MEET YOUR TEACHERS

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Damon & Kelsy

Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied a numerous dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of vernacular Jazz/Blues dance across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers.

Kelsy brings her lifetime of dance training, a passion for vernacular dance, and a sharp eye for technique to the Blues dance world. She has brought her joy and knowledge of blues idiom dances to some of the most important and high-profile events in the US and abroad, including but not limited to: bluesSHOUT!, The Experiment, Muse, Hearken the Blues, and BluesGeek--serving as faculty, mentor, competition coordinator, and judge.

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Adamo & Vicci

Adamo and Vicci are international blues dance instructors; teaching, performing and dancing with as many people as possible at Blues and Swing dance events worldwide.   

 Blues dance is their passion.  They love the connection you share with another person when you dance, the freedom of improvisation and throwing down to live music in the early hours of the morning. But most of all, they love passing this passion onto other people and witnessing the joy it brings them. 

Blues is an African American music and dance.  As teachers who are not from this culture they will never stop educating themselves about the history, cultural values and the social context of the dance. They strive to pass on what we are learning to our students in classes by connecting the dance to its historical roots and cultural values.

They truly believe that if everyone danced the blues the world would be a better place!

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Nick & Ilaria

Nick and Ilaria are a cool UK based blues dance duo. They love the way that blues celebrates human nature and is able to bring people together by giving them a medium to express their true selves. 

Nick is a science teacher by day and dance teacher by night. He loves finding out exactly how things work which means he is perfectly poised to break down techniques and moves in a simple and logical manner.

Since 2013, Nick and Ilaria greatly contributed to the London blues scene, teaching and performing with the Down & Outs Troupe. They are well known as regulars on the European blues circuit, bringing energy to the social floors, winning competitions and performing. Nick and Ilaria have taught at over 20 international festivals all over Europe, from St. Petersburg to Valencia. They have also experienced the American dance floors, expanding their knowledge of the blues as a musical representation of the African American culture. 

 

“We believe everyone should experience blues dancing, giving yourself to the incredible music so you can express all aspects of your character!”

 

Find them on Facebook @nickandilaria

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Alex & Ioanna

Alex and Ioanna are an enthusiastic blues dance couple! They love to share their personal style of Blues dancing through teaching, adore choreographing captivating performances and cherish loooong nights of social dancing!

 

They are both highly trained dancers; Ioanna has been dancing since she was a child and Alex has been doing Swing dances since 2008!
 

Since 2017 they have been focusing mainly on Blues, traveling around Europe deepening their understanding of the Blues dance and its culture as well as continuously developing their dancing and teaching skills!

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Lucia & Andrea

As Lucía grew up listening to Jazz, Blues, Soul, etc. at home, it is not strange that he started going to vintage clubs where music was played from the 30s to the 60s. It was then that she discovered that the music she loved could also be danced to, a fact that changed her life forever. Lindy Hop and Balboa were the first disciplines she came into contact with, but it was by dancing the blues that she definitely felt she had found her place.

 

In 2017 she decided to pursue a career as a dancer and teacher and shortly after she moved to Rome, where she joined the Swinghaus school as a teacher of Blues, Lindy Hop, Solo Jazz and Balboa, but above all dedicating herself to developing the local Blues scene both as a teacher and as an event organization. In the classroom Lucía tries to use the tools and experience she has from theater and body expression to ensure that through movement and music people find their voice and can connect with their emotions and with others.

 

Andrea falls in love with the Blues in 2016 during the “Policoro in Swing Festival” by participating in a workshop held by Adamo, Vicci, Gas and Alba. Since that time the Blues has become a staple, both in dance and in music, and has participated in as many events and festivals as possible. In 2019 he joined the Swinghaus team in Rome, holding Blues and Lindy Hop lessons together with his partner Lucía Mendoza, helping to grow the blues scene also in the organization of events, as a violinist / harmonica player and as a sound engineer / lights .

 

In 2021 he moved to Valencia where he has the opportunity to perfect himself in the Blues as a dancer and teacher and to realize his own musical projects.

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Bibi

Bibi has been dancing for 25 years (and teaching for over 18!), but it is only when she discovered the blues that she found her true “perfect match”. The overwhelming passion for blues music and dance quickly became a one-way ticket to the world.  She is a well-known face on the international scene, having travelled all around Europe, USA and Asia to deepen her knowledge, teach, share and spread all of her love and appreciation for the blues. She has given birth also to several communities of blues dancers in Italy, teaching weekly courses and workshops since 2014.
Bibi holds a strong sense of respect for the values of African American culture, and for the importance of researching and respecting the cultural roots and history of blues. What she loves about blues are the breadth of blues music as well as the creativity, the freedom of expression and the deep connection and communication with the music and the partner in the dance.
Aside from dancing, she is a nerd of body mechanics, is a certified yoga instructor and is just about to graduate in Kinesiology and Movement Sciences.

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Kenneth

Kenneth Shipp hails from St. Louis, MO as an instructor who grew up dancing hip hop and breakdancing before jumping into blues.

He has spent the past few years passionately studying the family of blues idioms, incorporating his nerdy personality along the way. Kenneth’s life experiences inform his dancing and wants his students to walk away with a better historical and contextual understanding to exhibit it in their dances.

With every class and practice, he’ll encourage you to approach social dancing with coolness, relaxation, or in other words “Chill The F$%& Out.”

When he’s not dancing, you can likely find him ranting about the latest blockbuster movie, game, or nerd convention.

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Flouer

Flouer Evelyn is a dance instructor & Embodiment Coach from New York City, currently based out of Turin, Italy. She has been teaching blues seriously since 2010, has an MFA in dance and a background in contemporary, Latin Ballroom, ballet, and ice skating.
She has won plenty of Blues competitions, and of course performed & taught all over the world. But what's important is that in the classroom Flouer has a warm, encouraging personality. She is always pushing you just a little more, showing you a path to further success.
She is known for her values of artistry and personal expression, complimented by her ability to break down any movement into incredibly specific detail. Using imagery, anatomy, rhythm, embodiment and concepts, she will build your dance from the ground up; all the while teaching you about the musicians you are listening to, why a movement evolved the way it did historically, and the cultural context from where it came. https://flouerdances.com

“The reason to master technique is so the body does not prevent the soul from expressing itself” – la Meri

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Gastón

Gas is a passionate dancer, a lover of Swing and Blues. He discovered Lindy hop in 2001 in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Since then, year after year, his commitment to music and dance has increased, leading him to leave his hometown to learn and improve as a dancer.

He has taught classes since 2008 in Buenos Aires, and internationally since 2009, traveling from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), to Melbourne (Australia), passing through New York, London, Stockholm, Berlin, etc. His past as a gymnast gives his style a lot of energy, dynamism and explosive aerials. The technique of his tango brings to his blues and "slow dance" a deep connection and great sensitivity.

In addition to his present, Gas has a great thirst to continue advancing, learning, developing and fulfilling himself as a swing artist. His commitment is to transmit his passion, knowledge and inspire all those who are interested in this incredible world of Jazz and Blues Dance.

Found out more about Gas at gasandalba.com

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Shivani

A born and bred South African of Indian descent, Shivani was raised in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal where music and dance was infused into the everyday life of her childhood.

   After learning Bharatha Natyam at 3, "directing" dance routines for her family at 4 and performing onstage before she turned 5, Shivani placed in her first dance competition at the age of 8. When apartheid ended, she took her teen and medical school years to appreciate local music and art which richly influenced her own way of dancing. This resulted in choreographies that were performed at events ranging from university cultural day programmes to shows at the Durban City Hall.  

 

When she moved to the UK, Shivani discovered partner dancing and that lead to her current passion of dancing to the blues. She attended as many courses in Europe and the USA as a hospital schedule would allow and soon became a supporting blues teacher in London as well as a member of the The Down and Outs, a blues troupe that competes locally and performs internationally. She started competing in solo and partnered blues competitions since 2018 and in the 2 years before COVID, has placed and won numerous competitions in both the UK and Europe.

 

Shivani credits her dance style and approach to teaching on the influence of her South African heritage as places connection to the music and to the people around you over just perfecting moves.  This allows for spontaneity, authenticity and individual expression which she highly values highly in dance. She is very much looking forward to exploring these traits with you all in class but more so, on the dance floor. 

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Edmilson

Edmilson da Cruz Botelho was born and grew up in São Tome and Principe, an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. Since was young he always lived in a dance environment and danced some African and traditional dances of his country including usôa, puíta, funaná, kadance (kizomba) and semba in a group of his uncle, the Musicdance group.
At age 12, Michael Jackson "King of POP" became his idol and he liked imitating him for his classmates! Other dancers such as Usher, Ne Yo, Omarion, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake awakened his great interest in POP style.
He was introduced to Lindy Hop when living in Portugal in 2012.  He quickly became part of the performance and teaching team for Swing Station School in Porto and over the years has won numerous competitions in Lindy Hop and solo Jazz.  He now teaches for Hop Dance Studio in Porto, teaching Lindy Hop, aerials, and partnered and solo Blues dance. He has been invited to participate in various Blues Dance events over the years, including Bluesology teacher training in Valencia, and we are delighted to be welcoming him to the team. 

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Stephen 

Stephen is a fresh young talent emerging from the new generation of Lindy Hoppers and Blues Dancers. Balancing successfully a career as a Mechanical Engineer with his artistic pursuits this UCL alumnus is equally at home tutoring STEM subjects as he is dancing in front of the camera shooting tv commercials. He is also a Parkour and Wing Chun Kung Fu practitioner.

 

In 2017, Stephen travelled to South Africa to spend a month working with the charity Sing Inchanga. There he shared skills with local children & young people across their own dance styles and lindy hop.

Following three years representing Swing Patrol as a core teacher, Stephen began his apprenticeship with Angela in 2018 to delve deeper into the roots of jazz dance and exploring Lindy Hop with Ron Leslie.

 

Stephen's performance/competition credits include 10 Downing Street, Harrods, Savoy Cup (France), ILHC (USA).