Mickey Fortanasce (USA)
As a professional Tough Guy, Super Hero and Spelling Bee Champion, finding time for dance was not easy for Mickey Fortanasce, nor was it an accepted activity among his fellow Crime fighters. But having defeated most evil doers in the New York City metropolitan area and having and become bored with their monotonous monologueing coupled with their stubborn refusal to except his superior skill and ability, he made his way down a different path. In search of more powerful adversary Mickey Fortanasce began dancing THE Lindy Hop and THE Balboa in the Summer of '99. For years he competed and worked tirelessly towards a goal he could neither see nor reach. Battling opponents whose dorkdom surpassed even his own. Completely unprepared and surrounded by people who probably wanted to kick his ass, Mickey was certain he'd found his way back to high school. It wasn't until 2004 while walking the dark and dusted streets of New York that Mickey bore witness to a freak accident when a Mac truck collided with two men carrying a large pane of glass. At that moment a vat of glowing green ooze toppled from the truck and onto an unsuspecting super-model. Remembering the well known vat of ooze to Super Hero ratio, Mickey decided to ask the girl to join him on his quest only to find out later that in fact, she had been given the super human power of Dance Ass Kicking; her name was:
Kelly Arsenault (USA)
Before the truck incident, Kelly was brought up on planet Knoxville where dancing is actually the way people walk. So Kelly has practically been dancing all her life. She has been part of numerous dance companies and has studied ballet, jazz and modern dance. She has choreographed big dance performances and now lives in San Francisco, where her place serves primarily as very expensive storage since she is traveling around the globe for most of the year teaching, performing and competing.
Kelly likes to take Balboa to new places making it organic, interesting, and exciting while still respecting the history of the dance.
Together with Mickey, Kelly has won uncountable Balboa competitions including the International Balboa Championships, in fact Mickey and Kelly are so awesome that the tend to win the competitions they enter. www.mickeyandkelly.com
David Rehm (USA)
is a geek-turned-professional-dancer specializing exclusively in the partnered swing dances, Lindy and Balboa, and widely considered one of the top Balboa dancers and instructors in the world.
He is regularly featured teaching and judging at the most prestigious events dedicated to those dances throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
In addition to numerous awards, in 2006 David captured both the American and European Balboa titles (with different partners) by winning the American Classic Balboa Championship and the Euro Bal Cup.
He is also the creator of The Experiment, "the world's most intimate and intensive Balboa workshop", as well as the founder of the Northeast Balboa Corridor (NEBC) project. David is best known for his ability to capture both broad thematic abstractions and technical details all in the form of conceptual principles. www.davidrehm.com
Sanna Leinonen (FIN)
Growing up in with Santa Claus as a neighbor, in 2001 Sanna childhood dreams of learning how to dance were fulfilled as she dove into Finland’s lively social dancing scene. After having learned a variety of more than 30 different social dances she soon excelled in her skills, directing her into teaching social dances right from the get go.
Since 2007 Sanna has been intensively traveling for studying and dancing Balboa.
Not only in the times of the year where in Finland the sun never manages to jump over the horizon, Sanna shines the light from within reflecting her love for the lightheartedness, gaiety and cheekiness of this dance.
Sanna exceptional abilities in perception and analysis and her analytical mind make her a sought teacher for groups and private lessons.
Now living in Tampere, she has taught and kickstarted many of Finland’s best Balboa dancers.
Jeremy Otth & Laura Keat (USA)
If you happend to be color blind and walked into a room with Jeremy and Laura dancing right in front of you, you'd probalby think that you had walked through a time-portal. These to take you back to the California of the 40s with the authenticity of their dancing. They have reinacted some of the some of the infamous swing dancing scenes from Hollywood movies with mindboggling precision. (See video below) Musicality, spontaneity and incredible showmanship mark their style. Add a refined skill in tranfering their knowledge in class and see how it's not a surprise that they are one of the most sought after couples in the balboa world.
Peter Loggins & Mia Goldsmith (USA)
Peter and Mia own their Balboa. They have intensively studied the history of all Jazz-related dances they could get their hands on, picked the brains of and danced with the originators and old-time heros of many of those dances while at the same time creating a very unique individual Balboa style that is marked by sophisticated footwork, intricate body mechanics and an incredible smoothness.
Having set their home in New Orleans, the Spirit moves them to celebrate life in everything they do, be that dancing, playing Jazz music, tattoo art or raising their dogs. For them it is one expression of their love for life on this planet.
Distinguished Guests teaching Evening Classes
Chris Härm (AUS)
(teaching evening classes in Blues with Philippa)
Chris believes that building characters around connection to the music and your partner interaction is a true key to discovering the joy in Blues dance. His classes use colourful imagery and playful games to help students internalise ideas and concepts in the most natural and organic ways possible. Keep your eyes open for some amazing tricks and sexy hips as this mad scientist of blues hits the floor. If it takes an athlete to dance and an artist to be a dancer Chris's teaching strives to create the perfect blend. A Blues dancing baby of 2003 Chris was a pioneer lead in dance scenes over Australia before packing up for Europe. He launched the nations first blues festival before beginning his international teaching career in 2009. Following his two greatest passions in life, dance and travel, he is now a full time gypsy travelling the world and preaching the blues. chrisharm.com
Philippa Svensson (SWE)
Philippa dove into Swing dancing in 2009 and she has not looked back since. Following a string of house parties she turned her focus more towards Blues, and due to her unrivalled ability to absorb movement and technique she quickly rose to become one of the most sought-after followers in Europe. Drawing on her training in solo dance and gymnastics she brings a unique view on follower expression through control, definition and elegance. Balancing her quest for technical perfection, mastery of dance alignment and connection, is a bubbly personality and a love for really bad puns.
Rudolf Wolfsgruber & Tiphaine Paillard (AUT/FRA)
(teaching evening classes in Balboa)
Rudolf and Tiphaine have joined forces to spread their love for Balboa in 2012. Rudi is known in the swing world for his creative enthusiasm, playful improvisation and solid technique, and Tiph for her elegant flow, smooth connection, and sound quality of movement. Social dancing has always been a main focus of theirs and you can frequently spot them on various dance floors around the world. They also compete and regularly end up in finals and on the podiums. Together, they strive to push their limits, perpetually improve, share their passion, and hopefully inspire and infect their students with the Bal bug.