Confirmed Pro Staff, 2017
* Denotes a judge
9-Time US OPEN Swing Dance Champion, World Swing Champion, and Season 2 Winner of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Benji will offer two workshops that are included in the Full Weekend pass AND a 4-hour mini-intensive workshop that is available for an additional fee.
John Lindo* – Head Judge
After beginning in country-western dance in 1992, John Lindo quickly made his mark on the West Coast Swing circuit by garnering an astonishing number of awards and championships in Jack-and-Jills and Strictly Swings. Some of his First Place awards include the U.S. Open, Grand Nationals, Phoenix Champion of Champions. He is also sought after internationally for his experience and teaching, having travelled to five countries in the past year alone. John currently resides in New Jersey, and is an influential presence in the New York City West Coast Swing scene. www.johnlindo.com
Patty Vo is known for her creative and dynamic style of dance. She is known for her incredible “feel for the music”, creativity, versatility, and especially, her charisma on the dance floor. She is also a highly respected international instructor, judge, and competitor. She competes at the Showcase Division and Champion level and has won numerous national competitions and awards, including placing five times at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. Patty teaches all over the world, focusing on connection, centering, musicality, footwork, and lead/follow techniques. Her classes are challenging, innovative, and insightful. Watch her dance >>
Glenn Ball is newer to the WEst Coast Swing circuit but is a veteran dancer, choreographer, and performer with a diverse background. Prior to WCS, Glenn enjoyed a lengthy career in the “backing dancer” world. He has danced and appeared in campaigns for pop-industry giants such as Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, Take That, Jennifer Lopez, Scissor Sisters, Ne-yo, Taylor Swift and many more. In WCS, Glenn has consistently placed/won in Jack & Jill and Strictly Swing divisions at competitions such as Swing Diego and the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Watch him dance >>
Hazel and Tybaldt Ulrich teach, choreograph, judge, and compete on the West Coast Swing and Hustle circuits. With an emphasis on partnering essentials, they bring joy and confidence to your dancing, whether through patterns basic or advanced, complex or elegant, with groove and flow throughout. Together they will help you understand the fundamentals and add a creative edge to your Swing and Hustle dancing. They are 2 time World Hustle Champions, and have each won Invitational Jack and Jills in WCS and Hustle. Theyare known for their versatility, bringing power and subtlety to many dances, and showcasing regional varieties of swing, including West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, Lindy Hop, Texas Whip/Push, and Balboa. Watch them dance >>
Todd Coulthard & Maria Ford*
Todd and Maria dance, teach, and compete together in West Coast Swing. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, they have been instrumental in the WCS community’s development there. Both Todd and Maria have always had dance as part of their lives since childhood, and have discovered a shared love of partner dance through West Coast Swing. Maria has taught West Coast Swing since 2005 and operated Smoothstyle Dance since 2006. Todd joined the Smoothstyle team in 2014 and together they teach, judge, and DJ locally and in other cities. Learn more at www.smoothstyle.ca. Watch them dance >>
Philippe Berne* & Flore Merlier*
Philippe and Flore hail from France, now living and working in Montreal, Canada. Philippe’s background is in the competition world and Flore’s is the world of social dancing. Together, they evolved rapidly in national and international competitions and took it to the biggest French stages with Charly Moser’s dance Company (Feeling Dance Show), known for their numerous TV and live appearances. Today, they are emerging West Coast Swing Showcase champions.
They also still compete in DanceSport and turned professional in the 2014 season, becoming Canadian Professional 10-Dance Vice-Champion at their first Canadian professional championship. www.philippeandflore.com. Watch them dance >>
Frank Blakemore & Victoria Andromalos
Frank and Victoria met in 2010. Their chemistry on the dance floor was immediate. Together, through their local swing community, Pghwcs, they discovered that their passion for West Coast Swing lies in community building and fostering a fun environment for people to learn and grow as dancers. In 2015, they became a partnership, traveling to communities to teach and share their joy for swing dancing.
Doug has an extensive background in musical theater, having held the positions of Actor, Director, Choreographer, Conductor and Producer for many productions. This background comes out in full force in Doug’s contributions to the West Coast Swing world, in which he is the creator and director of much-loved events and competitions – including the new Swing 16 tournament tour, offered at UDC in 2016. Initially a musician, Doug’s formal training in dance began when he stumbled upon West Coast Swing in 2001. Since then he has won numerous titles across the country, including US Open Champion. He taught many forms of dance full time from 2005 to present, including ECS, Hustle, Salsa, Night Club 2, Country 2 and of course West Coast Swing. www.rousardance.com
Steve Wilder & Lara Deni*
Steve and Lara met in 2011 and began their dance partnership in 2016. Lara began her teaching career at the age of 15 at her mother’s dance studio. She brings a wide range of dance styles, experience, knowledge and understanding to her teaching. She won Top Teacher Award at DCSX 2014 and MADJam 2015, has 5 National Champion Titles in the Classic Rising Star division, and has won over 25 National Titles/Placements in All Star Jack & Jill and Strictly divisions. Steve is an All-Star West Coast Swing dancer from New York known for his entertaining teaching style and nonstop social dancing. In 2014, he began his career teaching West Coast Swing throughout New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York areas. During 2015-2016 Steve traveled and taught in and around New Zealand, Australia, and Malaysia. Steve and Lara are the new 3rd-Place winners of Sophisticated Routine Division at The 2016 Open Swing Championship. www.steveandlaraswing.com
Anne Fleming has been dancing and teaching West Coast Swing, Hustle, and Country Two-Step for over 20 years. Anne’s classes are well-known for their relaxed sense of fun as well as for her command of the dances she teaches. Anne competes at the highest levels herself, and knows how to teach her students to enjoy the dance as well as to excel. Learn more about Anne on her website.
Keith started dancing in the country scene in 1999, dancing Country Two-step, East Coast Swing, Cha-cha, and line dance. After attending a major dance event, he was inspired by West Coast Swing. He has been teaching weekly classes and private lessons in West Coast Swing, Hustle, and sometimes Two Step since 2006, and he now teaches throughout the “tri-state” area of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and D.C. He has choreographed and performed successful West Coast Swing and Hustle routines, and continues to travel to national dance events to compete in both styles. He still loves to dance Two-step, ECS, Cha-cha, Argentine Tango, Rumba, Salsa, and Nightclub Two-step as well! Learn more on his website.
Marcus has been teaching WCS with the Dancing Fools in Cambridge Mass for the last five years. He brings an eclectic mix to his understanding and teaching of swing specializing in partnership and connection. Utilizing years of teaching and training in collegiate Division 1 Lacrosse, martial arts and 2 decades practicing yoga, Marcus will help you enjoy learning this dance and improve your skills.
Known for her dynamic style and musicality, Angelique has won numerous West Coast Swing competitions. She has been partner dancing for almost 20 years, and has taught all over the North East. A special education high school teacher by day; Angelique knows how to break down concepts to reach all ability levels and learning styles. Having taught students of all age levels over the past 25 years, Angelique has a unique perspective on the pacing of the lesson required to match the needs of her students. This knowledge, combined with her winning personality, makes her classes fun as well as educational.
Marlon “International” Mills
Marlon was born in NY to parents from the Caribbean and was educated in New York and Spain. He found his love of Salsa in 2001, and his dancing career began under the guidance of Eddie & Maria Torres. In 2009, seeing a routine by Jordan and Tatiana sparked a new love for West Coast Swing, which he began teaching in 2012. He currently teaches classes in in New York at several dance studios and at universities, and is a Teaching Artist for the “Dancing Classrooms” program, where he teaches ballroom dance to kids throughout NYC public schools. He has also taught all over the world and has performed Salsa for films, television, festivals, and on stage at congresses and many famous venues in the USA, with artists such as Jose Alberto El Canario, Hector Tricoche, and El Gran Combo.
As one of the biggest promoters of swing, ballroom & Latin dancing in Central NY, Maria has been teaching couples and line dancing for over 26 years. Once a competitor in the UCWDC circuit, she quickly moved to the West Coast Swing circuit and started winning Jack & Jill competitions. Creating choreography is her passion and she has worked with dance partners, other couples, and dance teams to maximize their potential and create entertaining performances that are sure to please. Maria is the founder and artistic director for two dance teams: The Rhythm & Blues Dance Team; and The Northern Lights, an all-female competition team specializing in West Coast Swing and Hustle. Currently, she competes, teaches, judges, coaches and deejays in the Northeast US and Canada.