Michael and Evita - Lindy Hop
Evita Arce is a Swing dance phenom, known internationally for her endless energy, inspiring performances, and elegant, feminine movement. Whether she's on stage or leading a class, her vibrant persona inspires on-lookers to dance and live in the moment. Evita is most recognized right now for her featured role in the swing documentary "Alive and Kicking" which released publicly this spring 2017. Her Lindy Hop career, which started in 1998, has taken her all over the world teaching internationally since 2005.
As a teacher, Evita's patience and bright, friendly classroom manner belies the extraordinary depth of her technical knowledge. She is adamant about understanding anatomy and efficiency of movement. Her open, enthusiastic connection with students lends to her entertaining communication in the classroom.
As a performer, Evita has commercial, film and television appearances, and has choreographed and danced for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.
Evita was a member of Ryan Francois's company, Swing X-treme and a member of The Killer Dillers who won the team division at ILHC in 2009. Evita has also danced with other companies in New York City which has helped to round out her skills in tap, modern and tango.
Evita has a complete online swing school curriculum and invites everyone to enjoy that material and stay in touch via the website: www.michaelandevita.com
Michael has been dancing Lindy Hop for over 20 years, and he has traveled the globe with his regular teaching partner, Evita Arce, for over 13 years. In the classroom, he emphasises the importance of creating and strengthening connection with one’s partner, and on the social dance floor his aim is to provide dance partners a safe, positive place to play.
For 6 years, Michael was the co-executive director of Syncopated City Dance Company, the premier professional dance company in NYC specialising in vernacular dance for stage and screen. Performance highlights include Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Ulster Ballet’s Festival of Dance, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Rainbow Room to name but a few. He has also been a featured dancer in the Lindy track for several tours of Broadway’s Swing! The Musical, the role which was originally conceived and performed by his mentors, Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas.
Some of Michael's biggest influences and inspiration come from the likes of Ryan and Jenny, David Dalmo, Fred Astaire, Tommy Rall, Nathan Bugh and his partner, Evita. He feels insanely blessed for the life dancing has afforded him, and you can find out more about Michael at michaelandevita.com.
Youngdon and Dawa - Blues
Dawa has been dancing blues since 2010 in Korea. She started to teach blues with Youngdon in 2012 and attended blues events in the U.S.A to explore and get more inspiration. At BlueSweet 2013, she was an instructor with world renowned instructors Damon Stone, Heidi Fite, and Dexter Santos.
She not only teaches blues but organises blues dance events with Youngdon. She loves to travel and spread blues dance and its culture in Asia too. She has also competed at several Blues dance events in the States and placed in competitions at BluesShout 2014 and Blues Muse 2015.
Recently Dawa was invited as a Jill competitor at Blues Muse 2016. She also took 1st placed in Open Strictly and 3rd place in Open Jack and Jill at BluesShout 2017. At Berlin Blues Explosion 2017, she won 1st in open strictly and 2nd in open Jack and Jill. She was also a finalist in solo blues. At Drag The Blues 2017, she came 2nd in open Jack and Jill.
Youngdon has been teaching blues since 2008. He is also known as the organiser of Bluesweet (The first blues workshop in Asia which was started from 2010) & Korea Blues Camp (The biggest blues dance event in Asia).
He started his dancing life with lindyhop in 2005, but when he first experienced blues dancing in U.S.A (2007), he immediately fell in love with the blues music, dance and its culture. He visits U.S. every year to get inspiration and work hard to spread Blues dance in Asia.
Youngdon was a finalist of many blues events in U.S. and won First Place in Open Jack and Jill 2014 at BluesShout. He was also invited as a judge (prelims and level test) for BluesShout 2017. In Europe, he took the 1st place at Berlin Blues Explosion Jack and Jill & Open Strictly and Team Solo battle. He also received Jack and Jill 1st place and 3rd place Solo Blues at Drag The Blues.
As a complement to our internationals, eight amazing Australian dancers, skilled in both Blues and Lindy Hop will be teaching classes throughout the camp.
Vanessa started swing dancing in 2008 in Canberra to accompany a nervous friend and was pretty quickly hooked. After taking the 6-week beginner program as a follow, she went straight back and did it as a lead so she wouldn’t miss anything. She has taught weekly classes in Canberra and Melbourne, performed with various troupes in both those cities, and is currently half of the organising team for Australia’s longest running weekly blues venue.
As both a lead and a follow, Vanessa understands the connection from both sides of the divide and uses this insight to help her students shine in the role they are in, and appreciate the role of their partner.
Image courtesy of Mark Rotondella.
Some of Shob’s earliest memories are of dancing and she is as inspired and excited by it now as she was entering her very first class at age 4. Over the years she has trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, salsa and even belly dancing! But when she found the lindy hop community she fell in love and hasn’t looked back
She has been dancing lindy hop, blues and balboa now for 15 years and travelled Australia, NZ and internationally to learn, teach and dance! Over the years she has won an array of titles in all styles and loves to do all the things! She has been a Hellzapoppin finalist but also recently won the inaugural Australian Blues Championships! She draws inspiration from all the diversity of movement and techniques she has been lucky enough to experience.
Shob has a passion for choreography and performance and is so honoured to be part of Melbourne’s troupe Echoes of Harlem who challenge and inspire her every week!
Her teaching comes from the heart and a deep desire to allow her students to become their very best selves on the dance floor. She has been invited to teach weekend workshops all over Australia and is known for her loving, down to earth and inclusive approach.
Shob is thrilled and proud to be on the teaching team for the first ever Swingin' the Blues!
Image courtesy of Anthony Cuskelly.
Noni fell in love with jazz as a young teen and has always danced her heart out. She first swung out with her brother in early 2000, and soon after discovered blues dancing. Noni started teaching and touring as soon as she turned 18 and is today still just as passionate to share the spirit of Lindy Hop at home and abroad.
She has an extensive knowledge of general dance principles and dance diagnostic skills which brings out every student's potential. Noni always incorporates musicality as a key element of teaching and loves exploring self expression within partner dancing. Noni is known for her down to earth, practical teaching style and her playful ability to bring joy to class.
Noni is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected blues dance teachers. She proudly established the only weekly blues dance classes, pivotal in building the largest blues community in Australia and was the event organiser of the largest blues dancing festival, Blues Before Sunrise.Throughout the years, Noni has taught, performed, competed, judged and DJed in Australia, Europe, Asia & America.
She proudly performs with Australia's premier swing dance troupe, Echoes of Harlem.
When Noni not dancing, she's a stay at home mum of two daughters, artist and stilt walker.
Max started swing dancing 2002 and was deeply involved in the Melbourne dance scene when Blues dancing landed in about 2005. After 6 months of resisting change, something finally clicked and Max fell in love with Blues dancing. With over a decade of teaching experience in both Swing and Blues, Max has had the opportunity to teach all over Australia, most recently at both Swing Camp Oz and Black Swan Blues with Catherine Pogonowski.
Max is passionate about making dancing as comfortable and fun as possible in every situation. His style is based on continuous flow, allowing for contrasting accents and ensuring a constant connection with his partner. As a teacher, he has an uncanny ability to get to the root cause of a problem rather than just treating symptoms.
Image courtesy of Mark Rotondella.
Leigh was prompted to start Swing dancing after a lazy weekend with friends and trying to learn Charleston (and completely failing at it). She began Swing dance lessons in 2007 and, what started as a vague interest in Lindy Hop, very quickly added Balboa, performance teams, teaching, Blues and more.
To continually broaden her skill set, Leigh regularly attends dance camps throughout Australia and Internationally. Leigh has been privileged to have had the opportunity to dance and teach with varied partners as both a lead and follow over the years and is looking forward to many more.
Image courtesy of Roman Balìtskiy.
Growing up listening to her Dad’s music collection while dancing on his toes, Kara has always had a love of music and dancing. In 2003, Kara met and fell in love with swing dancing. Her love of blues, balboa, shag (#allthedances) followed shortly after. It wasn’t long before she was teaching at home and abroad, and spending all her leave on dance travel around Australia, NZ and the rest of the world.
As a teacher, Kara’s aim is to inspire people to want to learn and develop their own style, whether they lead or follow. She loves exploring and encouraging the ways that each dancer can add their individual flair and musicality into the partnership to create a fun, dynamic and engaged dance. Her versatility as both a lead and follow means that she’s had the rare opportunity of teaching with some amazing people of both roles. She is also the 2018 winner of the AJC "all-rounder" award for ranking the highest across a number of dance styles.
Hailing from Hobart, Kara was co-director of FootNotes Dance and founder of Hobart’s first and much loved swing exchange, Devil City Swing. She now calls Melbourne home and teaches regularly there and across the country.
Image courtesy of Peter Anderson.
Chris was dragged to his first dance class, almost kicking and screaming, by his new wife, Chloe, on their cruise ship honeymoon. Instantly enjoying every moment of it, Chris soon found his way into some local dance classes. Since then he's had an unwavering pursuit of dance perfection for the last 7 years.
Dabbling in styles in and out of the swing umbrella, Chris strongly favours Blues and Lindy Hop. With a strong focus on connection with both partner and music, Chris enjoys highlighting the music and elements of the music in ways that always surprise and delight. Chris regularly teaches Lindy Hop and Blues, loving the opportunity to share his love for these styles.
Image courtesy of Damon Van Opdorp.
Andy is one of Australia's most loved social dancers and the winner of many a Mix and Match! He has a special ability to bring out the best in any partner and although a seasoned performer and competitor, his real love is always the social floor
As a teacher, Andy is sought after around Australia and NZ and brings a unique warmth, humour and openness to his classes. He has a particular focus on connection, true partnership and preparedness for quality movement. He never takes himself too seriously and knows that after all the hard work, whenever his partner smiles or laughs he has won.
A lover of Lindy hop, balboa and blues he was the inaugural Australian Triple Threat Champion in 2016. He loves to dance all the dances and is honoured to get the chance at Swingin' the Blues 2018.
Image courtesy of Anthony Cuskelly.