Dance-a-thon 2016 Instructors
We do our very best to assemble a group of dance instructors that is second to none. All of the dance instructors volunteer their time. Among them are world Lindy Hop champions, international Balboa instructors, and many of the fabulous local instructors who make the Orange County dance scene one of the best in the country.
Please revisit this page often, as we are continually adding instructors to the lineup.
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.
Nick is also a member of the performance dance troupe Hot Club Stomp. To find out more about HCS, please visit: hotclubstomp.com
Teacher interview to come!
Dax delivers a unique method of instruction that revolves around authentic swing music, natural body movement, and variations that work with minimal effort, and fun over frustration. Emphasis is heavily placed on Rhythm–not steps; Body-Movement–not footwork; Singing–not counting, and dancing as one versus isolating and holding hands with you partner. During lessons you will discover that just footwork is more like Foot-’Dont’-Work and that Body-Movement is the key to great dancing. Students will be taught movements versus single variations and string them together to make killer social dancing combinations.
Dax urge’s students to discover creativity, rhythm, great concepts such as; “Rhythmical Body-Movement”,”Anything you do once you can do twice”, “Connecting to your body to itself”, “Body-Matching”, “Body Tension Styles”, “How do you lead it?–DO IT!” and much more. Enjoy a fun and educational learning environment with customized material to meet the students needs.
Whether is it Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa or Vernacular Jazz, students will benefit from the unique learning environment and each take their own individual step forward!
Sarah Breck has been training and competing in dance with an emphasis on Vernacular Jazz dance since the age of 10. She holds two titles in the U.S.Open and the Jr. Olympics. She has consistently worked in film; commercial and music videos along side artist such as Benji and Lacey Schwimmer (SYTYCD); Christina Aguilera; Fall Out Boy; Carrie Underwood; Richard Blayne (Project Runway); Mariah Carey, Will Smith and Gavin Degraw. She teaches with Dax Hock for Vernacular Jazz and Pete Green in West-Coast Swing.
Rusty Frank is a Tap Dancer and Lindy Hopper, producer, choreographer, writer, and dance preservationist. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955, the producer and choreographer of the stage revues “Swingin’ The Century – The Big Band Show” and “Jazz Tap.” Rusty is the producer of the in-production documentary, “TAP! Tempo of America” (recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant).
Since 1998, Rusty’s “Lindy By The Sea” dance school (El Segundo, California) has been offering group and private classes in Swing Dance, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston, and Rusty’s “Rhythm Club” weekly swing dance in Playa Del Rey, California, is one of the few clubs in the nation featuring an evening of dancing to live bands.
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.
Up-and-coming dancer, Karen Vizzard, first became enamored with Lindy Hop in 2003, when she was introduced to the dance at a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert in Santa Monica. Since then, she has dedicated herself to becoming an exceptional follow, as well as a versatile dancer with experience in Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Solo and Partnered Charleston. Her competition experience includes, placing 1st in Utah’s 2007 Invitation Lindy Hop Jack & Jill, 2nd Place in the Pure Balboa Division at the 2008 San Francisco Balboa Battle, 4th place in the Collegiate Shag Division at The National Jitterbug Championship in 2009, and in October 2009 she was named the winner of the Los Angeles Fastest Feet Cup. At the 2009 San Francisco Balboa Battle Karen placed 1st in the Bal-Swing division, 2nd in the Blues division, 1st in the Shag division, and 1st in the “Same-sex Any Swing Goes” division. While attending school in Utah, Karen was a Lindy Hop instructor at Utah State and the University of Utah, and coached the Swing Team at Brigham Young University. Her other credits include performing with the Hollywood Hotshots, as well as being cast as a dancer in Katy Perry’s music video “Thinking of You” and being cast as a principle dancer for the episode “Static” on the TV show “Cold Case.”
Dabney has been teaching, dancing, DJing, and competing for 10 years.He is the organizer of The Kats Korner, the weekly Saturday night swing dance in Mesa, and Hepkats, the weekly Monday night swing dance in Mesa. This is also his ninth year organizing the annual Phoenix Lindy Exchange, an event where lindy-hoppers from all over the world come and dance in Phoenix in the fall (www.phoenixlindyexchange.com). He has taught workshops in Florida, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, all over Arizona, and on Carnaval Cruise Lines. He has placed in various national swing dance competitions, including: Lindy-Hop at the National Jitterbug Championships, the Jack and Jill at the National Jitterbug Championships, the Balboa Contest at the National Jitterbug Championships, the Strictly Lindy at Lindy On The Rocks in Denver, and he was invited to participate in the invitation only Champions Jack and Jill at Lindy On The Rocks in Denver. He has also performed regularly for corporations and television. His passion is the original form of swing from the early twentieth century, and his goal is to spread these dances to keep them alive. He specializes in East Coast, Lindy-Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag.