Teachers

Alice Mei

 

My dance career started at the age of 4 years old, when I took it upon myself to interpret almost every single Disney character from "Dopey" to "Tinker-bell" in a role that lasted 10 fun-filled years (a role called my childhood). I soon decided to further explore my unique talent by joining a national dance school for 4 years, where I studied ballet, contemporary dance and Jazz dance extensively.

My true love in the dance sense was discovered when I began swing dancing in 2003, after a few unsuccessful attempts at flamenco dancing, salsa dancing and a brief flirtation with kick-boxing. Swing dancing captivated me instantly, and I decided to put aside my career as a qualified architect in order to pursue my newfound passion. For the past 14 years, I have been traveling all over the world to teach, perform, and spread the joy of swing dancing to other passionate dancers from all walks of life.

In my classes, I value and teach the same principles that I cherish as a dancer, focusing on keeping things simple and in rhythm.

As a competitor, I have won several titles in major competitions,1st place Jack ‘n’ Jill at ULHS 2009, 1st place Invitational Jack ‘n’ Jill ILHC 2009, 1st place Classic Division at ILHC 2010, 3rd place in 2011 and 2nd place Classic Division ILHC 2013 and 2016, 1st and 3rd place strictly at Snowball 2015 and 1st in 2016,1st place strictly at Lindyfest 2016.

These achievements aside, I am definitely at my happiest when “swinging it” on the dance-floor, and you will most likely hear me giggling from the other side of the room when social dancing.

As a person, I enjoy the simple things in life most, such as chocolate, a glass of wine and being in good company. Sensitivity, fun and being natural are the attributes that I look for most in others and value within myself.

 

Felipe Braga

Many ask how Felipe learned Lindy Hop so quickly: transitioning from a toilet-cleaning newbie dancer marveling at the Folkets Hus floor to a Herrang instructor in three short years. The explanation is simple: his pre-Lindy life prepared him for what was to come. Training in theatrical acting gave Felipe body awareness and control as well as an ability to improvise--both in his energetic and now infamous class warm-ups, and in the competitions where he always shines. Felipe’s experience playing drums, as well as his youth in Brazil --where the music and dance culture are rich-- gave him an innate sense of rhythm.

 

And finally Felipe’s days as a dancing party-animator for a live music club in Brazil gave him plenty of training for getting people excited about dancing in his Lindy Hop classes today.. But more important than any of this is that Felipe has embodied the Lindy Hop spirit since before he knew it existed. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t like Felipe. His warm personality charms every dancer he meets, and his ability to connect with people in conversation carries over onto the dance floor. He leaves every follower with a smile, and anyone who has danced or talked with him will confirm: he always makes you feel special

Pamela Gaizutyte

 

Humorous and dynamic, keen, full of heart and a touch of the anarchic, Pamela was spellbound by Lindy Hop energy and community at the age of sixteen when she started her first classes at Lindyhop.lt Club in Vilnius. Despite her young age Pamela has already brought herself to light constantly learning anything related to dancing, be it music, psychology or anatomy.

In 2009, Pamela began working at Hoppers’ Dance Studio in her hometown of Vilnius, Lithuania. Today she dances and teaches with the top leaders in the international Lindy Hop scene. Having no constant partner has given Pamela space to bring a lot of variety to her dance - no wonder dancers call her one of the most exciting followers in recent years.

As a dancer Pamela cherishes individuality and freedom. For her Lindy Hop is not as much about impeccable technique as it is about musicality and awareness. As a teacher she shares her values and encourages people to find their own way of dancing: “Learn to be ok with the way you are and how your body moves. It’s all about you.” 

Nietzsche once said “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star”.

 

By Migle Ravnialicevaite

Felix Berghill

 

Felix is a swing dance instructor, performer, choreographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Like any other swedish dancer he started in the swedish competition scene. He started at the age of nine and with bugg as his main style. One year later he took his first basic six count step in Boogie Woogie and has since then never stopped. At the age of 16 he made his first visit to Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden and fell in love with the African American social dances of the swing era such as Lindy hop, Vernacular Jazz, Charleston and Tap.

 

He has since then tried to inspire and learn everything that he can and develop his skill of dancing, music and teaching. He wants to pass on this knowledge to people all over the world. He is a strong believer of the freedom and the authentic style of the dance and the connection you create with your partner and the music. He sees swing dancing as a way to bring people together and bring happiness in to their life. Because when he dances that's all he can think about and express. Pure happiness!

Ramona Staffeld

 

Ramona is one of the highest profile Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz dance teachers in the world, performing and teaching at all major events, including Herrang (Sweden), Swing Out New Hampshire (USA), Swingtime Ball (Beijing), Paris Jazz Roots (France), Sugarloaf Stomp (Brazil), to name a few.

She is known for her wildly graceful style and playful spirit on the dance floor. She is a champion dancer, holding first place titles from the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, American Lindy Hop Championships, The International Lindy Hop Championships, and the World Lindy Hop Championships. Ramona is at the forefront of Lindy Hop, telling her story, while preserving and passing on the legacy of the dance to the next generation.

Ramona was 14 when spotted by one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop, Frankie Manning. Still in her early teens, Manning asked Ramona to open with him at the Midsummer Night Swing series at Lincoln Center in New York City. What Ramona values and prioritizes in class, on the social dance floor, on stage, and in life, came very much from working with and being around Frankie. Ramona began studying swing dancing at the age of 11.  She has been dancing Lindy Hop, Charleston, and jazz era social dances for the past 21 years.

Nathan Bugh

 

Nathan Bugh presents a unique, rhythmic style of jazz dance in performance and in workshops worldwide. He "rocked the stage" at Carnegie Hall, dancing Lindy Hop with the New York Pops Orchestra; he performed in Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater in Swingin' Frankie's Way; and he danced in the Vanaver Caravan’s Earth Beat, at Jacob's Pillow. Nathan brought the 20's to life in the Great Gatsby episode of My Fair Wedding. And he appeared on FoxNC's Fox and Friends Christmas. He is a principle dancer in the feature film, Rebel In The Rye. He has also danced in several music videos, including the Weepies, Be My Honey Pie.

 

As a national competitor, Nathan has taken 1st place in Lindy, Slow Dancing, Solo Charleston, Team, Jill&Jack, and Cabaret divisions. He is one of the most eminent solo-jazz contestants in the world, having won both the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown (2012) and International Lindy Hop Championships (2014). He is also the director and choreographer of “Yeah Man,” the 2015 ILHC Team champions. Nathan is based in New York City, where he performs regularly and teaches social-dance classes.

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7 - 10 June 2019

Melbourne Swing Festival (MSF) 2019

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