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

Visit Laura's website.

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

Visit Ann on Facebook.

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

Visit Ryan and Ann's website!

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 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

Robert Bell | Live music class Band Leader

Robert Bell has provided music for lindy hoppers from Seattle to D.C. during social dances, invitationals, competitions and classes. As a soloist or bandleader his musicality evolved while providing live music and teaching classes with dancers across many styles. He is active playing hot club jazz with the Twin Cities Hot Club, traditional jazz with the Southside Aces, world music on guitar, oud and banjo with Café Accordion Orchestra and swing with the Robert Bell Hot Swing Combo. Working with lindy hoppers including Peter Strom, Dax Hock, Mike Faltesek, Peter Loggins, tap dancers Kalena Miller and Chester Whitmore, burlesque artists including Lily Verlaine, Gina Louise and Sweetpea as well as solo guitar for Corepower Yoga all contribute and inspire Robert to explore the connectedness between people, movement and music.

Anthony Chen

Solo Track Lead Instructor

Beginning with his more traditional roots, Anthony started dancing at age 8 when his parents convinced him to learn and perform Chinese lion dances. At age 15 he was introduced to breakdancing at a speech and debate tournament, and shortly thereafter he found his home in the local swing community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he quickly fell in love with Lindy Hop. Throughout his dancing career he has trained in several other styles from hip-hop to Argentine Tango to West Coast, but most of all he enjoys using this background to expand upon his technique and creativity in Lindy Hop. On the social dance floor, he is known to be playful, musical, and clear. He holds first place titles from events such as Lindyfest and Lone Star Championships, Montreal Swing Riot, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Lindy Focus, and International Lindy Hop Championships. His teaching style focuses on energy, technique and connection theory, and his love of both leading and following has been instrumental to making the classes that he teaches both clear and intuitive. He is an active scene builder in his community and founded Salt Lake Swing, where he also teaches locally.

Kate Hazen

Adjunct Instructor

Kate grew up listening to all styles of jazz, swing, and blues. With no real outlet for her dance passions, she played every sport available, found her niche as a musical theater kid, and eventually discovered swing dancing in the basement of her college dorm. She's studied Salsa Cubana and other Latin styles, performed with several dance troupes (in her native Illinois and in her home scene of Denver, Colorado), and considers herself an avid disciple of both street and jazz vernacular dances.

Kate takes her passion and diverse style to events and competitions all over (and out of) the country, winning first in contests at Lindy on the Rocks, Lindyfest, Southern Swing Challenge, and others. She aims to share her love of jazz movement and its descendants with as many people as possible, and seeks to encourage other dancers with her core beliefs: informing your body is informing your voice and power is found outside the comfort zone.

Bennie Vo

Adjunct Instructor

Binh (Bennie) Vo, LMT is a graduate of HCC Massage Therapy Program in 2006 with certified modalities in Medical Massage, Sports Massage, Acupressure. Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy and Hydrotherapy.  With 12 years of therapy and practice, the main focus and specialty areas are in sports injuries, acute and chronic issues.  Every session is customize which addresses the clients' needs and focus on their goals.  My mission is to support and educate individuals and communities in achieving life balance through personal and group wellness.

Shannon & Bill Butler

Adjunct Instructors

Shannon Butler is a 3rd-generation jitterbug. Her mother, and first instructor, taught her dances of the 50s-60s, passing on the tradition her shag-dancing grandparents started. Shannon credits this formative experience for shaping her patient and welcoming approach to dance. By 1997 she was teaching, competing, and performing vernacular dances. She studied with original-era mentors, partnered with a dance historian, and shared a stage with dance legends including The Nicholas Brothers.

Bill Butler learned to swing dance in 1998. His first week he met Shannon at a rockabilly show. Since marrying in 2002, they've become dance partners have taught nationally and overseas, recognized for their vintage styling, straight-forward approach, and knowledge of 1930s and uncommon social dances. They danced shag in a national TV commercial, performed with dance legend Norma Miller and host a weekly swing night.

The Butlers are grateful to the dance community for friendship, joy, inspiration, and for Shannon, hope - having recently returned to teaching after battling cancer. They strive to give back to the community, as an organizer for Hot Rhythm Holiday, though their teaching and work with non profit organizations, believing dance is an endeavor open to all, with the power to motivate, restore, and bring people together.