Teachers

Youngdon Kwon

Youngdon Kwon

South Korea

Youngdon started his dancing life with Lindy Hop in 2005, but when he first experienced Blues dancing in U.S. (2007), he immediately fell in love with the music, dance and its culture, and has been teaching Blues since 2008.

Youngdon is also known as the organizer of Bluesweet, the first Blues workshop in Asia started in 2010, and Korea Blues Camp, the biggist blues dance event in Asia. He visits the U.S. every year to get inspiration, and works hard to spread blues dance in Asia.

Recently, Youngdon was the finalist of many Blues events in the U.S., and placed first in the Open Jack and Jill at bluesSHOUT! 2014. Recently he was the finalist for Open Jack and Jill at Blues Muse 2016.

Dawa Jung

Dawa Jung

South Korea

Dawa started dancing Blues in 2010, and teaching Blues with Youngdon since 2012, attendeding Blues events in U.S. to gain experience and get inspiration.

In 2013 at Bluesweet, Dawa was the main instructor with the world best instructors; Damon Stone, Heide Fite, and Dexter Santos.

Dawa has competed at bluesSHOUT!, reaching the finals, placed third in Open Jack and Jill at bluesSHOUT! 2014, and was the finalist for the Open Jack and Jill and Open Strictly at bluesSHOUT! 2015. Most recently Dawa competed at the Blues Muse 2016 Jill Invitational, placing as a finalist.

Noni Healy

Noni Healy

Australia

Noni started dancing Lindy Hop as a teenager in 1999/2000 and fell in love with Blues as soon she found it! Noni started teaching in 2003, continuing this while touring America with Solomon Douglas in the years following.

Noni is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected Blues dance teachers. Noni proudly established the only weekly Blues dance classes, pivotal in building the largest Blues community in Australia, and the event organiser of the largest Blues dancing festival, Blues Before Sunrise.

Noni currently teaches regular national workshops, weekly Blues and Lindy Hop classes with Swing Patrol Melbourne, and performs with Australia’s premier swing dance troupe, Echoes of Harlem.

When she not dancing, she’s a stay at home mum with her 3 year old toddler and stilt walking with Stiltuesque, Empress Stiltdance and Stilt Walkers Australia.

Dexter Santos

Dexter Santos

USA

With a background in Ballroom dancing and Lindy Hop, Dexter has studied and collaborated with the best Blues dance teachers making him one of the most sought-after and admired teachers in the United States and international Blues dance scenes. As a teacher, Dexter aims to inspire dancers of all levels with the possibilities that Blues dancing has to offer while preserving its roots, identity, and art form.

Dexter travels across the U.S. and around the world spreading his passion and joy for Blues dancing through his fun, inspiring, and challenging classes. A particular class favourite which has been often referred to as the “Shim Sham of Blues,” the Hound Dog routine (a solo Blues choreography danced to Big Mama Thornton’s song of the same title) has been taught to and performed with dancers in four continents.

Dexter has taught at internationally renowned Blues dance events such as bluesSHOUT! (Chicago, USA), Toronto Blues Battle (Toronto, ON, Canada), Fallin’ In Blues (Grenoble, France), Korea Blues Camp (Seoul, S. Korea), Drag The Blues (Barcelona, Spain), and Blues Baby Blues (London) among many others.

Dexter has won first place in numerous Blues dancing competitions in the U.S. and has won the title of Ballroomin’ Blues champion at bluesSHOUT! 3 times (2007, 2008, and 2010). In an unprecedented feat, Dexter won all four partnered competitions at bluesSHOUT! 2010 in Austin, Texas; Open Jack & Jill, Strictly Jook Joint, Strictly Ballroomin’, and Champions Division.

Kara Martin

Kara Martin

Australia

Growing up listening to her Dad’s music collection while dancing on his toes, Kara has always had a love of the Blues. It wasn’t until 2006 that Kara had her first partnered Blues dance in London, and quickly signed up for the inaugural Church City Blues as a result. Soon after that, Kara began teaching and since then has travelled all around Australia and to New Zealand teaching and sharing her passion for Blues dancing.

As a teacher, Kara’s aim is to inspire people to want to learn and develop their own style, whether they lead or follow. She loves exploring and encouraging the ways that each dancer can add their individual flair and musicality into the partnership to create a fun, dynamic and engaged dance. Her versatility as both a lead and follow means that she’s had the rare opportunity of teaching with some amazing people of both roles.

Hailing from Hobart, Kara was co-director of FootNotes Dance and founder of Hobart’s first and much loved swing exchange, Devil City Swing. Kara now calls Melbourne home and teaches regularly there and across the country.

Evan Hughes

Evan Hughes

Australia

After a lifetime of being a dedicated non-dancer, Evan started swing dancing in 2004 and is now a regular fixture of the Melbourne scene.

Currently, Evan anchors one of Melbourne’s biggest venues and teaches workshops in Australia and New Zealand covering all tempos of Lindy Hop, aerials, Solo Jazz, and Blues.

Evan has a true sensitivity to the subtleties of lead and follow. He is an amazingly dynamic dancer who loves reflecting his partner’s strengths in a dance conversation. Evan is an accomplished dancer having won many competitions in Slow Lindy, Blues and in Balboa.

Taster Class Teachers

Therese & Marcel

Therese & Marcel

Australia

Marcel and Therese met in a tango classes in 2013, and have been dancing non-stop since. Coming from vastly different dance backgrounds, they draw upon their varied experience to develop their blues dancing. Marcel started dancing during university to maintain his sanity while completing his degree; little did he know that those first steps in a tango class 9 years ago would lead him to a lifelong obsession with dance. Starting with Argentine tango, Marcel has since then also taken up Lindy Hop, Capoeira, and of course Blues, travelling all over the world to satisfy his desire to dance. Marcel loves to draw upon the skills that he has gained from this variety of dance styles to expand his understanding of them, from finding moves that can be used differently to alternative perspectives on the techniques used within each style. Therese has been dancing since the ripe age of 4. As a young adult Therese constantly sought out new dance experiences and sampled many different styles. It wasn’t until 2014 when Marcel invited her to an iconic blues house party, in Brisbane that she encountered blues dancing. She fell in love with the style because of its unique freedom to add styling from other dances. When you see Therese on the dance floor you are likely to see influences from tango, modern jazz, tap and various Latin styles. Since meeting, Marcel and Therese have travelled both locally and internationally to absorb as much knowledge about Blues as possible. In 2016 they, along with fellow dancers Brian and Sheryl, started the first Blues only dance school in Brisbane, Dance the Blues, where they now teach weekly classes.
Max & Catherine

Max & Catherine

Australia

Max came across blues in about 2005. He didn’t get it at first, but when he finally came around six months later he fell head over heels for the music, the movement and the connection. These days if there are two rooms to choose from at an event you’ll always find him in the blues room. Funnily enough, it was Max who encouraged Catherine to attend her first blues class in 2009. Classes were cool, and the music made her want to move, but it was at a late night blues event that her imagination was captured. Her favourite dances are those where you are able connect with your partner and the music to tell a story or capture a feeling. With a broad background in other styles such as ballet, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap (Catherine) and ballroom (Max), these two love to explore movements that match whatever music is playing – blues or otherwise. At Black Swan Blues, Catherine and Max will share some of their tips and tricks for dancing to unfamiliar music, finding the groove (whether or not it’s readily apparent), and inviting your partner along for the ride – regardless of whether you’re leading or following!
Shob & Andy

Shob & Andy

Australia

Shob and Andy fell in love with blues from their early days of swing dancing and are still so passionate about exploring and sharing this art form. They are two of Australia’s most sought after blues instructors having taught extensively around Australia and New Zealand and together have won multiple titles in blues and slow swing. They are both students and teachers of this beautiful dance and always seeking to express a more authentic connection with each other and the music, as well as heartful communication with their students. Their classes focus on grounded and balanced body movement, clarity of partner connection, individual expression and above all joy!

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