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Pirate Swing Instructors

Guest Instructors

Michael and Jaya

Michael & Jaya have played a nurturing role in the Southeast for the last five years, prolifically teaching, organizing, and devoting themselves to the growth of the Lindy Hop community. In addition to organizing Lindy Focus (1-8), Sugar Foot Stomp, and Southern Belle Swing Bash (1-3), they have taught at numerous workshops throughout the Southeast and beyond. They have attended and led multiple regional teacher training seminars, and have sought relentlessly to spread awareness of Lindy Hop and to cultivate its tradition and technique.

Michael and Jaya's teaching philosophy:

"As much as we are driven by the joyous rhythms of jazz, we believe that technique has to come first. Without self-awareness of movement and clear, connected communication, it's hard to get to the good stuff of the dance. Once you've got a solid foundation, it's all about immersion in the music, and learning to hear as well as learning to create."

Joe DeMers & Nelle Hatley

Two of Denver's best instructors, Joe and Nelle are known for being very versatile dancers ranging from modern jazz to vintage blues to performance lindy hop. They possess an aesthetic quality that flourishes as a dance couple. They continually train, travel and teach worldwide, study swing dance history and clips, choreograph, perform, and innovate new dance movements and techniques. They pride themselves with basing their dancing on original styles while continually striving for new ideas.

In addition to their powerful presence, movement and technique, Joe and Nelle are masters at making the simplest of moves stand out. Not only are they great dancers, they are great teachers that effectively break down unique and advanced concepts. Joe and Nelle are passionate about sharing their understanding of all the details that create a good connection between partners and give the most energy to the dance.

Joel and Melanie

Joel Domoe & Melanie Myers have been dancing, competing, performing, teaching and studying swing dance constantly in a variety of capacities since 1995. They've literally taught thousands of people to swing dance and are excited to be part of the Cincinnati community since moving back in 2006.

Melanie has performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center with the Baltimore Flycats. Joel has been honored with the status of honorary lifetime member in the Piedmont Swing Dance Society for his contributions building and establishing the swing dance community in the Triad area of North Carolina. Joel and Melanie were also founding members of the Atlanta Swing Era Dance Association (ASEDA).

Joel and Melanie were married in 2002 and have two children, Nicole (6) and Jordan (4).

Local Instructors

Jesse and Zach

Jesse and Zach have been teaching swing in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area for over 2 years. They enjoy introducing swing to as many people as possible.

Jesse and Zach love the flexibility of swing dancing. With clear communication and awareness of your partner, all sorts of things are possible. "Mistakes" become new moves, ideas from other dances creep in, and you find yourself improvising.

Jesse and Zach focus on material that will be useful on the social dance floor, and target their classes equally towards leads and follows. Above all, they want everyone to have fun.

Kurt and Lisa

Kurt has been dancing for 5 years. He came to Swing with a background in music, being a pianist since the age of 5. Lisa has been dancing for 6 years. Apart from Swing, Lisa is an accomplished Ballroom dancer and has trained in Ballet.

Kurt and Lisa have been dancing together since they joined Cotton Tail, a performance troupe, in 2006. They have performed at several venues around Ann Arbor, including Battle of the Swing Cities in 2007. Known for their high energy, they are regular instructors for Swing Ann Arbor, where they stress musicality and individual improvisation.

Stefanie Cohen

Stefanie Cohen, a solo and collaborative dance/movement artist, teaches and performs throughout the country. With a background in both theater and improvisational dance, she has led classes in movement, performance skills, embodied writing, and creative process; she has studied and performed with numerous international dance/movement artists for more than eighteen years. She has an endless fascination for the intelligence of our bodies and of all the tales they have to share.

The beatings will continue until swingouts improve