Instructors

 

Adam and Nelle

Adam Speen (Greensboro, NC)

Adam has been dancing Balboa since 2006, studying under many of the prominent instructors worldwide. He challenges himself to improve by competition but mainly enjoys social dancing. In the classroom, Adam offers his own experiences and knowledge in order to foster a creative and comfortable learning environment. He believes that social dancing and individual innovation are paramount in a dancer’s education.

Nelle Cherry (Philadelphia, PA)

Nelle has been a dancer her entire life with professional training in ballet, tap and jazz. But it wasn’t until she was introduced to social dancing, particularly balboa, in the spring of ’06 that dancing truly became a passion. Since ’06 she’s trained under the most notable teachers from around  the world. Competitively she has won, placed and made finals in competitions around the world in both strictlys and jack and jills, helping keep the classic aesthetics of the dance alive. Teaching allows her to share this passion and experience with other likeminded dancers, as she strives to continually be inspired and inspire others through social and competitive dancing and traveling.

 

Javi and Heather

Javier Johnson  (Hartford, CT)

Javier learned to feel the music in Atlanta in early 2005 and literally has not stopped dancing since that day. Now living in the Hartford area, he has founded Hartford Underground and travels to teach and compete at events around the country. Balboa is his dance specialty. He's a rocket scientist by day, and master's level Balboa dancer by night. (We’re not joking about the rocket scientist part!)

Heather Ballew (Denver, CO)

Heather Ballew hails from the lovely, landlocked American city of Denver, where majestic mountains tower over the skyline and things like breathing aren't taken for granted.  She has studied Balboa since way back in aught aught and is continually refining her teaching, always looking for better ways to explain moves and concepts. A regular competitor at events around the U.S., Heather has performed and competed with Denver’s champion swing dance troupe, 23 Skidoo, and currently heads up the balboa dance troupe Ballyhoo.  Heather started her dance career teaching ballroom, latin, and swing in 2002.  Since then she has taught at Beantown, Balboa Rendezvous, Eastern Balboa Championships, Rock That Swing, and the Provence Swing Festival and is a regular instructor at Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout.  She holds titles from Camp Jitterbug, International Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Hollywood, All Balboa Weekend, and Canadian Swing Championships.  She is known for her personal investment in her students’ success and is a popular instructor for Lindy Hop, Blues, and Balboa.

 

Chris and BethChris & Beth Grover (Los Angeles, CA)

Chris and Beth both started dancing in the Los Angeles area in 1998 and have been dancing, teaching, and competing together since they met in 2004. They are greatly influenced by the vintage dance styles made popular by the Southern California dancers in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and had the wonderful privilege of dancing with, and learning from, many of the first-generation Balboa dancers who grew up in Los Angeles during those early years. The time they spent with these incredible dancers and the countless hours they dedicated to studying vintage footage gave them a real passion for preserving the spirit and energy of the original dance. Their love for combining modern Balboa elements with fast footwork, classic lines and nifty slides keeps them in a state of perpetual rug-cutting bliss. Some of their recent competition wins include the National Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood, the International Balboa Championships at Balboa Rendezvous and the North American Championships in San Francisco.  Chris and Beth are very excited to be teaching in Minnesota for the first time!

 

David & ChelseaDavid & Chelsea Lee (Washington, D.C.)

Since 2007 David and Chelsea have crafted a dance partnership dedicated to Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Lindy Hop. They are especially known for their boundless enthusiasm, musicality, and creativity on and off the dance floor, and they excel at breaking down mechanics in a way that is accessible to dancers of all levels and learning styles. Their dance accomplishments include 1st place at the 2010 Amateur ACBC at All Balboa Weekend, finalists at the 2010 Eastern Balboa Championships Open Classic and Intergalactic, 1st place at the 2009 Canadian Shag Championships, as well as many Jack & Jill placements in Balboa and Shag. They have taught at events such as the Canadian Balboa Championships, Hot Rhythm Holiday, Shag Explosion, and others.

 

 Jason & ShanaJason Swihart & Shana Worel (Boulder, CO)

Shana has been a swing dance instructor and DJ in Colorado since 2000.  Jason was introduced to Lindy Hop in 2005 by his (now) wife, Shana, and fell in love with Balboa not long after. Together, Jason and Shana have studied Balboa intensively with many contemporary “masters” and have placed in numerous competitions, including All Balboa Weekend, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, the Canadian Balboa Championships, and Twin Cities Balboa Festival.  They are known for their clear teaching style and for inspiring their students' confidence by focusing on fundamentals of movement.


 

Krista and Chad Krista Haskins (Saint Paul, MN)

Krista is a big fan of Balboa--whether dancing, teaching, competing or performing. Her extensive knowledge of the dance (and empty bank account) is due to her travels to many national balboa events where she has had the opportunity to learn from and dance with top-level instructors. She shows well in competitions, making finals at many events and has been honored to teach at the Canadian Balboa Championships, the Eastern Balboa Championships and as an ICTA at Balboa Rendezvous. She has been instrumental in starting and growing a balboa scene in her hometown and is proud to be the mastermind behind the Twin Cities Balboa Festival.

 

Abigail Browning Abigail Browning (Greensboro, NC)

Beginning in 1998, Abigail Browning fell in love with the grace and athleticism of swing dancing, and has pursued the art and history ever since. As she teaches, Abigail fosters creativity and musicality for leads and follows through technique, and emphasizes body control through isolation, repetition, and balance while having fun and preserving the historical integrity of the dance. A graceful Balboa dancer, in addition, her choreography known as the "Gangbusters Routine" -- has found a home in cities across the globe.

Abigail Browning has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she teaches College English and Introduction to Narrative.  Her poetry is forthcoming in Yemassee and the Greensboro Review.  www.abigailbrowning.com