World Swing Dance Champion. Doug is the only competitor to ever be a finalist in Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Carolina Shag in the same year at the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Doug is the co-founder of LindyGroove in Pasadena, CA, the largest weekly Swing/Lindy Hop dance venue after 10+ years, teaching his popular (and free) Connection & Musicality class on the first Thursday of the month. Doug also teaches group dance lessons at Caltech in Pasadena, Group Lessons at his Studio On Cliff Dr., and private lessons daily. In his teaching, Doug focuses on connection, centering, and musicality, footwork, and lead/follow techniques, incorporating various aspects of his favorite dances: Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, Salsa, Hip-Hop, Blues, Bachata, Breakdancing, and Balboa.|
|Lauren Slone has been dancing since the womb! She was introduced to Lindy Hop and Blues during college in 2005 and immediately fell in love with these partnered dances. Growing up as a gymnast, she is drawn to the athleticism of Lindy Hop and loves learning new aerials. Lauren enjoys performing and competing in both Lindy Hop and Blues, but her true love is social dancing. She loves to learn as well as teach about connection and how to play with the music and your partner. Lauren loves to add fun, quirky moves to her dancing, and tries to inspire her students with the confidence to be themselves and have fun!|
takes great joy in sharing his passion and knowledge of swing dancing with others. For over a decade, Chris has been teaching different aspects of swing dancing be it fast and energetic Harlem style Lindy Hop and Charleston, smooth Lindy whips, Balboa, Blues, or vernacular jazz. His large repertoire of steps comes from deconstructing established moves and rebuilding them in innovative ways, all while keeping the traditional feel of the dance.
Since 1998, Chris has had the fortune to dance atop Little Richards Piano while the legend played, perform professionally throughout California as a co-director/choreographer for a dance troupe, place top five in various divisions of major national contests, and teach internationally in Germany and Spain. He hopes to continue teaching others how to express the music in their dancing while finding their own style.
|Blake Thiessen has been obsessed with Lindy Hop and Balboa ever since his new years resolution's in 2014 to try swing dance classes at Atomic Ballroom. Since then, he's deeply immersed himself in the music, history, and technique behind swing. He's avidly social danced and competed around the world, winning and earning placements at events like Camp Hollywood and Lindyfest. He values connection, musicality, and authenticity to the original dancers. As an teacher, he strives to teaches the most effective, comfortable, and dynamic connection quality in a dance, all while having an abnormal amount of fun.|
|Claire Thorne has been dancing Hollywood Style Lindy Hop since 1997. As an instructor in 1999, she got the opportunity (and had a blast!) swing dancing in the Dr. Pepper Millenium commercial with Christian Perry. Dancing has always been her passion, and returning to teaching is something that has been a long time coming!|
|Anna Washenko (BLUES) has been dancing in some way, shape, or form for most of her life. From her initial ballerina dreams to tapping up a storm in high school musical theater, she just loves to move it, move it. She has been studying vernacular blues dance for eight years. Anna is a regular competitor and finalist in the national scene, as well as a sought-after DJ.|
|Jacob Wigger started swing dancing in June of 2003 and hasnt stopped since. He has won and placed in numerous National and International competitions. He enjoys teaching others the techniques he has learned over the years, including styling, connection and the feel of the different swing dances (Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston).|
|Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. The depth of his understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stems from studying with the original dancers. Nick’s desire for authenticity, combined with his passion for dance evolution, leads to a style known for precision, lightness, musicality and dynamic energy. His successes include World Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Swing Dance Champion, American Lindy Hop Champion, National Jitterbug Champion, International Lindy Hop Champion, Ultimate Lindy Hop Champion, American Classic Balboa Champion and California Balboa/Swing Champion. Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. He is also an accomplished choreographer and has choreographed for the hit television show So You Think You Can Dance. As an instructor, he is known for his ability to break down movements and technique to create a fun and light-hearted learning environment. His true love of music and dancing will forever inspire him to learn, teach, and grow.|
|Ben Yau grew up watching lots of Broadway Musicals. When he first went swing dancing at the “World Famous Derby” in Los Angeles, not only was he amazed at what he saw, he wondered how people could find time to work out the steps with so many different people. They were just as synchronized as the dancers in the shows he used to watch. His friend told him “They’re improvising it!” Ben could not believe this. “No no no..that can’t be. How does she know to kick when he kicks and she knows when to step that way when he steps this way?” His friend replied, “That’s just the magic of swing dancing.” Ben was befuddled. His engineering mind could not make sense of it. So Ben started dancing because he was determined to find out how it worked. Fast forward 14 years and Ben still hasn't figured it all out and he happily adds that it doesn’t matter because he’s fallen in love with Lindy Hop. Through dancing, Ben met his main dance partner and now wife Sheri Yau. They have traveled the world for dance and have met many of their closest friends through dancing. Ben is very happy to be a part of the LindyGroove family and wants everyone to know, “I LOVE LINDY HOP!”|
|Kelly Young Kelly has been lindy hopping for 3 years after discovering swing dancing at Atomic Ballroom through a Groupon in 2012. She fell in love with social dancing and was often seen out 4-5 nights a week at venues throughout LA and Orange County. She was able to progress and develop quickly thanks to many hours spent on the social dance floor and in practice rooms with her partner Andrew Jose. While she truly enjoys competing and performing, Kelly believes that the most important component remains social dancing. Kelly believes in fostering great body awareness and solid basics as the foundation of great technique. She believes that great technique creates good communication with your partner.|
|Elizabeth Zharoff was introduced to swing dancing at age 13, and hasn’t stopped since. She’s now performed and taught throughout the U.S., Europe, and China. When teaching, Elizabeth analyzes and helps students to set goals, and then designs exercises to achieve them. She particularly likes to focus on nitty-gritty technique, connection, and musicality. When she isn’t on the dance floor, you can find Elizabeth singing at the LA Opera.|