Vanessa started dancing to help out a friend who didn’t want to try it out alone. Years later she realised she should really have thanked that friend for introducing her to something so awesome. When not dancing, she writes and teaches music, and DJs so she justifiably gets to spend loads of time listening to jazz and blues music. Vanessa’s absolute favourite thing about DJing is seeing what everyone does with her music on the dance floor. Her DJ highlight to date would have to be over a thousand people grooving to solid big band swing at Melbourne’s White Night.
Tim Jones has been DJing for lindy hop and blues dancers since 2009. He’s a big fan of traditional blues and big, hearty slow jazz. Melbourne based, he can be found dancing to live bands and DJed music wherever it is playing.
Lauren, simply put, loves all dance and music. She fell in love with Swing in early 2001.. Her understanding of the dance and music comes from over 10 years of teaching Lindy, Blues, Balboa and Solo Jazz. She has been involved in several large events around Australia, teaching at Camp Oz and Hullabaloo and DJ’ing Blues, Lindy and Balboa events such as Hullabaloo, WLX, Black Swan Blues, Swan City Swing, Fremantle Swing Festival, SwingZing BalShag Weekend. Lauren firmly believes that it is the music that drives each dance ” it’s all about just having fun and playing with musicality in that moment”.
Catherina has been DJ’ing blues since 2009 when she took over the reigns of a monthly, late night blues event for dancers in Dublin, Ireland. Having recently played sets at Berlin Blues Explosion, Southern Blues, Borderline Blues and Cider House, she mixes up genres and styles throughout her set; with a connective flow she is becoming known for. “The blues is all about stories, you’ll hear up tempo stuff from me that will have you stompin’; right beside the slow stuff that makes you and your partner just want to lean in and shuffle.” As a blues dancer for more than 10 years, she understands the difference between a great blues tune and a great blues tune that’s danceable. With a collection of music that spans genres and decades; if you don’t like the first couple of songs you hear, stick around – it’ll change sooner than you can order a drink!
If there is a blues/house party in Perth, odds are, Royce is DJing. He likes blues (the genre) as much as he likes slow dancing, which is a lot, but it’s that happy intersection of these, that fills and breaks his heart every damn exchange. Nothing makes Royce happier than seeing dancers lost in a soul-aching tune, or an infectious groove.
Royce has a particular love of Chicago blues; gritty and dirty blues; Big Mama Thornton; late night saccharine blues; the lyrics of Willie Dixon; Koko Taylor; semicolons.
Max has been on the interstate DJ circuit for a few years now playing for Blues dancers at events such as Southern Blues, Hullabaloo, SLX, MLX, and Canberrang, and he’s really looking forward to coming back to Perth for his first Black Swan Blues. Max loves strong female voices such as Dianne Reeves, Dinah Washington and Dee Dee Bridgewater, but you’ll also hear soulful ballads, funky blues, Delta blues that verges on rock, and anything with a killer piano solo.
Along with the favourites, every single set Max plays has at least one track in it that he’s never played at an exchange before, so there’s always something new to look forward to.
Crystle Challinger has been part of the Perth swing dance scene for the past 16 years. As the owner of The Swing Academy dance school in Perth for 6 years and a full time circus trainer, she found her two loves, circus and dance, worked perfectly together. Sadly, 3 years ago, a freak accident which included roller skates, disco, and air guitar moves tragically nearly ended Crystle’s dance and circus career.
Resolved not to give up on the dance scene she loved, Crystle took up DJing in a hope it would fill the gap. But DJing ended up filling, spilling over, and drowning the gap giving Crystle in a new and previously unexplored personal endeavour which has brought so much joy to her social and professional life that she would now choose to DJ over dancing if she had to.
Crystle prides herself on finding unusual recordings, unknown artists and big brass sounds to fill her set. She loves NOLA inspired songs as well as smooth slow Lindy, and will mix a variety of tempos and genres to create an exciting and ever changing dance floor experience.
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