Instructors

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David Rehm

David is a geek-turned-professional-dancer specializing exclusively in the partnered swing dances, Lindy and Balboa, and widely considered one of the top Balboa dancers and instructors in the world. He is regularly featured teaching and judging at events dedicated to those dances throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In addition to numerous awards, in 2006 David captured both the American and European Balboa titles (with different partners) by winning the American Classic Balboa Championship and the Euro Bal Cup. He is also the Founder and Director of The Experiment, “the world’s most personal and personally challenging Balboa and Blues dance workshops.” David is best known for his ability to capture both broad thematic abstractions and technical details all in the form of conceptual principles.

 

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Kate Hedin

Following in the path of her great ancestor, Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, Kate has traveled to the greatest unknown regions of following and footwork. Aside from a love of classically inspired Lindy Hop, she is most known for her unique and elegant style of Balboa. The result is an impressive resume. Kate holds championship titles in almost every major competition, including the American Classic Balboa Championships, the International Lindy Hop Championships, the Euro Balboa Cup, and more. She is also a highly sought-after competition judge. In 2012, she released two highly praised DVDs specifically for Balboa followers on technique and aesthetics. As a teacher, Kate is known and loved for her logic-based language, her unique methods of teaching technique, and, overall, never leaving student followers disappointed. She is proud to have held, along with her friends at Get Hep Swing in Cleveland, the Guinness World Record for longest dance party ever (52 hours, 3 minutes). Her fashion is admired by many, her lines desired as far as the Orient. She also does trapeze.

 

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Matt Mitchell

Since 1998, Matt has been honing his dance skills; starting with East Coast, he quickly moved into Lindy Hop and other Swing-era dances–with a very short detour into Ballroom. He’s studied with top Lindy Hop and Balboa contemporaries as well being influenced by the original greats (Frankie Manning, Dean Collins, Maxie Dorf and Willy Desatoff).

From 2007 through 2011, he was one of the lead instructors for Get Hep Swing (assisting the incomparable Valerie Salstrom) and helped choreograph Hustle and award winning Swing routines. He strives to bring solid fundamentals and just-the-right amount of connection to Lindy Hop and Balboa, while creating room for musicality and playfulness. In 2011, he relocated to his home town of Austin where he’s enjoyed teaching Lindy Hop and Balboa for Four on the Floor, and is a contributing instructor for BalAustin. He’s happy to be wrangling the talented group of DJs Austin is lucky enough to have at the Swing Syndicate.

Nationally and internationally, Matt has been an instructor at Boogie By The Bay, the Eastern Balboa Championships, Dance Renaissance, and the Canadian Balboa Championships, Northwest Balboa Fest, Hot Rhythm Holiday, BalAstOff, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout and the California Balboa Championships, among other great events. He competes regularly in Balboa, consistently making the finals and has several placements at ABW, EBC, CBC, ILHC, and Camp Hollywood.

He was also a stand-in for Kevin Bacon in Footloose.*

*Recreating the famous dance scene in a skit. C’mon, he’s not that old.

 

Photo Credit: John Abbot http://www.johnabbottphoto.com/
Jen Barnett

Known for bringing a little math and science into the ballroom (don’t worry, just a little), Jen began tap dancing in pre-school and continued dancing and later teaching through high school. After putting aside dance to focus on chemistry in college, Jen was happy to return to dance during graduate school–-this time the partnered swing dances of Lindy Hop and Balboa. During that time, Jen began teaching and promoting, co-running beloved Philly events such as the Saturday Night Fish Fry, Philly Bal Night, and Bal Jam ’08. She now calls New York City home and enjoys teaching locally at You Should Be Dancing! and dancing at White Heat among other favorites.

Jen teaches and competes in Balboa on the international stage, having won the All Balboa Weekend J&J five times, more than any other follow. She has also won or placed in strictly competitions at the All Balboa Weekend, California Balboa Classic, Camp Hollywood, and the Eastern Balboa Championships (R.I.P.) and teaches around the world. In addition to competing and teaching, Jen also enjoys performing. (What can you say? She’s an only child.) She can be seen dancing real fast in NYC’s own AmazeBals as well as at private events. Jen’s favorites have been smack dab in the middle of the Museum of Natural History right under the giant blue whale and, of course, Lincoln Center!

As a teacher, Jen tries to balance her straight-forward manner and high expectations with lots of love, humor, and support for her students. She’s known for being able to teach truly multi-level classes where everyone is challenged to push their best a little farther. Never forgetting to address both follows and leads, Jen blends a clear, technical presentation with the creativity and improvisational spirit that make swing dancing so enjoyable.

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Robert David Jemian

Based in Auburn, Alabama, Robert David is a dancer, instructor, and DJ. He takes a studied approach to teaching and is constantly working on refining his technique. While Lindy Hop may have been his first love, he quickly discovered a passion for Balboa in 2013 after taking a beginner class at a local workshop. Robert David loves talking about connection to your partner in the classroom. With the right connection, anything is possible. He’s thrilled to be teaching at the third Lollies and Lemonade, and is ready to squeeze the day!

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Cari Westbrook

Cari started dancing Lindy Hop in Atlanta in 2007. Since then, she’s worn a variety of hats in the swing dance community, from attendee to teacher to organizer. Cari dances as both a leader and a follower, and she loves using her knowledge of one dance role to inform the learning or teaching of the other role. In dance, she values creativity, being on rhythm, and a responsive connection in both dance roles.