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 18 years, and he has traveled the globe with his regular teaching partner, Evita Arce, for over 12 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.
Mike and Dan - Blues
Mike Legenthal is a passionate aficionado of jazz and blues, known all over the world for her friendliness, teaching skills, following, and expression. She embodies vibrant energy and technical precision, and strives to make every social dance the best possible.
Whether at residencies, international workshops, or private trainings, she brings preparation and flexibility every time. Her classes can involve students morphing into robots or seaweed, standing on one foot blindly, or analyzing chord changes- always in pursuit of art.
Regardless of subject, she always brings abstract and concrete topics, plenty of levity, and homework, to help students improve long after class ends.
Image courtesy of Melanie Bert
Dan is a bit of a Jack of All Trades. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA in May of 2009 with a B.F.A. in Classical Guitar Performance.
While there, he also studied Electrical and Computer Engineering. Somewhere along the way Dan began dancing, and what started as a casual attraction became a full-on addiction.
Image courtesy of Melanie Bert
Background courtesy of Devon Rowland
As a complement to our internationals, eight amazing Australian dancers, skilled in both Blues and Lindy Hop will be teaching classes throughout the camp.
Andy is one of Australia's most loved social dancers and the winner of many a Jack and Jill! 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.
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.
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.
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.
Now living in Perth, Kenneth Gosnold started dancing in Adelaide before travelling across Australia, Asia, Europe and America, attending workshops and learning everywhere he went. Kenneth‘s love of dance comes from a love of the music. He enjoys interacting with the music through his dancing and communicating this to his dance partners.
When he’s teaching he enjoys encouraging his students to play with rhythms and seeing how people hear and see it. Kenneth loves watching how different people interpret the same music and how they make it work for the way their own bodies move.
He loves both slow Blues dancing and fast Lindy Hop and the techniques they share. His love for Swing and Blues took him around the world but his main passion is for helping and watching the Australian scene grow into the amazing place it is now.
Image courtesy of Fudz Qazi.
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.
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.
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.
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.