Instructors

Midwest Lindy Fest is proud to continually offer exceptional instruction.  2018 will be no different as we bring back some of your favorites while mixing in instructors that are new to MWLF and some that are up and coming.  As always, we select instructors that match our perspectives: we dance with people and we dance with the music. 

Laura Keat

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Laura Keat began her swing dance career in Denver when she joined the award-winning Lindy Hop performance team, 23 Skidoo! 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.

Nick Williams

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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.

Ann Mony

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Ann Mony strives to make every dance a unique and memorable one. Known for her playful style and the joy that she exudes while dancing, she travels as often as she can to share her love of lindy hop through classes, competitions, performances, and social dances. She is committed to preserving the improvisational link between lindy hop and jazz, empowering followers, and celebrating the cultural wealth of vernacular jazz dances.

Ann fell madly in love with swing dancing in 2002. Over the next few years in Montreal she honed her skills as a dancer, competitor, and teacher. She holds titles from such events as the International Lindy Hop Championships, American Lindy Hop Championships, Canadian Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Jitterbug, and Lindy Focus. Through her classes and performances she hopes to add to the legacy of unique and powerful dancers in lindy hop.

Ann is also an active organizer and scene-builder in San Francisco. She is the education coordinator at the 9:20 Special, an organizer for Fog City Stomp and The Bootleggers Ball, and a member of a feisty dance troupe called Fancy Pants.

Ryan Calloway

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Ryan Calloway shines on the dance floor. His enthusiasm, buoyant rhythm and boundless creativity make him one of San Francisco’s best known Lindy Hop leaders. Most nights you’ll find him pounding the floor at one of the city’s local jazz and swing clubs.

Ryan’s goal as a teacher is to inspire his students to find their own creativity. With an open and warm style, he welcomes individuals to not only learn the traditions of Vintage Jazz Dance, but to add to it as well. Having worked for seven years as a Visual Effects Artist for ILM, you might have caught some of his work on the silver screen. It’s this type of artistry that is so apparent in his dancing. It’s not just his technique that shines, it’s his attention to the aesthetic quality as well. For more on Ryan’s art, check out his site at www.ryancallowayart.com or on Instagram @ryancallowayart.

Ryan is also passionate about carrying on the tradition of Hot Jazz music. He is the clarinetist and bandleader of the San Francisco based band, The Hot Baked Goods.

Lindy Hop has taken Ryan Calloway around the world, having taught in Singapore and throughout the US. But you’ll only need to look as far as his smile to see how much he truly loves the dance.

Learn more about Ryan and Ann at their website!

Dee Daniels-Locke

Dee started Swing Dancing at the age of four with her Dad in the basement while wearing her Mom’s heels and her favorite plaid skirt. For over a decade she’s shared her love of lindy hop with dancers young and old. She has became an influential member of the Twin Cities scene, and continues to inspire students at all levels. She looks to motivate new generations of swing dancers by organizing programs for Minnesota’s Youth.

Dee loves to shake her thang and she wants you to shake yours, too. She encourages self-expression on the dance floor, and prides herself on making each dance unique to the musical experience and partner, creating an authentic dance conversation. She advocates individual creativity as the true spirit of Lindy Hop.

She has taught,performed, and choreographed around the Midwest. She thought it was exceptionally cool to be invited to dance for the Dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. But even more ridiculously exhilarating was the opportunity to assist Frankie Manning in teaching a class! Most important to know is that Dee never refuses Peanut M&Ms, and will gladly become a lifelong friend to anyone who offers her that bite sized chocolate heaven.

Joshua Mclean

Joshua Mclean lives in Seattle, Washington, and has been dancing since he was five years old. He started dancing Lindy Hop in 2011, and has traveled to Chile, Spain, Sweden, Canada, and all over the US to teach and perform Lindy hop, Charleston, and Solo Jazz. In the classroom, He enjoys focusing on rhythm, fluidity of motion, balance, and partnering technique.

Some of Joshua’s favorite accomplishments include being honored as a Frankie Manning Foundation Ambassador of Lindy Hop, performing in the Lindy Focus New Year’s Eve Show, a short interview with the NY Times, and teaching swing dance for Campfire USA’s 103rd birthday celebration. TV appearances include “Bienvenidos!” (Chile), “Good Morning NOLA” (Louisiana), and “Best Western: Victory Dance.”

Photo credit to David Soltysik

Jamin Jackson

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Jamin Jackson is a professional dancer, entrepreneur and coach. He is the founder of Street Smart Swing and has empowered dancers for over 26 years globally. He is known for his focus on principles, a positive charismatic style, and his ability to help people cultivate a positive mental attitude in their personal development as human beings.

He has over 18,000 hours of experience in the styles of Lindy Hop, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Jazz. Jamin has helped build and strengthen Lindy Hop communities in Spain, England, France, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Greece, Canada and many other new communities throughout the heartland of the United States.

He believes the world has yet to see the biggest days for Lindy Hop and continues his commitment to systematically expose and grow the dance in new territories around the globe. His shared passion for Lindy Hop like many others continually, drives him to spread the dance to those waiting for the joy that it brings.

Grace Durant

Grace’s first exposure to swing dancing occurred when she was in middle school. Her older sister took her to a social dance. It reminded her how much she loved dancing.  Now, she has been teaching for years emphasizing the partnership while owning individual movement. Grace loves sharing her passion for the dance with others by equipping dancers with techniques helpful for being creative and having fun on the social dance floor.

Mandy Hogan

Mandy Hogan is a dental hygienist by day and fun loving lindy hopper by night. Her dancing journey began in 2008 attending AU's swing club. Since then she has traveled around the US social dancing, performing, competing, and teaching. Mandy loves the joy that lindy hop brings and sharing that joy with others. As a teacher she strives to bring the best out of her students through clear communication and keeping a positive atmosphere.

Danny Beyrer

Danny Beyrer started dancing at a ballroom studio in 2007 and left on a mission to pursue lindy hop after watching his first dance clip from the 30s. He has since performed and competed at many regional and national events. Danny’s passion in the dance is a striving for freedom of movement in cooperation with the freeing art form that is jazz. In class he likes to emphasize personal body movement, musicality, and joy.

Photo credit: Rakoteet Photography