Aleks and Dina are social swing dancers and hobby musicians. Aleks started dancing the Lindy Hop in 2013 in his hometown of Smolensk, Russia, where he also taught Lindy Hop. After he moved to Canada in 2018 he integrated his European Lindy background with his North American Lindy experience. Dina started dancing in 2016 in Toronto after seeing some Lindy Hoppers dancing in the wild. With her love for swing jazz, it didn’t take long for her to dive deep into the dance, and to eventually start teaching.
Aleks and Dina have been dancing, practicing, travelling, choreographing and competing together since 2018. They have placed at and won multiple local and international Lindy Hop competitions, including:
– 2014 Swingfest Lindy Hop Jack & Jill – Finalist
– 2016 Minsk Lindy Exchange Jack & Jill – Finalist
– 2019 Lindyworks Partner Draw – 2nd
– 2019 Cat’s Corner Exchange Jedi Mix & Match – 3rd
– 2019 Lindy Focus Intermediate Lindy Hop Mix & Match – 1st
– 2020 Dig Tha’ Feet Lindy Hop Open Mix & Match – 3rd
– 2020 Dig Tha’ Feet Solo Jazz Just Do it: Solo! – Finalist
– 2020 O-Town Showdown Open Mix & Match – 3rd
– 2022 International Lindy Hop Championships Open Mix & Match – Finalist
– 2023 Lindy Bout Interregional Partner Draw – Finalist
– 2023 Lindy Bout Advanced Partner Draw – Champion
– 2018 O-Town Showdown Newcomers Mix & Match – Finalist
– 2018 Lindyworks Partner Draw – 1st
– 2019 Lindyworks Partner Draw – 1st
– 2022 Cat’s Corner Exchange Jedi Mix & Match – Finalist
– 2023 Lindy Bout Intermediate Mix & Match (as a leader) – Finalist
Achievements as a Partnership
– 2020 O-Town Showdown Strictly – Finalist
– 2020 O-Town Showdown Showcase – 3rd
– 2022 International Lindy Hop Championships Open Strictly – 1st
Alex stumbled upon the lovely world of Lindy Hop in November of 2017 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and has been hooked ever since. Quickly, she started teaching, travelling, and contributing as a scene leader for the University of Saskatchewan Swing Dance Club. Alex is inspired by the rich history of Lindy Hop and swing music and hopes to spread some of that passion to her students. She looks to empower followers in her classes while sharing the secret ingredients that create the best social dances – no matter if it’s your first class or your 100th! Alex recently moved to Toronto in July of 2021 and can’t wait to spend more time learning and growing with the warm and welcoming crew at Swing Toronto.
Anne began swing dancing in 2010 and has no plans of stopping. Originally from New Mexico, she organized and taught classes for the swing dance club at New Mexico State University. Upon coming to Toronto in 2014, she became involved with the Lindy Hop scene, teaching at Dovercourt house and DJing at events across the city. She has also been a co-organizer for Dance Alchemy, the fusion dance community in Toronto, and organized social dances and workshop weekends, taught lessons and regularly Dj’d. As a member of many other social dance communities, she uses this toolkit of other dance styles to inform her follow technique and styling. She’s attended dance events across Canada, the United States and Europe, and can’t wait to travel for dancing again.
Strangers at a dance convinced Brady to go to his first Lindy Hop weekend, the Alberta Inspiration Weekend in February 2014. He’s been dancing non-stop ever since: Competing, DJing, performing, teaching, closing out dances and going to over 50 dance weekends. He’s fascinated with the basics of Swing Dance. As a teacher, he’s obsessively searching for functional movements, tangible metrics and clear terminology to create great basics. Because phrases like “Work on your basics” won’t mean much if you don’t know what components to work on! As a dancer, he is heavily inspired by Dax Hock and Sarah Breck’s LA-Style of Lindy Hop, and driven by exploring the boundaries of partner connection and partnership. He is excited to meet, dance and teach alongside all of you!
Brooke has spent two decades hopping across Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia, dancing, djing, and teaching as she goes. When she’s not gallivanting on dance adventures, Brooke directs a passionate team of Blues dance enthusiasts that are known for their deep love of Blues history and community… and their off-the-hook parties and events!
Brooke is known for classes that are unconventional, entertaining, and chock-full of good technique, historical tidbits, and new ideas. She inspires her students to dig deeper to understand the “why” and not just the “what” or “how”. She has been called an organic follower, accidentally creative, and a vagabond street dancer. She isn’t entirely sure what these all mean, but she’s proud of these labels nonetheless! With Brooke, you can always count on full-bodied “scrumpditiliumptious” quality movement and moves – the kind that you can really sink your feet into!
Carlynn is a dancer and theatre artist. After a Covid hiatus from the Ballroom World of Cabaret Dance performance and competition with world dance champion, Carlos Zapata, she has returned to her love of partnered contemporary with a creative repertoire of lifts, and is currently working on a video performance.
Carlynn also has a rich history in the lively, energetic and sultry world of swing and blues. She has studied with the masters who have come to Toronto, and has enjoyed performing and teaching with Simon Threlkeld. She looks forward to another series of “Tricks, Dips and Lifts” workshops with Simon, scheduled for Fall 2022.
Carlynn has won multiple cabaret dance championships in the USA and Canada, and has performed at Canada Superstars with Carlos Zapata.
Catherine started dancing at a young age, but discovered swing dancing much later when a friend introduced her to the Swing Dance Club at Western University in 2009. Since then, Catherine set out to learn from many different teachers and explore many different styles of social dancing, from Lindy Hop to Balboa, Shag, Jive, and Vernacular Jazz. As a teacher, Catherine aims to help students tap into the joy and collaboration at the heart of swing dancing. She believes in supporting every dancer’s unique dance journey, using technique as a tool to build confidence and a foundation for self-expression.
Charlie has been swing dancing in dance halls, bars, and house parties in Toronto for most of his adult life. After taking his first lesson in the late 1990s, Charlie continued to learn Lindy Hop, Balboa, Slow Balboa and Collegiate Shag in local classes and international workshops. Now, he enjoys teaching others and introducing them to the world of vintage dancing. Charlie has taught at Lindy Hop Revolution, performed at many events, and even danced in a rockabilly music video. He has given many privates in all 4 dance styles and loves to spread his passion for dancing to anyone who shows an interest. He also had a cocktail—The Charlie Foster—named after him at the Dovercourt House.
Cheryl Henry started dancing Lindy Hop in March 2000. After learning this dance was created by African-Americans, she has been relentless in her research and teaching of early Afrocentric dance styles. She has had the honour to meet and study with international Lindy Hop, Tap, Jazz, and music Masters Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Chester Whitmore, Chazz Young, Skip Cunningham, Jeni LeGon, Dawn Hampton, Sugar Sullivan and Barbara Billups, as well as, their students Paulette Brockington, Ron Parker, Steven Mitchell, and many others. Cheryl’s keen interest in 19th and early 20th century vernacular dances also led her to workshops with Richard Powers and Angela Amarillas which included Waltz, and with Chad Fasca and Midori Asakura to learn Peabody. Cheryl has choreographed for and performed on local, provincial and international stages. She is eager to continue learning, teaching and collaborating on the majestic dances and music history of the African Diaspora.
David’s first exposure to partnered dance was in 2007 at the University of Western Ontario swing dance club, because a peer virtually dragged him out. Just two short years later, he was teaching the very same classes he learned from. After graduating, David returned to his home-city Toronto, where he continued to learn and grow as a dancer; attending swing dance classes from the city’s best, workshops from world renowned professionals, and trying his luck with local competitions. When his personal life had him move overseas, he was able to gain more international swing dance exposure in Japan between 2013 and 2019, and Finland from 2019 to 2022, where he was able to share his experience with dance workshops, and participate in performance troupes. He has now returned to Toronto with a fresh bounce in his step, looking to continue to grow the swing dance community! He considers himself a life-long-learner, and you can still find him participating in lessons and workshops. David understands that different people may have different needs when it comes to dance step instruction, so he will always try to teach steps with multiple methods to help it click easier. Regardless, David will always emphasize the importance of comfort and enjoyment of the dance for all regardless of ability.
Gabrielle started dancing in 2010 and teaching in 2017. She has taken numerous lessons, workshops and privates in her 4 dance specialties as both a lead and a follow, and has been a great supporter and promoter of Balboa especially, and more recently Slow Balboa and Collegiate Shag.
Gabrielle is a strong believer in the many benefits of dance and draws on her skills and philosophy as a long time math and science educator when she instructs her dance students. Gabrielle has performed at several events and given many privates. She especially enjoys helping wedding couples improve and gain confidence for their first dance.
John started Swing dancing in 2012, getting his introduction to Lindy Hop and Charleston at Bee’s Knees studio in Toronto. Sinking progressively deeper into the scene, he enjoyed taking classes, finding Balboa a few years into his dance journey and becoming a die hard proponent ever since. John has travelled to workshops and competition events across Canada, the US, and Europe, and enjoys working on his dancing in many ways, through classes, social dancing, and practice. John is a former Lindy Hop Revolution teacher and enjoys spreading swing dancing to others so that they can experience their own connection to movement, people, and music in whatever way brings them joy.
Lana is a dedicated swing dancer who specializes in balboa, blues, and tango. She has been sharing her love for dance since 2020 by teaching workshops, private classes, and performing in Shanghai.
Her achievements in competitive dance include:
• 2022 Balvenue Blindfolded Mix & Match: 2nd place
• 2023 California Balboa Classic Open Mix & Match: tied for 5th place
• 2023 Bal Moment Fast Feet Challenge: Champion
Lana is known for her commitment to the art of dance and her ability to inspire and guide fellow dancers. Her passion for swing dancing shines through in both her performances and teaching, making her a valuable asset to the dance community.
In the fall of 2016 Mark was forced to attend a Lindy Hop class on a date… and has hardly stopped dancing since. He quickly came to love the energy, playfulness, connection, and depth that the dance had to offer. Mark always strives to learn, improve, compete, and perform as a dancer. He has experience teaching a wide range of group and private classes, as well as choreographing group performance projects.
As a teacher, Mark emphasizes connection – both to the music and to one’s partner. He especially enjoys introducing his love of the dance to new dancers, and to have them out and feeling good on the social floor.
Olga fell in love with Lindy Hop back in 2013 and loves nothing more than sharing this love with everyone around. Since then she has been teaching Lindy Hop classes and workshops in the USA and internationally, competing and placing at Lindy Hop championships, dancing socially and smiling all night long!
Rizwan Dar (Riz) has been swing dancing for over 12 years and has traveled far and wide just for the joy of dancing and to get the guidance from the best instructors. He has been teaching swing dance and spreading the joy of social dancing over the years in Toronto.
Sawako dances Lindy Hop in Toronto, Canada and in Osaka, Japan, traveling back and forth between these two cities. She started in Toronto in 2015, and has co-taught Lindy Hop classes since 2017. She has also explored Rock’n Roll dancing, and been an assistant teacher for Rock’n Roll dance classes taught by Montreal instructors. She plans to keep spreading the joy of Swing Dancing in Toronto and Osaka.
Simon teaches and loves Lindy Hop, 1920s dances, Ragtime dances, 19th century dances, traditional Viennese Waltz, Polka and Cross-step Waltz. He also teaches and loves Air Steps, lifts, drops, dips, floorials, and thinks this is some of the best and most fun stuff in dance.
Simon has been teaching dance for over 20 years, co-founded Toronto’s Lindy Hop scene in late 1995 and 96, has taught many classes and workshops, has presented many live band swing dance parties, has organized many dance workshop weekends since the mid 1990s, and has attended many workshops with the world’s most highly regarded Lindy Hop teachers.
Simon is the coordinator of Swing Toronto and of Waltz Toronto.
Val started swing dancing socially in 2003. Eager to expand her knowledge, she pursued her dance education at numerous studios, including the Swing and Tap Academy of Toronto, Hogtown Swing, and Lindy Hop Revolution where she taught Balboa, Lindy Hop, and Charleston. She has been fortunate to learn at workshops around the world, and has placed and won in local and national competitions. For Val, the joy of swing lies in the conversation to be found in every dance, between partners and the music. She strives to equip her students with what they need to discover what the dance can be for them.
Vicky specializes in vintage and modern partnered swing dances, including Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, East-Coast Swing, West-Coast Swing, Rockabilly Jive and Boogie Woogie. She began her dance career as a founding member of the University of Manitoba Swing Dance Club (UMswing) in Winnipeg, Manitoba and from 2000-2012 was deeply involved in the Winnipeg dance scene as instructor, event organizer, coach, choreographer and performer. After relocating to Quebec City in 2012, she continued teaching, competing, and coaching at Port-O-Swing Ecole de Danse. In 2015 she made her way to Edmonton where she was part of the Hit That Jive Dance Crew and taught at the Swing Out Edmonton Dance Club at the University of Alberta. She now lives in Toronto and is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to our wonderful community. More about Vicky: https://victoriakyeung.com/portfolio/dance/
Photo by Christian Rademaker Photography (https://christianrademaker.com/)
Photo by Christian Rademaker Photography (https://christianrademaker.com/)