Teachers

Cat

photographs: for dancers only, Matt Christie, Sarah Pista Image Maker, Milda

Cat has been Lindy hopping since 2005. After teaching in her University scene and locally in Newcastle, Cat moved back to Liverpool and established Mersey Swing and remains creative director of this fast growing scene.

Cat is currently London based, working with Swing Patrol teaching solo jazz and lindy hop and travelling worldwide to teach with her dance partner Cam Mitchell. She is an actor and theatre maker, working with ‘Swing Sister Swing’ on brand new narrative swing dance works, and has a one woman show ‘The Wallflower, which uses the partnered nature of swing dance to address social exclusion. Cat’s improv comedy experience with Impropriety, and theatre background bring extra life to her teaching and performing.

Known for her infectiously fun style, Cat wears her heart on her sleeve and strives to bring out individuality, positivity and energy from her students. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Areski

photographs: for dancers only, Areski

Areski started taking classes with SwingStep in 2014, and dropped everything else he was doing: it felt like he was meant for this dance. He became a full-time Lindy Hop teacher in 2016. Bringing experience from his prior life as a sailing instructor, he has a good sense for understanding what is needed when, and how to express it. Training with SwingStep only helped become even more precise in his teaching, giving him the techniques to inspire people to work hard on their dancing.

He also did short studies of ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, hip hop and tap dance. Increasing his knowledge about movement and body awareness helped him understand how he wants to shape his dancing, and therefore also his classes.

As a teacher, he wants to make sure the students are always challenged, and having fun. His goal is to make techniques, concepts, shapes and movement accessible and to break them down in a way that students can see immediate results.

Lee

photographs: Sarah Pista Image Maker

Lee is a passionate dancer and teacher. She encountered Lindy Hop at the age of 19 and has been dedicated to it ever since – at first she taught in her local scene in Tel Aviv, then moved to Madrid, Spain to teach both locally and internationally around Europe. Now she’s based in Tel Aviv again and still travels often to teach, perform, compete and learn.

Her passion to the dance comes through in her dancing and teaching and touches people around her. Her dancing is characterised through playfulness and musicality with a strong emphasis on rhythms, and her teaching is both logical and insightful. She believes that understanding where the movement comes from helps us improve and that dance is the ultimate way of self expression.

Elze and Peter

Elze and Peter are maybe just the right amount of crazy you’ve been looking for. She comes from Lithuania, while he comes from Los Angeles and together, they have this Euro-American style all about fun and connectedness. Their musicality, playfulness, and creativity are not just parts of their light-hearted personalities as dancers, but also as instructors. For them, Lindy Hop is much more than only leading and following… it’s dancing… trying to feel your partner… and in the meantime having a freaking great time!

Their energy is contagious and their class material is stimulating. Be prepared for loud laughs, crazy fun, and exciting new moves!

Maria and Aurélien

photographs: Martina Houdek,

Maria and Aurélien come from different and complementary horizons. She fell in love with movement when she was a kid. He was born crazy about rhythm.

Her background: dance and pedagogy. His: music and philosophy.

Since they started dancing together, their passion and desire to learn more have done nothing but growing. Their work is guided by a bunch of ideas: understanding movement and roots, valuing and cherishing the basics, doing more by doing less, conceiving of music as a map full of possibilities, playing and trying to feel as free and comfortable as possible, expression. They don’t agree on everything though. Maria thinks that there are no mistakes in dance, but rather thousands of paths to explore. Aurélien isn’t quite as open-minded. But, hey, he is nice too. 🙂

They have their residence in Barcelona, where they discovered the world of swing dancing. They also have a strong link to Geneva, where Aurélien was born, and where they founded with good friends Backbeat, an association which organizes monthly workshops and a yearly international festival, the shaKe that laKe.

David and Cátia

Photographs: fordancersonly, Alexander Karpovic

These two Portuguese started dancing and teaching together in 2011, and have since become international teachers, mainly due to their aptitude to understand the fundamentals of good movement (dancing) and explaining it in an graspable and applicable way.

David is an addicted social dancer. You’ll rarely see him not dancing while there is groovy swing music playing. He’s also a geek, that cannot avoid himself of deconstructing the nuclear bio-mechanics and rhythmic structure of the dance and music. And he loves to share this knowledge/vision almost as much as he loves hugs.

Cátia is a people person. She’s always caring for everybody, and it shows when it comes to teaching where she uses an intuitive and organic approach to bring out to the best in each student. You’ll rarely see her not smiling.

Adam and Máté

photographs: tamara pinco,

Adam Brozowski and Máté Csike started their dance partnership in 2017 and were an immediate hit. Bringing a unique style and Queer voice to a traditional hetero-centric danceform, Adam and Máté have since worked diligently on and off the dance floor to create space and visibility for LGBTQAI+ people in Lindy Hop and Swing Dance. 

Adam and Máté’s style is musical, adventurous and always humorous. Their classes are music focused and deconstruct the traditional role of lead and follow. This comes from a Queer mindset about partner dance and is something they are both very passionate about. 

Adam has presented lectures about LGBTQAI+ people’s influence in the Harlem Renaissance and Lindy Hop as well as leading discussions about inclusivity and history. Adam was a long time friend and student of the Queen of Swing Norma Miller

Máté brings a unique background as an active member of Hungary’s Voguing and Ballroom Communities.  

Together they create an unstoppable force on the floor and embody both history and modern innovation in Lindy Hop. 

Sep

photographs: for dancers only, unknown

Sep Vermeersch is a versatile swing and jazz dancer based in Gent, Belgium. He’s known for his positive energy and dynamic movement. He started as a ‘spontaneous’ dancer, shakin’ it in bars and at parties. This probably clarifies his unique and musical dancing style. 

He teaches lindy hop and solo jazz for Ghent finest authentic jazz dance school Crazy Legs. But on weekends he travels around Europe to teach solo or partnered up, mostly with Alexia Legoueix. At home Sep can be found training, Dj-ing or organising events for LouisLou. His energy and passion for the music, dance, art and vintage business made him a very busy and welcomed guest in many projects and events.The combination of his daily practise, pedagogical education and his energising class style makes him a unique ‘character’ in the modern swing dance world. 

He does not only value the dance itself, but especially the music and the ‘human’ behind all of that.

Alexia

Alexia was rescued by swing dancing in 2005, when she was about to engage into standard competition dancing. Attending her first Herrang in 2007, she has since travelled the world to learn more about the dance, its origins, and jazz in general.

With a background in Ballet, jazz and contemporary dancing, she mostly gets interests in african rhythm based dances… also learning percussions and drums in the process. That would explain why rhythm stays so important to her, and the core of her dancing.

When teaching, besides rhythm, she will really emphasis on the role of the follower in the partnership, as well as how to share a common musical ground with your partner while still being yourself!

Bands

Reverend Juke

photographs: for dancers only, cover of the album

Born in 2015 out of the collaboration between the arranger Mathieu Najean and the dancer Sep Vermeersch, Reverent Juke has its roots in the golden era of swing.

With an explosive rhythm section built on the swinging drums of Tom Lambrecht, the bouncing bass and singing of Andrew Bolton and the wild stride of Renaud Crols, Reverent Juke sets the swing on fire with its three blowers, Martin Bolton on clarinet, Olivier Faber on trumpet and Mathieu Najean on reeds, blowing their horns on the fiery flames till they drop.

In 2019 they released We Are The Juke, their first album, composed of 12 songs of pure swing.

Born in Ghent, raised in Brussels, Reverent Juke is now attending Lindy Hop events everywhere in Europe.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band

photographs: Alexanders Ragtime Band

Alexander’s Ragtime Band plays and loves original jazz. The speciality of the band is the combination of two trumpets with the usual formation of early jazz.  They play the style of King Oliver & Louis Armstrong, Lu Watters & Bob Scobey and of Jelly Roll Morton, i.e. jazz of the first half of the 20th century, mixed with a good portion of swing.

The music is based on collective interaction. They interpret the musical theme collectively and improvise freely in the instrumental solos. Our speciality is the two-part trumpet. Alexander’s Ragtime Band focuses on the shellac recordings of the past and refreshes them for today. Alexander’s Ragtime Band always plays spontaneously and off the cuff. Their repertoire includes swing, dixieland and New Orleans jazz. Alexander’s Ragtime Band plays this music for you to dance to.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band wants to pass on the joy of life of early jazz to the audience. Their music not only pleases jazz connoisseurs, but from experience also listeners of all generations, who want to enjoy a relaxed moment with hot rhythms and get dancing!

Cast: Alexander Etter, 1 trumpet, leader; Nicolas Jäger / Benjamin Frey, 2nd trumpet; Markus Tinner, clarinet; Valerio Lepori, trombone; Doris Hinger, banjo; Erwin Bieri, drums; Dieter Merz, tuba; Felix Müller, piano.