Teachers

We have a lot of great dance instructors in Asheville… read below for bios! Most of these teachers give private lessons in addition to teaching for Swing Asheville- get in touch on our contact page  to take a private lesson from the teacher of your choice.

Michael & Jaya

mj

Michael and Jaya are best known to the world as principal organizers of Lindy Focus, and currently live and work out of Asheville, NC. In addition to Lindy Focus, they have been organizing, teaching, competing, judging, dj-ing, performing, and generally being swing dance people for well over ten years.

In the classroom, they focus on (1) developing the technique on which all other skills are built (2) sharing the classic repertoire that has defined the dance for generations, and (3) leading variety- and individuality- inducing improvisation and variation exercises designed to guide you towards a more personalized style.

Josie

Josie began dancing in Asheville in 2012. Though she was obsessed with traveling to events right away and going hard on that even into 2015, she has now chosen to shift her energy to focus on building the local scene and growing a real community feel and feeding passion in other enthusiastic up-and-coming dancers. She is passionate about lindy hop and solo jazz, though dabbles in other swing and jazz dances. Qualities she hopes to build in dancers are playfulness, confidence, improvisation, creativity, listening, and a relaxed connection. She believes everyone has the same capability to learn and anyone who works hard can kill it. She is a giant nerd who could talk about dancing forever, so don’t hesitate to approach and introduce yourself with any swing dance related sentence.

Annie

annie dancingAnnie became obsessed with lindy hop in 2001 as a teenager in Asheville, and it quickly took over her life. She attended countless dance exchanges and workshops around the world, learning as much as she could from as many dancers as possible. She founded the ‘Fancy Feet’ dance organization in Greensboro and has taught lindy hop around the Southeast as well as Ireland, Sweden & Italy. Annie’s classes are generally focused on connection, dancing musically, and on body awareness (i.e. which muscles do what). When Annie’s not dancing, you can usually find her on the bandstand playing guitar.

 

Melissa and Franklin

franklin and melissaMelissa and Franklin are former contra dancers turned Swing and Jazz lovers. They bring their passion for dancing and teaching to Swing Asheville, teaching Balboa first and foremost. They love the intricacies of this complex dance and the fact that they can dance Balboa all over town to the fastest tempos in the smallest spaces. Their teaching philosophy is to meet students where they are at and give them the tools to be successful on the social dance dance floor. Our motto is “We just want more people to be dancing Balboa!”.

Guest Instructors

We are lucky enough to have out of town guest instructors who sometimes travel to teach for Swing Asheville!

Russell Nasrallah

Russell has been dancing since 2012. He started in his local college scene but quickly came to Asheville to explore opportunities outside of his local scene. In the ensuing years he has traveled to study Lindy Hop across the United States, learning from a diverse set of teachers and styles. He has a passion for teaching the dance and growing the community and introducing more people to this unique dance. While his wandering has taken him far and wide, he has always considered Asheville his home.