Katja Završnik started dancing at the age of 5. Since 2005 she has focused on early American dances from the Jazz age and Swing era, such as the Lindy Hop, Swing, Balboa, Charleston, St. Louis Shag and Authentic jazz. Her dance is a reflection of her music taste so the evolution of her life learning various dances was only natural.
Katja currently lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia and travels doing special weekend workshops and festivals. In the past 8 years she has taught and performed all over Europe and USA. Katja is an elegant dancer. At first, you’ll be seduced by her style based by subtlety and finesse. But if you look a little closer you’ll be surprised by her musicality and footworks. Her knowledge of (almost) all swing dances allows Katja to adapt her dance to any type of dancer. Which places her on the market among one of the best followers understanding connection and reactivity.
Peter Winqvist Loggins is Dance Historian and Musician formerly based in New Orleans. He has done hundreds of interviews the past 20 years, with the likes of ragtime dancers in NY, Charleston Champions of the 1920’s to National Champions 30’s through the 50’s, including State Champions of Swing dance. Originally known for his research of early jazz and swing dance in California, and the owner of the Dean Collins’s archive and collection, this brought on other donators and researchers that have lead to other area’s of the United states. In recent years the studies have been Nineteenth century origins of jazz, from a social approach based on Lawrence Gushee’s research, with a focus on African American influenced vernacular dance.
Today, Peter is moving to Sweden after spending the past 6 years living in the childhood home of Jelly Roll Morton, where he continued his research of early dance and music and has been sponsored by State department of cultural affairs the past 5 years.
Anne-Hélène & Bernard Cavasa fell in love with Swing Dancing in 1997. Since then, they have been dancing Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues, Charleston & Jazz Roots almost every day. Because of their special background (Anne-Hélène is a dancer in ballet, modern jazz & contemporary since she was 7 years old; Bernard started to be a musician and an athlete) they have been asked to teach at international workshops all over the world since 2001: Europe, America, Asia and Australia. They sometimes participate in competitions and are still the only non-American couple that has won the American Balboa Championships. They have been running their own dance school in Toulouse (Studio Hop) since 2001, where they also choregraph for their show team (the Tagada Swing Swing) which has won the main European team competitions several times.
During their classes, exercises will be based on rhythm, power, relaxation and contrast, connection and natural body functioning in movement, in order to feel the move in solo or couple dancing, with a lot of practice. They can speak about musicality and musical phrases and explain what to listen to in the music and where to place the different kind of moves.
Vanessa Granjon: A passionate little ball of fury, Vanessa has been dancing for more than 15 years all across Europe. She started to learn french rocknroll when she was 13 years old, then she learned boogie, acrobatic rock, latins ballroom dances. After that, she discovered salsa cubana and all the culture around it. She met Pascal Guyon in 2000, famous song writer and composer. He explained her all about Timba music. That made change for all her life, the way she dance and then the way she was going to teach salsa cubana. Teacher of rocknroll and salsa since 2004 she discovered swing dances in 2005 : lindy hop, balboa, charleston then jazz roots.
Her dancing could best be describe as “utterly awesome”, and has gathered her many podiums around the world, including a second place in the Balboa Strictly division at the ESDC 2012, and a slew of Jack & Jill titles, which says a lot about her ability to bring the best out of any partner she comes across. Her style is dynamic, musical and creative, always pushing the boundaries of what can be done. An enthusiastic and experienced teacher, she knows how to bring out the little details that make all the difference.
We didn’t find any words written about Zack Richard yet, but we assure you: This man is hilarious and you will have very funny classes and great dances with him – not to mention him being a very reliable drinking buddy…
Shani Brown is a Balboa and Swing dancer from sunny southern California. She is best known for her fast, syncopated Balboa footwork and her soft connection – which has been said to feel like a ‘warm hug’. As an instructor, she strives to make dancing simple and effortless with a strong emphasis on combining foundational basics with the soft skills of connection mechanics and partnership to develop smooth flow and personal style.
For over 15 years, Shani has dedicated herself to learning, preserving and sharing her love for Balboa and other vernacular jazz dances. She began swing dancing 1998 before moving to Orange County where she discovered a vibrant vintage swing community well connected to their local ‘old timers’. She was immediately attracted to the fast footwork of Balboa and began frequenting the dance floors of first-generation dancers.
Shani is honored to have honed her social dance skills and footwork under the guidance of legendary dancers Willie Desatoff, Hal and Marge Takier, Bart Bartolo, Jack Carey and many others. And although she has competed, placed and won several major competitions, she mainly enjoys social dancing and inspiring others to love balboa and swing.
Jacob Wigger started swing dancing in 2003 and has been hooked ever since. He became serious about Balboa in 2005 and began traveling to various events and competitions not much later. His first love is social dancing but he also competes as a chance to push himself. As a teacher he enjoys using a mix of humorous (in his opinion) analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.
Jacob has taught at numerous national and international events. Some of his awards include 1st place at All Balboa Weekend in 2014, 1st place in the International Balboa Championships in 2011 (Balboa Rendezvous), 1st place in the Balboa division of the National Jitterbug Championships in 2014 and 1st place at the Eastern Balboa Championships in 2013.
He is famous for his fast Pure Balboa footwork and his large repertoire of unique spins and turns when he’s in the spotlight. As a teacher he enjoys using a mix of humorous analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.
Sanna & Adam
Sanna and ‘Uncle’ Adam have been dancing and teaching swing together for the past eight years. During this time, they have become well known for the joy and skill that they bring to the social dance floor.
Mostly partial to Balboa J & J competitions, they have taken numerous titles individually at events such as The Snowball and Balboa Castle Camp, as well as placing in various events in Europe and the US during the past several years.
In the classroom, they emphasize a solid mix of technique and playfulness resulting in a dynamic and personalized approach to musicality and movement that is accessible to all dancers.
They have very successfully taught the first ever Leading for Follows Track and are a pleasure to have around.
And they are basically around each year since the very first Balboa Castle Camp in 2011…
Mel and Jo are dance enthusiasts who dedicate their time to encourage swing dancing in the United Kingdom. Being familiar with lindy hop and blues, their current passion is mastering Balboa and Bal-swing – a journey of continuous learning. They started salsa dancing in Singapore and after moving to the United Kingdom in 2000 began their journey in swing dancing. After dancing lindy hop, charleston and blues for several years they then fell in love with Balboa and became dedicated to learning this dance from 2008. However, they still love and continue dancing all styles to this day. Jo has been athletic since she was a teenager and currently holds a brown belt in Xen-Do Martial Arts. Mel, who also accomplished medals in various sports, was a break-dancer and a DJ in his younger years. From this personal experience, they apply the techniques of physical motion to help them understand and master the nature of dance movement. Currently, you can find them social dancing and competing at various events across Europe and the United States. They also teach Balboa/Bal-swing and facilitate pilot sessions throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Their “down-to-earth” and positive attitude helps to make the classes they teach not only informative but also very enjoyable. Mel still continues his love for music as a DJ and Emcee at major events across Europe and the United States. Their aspirations to be balboa ambassadors stems from their drive to continuously learn and share the passion and knowledge of dance to enthusiasts alike.