Since 2006, Jeremy and Laura have been united in the task of preserving, performing and teaching Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, Balboa and other vintage swing dances once popular in Southern California and Harlem. Their dynamic dance partnership is founded on a blend of Laura’s passion for technique driven improvisation and styling with Jeremy’s boundless creative energy and years of experience with the original jitterbug dancers. Together, Jeremy and Laura’s fast feet and tight choreography have brought them numerous championship titles, credits in music videos, appearances on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, and even honors from the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.
Laura Keat began her swing dance career in Denver when she joined the award-winning Lindy Hop performance team, 23 Skidoo! She immediately developed a passion for the art of swing dancing. Ever the disciplined student and skilled competitor, Laura began winning national titles and gaining recognition as a championship lindy hop follow with an independent style and point of view. She loves dancing with a wide variety of leads with diverse styles and ideas to challenge and broaden her own abilities as a follow. And as an instructor, she brings a fresh perspective towards developing each student’s technical foundation and individual style. For Laura, every dance is a chance to put smiles on peoples’ faces with an entertaining performance which shares and inspires the joy and excitement for swing dancing.
Jeremy Otth amassed a great amount of knowledge on the historic essence of vintage swing dances from many of the original jitterbuggs and swing dancers. Along with his seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy, Jeremy’s natural talent and dedication led him to accumulate championship titles at many acclaimed dance competitions such as the International Lindy Hop Championships, National Jitterbug Championships, American Classic Balboa Championships and the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Jeremy is now able to share that breadth of knowledge and passion for these classic partner dances by entertaining and educating feet around the world from Southern California to Asia and Europe.
Cherry and Filip met in 2013 on a Lindy Hop course in SWINGOUT.PL dance studio. They started to dance Collegiate Shag in 2014 among a bunch of enthusiasts who brought it to Warsaw, and partnered up while performing with the Warsaw Shag Team.
– Cherry, do You want to be the best in the world one day?
– Yes, why not…
– Me too, so let’s do it!
With this frivolous conversation they started to work together and train regularly. After 3 months they won the Strictly Shag competition during Warsaw Collegiate Shag Festival and after 6 months they became instructors in SWINGOUT.PL. Since that moment they teach regulary Lindy Hop and Collegiate Shag around Poland and abroad.
Their dance is full of energy. Cherry dances with a wild Latin temperament, elegance and open head, playing with the rhythm and shaking things out. She loved to dance since she remembers. At the age of 6 she started with ballet and contemporary, then switched to ballroom and lyrical jazz for a while. Filip is a musician for many years, playing on the guitar, trombone and mandoline. He’s one of the founders of The Cajun Spices – a Polish gypsy jazz band. His passion reflects the way he dances and makes it a fine form of expression. They are full of enthusiasm, looking for new ideas and challenges. The first class they gave together was held in a Zoo for a group of children.
Mona and Rasmus have now been swing dancing together for 2,5 years, even though they separately danced a lot longer. They have both joined competitions successfully. They started competing together at ILHC 2017 where they won the 1st place of the open showcase devision. The styles of Swing they dance and teach most are Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, Boogie Woogie, Charleston and vernacular jazz.
Their main idea about dancing is to inspire each other and express their feelings to the music in a very raw and authentic way. They are now teaching regularly in Munich and at international dance camps, where they spread their love for swing dancing.
Taras Melnyk has received international recognition for his passion for swing dance as a dancer, teacher, performer and choreographer. In dance, it combines the connection with the music and with a partner, technique and improvisation – that is what attracts both performers and audiences. As a teacher, he is focusing on dance technique at all levels, thus motivating dancers listen to music and improvise, creating further momentum in the dance.
Taras began his dancing career in 1994. Music has always occupied a special place in his life, but only to listen was not enough… first 5 years of ballroom dancing, then 6 years of tap and, finally, rock and roll, boogie-woogie and swing. He “tries” it so far and draws inspiration from the experience.
Currently Taras dance and teach Lindy Hop, Balboa, West Coast swing, Jazz and Blues. He has been invited as a lecturer and jury member at international competitions and dance camps, as a choreographer for various dance groups, such as for the production of all the rooms in the style of swing on the popular TV show in Ukraine “You think you can dance – 1, 2, 3, 4 “.
Vitalia started dancing swing dances in 2005. The world of swing infatuated her from the first days of dancing and just in year and a half, she began teaching at KSDK, performing with the show group, and actively participate in the promotion of swing in Kiev and Ukraine.
Now Vitalia teach Lindy hop, Blues, Jazz, and Balboa. She also is one of the main organizers of both Swinglandia Dance Camps the most of the major swing events in Ukraine. Taking a lot of swing events around the world – Herrang (Sweden), Cannes (France), Boston and Washington DC (USA), Vitalia continues to open a second and third breath in order to promote the swing as a social phenomenon. But, first of all sources of inspiration for her are her students at the club with which she gladly shares his experience and joy of dance. For Vitalia important part of the dance is freedom. Each dance is a story, a piece of his past life. Focusing on communication lindy hop with music in the classroom Vitalia helps to find the most natural embodiment of everyone in the dance.
Asia started dancing around the time she learned how to walk. For years she was involved with ballroom dancing. Mateusz discovered the joy of dance when he was in university, but got quickly immersed in it. They are now spending every minute of their free time developing their passion, taking every opportunity to pack their bags and travel to another dance festival – looking for new skills and inspirations.
Their swinging adventure started with Lindy Hop in 2014, their love for Balboa came shortly after. They cherish Balboa’s elegance, subtlety and dynamism, and they wish to spread this feeling among other people. In class they like to focus on technique and comfortable movement. Seeing their students tap into their creative potential and finding joy in dancing is what keeps them motivated. From the very beginning connected with Swing&Sway, Cracow, they are know giving regular classes there.
Frances “Fancy” Dougherty Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Fancy fell in love with Jazz, Lindy Hop and Shag in 2008. She’s been hooked ever since, devoting herself to the technical mastery of historical dances and her own unique style. She has appeared in music videos, and been on numerous television shows for the US, Mexico and France. She currently lives in Paris, where she teaches swing locally with partner Alex Dreyer. Fancy holds titles in Fast Lindy and Shag. She was nominated for the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2014 and is the four-time Shag champion (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) of the National Jitterbug Championships with Shag partner Steve Sayer.
Patrick O’Brien has been dancing since 2011 and has been actively involved in driving the Shag revival in Europe, teaching weekly classes, international workshops and performing and was also part of the Euro Shag team. He can be seen shagging up a storm on London’s and Europe’s dance floors. Patrick’s teaching style is characterised by breaking down moves to the core and then building them up step-by-step so you can conquer even the hardest sequence. Focussing on a strong follow-lead connection he aims to create a relationship between the partners and express individual styles and characters of each dancer. Mostly inspired by the old-timers and the old-school scene in Los Angeles, his style is smooth and elegant. He loves coming up with new moves and giving them names such as the ‘Cinderella turn’ or ‘Tumble dryer’.