Dancing in all forms has been a lifelong passion for Irina (she/her). In 2009, at the age of 15, she stumbled upon Swing dancing and it took only one night of social dancing for her to fall head over heels in love with it. Though Lindy Hop was her gateway into the world of Swing, Irina's passion quickly expanded to include Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and solo jazz. She is proud to have spent her formative years of dancing in Southern California, home to some of the best Swing dancers, teachers, and music in the world.
Irina has since received numerous accolades from events such as Camp Hollywood, The International Lindy Hop Championships, and Lindy Focus and has taught these dances all across the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Australia. Additionally, she is honored to have been inducted into the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame in 2019 and the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2022.
Irina's teaching style can best be described as patient and encouraging. Her goal is to guide her students through building solid foundations while inspiring individuality in personal movement, as well as helping build confidence through dance.
Anthony's first ingress into the performing arts was at age 8 when his parents convinced him to learn and perform Chinese lion dances. Naturally, he then stumbled upon breakdancing during a national speech and debate tournament in middle school, and he had his first foray into swing dancing at age 16 alongside other young interns from a research laboratory. Since then, he has trained in other dance styles including West Coast Swing and various modern street dances, but most of all he enjoys using this background to expand upon his
technique and creativity in Lindy Hop. On the social dance floor he is known to be playful, musical, creative, and clear.
He holds first place titles from events such as International Lindy Hop Championships, Montreal Swing Riot, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Lindy Focus, and Lindyfest and Lone Star Championships. His love of both leading and
following, combined with his professional background in education, make the classes that he teaches both clear and intuitive. He is an active scene builder in
his community and founded Salt City Swing, a non-profit in Utah where he teaches locally.
Dee Daniels Locke
Dee started Swing Dancing at the age of four with her Dad in the basement, wearing her Mom’s heels and her favorite plaid skirt. With a hiatus into hip-hop during her school years, she was called back to Lindy Hop, becoming an influential member of the Minneapolis scene, where you can find her teaching at Uptown Swing.
Dee loves feeling free on the dance floor. She advocates for self-expression and individual creativity as the spirit of solo jazz and Lindy Hop. She loves Lindy Hop's particular way of encouraging collaboration between music and partner, priding herself on making each dance unique to the musical experience and partner.
Dee has taught, performed, and choreographed nationally and internationally. She specializes in vintage jazz, Charleston, and Lindy Hop.
Matt Richey has been dancing Lindy Hop since the tender age of 11. His dance career started with a performance team, including dancing on cruise ships and at Disneyland. In 2004 Matt attended Camp Hollywood for the first time (he hasn’t missed a year since) and he quickly fell in love with what swing dancing can offer; not just Lindy Hop but all swing.
He won his first local competition at age 14 hosted by Nevada County Swing Society and was asked to dance for the local TV station to promote NCSS.
Since then he traveled all over the world learning from some of the world’s best dancers such as Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Jean Veloz, Sugar Sullivan and Chazz Young, and many others. Matt has also cross trained in several other dance styles including jazz, ballet, salsa and more.
One of Matt’s accomplishments he is most proud of is the Juniors program he started in Nevada County, CA. Matt has gone around to teach at countless schools to spread the love of dance. Over the 7 years he ran the program he brought juniors to competitions and events in California and also brought teens to compete at the International Lindy Hop Championships 3 years in a row. His students brought home the 1st place award in the Junior Jitterbug Showcase at ILHC in 2018.
Over the years, Matt has won hundreds of titles in multiple styles of swing, including West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop and Balboa. He is becoming the most recognized crossover dancer in the circuit as well as being a familiar face on the social dance floor everywhere! In 2018 Matt was inducted to the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. As much as Matt loves swing dancing, he loves teaching and sharing his love for dancing and music just as much! He currently teaches adults and kids in several local schools and studios in Orange County.
He is known for fun loving energy, musicality, showmanship and performance.
Dancing since a young age, Rita was formally trained as a professional dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Royal Ballet of France and other world renowned ballet companies, studying under Jacques D’Amboise, and Mikhail Baryshnikov with staging and performance from Agnes B. de Mille and production credits with the Walt Disney dance company. Rita includes many professionals in her swing dance instruction such as Leonard Reed (original choreographer of the Shim Sham), Gregory Hines, Chaz Young, and Frankie Manning.
She is the Cofounder of The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS), which has been recognized as a UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization) Global Heritage Site commemorating the music and dance of the Jazz Era in Harlem. Rita is an endorsed dance instructor by the Council of International Dance (CID), as a UNESCO Global Heritage Cultural Ambassador.
Rob and diane van haaren
Rob & Diane are known as trendsetters and have been instrumental in the resurgence of Swing in the US and abroad. They have been dancing Lindy Hop since 1984 (Rob) and 1995 (Diane) consecutively and were invited and have professionally taught Vernacular Jazz and Swing in over 20 countries worldwide from Europe to Russia, South Africa and Korea to Australia and New Zealand and in the US. Growing up as dancers they were fortunate to spend lots of time learning and teaching side by side with the greats of Swing. They introduced Balboa, Vernacular Jazz, Collegiate Shag and helped reintroduced the Lindy Hop in many of these places. They taught at the mother of all Swing Camps, Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden, for 18 years.
Some people call them trendsetters and others call them old timers. They were there from the very beginnings of the revival of Swing. Their knowledge and their teaching methods helped rekindle the early Swing Movement in the 1990's and inspired a whole new generation of dancers and teachers around the world. They share some of the styling and historic perspective of the dance and are known for their own unique smooth style of dancing. Being parents of two teenagers, they have been in Texas for 9 years where they have been working on creating a welcoming and inclusive dance community right here in New Braunfels and San Antonio. They look forward to sharing their passion with you.