Our Artists

 

  • .Jean VelozInstructor and Special Guest

    Jean Phelps Veloz, an icon of Hollywood-Style Lindy Hop, provides a living bridge from the Los Angeles dance scene of the 1940’s to the present.

    After learning to dance with her brothers in the family living room, Jean’s career took off when she won a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the film Swing Fever (1943) in a Hollywood dance contest. In Swing Fever, Jean danced with Don Gallaher and Lennie Smith in a now classic scene often referred to as One Girl & Two Boys.

    She also appeared in the short Groovie Movie (1944), and was to appear in several full-length films including Jive Junction (1943) and The Horns Blow at Midnight (1945) where she danced with the legendary Dean Collins.

    In the 1950s Jean moved into television, regularly performing on “The Frank Veloz Show” with her dance partner (and later husband) Frank Veloz. After a period of retirement Jean returned to the swing dancing world during the swing revival of the 1990s. She has been travelling the world ever since, bringing her knowledge and experience to swing dancers all over the globe.

  • Alde LewisInstructor

    Alde Lewis, Jr., began his career as a modern dancer with Dianne McIntyre’s Sounds in Motion Company in New York City. He credits the late tap veteran Charles “Honi” Coles for inspiring him to become a tap dancer after Mr. Coles offered to mentor him early in his performing career. Coles suggested that Lewis become a tap dancer after seeing him win the coveted Amateur Night at the Apollo contest as a dancer.

    Mr. Lewis went on to have extensive credits in dance, film, television and theatre as an actor, dancer, director, and choreographer. An original cast member in the Broadway musical “My One and Only”, Lewis originated the role of “Otis” in the musical “Big Deal”, Bob Fosse’s last Broadway production. He toured with the “Sophisticated Ladies” national touring company and was the featured Tap Dancer in “Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Revisited”. Lewis has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway and regional theaters as well. He was in the cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Cotton Club”.

  • AliceInstructor

    Alice Mei started dancing at 4 years old. From 4-14yrs old she had the honor of interpreting almost every single Disney Character from "Dopey" to "Tinker-Bell". She eventually joined a national dance school for another 4 years where she practiced Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz dance daily. Slowly burning out with these dance styles, she began to look for something new. After a few unsuccessful attempts at african dancing, flamenco, and kick boxing she eventually met her true love, Lindy Hop!

    Alice is definitely at her happiest when she is swingin' it on the dance-floor. You will most likely hear her giggling from the other side of the room when she is social dancing. Alice enjoys keeping her dancing simple and natural. It seems like her silliness has reached enough people since she won the "dancers choice award" at ULHS in 2006. In class, she teaches the same principals that she cherishes as a dancer and she mainly focuses on keeping things simple and in rhythm. As a person, Alice is a joyful shop-a-holic who lives in the moment. She enjoys the most simple things in life such as chocolate (specially "Lindor" ), beer and lame garden statues.

    A bit of a geek, she likes to play video games, but her favorites are still the most simple ones like Tetris and Lemmings. Emotional, sensitive, fun and natural...here are some adjectives to describe Alice and if there is anything else you wish to know about her, just ask her and she will most likely tell you. Alice is like an open book, and whatever she is not telling, you might still be able to read on her face. Don't abuse it though cause you might discover a little evil hidden behind her angelic smile.

  • AndyInstructor

    Andy Reid is one of the most well known and influential swing dancers out there. Since he started dancing in the late nineties, Andy has left an indelible mark on the dance scene. Andy's style is a balance of the refined and the eccentric. His proficiency with rhythm and partnering make his dancing rich and inspiring to watch and experience. While Andy specializes in and is passionate about the original styles of Lindy Hop, his dancing is a mix of many influences, is always inventive, and is never encumbered by labels.

    Since 2002, he has performed and taught all over the world including Korea, Australia, Japan and all over Europe. Always striving for harmony with the music, Andy's teaching aims to bring the best out of his students both physically and mentally.

  • JennaBeginner Track Instructor

    Jenna Applegarth first started dancing when she was still in diapers. She began swing dancing some many years later, luckily no longer in diapers. Jenna continues to expand her dancing repertoire and share her love and knowledge of these dances with others. Although she enjoys pretty much any type of dancing and music you can move to, her first love is Lindy Hop. Her energy and passion create the perfect environment for learning, creating challenging yet applicable lessons.

    Jenna has attended, coordinated, and taught various workshops and exchanges all across the globe. Some of her favorite highlights are performing at Benaroya Hall in The Jump Session Show and teaching for Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. Above all else she believes that learning to dance should be fun. With over 10 years of teaching/coaching experience, she loves finding new ways to connect with other dancers on the floor and in the classroom.

  • JonBeginner Track Instructor

    Jon Tigert is an internationally recognized professional Dancer, Choreographer, and Instructor in the Swing Dance community. As a teacher, Jon specializes in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, and Tap. Jon has performed all over the world, including with the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras as a featured artist. Based out of Nashville, Jon can often be found travelling the globe spreading his love of Swing to all of his students.

  • KellyInstructor

    Kelly Arsenault, from Knoxville, TN, has been dancing as long as she can remember. As a child she took ballet and jazz, but she was especially drawn to modern dance. At age 11, Kelly joined the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble. She was with the modern dance company for 6 years, performing around the globe including Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. Kelly attended the University of Tennessee from 1997-2001, during which time she was a member of the UT Dance Company. She was also a dancer and choreographer for Circle Modern Dance Company. In 2003, Kelly moved to New York City where she continued her modern dance career performing with Von Ussar Danceworks and MAD About Dance. When she met Mickey in 2004, she discovered her love for balboa and lindy hop; and so began their amazing friendship and partnership.

  • LauraDJ and Singer
    Laura Windley is the songstress and proprietress of the North Carolina-based Mint Julep Jazz Band, a little big band specializing in the hot jazz and swing of the 1920's, 1930's, and early 1940's. She is involved in the swing dance community in Raleigh and Durham, NC as an event organizer and DJ, as well as serving as the main contributor for Lindy Shopper, a blog about swing dance clothing, shoes, and other things dancers may find useful. Laura began DJ’ing in Greenville, NC in 2001 for the yet-to-be-formed ECU Swing Dance Club, chosen by default because she had the most swing CDs (which, at the time, was about 10). Since then, her music collection has expanded greatly to become a joyous selection of swinging music. She loves female vocalists, bouncy instrumental tunes, songs with lyrics that make her laugh, and, above all, hot trombone solos.
  • LauraInstructor

    Laura started dancing in 2001 in San Antonio. It wasn’t a very large scene, and her teachers hadn’t been dancing very long, but she quickly came to love lindy hop, the music, the history and everything involved.

    Now Laura travels the world teaching, competing, performing and learning. She is a passionate believer in dancing with swing, with rhythm, and with presence. She is madly in love with jazz music and movement and strives to convey that love to everyone she encounters. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Laura is also an active participant in her home community; co owning a teaching company, The Lindy Project, with Mike Roberts, participating in the Austin Swing Syndicate board, the Austin Lindy Exchange board, organizing community events, and any number of things to keep Austin one of the best scenes around.

  • MiaInstructor

    Mia Halloran (Goldsmith), with her incredible string of competition wins and international teaching and performing gigs, excels in dances from the Jazz Age. Her unique approach to teaching is full of energy and creativity, bringing a passionate and motivated air to the classroom. She is known for her highly impressive footwork, elegance, improvisation, and individual approach to the dance. Above all else, she is driven by her desire to create with both partner and band on the social floor.

  • MickeyInstructor

    Mickey Fortanasce began swing dancing in Los Angeles in '99. A year later he was teaching local swing classes at NYU. After graduating he worked with local teams in New York including Varsity Swing and Hop Swing and a Jump and later started running his weekly dance White Heat (something he's been meaning to start up again).

    Mickey and Kelly Arsenault have been dancing and competing since about 2005. During this time, their innovation and showmanship, coupled with their love of dance history and theory, have led them to become internationally recognized teachers and competitors in both Lindy Hop and Balboa. Together their winnings include repeat victories at the Balboa Rendezvous for 2006, 2007 and 2010. They are 2008 ABW American Balboa Classic Champions as well as winners of the 2010 ILHC and ESDC Balboa Strictly division. Mickey and Kelly have taught extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, Korea, and Australia.

  • MikeDJ

    Mike started dancing Lindy Hop in 1998, and was a founding member of the RIT Swing Club. Since then he has traveled to dance all over the world, and taught in countless local and regional classes and workshops. Mike teaches group and private lessons regularly and holds really rockin' dance parties at the Lindy Compound. He has also become a sought-after DJ at exchanges, workshops, and camps all over North America. In 2005 he thought up a crazy idea that ended up being called Stompology, now one of Groove Juice Swing's most successful events. Now he is also one of the organizers of the Swing Out New Hampshire dance camp and head DJ for Frankie 100 in New York City. In his spare time Mike likes to research jazz and dance history, spend time on various technological nerdery, and enjoy delicious wines and cheeses. Mike is very excited to be bringing the joy of Lindy Hop to a new generation of dancers.

  • MikeyInstructor

    Since 1998, Mikey Pedroza has been dedicated to the understanding and preservation of classical American Jazz dances such as, Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Slow Drag (Blues) and Solo Jazz. Hailing from Orange County, California, he passionately developed his own perfect blend of powerful movement and classic grace with a hard edged and playful style which is evident each time he steps onto the floor. Such dedication and originality has earned him numerous awards at national dance competitions as well as opened avenues for teaching and performing.

    The same passion and energy Mikey exudes on the floor, he brings to students around the world. And as an instructor, he encourages his students to be self-expressive and creative while establishing a strong understanding of connection, lead/follow technique, frame, body awareness and mechanics. By building a good technical base, students are then free to develop their own personalized style with confidence. Mikey hopes that by sharing his love and knowledge of these dances with others, that they too will find joy in this classical American art form.

  • NaomiInstructor and Competition DJ

    Naomi Uyama discovered lindy hop in her hometown of Washington DC during the late nineties. Since then she has taught workshops all around the world and performed for dance and music legends alike. She has won the champion title at such prestigious competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. When she's not traveling in the name of triple steps or singing classic jazz Naomi currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • NickInstructor

    Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. His in-depth understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stem from studying with the original dancers. His successes include World Lindy Hop Champion, U.S. 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. He is also an accomplished choreographer and has been featured on 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.In 2004, Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.

  • NikkiInstructor

    Nikki grew up with a passion for early Jazz and Swing music and learning to dance was a natural progression. A 1st place win at the National Jitterbug Championships jump started her career and required her to compete at the Pro level. Her teaching style focuses on the things she loves the most about Lindy Hop: lead and follow, rhythm, musicality, and style. Nikki is a strong believer in dancing for the right reasons. Dance for yourself and no one else. She feels that we should look to others for inspiration and guidance, but form our own ideas about the dance. Her accolades include placement and winnings from: The National Jitterbug Championships, The World Swing Dance Championships, The US Open, Rhythmic Arts Festival, Camp Jitterbug, Reno Dance Sensation, Swing in the Colony, California Girl Jam, and Sugarfoot Stomp. In 2007 Nikki was a featured performer on Dancing with the Stars. Today, Nikki runs the OC Swing Dance club and owns ATOMIC Ballroom in Orange County, Ca.

  • NinaInstructor

    Lindy Hopper. Belly dancer. Ex-hair-removal Laser Technician. Event Promoter. The mysterious figure that is known only as "Nina Gilkenson" (and sometimes "Naomi") has many titles from prestigious dance competitions. But that's only a small part of her accomplishments. For instance, she can swivel in midair. She can simultaneously create vintage-style dresses and then destroy them while dancing. She can make 12-minute biscuits in 10 minutes. She writes upbeat musical theatre involving funeral homes. And last, but not least, she is a part of the award-winning Lindy Hop team the Silver Shadows, which sounds like it's a group of super heroes. And that's what she is. A Super Hero--one whose main super power is doing swivels in midair. And one day, they might save the world. Until then, she lives in Baltimore, MD and falls down a lot.

  • PeterInstructor and MC

    Peter Strom is one of the most dedicated and well traveled instructors on the lindy hop scene today. His humor in classes is only matched by the clarity and care he takes with his students. Since his start in 1998 he has taught at international dance camps from Australia to South Korea to Herrang, Sweden. In addition to teaching he brings with him his skills as a sought after DJ and experienced Master of Ceremonies. He is currently a member of the renowned team the Silver Shadows and the founder of Uptown Swing in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • RemyInstructor

    Remy Kouakou Kouame is an established competitor, performer and teacher. He made the transition from world champion boogie woogie dancer (with accolades from the French and the World Championships), to convert to lindy hop, to a starring role in the viral music video "Two Cousins" with Ryan Francois. Remy has also taught many students for many years, traveling to many international camps and festivals, sharing his passion and knowledge. What he likes to share the most is the joy that dancing provides. For him, dancing is... to live... to express! Remy is also the choreographer of the infamous Caribbean Shim Sham

  • RyanHead DJ and Inside the Dancer's Studio

    Ryan has been swing dancing since 1998 and started DJing for dancers shortly thereafter. He has had the privilege of spinning for numerous Lindy Hop exchanges, dance camps, weekend workshops, and competitions, including national events such as ILHC and Lindyfest.

    Ryan also hosts a podcast, The Track. Here is one of his amazing talks with Dawn Hampton:

  • SkyeInstructor

    Skye Humphries is a nationally renowned swing dancer and instructor. He emphasizes fun, energetic social dancing with strong partner connection, solid technique, innovative moves, and musicality. Skye was a member of the award winning Lindy Hop dance troupe Minnie's Moochers. He has taught and performed Lindy Hop at many major national and international events and dance camps, including Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden. Skye is a versatile and creative dancer. He has earned some of the most prestigious awards at national dance competitions, including winning the 2002 Lindy Hop World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • SylviaInstructor

    Sylvia Sykes is an internationally recognized authority on most types of Swing Dance, and she has been teaching for more than 20 years throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. Sylvia studied with the great dancer Dean Collins, and was a member of his last dance troupe. She studied Balboa with Maxie Dorf and spent years learning from the greatest Southern California Balboa dancers. Sylvia is a two-time inductee into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. She won the U.S. Open twice, was the National Association of Swing Dance Events top point winner, garnered third place in the National Carolina Shag Dance Championships, won numerous Strictly Swing contests throughout the U.S. and was a four-time Feather Award winner. She is the undefeated California Balboa champion.

  • ToddInstructor

    Todd Yannacone is one of the most recognizable names on the swing dancing circuit today. He has won countless championship titles from the most prestigious competitions around, such as: Lone Star Championships, International Lindy Hop Championships, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, American Lindy Hop Championships, U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships, and National Jitterbug Championships. He teaches vernacular jazz, lindy hop, balboa, and other vintage swing dances both locally and internationally, and loves spreading his passion for social dancing. He specializes in connection and musicality, which is apparent every time he steps on the dance floor. He has performed for dance and music legends alike, and frequently can be found performing and competing with the dance troupe to which he belongs, the Silver Shadows.