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Teachers

Saran

SaranSaran is a hoofer from way back with over 20 years experience in dance and the firm belief that jazz dances are for everyone, that full body movement and killer rhythms are the way to go, and that creativity and improvisation are the best bits whether you’re a brand new dancer or an old pro!

As well as teaching at Full Swing, Saran regularly travels around New Zealand and internationally to teach and judge, including a recent teacher in residence stint at the Jam Cellar in Washington D.C., attending the International Lindy Hop Championships in Virginia, organising New Zealand’s largest swing dance exchange and competitions, and teaching tap and swing workshops in Australia. With a love for improvised solo dancing and dedication to partner swing dances, Saran loves movement and rhythm of any variety and the ways different dances speak the same language.

Michael

MichaelMichael came to dancing from a martial arts background when he decided to give ballroom dancing a go to try to impress his girlfriend at the time. After trying out a variety of other dance styles, he found swing and has been hooked ever since.

Dancing Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues and more, Michael’s approach to dance is creative, lighthearted and fun. He is known for his dance-floor style and energetic choreography, and is one of the “boys in the back room” behind Wellington’s swing social events like Speakeasy.

Becky

BeckyAfter 5 ½ years dancing Ballroom, Latin, and New Vogue, Becky was bitten by the Swing bug in May 2004 and hasn’t looked back.

She loves the playfulness of Lindy, the delicious smoothness of Balboa, the energy of Charleston and the lovely liquid feeling you get when dancing blues until the wee small hours.

Aside from the innate thrill dancing Swing brings her from the tips of her jazz handed-fingers to the bottom of her twinkle toes, Becky reckons the next best thing about Swing is the insta-friends you make on a dance floor – even when you aren’t speaking the same language, the language of dance is universal.

Elinor

ElinorElinor fell into dance at a young age – “inventing” a move that involved jumping & spinning in the air & then landing on the knees. Realising there wasn’t much longevity in such a move and that knees are important, Elinor fell instead into the ol’ faithful combo of ballet/jazz/tap – a late series of “hoofer” style tap teachers cementing a love of Rhythm tap.

Eventually, dance was shelved.. until one sweet day – having hailed a cab up Broadway for a day of tap classes in NYC – the tap love couldn’t be suppressed any longer. Upon return to Wellington, Elinor was delighted to find Full Swing delivering the best tap classes she’d had the pleasure of tapping in for some time and leading the charge/traveling time step of the great tap resurgence in New Zealand!

Andrew

AndrewAndrew was inadvertently introduced to dance while acting as a wingman for a colleague. Having sharpened his shoes on the mean streets of Auckland, he moved to Wellington to continue his education in the ways of Swing.

Andrew enjoys sharing his passion for Swing with everyone who’s interested (as well as some who are not). He approaches dancing with a serious dose of fun and a side order of cheekiness. The discovery of the art of Balboa has left him a devoted student of the style, on top of his addiction to Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Tap.

Lauren

LaurenLauren started learning Lindy Hop in 2001, but didn’t consider herself addicted until a few years later when she came back from traveling and started over again. She fell in love with Balboa during a weekend workshop in the UK, and that was it; Balboa’s smooth fast footwork and dreamy lead/follow connection never fail to bring a smile to her face.

Lauren’s dancing highlights to date include: asking Frankie Manning to dance, attending Studio Hop Summer Camp, participating in the Balboa Experiment, and busting out a few sneaky lollie kicks on an empty stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City!

Emma

Teachers - Emma

Emma has loved music and dancing all her life. After attempting to avoid any sort of school team sports at primary school she eventually found an activity that was right up her alley….a Ballroom and Latin American dance class. It was the beginning of her love affair with dance and saw her compete throughout New Zealand during her teenage years. Eventually it was time to step away from the rhinestones and fake tan and try out another style of dance…..Full Swing provided the perfect solution.

Enjoying the culture, friendly people, music and different dance styles, it has been a big part of her life ever since (she even got engaged at the studio!). Always keen for a dance, Emma loves both partner and solo styles and sharing her enthusiasm with others.

Jen

Teachers - JenJen has joined us from Dunedin where she has headed Dunedin’s swing scene, Swing Riot, for the last three years. Jen began dancing in 2008 as a way to meet new friends while studying at the University of Otago and hasn’t looked back since.

With a passion for all things swing, she loves nothing more than sharing that passion and joy with others. She is extremely excited to be joining the teaching team at Full Swing and will be focusing on Lindy, Blues and Charleston, although you may see her in the odd Balboa and Solo Blues classes.

Alistair

Teachers - AlistairA tall, lanky, monkey-like male from a sub-species of Homo sapiens, Alistair began dancing Lindy Hop in late 2011 before quickly taking up Balboa, Charleston, Blues, and, more recently, a light touch of tap.

Known for his shimmying, swinging hips, eyebrow dexterity, and ability to point out a double entendre from 30 feet away, Alistair focuses on maximum fun during a dance and creating something unique with his partner every time out on the dance floor.

Rachel

Teachers - RachelRachel started dancing Swing in 2012 at the suggestion of a friend, and since Balboa and Lindy Hop got her hooked she’s expanded her swing dance interests to include Charleston and Blues.

With dance events and exchanges in Auckland, Napier and Christchurch under her belt, she went big in 2014, attending Frankie 100 in New York City to dance with Lindy Hoppers from all over the world!

Rachel has well and truly caught the Swing bug, enjoying the culture, the great friends, and of course the dancing itself – looking forward to more exciting swing things to come!

Vanessa

Teachers - VanessaNess was introduced to Salsa dancing by a flatmate in Oxford way back in 2002 and when she returned to Wellington a year later found it a great way to make new friends and keep fit.

She quickly became addicted to dancing, and seeking new challenges she found Swing – and there followed a love affair with this historic dance. Some of her favourite swing things are the freedom to improvise within the dance and the excuse it provides to indulge in her love of dress ups and add to her already impressive costume collection!

Since 2004 when the Lindy-bug took hold she’s danced in the UK, America, Australia and NZ and loves nothing more than feeling really well connected with a dance partner and having some crazy dancing fun.

Peter

Teachers - PeterPeter stumbled across lindy hop by accident halfway through a nine year stint in London, and ended up in the London Swing Dance Society’s performance troupe.

He’s made the pilgrimage to swing Mecca, Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden, twice, and closer to home travels around New Zealand to events too – the Napier Art Deco festival being a particular favourite.

Peter loves the social side of swing dancing and can usually be found either propping up the bar or being propped up by a dance partner wherever there’s a jazz band playing. Where there’s no band, he has a huge collection of tunes (and a couple of vintage gramophones) to get the joint jumpin’!

Nick

Teachers - NickOriginally hailing from Christchurch by way of Dunedin, Nick moved to Wellington after finishing his studies at the University of Otago.

He began dancing in 2011 when he was introduced to it while on exchange in England and has been in love with it ever since. He started his teaching career with the Dunedin swing scene, Swing Riot, and is now super excited to be a teacher for Full Swing. Nick is interested in most styles of swing, but especially Lindy Hop and Blues.

Murray

Teachers - MurrayMurray enjoys the conversation of partner dancing and recently described Swing as ‘a creative melting pot blending cool music, laughter and movement in one big social gumbo’. Full Swing epitomises this and he believes Wellington is seriously lucky to have a group of like-minded people to continue to grow the scene.

Swing strikes a chord with Murray because of the rich colourful music and freedom of expression. Helping others to experience this and forget about everything else is what it’s all about.

Ams

Teachers - AmsWith a passion for all that is swing dancing, you’ll probably find Ams busting out a dance move or two at any opportunity she can find.

Ams joins the Full Swing team of passionate swing dancers as a reserve teacher with focus on Lindy Hop and Charleston.

Phil

PhilPhil has been dancing Lindy Hop since 2004, and due to a deep commitment, he has rapidly taken his dancing to a high level. He has taught special workshops at the Auckland Lindy Exchange (100% Pure), Art Deco Napier, and National Tango Festival.

Phil loves the culture of swing, especially the music and clothes. He is known for his sharp shoes and his extensive collection of hats!

Racheal

RachealRacheal’s love of dancing started early and she was often seen pirouetting down the street in her pink fluffy slippers. Nicknamed “Twinkle Toes” by her local bus driver, she proceeded to impoverish her parents by attending every dance class under the sun.

After years of ballet and modern jazz, and snippets of everything else, Racheal attended a free Lindy Hop class in 2001 and caught the Swing bug. Obviously she is yet to discover a cure.

Now days Racheal teaches Lindy Hop, Charleston and Blues, enjoys Balboa and any other swing era dance that gets thrown at her, and generally keeps things ticking.

“For me the best moment is when the penny drops and someone who was previously struggling goes “Aha!”. The look on their face makes teaching so enjoyable.”

Shieva

Teachers - ShievaShieva found swing dancing through an already long and passionate existing love affair with American roots music – in particular Blues and Country Blues.

Her friends and family rue the day she discovered the dance style that accompanies this music, as it’s become a time-hogger to say the least. Nor has her devotion to Blues dancing managed to cure her addictions to Lindy Hop, Charleston and Balboa.

She’s attended dance events in Berlin, Vitoria (Spain), Lisbon, Porto, NYC, Melbourne and all around NZ. You’ll probably hear her before you see her as she’s known not only for her energetic dancing, but also her loud laugh on the dance floor.

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