Zack has been the director of Swing ConneXion, a Montreal dance school, since 2005, and has lead many teams on the highest steps of podiums worldwide. An international Lindy Hop and Balboa teacher for the best part of the last fifteen years, he is a literal tornado of creativity and musicality, praised for his original, fun movement that often breaks out of convention. Having won many competitions over his career, and taught in most parts of the civilized (and less civilized) world, his vast experience as a teacher will take you to places you didn't think you could go. A multi-talented guy, he has also MC'ed major events such as Balboa on the Promenade and the Rock Swing Boogie Festival.
A passionate little ball of fury, Vanessa has been dancing for more than 15 years all across Europe. Her dancing could best be describe as "utterly awesome", and has gathered her many podiums around the world, including a second place with partner Zack Richard in the Showcase at All Balboa Weekend 2012, a 2nd place int he Balboa Strictly division at the ESDC 2012, and a slew of Jack & Jill titles, which says a lot about her ability to bring the best out of any partner she comes across. Her style is dynamic, musical and creative, always pushing the boundaries of what can be done. An enthusiastic and experienced teacher, she knows how to bring out the little details that make all the difference.
Andreas Olsson lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He grew up on the wrestling mat, fighting other little boys in leotards. He won most of the time since he’s always given 100% in everything that he does. He also played the violin in an orchestra during his childhood. You might not think classical music and wrestling has much in common with Swing dancing, but it has definitely contributed to him becoming the unpredictable, creative, musical and interesting dancer he is today. Andreas was introduced to Lindy Hop in 2001 and a few years later to Balboa. Andreas teaches dance because he loves to see students learn and improve. As Andreas sees it, teaching is inspiring since it offers a possibility to contribute to the ever-changing dance style and scene. Andreas claims to be the unchallenged record holder (so far!) of most hours spent on social swing dance floors in Stockholm. He is an energizer bunny, and only takes a break to change into another colorful tie. He has been placed in a number of prestigious competitions in both Lindy Hop and Balboa around the world with a number of well known swing dancers. He is also a history lover and one of the very few marine archaeologists in the world. Ask him about the ”Vasaship” or ”Vikingships”.
Olga was born into a family of teachers (language and music) and since early years has been an energetic live wire – studying music, doing athletics, martial arts and gymnastics. In 2007 she was introduced to Lindy Hop and this is where the real passion story begins. She got dance hooked and started to explore more of the dance world by getting into Blues and later Balboa. She has been actively travelling the globe in pursuit of more opportunities to dance, learn and compete. Later she began to share her love for swing music and dance by teaching. At her classes Olga pays a lot of attention to getting the students interested and involved by giving challenging and fun tasks, working both on technique and musicality and infecting them even more with the passion for dancing.
In 2002, Patrick moved briefly from Paris to Montreal for his studies in organic chemistry. While looking for way to make new friends, he discovered Lindy Hop. He immediately got totally hooked and when he got back home to Paris, he started spreading his knew found passion. In 2006, he spent several months in Israel starting up a local scene there. Later that year, Patrick wound up moving back to Montreal to teach at Studio 88-SWING and join the Swinging Air Force (S.A.F.). It’s at this time that he met and partnered up with Natasha Ouimet. Since then, they have won many titles at ILHC, ALHC, Camp Hollyhood, CSC and ESDC, to name a few. Their talent and reputation as dancers and teachers earned them the opportunity to work with the Cirque du Soleil in 2009, who hired them to train artists from “Banana Shpeel”. They have also appeared in several Canadian television shows and a couple of video clips; Sam Roberts ”Them Kids and Caravan Palace’s ”Gramophone”. In his effort to spread Swing Dancing worldwide and build the community, Patrick not only travels all around the globe to teach the dance but also frequently films and uploads on-line, free instructional and event coverage videos. In class, his high energy and enthusiasm is contageous and his clear and detailed teaching methods are always very much appreciated.
Having danced in a variety of styles (such as ballet, flamenco and tap dance), Natasha discovered Lindy Hop and joined the Swinging Air Force, a Montreal based Swing Dance team, in 2005. Natasha coached several of the Swinging Air Force teams and with her partner Patrick Szmidt (whom she started working with in 2007) has also coached artists of the Cirque du Soleil show Banana Shpeel. She has appeared dancing in several Canadian television shows; La Vie est un Cirque, La Culture pour ou Contre, Ben et Jarrod, Relève en Folie, and L’heure de Gloire and in a couple of music videos; Sam Roberts ”Them kids” and Caravan Palace’s ”Gramophone”. She is proud of the many titles she holds won at events such as ILHC, ALHC, Camp Hollywood, CSC and ESDC. Now she tours the world with Patrick, her dance partner and husband, to spread the love and knowledge of Lindy Hop and when at home lives near Paris, France. In class, Natasha focuses on clear and detailed teaching methods while adapting to her students and making it fun for everyone.
These two Portuguese started dancing and teaching together in 2011, and have since become international teachers, mainly due to their aptitude to understand the fundamentals of good movement (dancing) and explaining it in an graspable and applicable way. David is an addicted social dancer. You’ll rarely see him not dancing while there is groovy swing music playing. He’s also a geek, that cannot avoid himself of deconstructing the nuclear bio-mechanics and rhythmic structure of the dance and music. And he loves to share this knowledge/vision almost as much as he loves hugs.
Cátia is a person’s person. She’s always caring for everybody, and it shows when it comes to teaching where she uses an intuitive and organic approach to bring out to the best in each student. You’ll rarely see her not smiling.