LaTasha “Tasha” Barnes is an artist, dancer, entrepreneur, and ambassador of culture. Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Tasha has enjoyed much of her life immersed in jazz, funk, soul, and R&B music and dance thanks to her DJ father and dancing family. Having turned that lifelong passion into cultural activism she serves towards achieving the mission of Urban Artistry, Inc to preserve the arts that represent the urban experience, as a directing member, performer and educator. She is celebrated for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout all her dance forms which include: House, Hip Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Forever a student, Tasha continues to develop her knowledge and performance skills across her many disciplines. As an educator and performer, she strives to inspire fellow artists to cultivate an authentic sense of self in their creative expressions and daily lives.
Known for her magical energy, high-flying aerials and dynamic movement, Evita Arce is a specialist in the Lindy Hop, The Charleston, and other Swing era dances. Evita performed the featured Lindy Hop role with partner, Michael Jagger, in the Broadway show SWING for the 2008 Japan tour, The Sacramento Music Circus, and the Benedum Theater in Pittsburgh. Additionally, Evita performed in "Let Freedom Swing", a Celebration of America, sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and held at the Kennedy Center. It was part of the Martin Luther King day and 2009 Inaugural Festivities.
Sylvia Sykes began dancing in 1966, competing in 1970, and teaching in 1979. She has studied with many of the dance greats, including Frankie Manning, Dean Collins, Maxie Dorf, and Willie Desatoff. Her extensive studies and travels have made her an expert on regional dance styles and she is known for her expertise in and preservation of older forms of Swing dance, including Balboa.
Bobby White is known worldwide for his individual dance style, expressive teaching methods, and floppy hair. He is a passionate dancer of Balboa, Lindy Hop, and Solo Jazz and has won many national and international championship placements in those dances, which he teaches all over the world. His welcoming nature and humorous personality are complemented by his passion for the dance and in-depth instruction.
Laura started dancing in 2001 in San Antonio. It wasn’t a very large scene, and the people teaching her hadn’t been dancing very long, but she quickly came to love lindy hop, the music, the history and everything involved.
Now Laura travels the world teaching, competing, performing and learning. She is a passionate believer in dancing with swing, with rhythm, and with presence. She constantly strives to find something genuine and fun, instead of finding the next cool move, and passionately believes that follows and leads are two vitally important sides of the same coin. She is also an active participant in her home community, Austin, TX; co owning a teaching company, The Lindy Project, with Scott Angelius & Mike Roberts, participating in the Austin Swing Syndicate board, the Austin Lindy Exchange board, organizing community events, and any number of things to keep Austin one of the best scenes around.
Peter Strom is one of the most dedicated and well traveled instructors on the lindy hop scene today. His humor in classes is only matched by the clarity and care he takes with his students. Since his start in 1998 he has taught at international dance camps from Australia to South Korea to Herrang, Sweden. In addition to teaching he brings with him his skills as a sought after DJ and experienced Master of Ceremonies. He is currently a member of the renowned team the Silver Shadows and the founder of Uptown Swing in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ramona Staffeld is one of those unique individuals who transcends the requirement that to be a veteran of your chosen profession, you must be of an advanced age. Amazingly, Ramona is such a young dancer with so many years of experience, she is often referred to as a veteran. Ramona’s dancing reflects the beauty, rawness, and rhythm that arguably makes Lindy Hop the best dance in the World. Ramona has provided dancing tuition to many students in all corners of the World and is known internationally for her graceful style and spontaneity on the dance floor. Born in Ithaca, New York, Ramona was only 14 when spotted by one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop, the late great Frankie Manning. Still in her early teens, Manning asked Ramona to open with him at the Mid-Summer Night Swing series at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Ramona eventually moved to New York City in 2003 where she continued to learn and refine her craft. Ramona has received numerous accolades and has claimed a number of prestigious dance titles including World Lindy Hop Champion, and Authentic Jazz and Blues Champion at the 2009 Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown. Ramona currently resides in Melbourne, Australia and teaches locally as well as continuing to teach all over Australia and around the World.??Whether you are just starting out or you are an experienced dancer wanting to take it to the next level, Ramona applies her teaching method to all levels of skill and ability.
Alain Fragman hails from Montreal and is one of the top Lindy Hop dancers and instructors in Canada. He has taught in countries as far away as Australia and can be seen regularly teaching workshops and competing in North America. In 2013, he won the coveted ULHS Showdown battle and placed 2nd in the ILHC Showcase division. Alain is a founding member of the Northern Lights Team and had the privilege of performing with them at Frankie95 and the Jump Session show.
A talented and musical dancer, Alain teaches dancers to connect to the music and to their partner through active listening and response. When he dances, teaches, performs, or competes, Alain’s purpose is to spread the joy of dance and inspire others.
Sylwia Bielec is from Montréal, and has been a fixture on the local teaching and social circuit for many years. She began dancing at age ten, and fell in love with Lindy Hop in 2000. Sylwia's teaching combines her love of partner dancing and her belief that each of us embodies primal internal rhythms and a biological impetus to move. She is a charismatic, sensitive and versatile follow, and an articulate and skilled teacher who understands and works with individual learning styles. Her dance motto is "This little light of mine, I'm gonna' let it shine!", and she delights in igniting the light in others. Sylwia and Alain Fragman count several 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes at national competitions in couple and team divisions. They are members of the Northern Lights and teach at Cat's Corner in Montreal.
Lunou is a dynamic follower from Montreal and Quebec city. She has been swing dancing since 2003, and has developed her own style, always bringing positive energy to the dance floor. A teacher by profession, she loves to help dancers find their way and grow in the dance. Generous and devoted, she shares her passion by performing and teaching across North America. She has been a member of the Northern Lights since 2008. She has also been one of the main teachers at Cat's Corner in Montreal since 2011.
Dan is immersed in the music and the movement. He constantly travels to continue learning, happily sharing his ideas along the way. In his teaching, Dan’s enthusiastic approach brings a focus on innovation, connection, and attention to your partner. Dan is also a veteran DJ, spinning for events across the continent and locally on a weekly basis, and has dabbled in organizing for events and local dances. In the end, Dan is most excited to push his dancing and to see his students break through their boundaries.