Teachers

Sonia Ortega

Sonia has been dancing different styles of dance since the age of 5, but Lindy Hop is the one that has captured her heart. She has been teaching regular classes in Barcelona, Spain since 2000, and over Europe for the last 15 years. With a classical and jazz background, she is well-known in her city as a fantastic social dancer and a dedicated traveling international instructor. As a teacher, she is known to be approachable, patient and willing to dance with her students. 

One of her current projects, together with Héctor Artal and Clàudia Fonte, is the Jazz Messengers Company; where they are continuously developing a natural flow from one step to the next through training and synchronization of rhythmical movement.

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Hector Artal

Professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer since 2006. He started dancing ballroom in 1999 and discovered his passion for Argentinian Tango and Cuban Salsa. Since then, Hector has also danced Flamenco, Contemporary dance, Afrocuban Rumba, and Jazz. Lindy Hop came into his life in 2005 and as years passed, this dance became more important for him. Hector loves to study different dances from the roots, respecting their origins to better understand every single move. 

Right now, Hector is developing his project called Movin’ in Jazz where he explores body movements, sequences and choreographies for Jazz music and Swing rhythm. All the influences he has had appear in Movin’ in Jazz.

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Sharon Davis

She is a professional dancer, specialized in Lindy Hop, Swing, Charleston, Jazz, Burlesque and other authentic dances from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  Australian born, Sharon is now based in London, and travels the world throughout the year performing and teaching her dance. 

She holds numerous 1st place titles at the most prestigious championships around the world and she has choreographed for stage shows, short film and music videos on four continents.                        

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Nejc Zupan

Nejc started dancing swing back in 2003 as a result of his contemporary dance experience and a strong love for jazz music. Because of this he became a main culprit for popularization of Lindy Hop and Balboa in Slovenia in the early 2000s.

His Swing dance experience is a collection of endless research into different dance forms, many international workshops and his humble willingness to keep learning from anybody who is willing to teach him. He pays special attention to jazz movement and musicality, both quintessential to any Swing dancing.

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Ana Mínguez

A pioneer of swing dance in the Basque Country, Ana has been teaching Lindy Hop in Donostia since 2000. Her passion for this dance and her drive to create a swing community in Donostia have led her over the years to organize dances, parties and workshops, to promote social dancing and never stop learning. 

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Ryan Francois

Ryan Francois is a Jazz Dancer, Producer, Director, Choreographer, Instructor and Historian. A two-time US Open and American Swing Dance Champion and the recipient of the Frankie Manning Award. A pioneer of the revitalisation of Vernacular jazz.

He was recently honoured for his contributions to the dance and its communities by the City of New York, by officially proclaiming October 6 2023 as Ryan Francois Appreciation Day.

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Ksenia Parkhatskaya

Ksenia Parkhatskaya is a dancer, choreographer, singer and actress. She is one of the most versatile artists in the field of jazz dance.  Known for her sensational 20s Charleston and solo jazz dance style she has garnered over 200 million views online. She has toured the world since 2010, teaching and performing her original work in over 35 countries around the globe.

Ksenia’s current specialisation is solo dance styles to different types of jazz music: ragtime, swing, bebop, cool jazz, contemporary jazz, 20s charleston, etc. 

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Maria Peña

María is passionate about music. Before Lindy Hop, she danced the style called Northern soul at Soul and R&B festivals. In 2010 she discovered Lindy Hop and began exploring its roots and related dance styles: jazz steps, tap, blues, balboa and even a bit of hip hop and ballet. Since about 2017, Maria has been teaching at different schools, where she enjoys spreading her knowledge and passion for dance. At the same time, she continues to learn and search for new ways to grow as a dancer.     

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Amaia Martinez

Amaia has been involved in movement and education for many years. She started with other dance styles, but in 2005 she tried Lindy hop and was quickly captivated by its rhythm and energy. Since then, she has not stopped training in classes and at international festivals. During her long journey, Amaia's Lindy Hop has evolved, blending with elements from other dances, and giving her her own unique dance style. She has been involved in the organization of past editions of Donosti Belle Swing and is eager to spread all her energy and enthusiasm at this year's festival.

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Alba Steinlen

Alba is from Donosti. She was already a dancer of other styles when she discovered Lindy Hop more than 10 years ago.  She teaches at Spirit Valencia, contributing her ideas and energy to this project. Alba is also a historian, so she really enjoys researching books, records and videos. She admires and respects Swing Era dancers such as Marie Byant and Mable Lee, and loves Cab Calloway both as a musician and as a dancer.

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Javi Molina

Javi founded the Spirit Valencia Project nearly 20 years ago and is one of the people who introduced Swing dancing to Spain. Since then, he has been devoted to learning about and communicating the roots and values of this culture. He began dancing Acrobatic Rock and performing in national tours, so he loves aerials. Watching Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in Hellzapoppin excites and inspires him!        

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Isa Jiménez

Isa has 10 years' experience in classical dance and 4 years' in dance pedagogy. Isa sees Lindy Hop as a street dance, which is why she focuses more on the social aspects of the dance, respecting each person's unique way of expressing themselves. Her dancing is pure energy and rhythm, and is influenced by African dance. 

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Jonathan Marx

Jonathan grew up with music and already as a teen he had a passion for jazz, even if his peers couldn't do anything with Art Tatum or Erroll Garner. As a piano player he is fascinated by jazz improvisation and listens mainly to artists from the 40/50s. Many years later he discovered by chance that there was a Lindy Hop scene in his student town Saarbrücken (Germany). Couple dancing was very unfamiliar at first, but Jonathan quickly became an active social dancer, attending as many classes and parties as possible and trying to educate himself about the roots and the history of the dance.

What he loves about swing dance is the freedom in movement, the musicality, the communication and shared moments with the partner, living in the moment, the warmth in the communities and of course the good parties.

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