Balboa Teachers

Use this page to find Balboa teachers from around the world.

International:

Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams (USA)

Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams

Sylvia Sykes is one of the most well-known and respected dancers, instructors and judges in the U.S. today. An internationally recognized authority in Balboa, she has been teaching and judging for over 30 years throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Sylvia studied with the great Swing dancer Dean Collins, studied Balboa with Maxie Dorf and spent years learning from the greatest Southern California Balboa dancers. Sylvia is an inductee into the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame and the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. She is an Open champion, was the NASDE top point winner, two time California Balboa Champion, took third place in the National Carolina Shag Dance Championships, and has won many Strictly Swing and Jack & Jill dance contests throughout the U.S. in Lindy, Balboa and West Coast Swing. She was twice voted Swing Dance Teacher of the Year, and is a 4 time Feather Award winner as Best Female Lindy Dancer in the U.S.

Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. The depth of his understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stems from studying with the original dancers. Nick’s desire for authenticity, combined with his passion for dance evolution, leads to a style known for precision, lightness, musicality and dynamic energy. His successes include World Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Swing Dance Champion, American Lindy Hop Champion, National Jitterbug Champion, International Lindy Hop Champion, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 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. His true love of music and dancing will forever inspire him to learn, teach, and grow. In 2004 and 2010, Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.

David Rehm (USA)

David Rehm

A geek-turned-professional-dancer specializing exclusively in the partnered swing dances, Lindy and Balboa, and widely considered one of the top Balboa dancers and instructors in the world. He is regularly featured teaching and judging at the most prestigious events dedicated to those dances throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In addition to numerous awards, in 2006 David captured both the American and European Balboa titles (with different partners) by winning the American Classic Balboa Championship and the Euro Bal Cup. He is also the creator of The Experiment, "the world's most intimate and intensive Balboa workshop", as well as the founder of the Northeast Balboa Corridor (NEBC) project. David is best known for his ability to capture both broad thematic abstractions and technical details all in the form of conceptual principles.
David's Schedule

Bobby White & Kate Hedin (USA)

Bobby White and Kate Hedin

Always striving to capture the spirit and, especially, the floppy hair of the original jitterbugs, Bobby and Kate teach Balboa, Lindy Hop, and Collegiate Shag nationally and internationally. They have many top placements in national and international competitions, and are European Balboa Champions and the 2009 American Lindy Hop Champions. Recognized for their engaging teaching and thematic classes, Kate instructs with a thorough, mechanics-based method, while Bobby prefers rubber-band analogies and irk-irk noises. They currently throw each other around in Washington DC and help run the local dance, The Jam Cellar.

Adam Speen and Nelle Cherry (USA)

Adam and Nelle

Adam has been dancing Balboa since 2006, studying under many of the prominent instructors worldwide. He challenges himself to improve by competition but mainly enjoys social dancing. In the classroom, Adam offers his own experiences and knowledge in order to foster a creative and comfortable learning environment. He believes that social dancing and individual innovation are paramount in a dancer’s education.

Nelle has been dancing since she was 3 years old. With a background in tap, jazz, and ballet, she was not introduced to partner dancing until 2006. Balboa came into her life as the first predominant style of swing dancing she focused on. She found balboa to be the dance that fit due to its elegance and refined technique which complimented her dancing background. She stresses comfort and teamwork in the classroom and continually strives to pursue a constant goal of perpetual awesomeness through social and competitive dancing. She currently resides in Philadelphia where she teaches in hopes of spreading her love of balboa.

Mickey Fortanasce and Kelly Arsenault (USA)

Micky and Kelly

Mickey and Kelly began dancing Balboa and Lindy Hop in Summer 1999. They have been dancing and competing together for the past five years. During this time their innovation and showmanship coupled with their love of both dance history and theory have led them to become internationally recognised teachers and competitors in Balboa and Lindy Hop.

Together their winnings include repeat victories at the Balboa Rendezvous International Balboa Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2010. They are 2008 ABW American classic Balboa champions as well as winners of the 2010 ILHC Strictly Balboa division. Mickey and Kelly have taught extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, Korea and Australia.

Zack Richard and Maryse Lebeau (Canada)

Zack and Maryse

Zack and Maryse hail from Montreal, Canada, where they founded the Swing ConneXion Studios in 2005. Fun-filled and energetic teachers, they always thrive to get every single student to have a good time, all the while learning valuable lessons about dancing and life (actual life results may vary). Their love of dancing has lead them to teach as staple instructors in many places including Australia, Germany, France, England and, of course, the U.S. and Canada. Their approach of dance, and Balboa in particular, is fun and free-form despite their technical prowess, and leave a great place for improvisation, communication between partners and follower input. Most of all though, they love to watch in a student’s eyes the cloud of confusion make place for the glitter of hope, and finally the joy of understanding.

One of the most versatile social and competition couples around, they have won numerous prizes in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Collegiate Shag and Blues, and are most notably five times Canadian Showcase Champions. Recently, they have been placed in a slew of competitions both in Lindy Hop and Balboa, most notably taking both the Balboa and Open Showcase division at Camp Hollywood 2009, a rare feat. Their team Swing ConneXion is both Canadian Swing and American Lindy Hop Champions 2009.

Anne Helene & Bernard (FR)

Anne Helene and Bernard Cavasa

Anne-Hélène & Bernard together created Studio Hop, a Swing dancing school in 2001. It is there that they dance, choreograph and participate in numerous shows, opening their own room in January 2003, then enlarging it with a new studio in January 2011 that allows them to accommodate more teachers and provide more choice of courses and their students.

Anne-Hélène fell into dance at an early age: ballet, jazz, modern jazz, contemporary ... she discovered Swing dancing in late 1997, and this was the beginning of a new passion. She started teaching in 2001, currently scheduled, then noted for her grace and her footwork, she quickly called in the big international internships in Europe, America, Asia & Australia. Ongoing technical research, her teaching is imbued with Bernard precision, style and humour.Bernard is steeped in jazz and blues since birth. He is an amateur musician with a passion for American musical culture, while practicing many sports. He discovered dance with Anne-Hélène late 1997, and it became a revelation. He runs all the great courses and festivals in the world as a student and then from 2001 as a teacher. Co-founder of the school, his teaching reflects his dance technique, fluid, with a unique vocabulary!

Olivier & Natasha Harouard (FR)

Olivier and Natasha

Natasha is Russian and has been dancing since she was seven (ballroom dancing, competing and teaching at a very high level). In 2001 she discovered swing dancing and simply fell in love with it. She joined innumerable swing dancing workshops in Russia and other countries, and soon became one of the best Russian dancers and teachers.

Olivier is French and discovered his big passion for Swing in 2001. He started competing and soon he placed in the first eight in the French Boogie Woogie ranking list.

They met each other at the Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden in 2001 and fell in love. They studied together and started to teach in 2003. Since their marriage they have started to build up regular classes in Toulouse and in 2005 they moved to the Côte d’Azur near Cannes and started to develop the Swing culture there. They teach mainly Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Balboa and West Coast Swing.In 2006 Natasha and Olivier started to compete together and became NJC Balboa Champions in the Amateur division for their first run in the American Championships and 5th in NJC Lindy Hop Championship and jump in the Pro Division.

During the same year they also joined finals in Jitterbug competitions in Italy, Munich and in Balboa Open of BOTP in Cannes, Euro Bal’ Cup of Frenchie Balboa Festival in Toulouse and reached 3rd place in the Euro Bal’ Cup in the Rock That Swing Festival in Munich.They compete for fun but they enjoy especially the social dancing and exchanges around the world by sharing their passion with others.

Noam Lebonnois (FR)

Noam

Noam began as a musician, playing violin, and did a lot of sport in parallel. He naturally became a dancer, in order to group these two passions in one. As like many French people, he started dancing rock'n'roll and salsa, then discovered Swing dance (Lindy, Balboa and Westcoast Swing) with Olivier and Natasha Harouard from RockSwing06 in Cannes. Because of his job, he moved to Hertfordshire, UK and met Joseph and Trisha Sewell from Jiveswing.com. They asked him to teach a regular Balboa class. Taking benefit of being close to London, many other swing dance schools requested him to do some Balboa classes, in order to develop the Balboa scene in London. Now, because of his job (again), he is back in France improving his teaching and dancing skills with Olivier and Natasha and Anne-Hélène and Bernard Cavasa.

Andreas Olsson and Joanna Ekestrom (Sweden)

Andreas and Joana

Andreas Olsson grew up on the wrestling mat, fighting other little boys in leotards - he won most of the time since he's always given 100% in everything that he does! He also played the violin in an orchestra during his childhood. You might not think classical music and wrestling has much in common with Swing dancing, but it has definitely contributed to the unpredictable, creative, musical and interesting dancer he is today. He was introduced to Lindy Hop in 2001 and a few years later to Balboa. Andreas teaches dance because he loves to see students learn and improve. As Andreas sees it, teaching is inspiring since it offers a possibility to contribute to the ever-changing dance style and scene. Andreas claims to be the unchallenged record holder (so far!) of the most hours spent on social Swing dance floors in Stockholm. He has a recoiled spring of potential energy and only takes a break when dancing to change into another colourful t-shirt with funny print!

He has been placed in a number of prestigious competitions in both Lindy Hop and Balboa around the world with his dance partner Joana Ekeström. (And a number of other well-known Swing dancers.) He is also a history lover and one of the very few marine archaeologists in the world, currently the Head of the Archaeological Unit at the Swedish Maritime Museum. Ask him about the ‘Vasaship’....

Joana has an eye for everything small and elegant. She is a person who is fascinated by detail. This might be the reason why, in 2004, she fell in love with Balboa. Since then, she has worked hard to develop her dancing. Joana’s dancing is described as graceful, musical, playful and subtle. Joana started her dancing career as a Lindy Hopper in 1999. Between 2002-2007 she was part of the renowned Swedish performance troupe ‘Shout ‘n’ Feel It’, performing and teaching in Europe and in the US. With her Balboa partner, Andreas Olsson, she has taken a major role in developing the Balboa scene in Stockholm, running classes and private lessons. For many years she has been responsible for the Balboa tracks at the Swedish Swing Society in Stockholm. Joana is a social worker and family therapist by profession. You can tell by meeting her that she is a very good listener and someone that would make a great friend. This also reflects in her teaching, as her calm, playful and systematic style creates a learning environment that elevates students of all levels.

Jennie and Jonas (Sweden)

Jennie and Jonas

Jennie has been swing dancing since 1994, Jonas since 2003. They have both spent a lot of time travelling to different swing dance camps and also practice other dances to improve their general level of dancing. Jonas and Jennie have been teaching together since 2004, mainly in Uppsala but recently also at different weekend workshops in Europe such as Copenhagen Bal X-perience, Hamburg Balboa Weekend and Tiny Balboa in Grenoble. Jonas and Jennie both love to teach and to see other people grow in their dancing. As teachers they aim to be as clear and pedagogical as possible, while at the same time keeping the fun and enthusiasm their students show for the dance. Their focus is on a good technique which will enable their students to develop their own style and feeling for the dance, whilst always maintaining solid leading and following skills.

UK:

Dan Guest and Gemma Barson (London)

Dan and Gemma

Dan specialises in Afro American partner dances and vernacular Jazz from the 1920 to 1940s. His particular specialities are Lindy Hop, Balboa and Charleston. He is a former UK Lindy Hop Champion and has made a major contribution towards popularising Balboa both here in the UK and across Europe. He has become a popular guest teacher at dance events in many different countries around the world. He has appeared in various media including the Times and Telegraph newspapers, Hello magazine, Radio 4, BBC1, BBC3, and Channel 4 television. Dan has a relaxed and light-hearted teaching style. Being a perfectionist he emphasises lead and follow technique together with developing good basics. An excellent communicator, he has a knack for simplifying and explaining complex ideas.

Gemma was a founding member of the Cambridge Lindy Hoppers, where she was a teacher, choreographer and performer. She has been dancing for over 10 years and has been teaching with Dan since 2008 at various lindy and balboa events across the UK and Europe. She is also a member of Jenny Thomas' amateur performance group “Sophisticated Ladies”. Her main focus is on relaxed connection and natural body movement.

Keith McGee(Manchester)

Keith McGee

Keith moved to Manchester from his native Michigan in 2003. After discovering there was no regular swing dancing outlet to feed his bug, he started the first weekly swing dance classes Manchester offering Balboa (as well as Lindy Hop, Charleston and Blues) to anyone interested. Keith now offers dedicated weekly Balboa classes in Manchester's now thriving scene. In the last 10 years Keith has taught extensively throughout the UK, Belgium, The Canary Islands and back in America. His teaching philosophy is built on his experience coaching university jazz combos and wants everyone to experience that "real empowerment is true freedom on the dancefloor."

Jean Harper (Reading)

Jean Harper

Jean has been dancing, performing and teaching swing dancing for longer than she would like to admit and runs regular classes and events in the Reading area, under the name of “All Jazzed Up”. She mainly specializes in Balboa, having fallen in love with the feel of the dance, but also teaches Lindy Hop, Charleston and Laminu. Jean and the All Jazzed Up Team organize monthly Balboa workshops - Balboa Bonanzas - for intermediate level dancers and above and regularly arrange weekend workshops - Balboa Bandwagons, Swing Things and Charleston Chutzpahs - with international teachers.

Thom Scott-Phillips (Edinburgh)

Thom Scott-Phillips

Thom Scott-Phillips discovered swing dance in 2005, when he moved to Edinburgh, where he is still based. In 2007 he co-founded Edinbop, who run a successful weekly swing dance night in Edinburgh, as well as regular weekend events. He has been teaching lindy hop and balboa since 2007. His teaching style is to focus on doing the simple, classic things well, and to use that to introduce good dance fundamentals. He has placed in several national level competitions, including Scotland Swing Storm and the London Jitterbug Championships.

Trisha Sewell (Herts)

Trisha Sewell

Trisha has been on the international scene since 2003,and is one of the most influential teachers within the UK. Her experience and tenacity has helped her to push the boundaries in everything that she does and she doesn’t give up until its right!. It is said that her teaching style is innovative, dynamic, inspiring, engaging and fun. She loves to make people laugh and feel relaxed in her class. Trisha has spearheaded the revival of authentic Jazz within the UK, she has trained some of the UKs newest teachers and is the artistic director and choreographer for the UKs leading performance group Swing Attack. In addition to appearing in the TV, Newspapers, Radio and Music Videos, she has been regularly invited to perform and teach workshops at major dance events all over the UK and Europe.

Harry and Svetlana (Leeds)

Harry and Svetlana

Svetlana & Harry have been on the swing dance scene since 2001. Their interest moved from Lindy to Balboa in 2006 and has evolved into an obsession and a passion. Frustrated at having no local Balboa scene, they started Balboanorth in April 2008 to promote the dance in the area. They now have established weekly classes in Leeds where they also guested at the Future Sounds of Swing. They taught a balboa taster class at Hepcats Holiday in Weston-Super-Mare and are guest teachers at Bellabalboa in Sheffield. They have given regular workshops for Lindy Jazz in Durham. They also taught balboa/balswing classes at the annual North East event DJAM for the third time in January 2011. Their teaching focus is on 'lead' & 'follow', the ability to dance without a 'routine' and having fun!

Alan Stubbs (London)

Alan Stubbs

Alan started dancing Balboa and Lindy Hop in 2003 in Edinburgh and quickly fell in love with the dance form - he has since attended many, many workshops around the globe! Passionate about social dancing and leading/following, he has much experience of teaching fundamentals after working with Swing Patrol in London for the past 2 years; for Edinbop, Edinburgh Swing Dance Society and St Andrews University Swing Society for several years before that as well as international teaching.