Vintage Swing Dance in Seattle

Teacher Bios

Instructors Who have taught with SSC

 

Casey Schneider

Casey’s love of swing and jazz dance began in 1998, and she has been teaching for Savoy Swing Club since 2005. She regularly teaches at local, regional and national lindy hop events. Whether social dancing, teaching, or performing, Casey is inspired by the playful spirit of swing dance and jazz music, and in “raising her voice” as a female dancer. When teaching, she focuses on developing solid technique while inspiring new dancers to love the dance as much as she does!

 

Chris Chapman

Chris brings extensive training in a variety of social dances, movement analysis, the history of swing dancing, and his training from some of the legends of the dance! His passion, expertise, and strong teaching ability ensure fun and exciting classes for all levels of dancers! Chris is an American Lindy Hop Champion, a Pacific Northwest Lindy Hop Champion, and has won or placed in many contests and divisions. He is recognized as a top instructor and performer having toured all over North America. Chris is the founder of the Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz Dance team, Zah-Zu-Zay. Within one year of the team’s formation Chris choreographed and trained them to win the coveted team division at the American Lindy Hop Championships!

 

Daniel Newsome

Daniel Newsome has been a professional dancer, dj and historian for the last 10 years. In addition to teaching tens of thousands of students at Denver`s Mercury Cafe Daniel has also travelled to learn, teach, compete and has won at major national competitions such as the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Midwest Lindy Fest, Reno Dance Sensation, National Jitterbug Championships and the Rhythmic Arts Festival. He also co-founded, choreographed and coached 23 Skidoo, Denver`s nationally recognized swing team, and also has a new team in Seattle that won at ULHS in its first year. Daniel has dozens of first place wins, but his lifelong pursuit is touching as many lives as possible with the beauty and artisty of Lindy Hop, Shag, Balboa, Solo Jazz Dance and Tap. His goal is to bring music and dance to people in a way that inspires them and develops talent in anyone, regardless of background, age or ability.

 

Gabriella Cook

Gabriella Cook has a broad-based professional background in dance, music and theater. Gabriella`s classical training comes from San Francisco Ballet where she performed in professional shows for nearly 10 years. She also danced with other institutions including Lines Ballet Company and Interlochen Center for the Arts exploring dance styles from ballet, to modern, to contemporary jazz. Over the last 5 years she has integrated this training into tango, lindy hop and balboa. Since then she has been a dedicated performer, teacher and choreagrapher in Seattle, Portland and Providence. Gabriella teaches a core-centered approach to dance and balances the “zen” of following with historically-informed musical expression.

 

Joshua Welter

Joshua began dancing in 1998 in Washington, DC, inspired by the classic jazz music of the 20s, 30s and 40s. He loves to share his passion for lindy hop, charleston and vernacular jazz wherever he goes. In his teaching, he focuses on technique, rhythm and quality of movement, seeking to challenge dancers while remaining accessible and fun. When he’s not dancing, Joshua is an activist for social & economic justice. (But don’t worry, he won’t use a bullhorn in class).

 

Justin Hill

Justin is a native of Seattle, WA, where he learned to dance and acquired a taste for fast music and strong coffee. He was an original member of Rainer Rhythm and has performed and competed all over the country. Whether teaching, performing, or competing he seeks to bring out the excitement and playfulness of the dance. His passion is equally strong for Lindy Hop and Balboa, and he has traveled extensively to improve his understanding of both. You can find out more about Justin here.

 

Leah Stahly

Leah has been dancing since Halloween of 2007 and has been hooked ever since, dancing and competing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She helped form and choreograph for Seattle’s dance troupe Swing-amajig as well as participating with Rainier Rhythm. She has since joined Sister Kate in her pursuit of solo Charleston. Leah has taught lindy hop and solo Charleston to students of all ages and loves being able to share her passion with anyone who wants to learn.

 

Lee Broxson

Lee’s obsession with Lindy hop and related Jazz dances began in early 2007, He fell in love nearly immediately and quickly began consuming everything Swing as fast as he possibly could. He’s known for his solid technique and his focus on taking care of his partner. Lee’s made finals in and has placed in a number of local and national competitions. He’s been a part of major Seattle dance teams ‘Swing-amajig’ and ‘Rainier Rhythm’, performing with both teams on numerous occasions. Lee has taught Jazz dance to many students and has an insatiable desire to see new students grow and learn so that they can share his obsession. You’ll find him enthusiastically social dancing a minimum of four nights a week in Seattle.

 

Lorraine O’Neal

Sorry boys, Lorraine lost her heart to swing dancing back in 1998. She has since become a dedicated Lindy, Balboa, and Charleston addict, traveling throughout the United States to dance, teach, compete, and pick up a few titles along the way. Lorraine’s dance specialties include embracing the euphoric, free spirit of lindy and the grace of balboa. She hopes to share some of this love with y’all.

 

Mark Kihara

Mark has been enthusiastically dancing swing since 1998. An avid social dancer, Mark has traveled and danced Lindy Hop in more than ten countries. Great energy is brought to every class he teaches, and he becomes most excited while getting people to share his love of the dance. He currently runs Swing Jam Productions and loves chicken.

 

Olivia Taylor

Hailing from her hometown of Vancouver, WA where she raised a pet cow as a child and went to a school where she got sent to the principal’s office for wearing shorts on the wrong day, Olivia is now living her dreams in the big city. In 2005 Olivia was peer pressured into going to Swing Club at her school. Little did she know that it would change her life forever. In 2008 she moved to Seattle to pursue lindy hop and she has never looked back. She has since performed, competed, choreographed and taught. She prioritizes approachability and creating a supportive atmosphere when teaching.

 

Steven Stevenson

Steven has been dancing since 2003, starting out his career in Seattle, dancing around the New England area, and traveling internationally to take classes from the World’s best teachers. He strives to better understand Lindy Hop by focusing on how the most essential and basic techniques create the most elaborative shapes. This has inspired him to teach throughout the northwest. Steven has competed and placed in several national and international competitions. He has performed, choreographed and aided many teams in the past. He was a founder of Swing-amajig, a Seattle team that strived to improve not only the skill of its dancers, but also their understanding of showcasing to an audience.

 

Travis Whetman

Travis has been teaching and performing Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston in the Pacific Northwest for several years and is a member of Seattle’s award-winning performance team, the Jackson Street Lindy Hoppers. Travis also plays an active role in keeping swing alive in Seattle by DJing regularly and by co-founding one of Seattle’s regular swing dances, One O’clock Jump. He not only has a love for vintage jazz dancing but also for the music that helped create it and spends much of his free time studying the history of both. His most recent accomplishments include 1st place in the 2004 Camp Jitterbug Lindy Hop Contest and 1st place in the Fast Division of the 2003 Pacific Northwest Lindy Hop Championships.

 

Viola Spencer

Viola is one of the dancers responsible for reviving Lindy in the Seattle area back in the early 90′s. Among a handful of Americans who first travelled to the now reknowned Herrang Dance camp, she brought back knowledge gained there to help establish the Savoy Swing Club and to start her own classes here in Seattle. A long-time teacher and performer in the community, she has taught at workshops and festivals as far afield as the Great South Lindyfest and The Body Shop in Dallas, and has taught with national performers including Peter Strom, Steven Mitchell and the great Frankie Manning. With her impeccably grounded style, inventive footwork, and clear teaching methods, she continues to inspire new generations of dancers. Currently, she also imparts her knowledge of authentic jazz, charleston and Lindy to students at the high school where she is a full-time English teacher, and where swing is offered as an elective!

 

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Did you know?

Did you know SSC has been around as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit for almost 20 years? January 8, 2013 is the 20-Year Anniversary of Savoy Swing Club.