Robyn started dancing at the young age of four and since that time has enjoyed all manner of styles of dance including Ballet, Ballroom, Physical Theatre, Jazz, Musical Theatre performance and Tap. Indeed, Tap dance has been a constant in Robyn’s life and it was a helping hand in discovering Swing.
Robyn’s dance background shines through in her creative rhythmical style. With a masters degree in performing arts, performing is second nature to her, which has won her first place awards from London to Berlin, including a European Championship win in 2013 with the all-girls performance troupe “The Dixie Dinahs”. Robyn has taught in Czech Republic, Leeds, Reading, and Galway, with many more booked in for 2016.
She also teaches regularly for Swing Patrol all over London since 2012. Her infectious warmth and love of teaching make her a popular teacher. Robyn brings energy, enthusiasm and her love of Swing Dance & Disney into her classes as well as performances and loves new adventures!
Simon has been dancing Lindy Hop since 2009 and along the way has fallen in love with all the swing dances: Lindy Hop, Charleston, authentic American Solo Jazz, Balboa, Shag and Blues. His romance with swing dance (and dance generally) started in Beijing and has taken him across the world. He started teaching in early 2011 and in mid-2012 moved down to London and started teaching with Swing Patrol alongside his main teaching partner, Robyn Larsen.
In summer 2014 Simon realised that he wanted to bring the joy of the dance to more people across the world and decided to give up his job in the civil service to become a full time dancer.
He has also been very successful in competitions across the UK and Europe, including 1st places at the European Swing Dance Championships, London Jitterbug Championships, Rock That Swing Festival, Ljubljana Sweet Swing Festival amongst others.
Nancy will teaching the Solo Jazz track and Solo Jazz Tasters at the Festival!
Nancy is an international award-winning lindy hop instructor and performer. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Nancy leads an arts-full life producing opera, performing burlesque internationally, fundraising for a London-based orchestra and teaching lindy-hop and charleston for Swing Patrol London and elsewhere. She has won placed first in solo and partnered contests in Canada, the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
Swing dancing has captured her imagination for more than nine years. Nancy has the remarkable ability to create space where students can risks, be daring in their movement and dance with abandon! Genuinely, nothing brings her greater joy then bringing people together to celebrate dance, and hear a cookin’ band. Nancy will be teaching at London’s Girl Jam in March 2015 is delighted to be teaching the solo track at the Oxford Swing Festival.
Cat will teaching the Level 2 and Level 3 Lindy Hop Tracks at the Festival, with Ik Doo Lee!
Cat has been lindy hopping since 2005. After 3 years teaching for her University scene and locally around Newcastle, Cat moved back to Liverpool and established ‘Mersey Swing’, and remains creative director of this fast growing scene. After being awarded the Eurostar ‘Spirit of Lindy Hop’ award at ESDC 2013, Cat trained for 6 months in pedagogy with Swing Step Heidelberg, and went on to compete in the biggest contests in the USA and Europe.
Cat is now London based, working with Swing Patrol teaching solo jazz and lindy hop, and travelling worldwide to teach. She is also an acting member of ‘Impropriety’ an improvisational theatre company, and brings this creativity and unique style of performing straight into her dance.
Known for her infectiously fun style, Cat wears her heart on her sleeve and tries to bring fellow dancers into her world. She strives to bring out individuality, positivity and energy from her students, and believes that laughter really is the best medicine.
Ik Doo came to Lindy hop from the world of tap dance. As a former member of “Tapwork”, DaeGu Tap Dance Company from 2009, he performed in the Ulsan International Dance Festival, the DaeGu Art Festival and many more. But then he found swing dance and quickly distinguished himself as an up and coming lindy hop star in South Korea, coming second in Busan Summer Swing Festival’s Open Jack & Jill and placing first in its solo jazz competition. He is now spending a year in the United Kingdom, where he has already wowed audiences by coming 3rd in the European Swing Dance Championships Open Classic Showcase. He’s just as thrilled to be coming to Oxford as we are to have this special opportunity! In his own words: “I’m very excited to meet you in Oxford. OMG! I can’t believe it :)” Check out his ESDC performance here!
Al will be teaching the Level 1 Lindy Hop Track at the Festival, with Helen!
Al is a founder member of Oxford Lindy Hoppers and has been dancing for longer than he’ll admit to. When teaching and dancing, he is a great proponent of connection… as he has spent too many years ‘Dad dancing’ by himself.
Helen will be teaching the Level 1 Lindy Hop Track with Al at the Festival!
Helen has been passionate about Lindy Hop since discovering it in 2003. She is a founder member Oxford Lindy Hoppers and has taught locally for a number of years. Helen runs OLH’s Thursday teaching night, Cowley Cotton Club, and its monthly social dance Hop the Hall. For Helen, lindy hop is all about having fun and a big smile on your face and her dancing and lessons reflect this!
Jenn and Michael have been teaching together for three years and in that time have developed a dance philosophy that is strongly rooted in accessibility, energy and enthusiasm.
Both have achieved proficiency with a range of swing dance styles in a short period of time without having formal dance tuition or a childhood backgrounds in dance; thus embodying their belief that anyone can learn to dance at any point in their lives if they’re interested and motivated to learn. This shared background is the springboard for their fun and engaging swing dance classes which focus on delivering in-class technique and material that is directly transferable into real-world social dance skills.
Jenn and Michael are both active members of the local and national swing dance community; as well as teaching for Reading University Swing Dance Society, they make up two-thirds of the Reading Swing Jam committee which organises regular social dances and workshops in Reading. Jenn also co-teaches weekly solo jazz classes in Reading and both are members of the Oxford Lindy Hoppers Performance Group.
Luke started dancing in 1996 and hasn’t been more than 100 yards from his dance shoes since.
His dance journey started with Lindy Hop but has since traveled through Blues to all sorts of dances. Luke loves to bring it all together to create “Fusion” which he describes as: “Fusion happens anywhere your dancing and the music blend at a level that transcends any artificial boundary we’ve set up for ourselves in our dancing. The more dances you know and the more music you want to dance those dances to, the more likely it is that you’ll be dancing some sort of fusion.”
As a teacher, Luke loves using his students’ past experiences to explain class concepts, so material can be learned in a quick & fun way.
Since Blues and Lindy Hop have connected musical roots, he believes the simplicity of blues dancing is often useful in getting Lindy Hoppers past dancing move-to-move and to dance incorporating more musicality.
Jeannie is a dance instructor based in San Francisco who currently travels the world to teach dance. With a wide repertoire of dance styles, Jeannie is often seen on the fusion dance floor weaving in and out of styles seamlessly with little effort. She draws most inspiration from modern dance and tango.
As an instructor, Jeannie places a strong emphasis on partner connection and a highly attuned body awareness. She breaks down fundamental techniques in a clear, precise manner and enjoys challenging students to take risks by finding innovative ways of co-creating. Jeannie encourages her students to approach each dance with curiosity, deep listening, and a willingness to play.
Patricia will be teaching the Balboa Tasters with Ghislain at the Festival!
Patricia discovered swing dancing in the UK, where she moved from Spain many moons ago. After dancing Lindy Hop for some time, she felt in love with Balboa from the first step. Since, she has attended numerous local and international workshops, working on her technique and style, and developing her social dancing. Patricia teaches locally, and she also runs Last Stop Balboa, Oxford’s Balboa monthly social.
Ghislain will be teaching the Balboa Tasters with Patricia at the Festival!
After dancing for a couple of years in France, Ghislain discovered Swing in 2009 starting with Lindy Hop and very soon falling in love with Balboa after an eye-opener weekender with Albert & Gloria – specially amazed by their dance technique & musicality.
He has developed his dancing around playing with standard rhythm patterns and always makes a point of having fun when he is on the dance floor. He is today working on making Balboa even more popular in the Swing Dance Community, using any given opportunity to learn from the best teachers and share his experience and understanding of connection & rhythm with fellow dancers.