~ Swing Stars ~
Many of these stars are confirmed or in negotiation. Others are in preliminary stages. Please check in periodically as we complete our staff selection process approaching our event date...Thank You!
Mary Ann Nunez
Two Time winner of the US OPEN Swing Dance Championships Showcase Division. Has been inducted into the World Swing Dance Hall of Fame, the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame and the USOPEN Legend of Swing. Received a Three Time Feather Award and a Three Time Dancers Choice Award. Has appeared on various T.V. Specials and commercials, and is a Certified Golden State Dance Teacher. Has placed first in many Champion Level Jack & Jill Swing competitions nationwide and has accumulated one of the highest female Jack & Jill contestant points in the World Swing Dance Councils Competitors Registry. Teaches Workshops,and judges Nationwide.
Mario "Swing Daddy" Robau started dancing at the age of sixteen. He won the Southwest Regional title for the first time at the age of seventeen and began teaching professionally in 1986. For the last twenty years, Mario has traveled at least 40 weekends per year judging, teaching, deejaying, and emceeing at various dance workshops and conventions throughout the United States and Canada in the swing, country western, and shag dance circuits. Mario's Competitive credentials include: 2 time U.S. Open Classic swing dance champion; U.S. Open Team Champion and co-choreographer; 10 time Dallas Dance champion; 6 time Southwest Regional champion; 10 time Texas State champion; 10+ City Houston Championships; undefeated slow whip champion; 4 time Grand National Champion; 2 time Phoenix Jack and Jill Champion; Dallas Dance Hall of Fame; Youngest person inducted into Swing Dance Hall of Fame.
Angel and Debbie have been competing on the West Coast Swing circuit since 1999. Since then they have won many major titles including the USA Grand Nationals, Dallas Dance, Boogie by the Bay, and many others. Angel and Debbie are also top dancers in Invitational Strictly Swings and Jack and Jill competitions.
In addition to his competition resume, his choreography and dancing have been seen on film, video, television including All My Children, Loving and Ryan’s Hope. Angel is also Dance Consultant for Bridal Guide Magazine and ¦teacher and choreographer for the Children’s Program for Ballet Hispanico Dance Academy.
Angel and Debbie currently live in Austin, Texas and work teaching, judging, and performing at events across the nation.
Both a Champion Lindy Hopper and a Champion West Coast Swing Dancer; Ben Morris began swing dancing at the age of 12 and is now a 2 time World Swing Dance Champion, 3 time U.S. Open Swing Dance Champion, Spirit of Lindy Hop award winner, a California Swing Dance Hall of Fame award winner, and a featured dancer in the movie Love N’ Dancing and the Leann Rimes Music Video “Swingin.” He currently lives in Orange, California, but travels all over the United States and the world, to teach, compete, judge, and perform. He’s known for his fun dance style, infectious personality, and enjoyable workshops.
Some of Ben's most notable accomplishments include:
1st place - 2006 US Open Swing Dance Championships, Showcase Division
2nd place - 2008 & 2009 US Open Swing Dance Championships, Classic Division
2nd place - 2010 USA Grand Naitonals, Classic Division
1st Place - 2009 Chicago Classic, Classic Division
1st Place , 2008 and 2009 Swingdiego, Champions Strictly Swing
1st Place, 2008 World Swing Dance Championships, Classic division
2008 California Swing Dance Hall of Fame award winner
Ben has dabbled in many dances, including Balboa, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Mambo, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom, and Country – but his love for swing dancing is still the strongest. He continues to work on his dancing socially and competitively in both Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing while still maintaining the separate spirits and styles of the two dances. In addition his current goals are to improve the Southern California swing dance community as a whole and bring swing dancing to schools.
Jennifer began dancing at the age of five in ballet and jazz under the Royal Academy syllabus. She continued until the age of 13 when she was invited to join a college level ballroom dance team, competing and performing throughout Florida. She began learning and competing in West Coast Swing at the age of 15 - winning first place at her first national competition in the Intermediate level. Shortly thereafter, she was selected to perform as a featured dancer in the short film, "The Marionette."
After completing her studies in hospitality, Jennifer started her own company, Floor On Fire, Inc. in Orlando at the age of 21. Floor On Fire holds multiple annual contracts with area resorts for weekly ballroom dance classes for their guests, taught by one of three teachers on staff.
Jennifer is currently performing, teaching, and judging acroos the US and overseas. She and Michael Kielbasa placed second nationally with NASDE (National Association of Swing Dance Events) in 2007 and 2008. Jennifer also teaches private lessons and workshops at other events, both domestically and abroad.
In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing at home with her husband, Erik and their Yorkie named Lucy.
Rebecca Ludwick started dancing at the age of two, training formally in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern. She has taught and performed professionally for the last ten years with the Washington National Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and most recently with the Kanye West tour.
A student introduced her to West Coast Swing and she fell in love with the dance. Rebecca has pursued WCS with a passion and zeal to be the best she can be and now competes in the Champion/All Star division in the US with her Classic partner.
Teaching and competing across the country Rebecca has won and placed in many top Events. She enjoys sharing her passion with others and teaching what she has learned through out the years.
Kris and Rebecca met in 2008 through a mutual friend and after dancing together they quickly realized they both had a passion for West Coast Swing. In 2011 they decided to put together a routine for fun and from that they become a dance partnership and hasn’t looked back!
Rebecca’s dance training comes from Ballet and Modern and Kris’s dance background from Theater and Hip Hop. They’ve come together and combined their skills and passions to put their classic routine “Into the Night” onto the floor. Kris and Rebecca’s competition wins as individuals and a couple are not undeserved, with years of dance experience between them, they are well known for their enthusiasm and love of both dancing and teaching.
While understanding that people learn to dance for many different reasons, they ultimately strive to inspire dancers to have fun on the floor
Markus Smith is one of the most talented, popular and photogenic dancers on the National Swing Dance Circuit. His style has the rich flavor of an eclectic culinary feast prepared by noted restaurateur, Wolfgang Puck - a healthy portion of West Coast Swing sautéed in Hand Dance styling and seasoned with a little bit of Funk. Add a radiant smile and you have a fitting dessert.
Always a Top 5 finisher, and often Champion, this exciting dancer really knows how to light up a dance floor. His choreography with former partner Deonna Ball was unique, their footwork fabulous and their energy is captivating. Although no longer together, Markus continues to wow audiences and grow fans across the US.
With the unique styles fused from Hand Dance, Funk and West Coast, Markus is quite capable of creating a masterpiece on the floor at any moment. Although his strongest results have come in the Classic Division, Markus is able to adapt and build a rapport with any partner. His style and charimatic presentation, along with a snappy dress style all to his own, leaves Markus in a class by himself.
Markus attends Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, majoring in Music Education.
Although Trendlyon has been at Miami Dance Magic the last couple of years, 2012 marks her first as part of our staff! Tren has been a treat for other dancers here with her passion and penchant for fun dancing everytime she hits the floor.
Now an All-Star competitor, Tren teams with Markus to feature the fusion of Hand Dancing with West Coast Swing. We are looking forward to Trendlyon continuing her rise in the ranks of West Coast Swing dancers and welcome her to Miami Dance Magic as part of the family!
Barry is a 4 time US Open Champion and was honored and inducted into the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2006 at the US Open. He also won the Feather Award for the Best Showcase, Best Classic Couple and Best Choreographer of the year at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles, California in 1996.
Barry has basically won every award that could possibly be given in the West Coast Swing community and he continues to share his wealth of knowledge and many years of experience toward the growth of the sport. Barry joins his partner, Patty Vo for the first time at Miami Dance Magic. We feel his addition to our fine staff continues our efforts to have great instructors and dance personalities who are also awesome social dancers for your enjoyment.
Patty Vo, originally from Walnut Creek, CA, now residing in San Diego, CA, got her start dancing through the Swing and Country dance circuits in 1995. She started her competition career in 1997 with her partner Kurt Senser. Since then, she became the 1997 UCWDC Division 3 World Champion, 2000 and 2001 Pro/Am Spotlight and Pro/Am Showcase World Champion with her students, not to mention being an Invitational 2006 Champion and Champion Jack and Jill finalist numerous times in both circuits. Patty has also been a finalist of the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships in the Classic Division, and currently competes, teaches and performs throughout the United States.
Stephen White is a professional dance instructor with over 10 years of experience in teaching the art of bodily movement to all ages and skill levels, focusing mainly on forms of partner dancing, including Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Hustle, Salsa and West Coast Swing. His accomplishments include top 5 placements in both the Classic and Showcase Divisions.
He is currently one of the hardest working dance professionals in Florida, travelling every weekend to a different city for workshops, teaching/judging/competing at every major Florida Swing event as well as running a training course for aspiring dance professionals in his home town of Jacksonville.
Recently Stephen has been travelling the National Swing circuit, competing in the Allstar and Showcase divisions with his professional partner Sabrina Paxmann.
Sabrina Paxman was born and grew up in Germany. She started dancing at the age of 9. In her country, she achieved many titles in both international latin and standard championships. She is a certified instructor and adjucator. Sabrina started teaching at the age of 14. Sabrina is a very diversified dancer. She also holds several different national titles in country and western dance.
Luís Crespo is a competitive U.S. Open Swing Dance Champion in the West Coast Swing Community, and can be found teaching at various private dance studios, guest appearing at many workshops nationally and internationally, and on staff (as an instructor and judge) at numerous WSDC and NASDE sanctioned dance conventions. He also instructs and competes with a diverse, growing group of ProAm students of all levels around the nation helping them achieve their own personal goals with their dancing styles and accomplishments. He is originally from New York City (born and raised) and currently resides and teaches weekly group classes in Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area).
Luís began his journey in dance when he first learned traditional Ballroom and Latin working at the Fred Astaire Franchise in upper Manhattan in New York City. Shortly after he fell in love with Argentine Tango, he was introduced to West Coast Swing. It was through West Coast Swing, he discovered a true understanding for musicality and connection between partners in dancing. “After going to an actual West Coast Swing dance, I realized that the people who were dancing it really well, actually were "dancing" to the music and not dancing through "patterns" as much. This was what attracted me the most to the dance, the fact that you are actually able to "dance" as opposed to just move through patterns. Don't get me wrong, though, I still love and continue to dance the Waltz and Foxtrot, as well as Salsa, Cha-Cha, etc. I just feel that I am most expressive when I'm dancing West Coast style swing.”
On the competitive West Coast Swing circuit, Luís has earned multiple placements in both Jack’n Jills and Strictly Swings, as well as, routine divisions. Most notably are:
3 Time Top Male Pro – Monterey Swingfest
1st Place – U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships 2002 - Strictly Swing
3rd Place - U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships 2009– Showcase Division
2nd Place - Swing Dance America 2009 – Classic Division
2nd Place – 4th of July Greater Phoenix Swing Dance Club Champion of Champions 2011 – Jack ‘n Jill Division
1st Place - Mountain Magic 2011 - Showtime Cabaret Division
Throughout the years, people have come to recognize Luís’ smooth, crisp, sharp style, which comes from his very diverse background of movement carried from Argentine Tango to his break dancing days in the Bronx. With over 250,000 YouTube views and counting, Luís continues to inspire, teach, and make his mark in the West Coast Swing community, showing all his students and colleagues that “if you’re not dancing, you’re wasting your feet!”
15 years ago, Jennifer Pasetes hit the West Coast Swing scene at a wonderful dance studio, the famous, Two Left Feet in Danville, California. Exclusively just a social dancer, it wasn’t until 2009 when she started taking private lessons with her favorite follower, Melissa Rutz, that she finally decided to start competing on the circuit. In addition to competing in Jack and Jills and Strictly Swings, Jennifer also currently competes in the Showcase Division with Luís Crespo whom is the reason she falls in love with this dance over and over again.
Her most notable placements to date:
2nd Place Advanced Jack & Jill Division 2012 International 4th of July Phoenix
2nd Place Advanced Jack & Jill Division 2012 Swing Dance America
3rd Place Showcase Division 2012 Seattle Easter Swing
2nd Place Showcase Division 2012 City of Angels
2nd Place Advanced Jack & Jill Division 2011 Tampa Bay Classic
1st Place Showtime Cabaret Division 2011 Mountain Magic
When Jennifer is not dancing or working on her computer, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, snowboarding, reading graphic novels, hiking, and doing bikram yoga.
Jennifer is very excited to be invited again to Miami Dance Magic this year and is looking forward to dancing with everyone and most of all, the love of her life, Luís Crespo.
Robin has been dancing, teaching and competing in dance as well as judging nationally and regionally for over 25 years. For the past 12 years he has concentrated exclusively on West Coast Swing, studying with only the very best in the business.
Among his accomplishments are numerous 1st Place titles and many top 5 placements at events all across the nation including a 3rd place finish at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in 2003 as well as winning more top teacher awards than can be noted.
Robin is certified under Michael Kiehm's IPDIA at the Instructor / Examiner level and affiliates himself with Skippy Blair’s GSDTA intensives when ever possible. Never satisfied that what he already knows is enough, he works tirelessly to keep up with current trends and techniques in the global west coast swing community.
With a diverse professional background in music, dance and martial arts Robin has a unique understanding of body movement and how it relates to music and takes great pride in his ability to improve the overall level of West Coast Swing where ever his travels take him.
A serious teacher for serious students Robin teaches full time and would love to share his vast knowledge of and passion for west coast swing with you.
Jeanne has been dancing since 1994, when she began in West Coast Swing and quickly moved into country dancing on the UCWDC circuit, in couples and teams. In Swing, she has earned 7 US OPEN Swing Dance Awards, including 2 Championship titles. In both 2010 and 2007, she placed in the TOP 5 Females in the WSDC J&J Tour. In 2007, she earned a NASDE Showcase Championship title and finished in the top 10 Females for the NASDE Tour. Jeanne has also earned the prestigious America's Classic Top Teacher Award 3 times. In country, she competed extensively in Teams and even traveled to Europe for an invitational demo performance with the Rockin' Country Ladies, twice earning a UCWDC Championship Title. Her focus is on West Coast Swing, fulfilling a passion for variation and interpretation.
Jeanne's background did not come from traditional dance training as many competitors, but from cheerleading and gymnastics, where she brought her performance and agility skills to the dance floor. Jeanne has trained under several top instructors in the country and travels regularly as a Guest Workshop Instructor, coach and choreographer. She is President of Swing Tulsa Style Dance Club, a World Swing Dance Council Member Instructor and is the the Event Director for three different Swing Events—Tulsa Fall Fling, Tulsa Spring Swing and Grand Prix of Swing (Kansas City).
Over the past five years, Taletha Jouzdani has confidently progressed in the NASDE Swing circuit. In 2010, she took 2nd place Female in the Nationwide Tour, as a result of consistent top 5 placements in the Classic Division with her previous partner Jake Haning. Their “Soul Man” and “It Hurts So Bad” routines showed their diversity in style and attitude and were certain crowd pleasers.
Taletha is a two-time US OPEN Jack & Jill finalist and received 2nd place in the prestigious Nasde Jack & Jill tour in 2009. She is currently competing Jack & Jills and Strictlys at the All-Star/Champion level. Many admirers have described her dancing as clean, playful, sensual and classy.
Taletha has been teaching partner dancing for over 13 years and is known for her ability to create the perfect balance of technical and playful in her instruction. Common themes in her workshops are musicality, creating a balanced dance, and dance as a conversation. She prefers to teach thematically to encourage both retention and entertainment value.
Taletha likes to spend her free time creating theme parties, eating sushi, writing poetry, and snuggling with her cat Fuzz Fuzz.
~ Florida Dance Instructors ~
John and Mary Jane Harris
John and Mary Jane are the owners of the "Sultry Swing" dance studio (in North Palm Beach, FL), have competed throughout the state of Florida for the last 5 years, and are the Florida's 2007 West Coast Swing Dance Champions. They share 40 years of dance experience between the 2 of them; over 15 years of experience between them as instructors in West Coast Swing, Ballroom, Latin, Country, Hip Hop, and Line Dance. They have taught workshops throughout Florida; including Tampa, Naples, Jensen Beach, as well as several locations throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Sheven is one of our bright, young stars from Florida. His infectious sense of fun and ability to teach and enjoy several dance styles has made him a popular choice as a teacher in the Tampa area. Sheven is also working hard to become a Master-of-Ceremonies and will be handling dsome of the microphone duties at Miami Dance Magic.
In 1993 Demery signed up for Two-Step and Line Dance classes with his sister to overcome shyness and meet people. Demery did this for several years until events in life took him in a new direction. After several years away from dancing, Demery started taking West Coast Swing classes, and in 2006, he took a Jennifer DeLuca workshop and was hooked after a blissful dance with Jen that very evening. Since then, Demery has competed, placed in and won numerous Jack & Jill, Strictly, and Rising Star competitions and has worked his way up through the ranks to become an Advanced level dancer. Demery won the 2008 America's Amateur Novice Championship Events (AANCE) Jack & Jill Intermediate division Leader Champion award.
Michel Holm and Aaron McKenna
Aaron McKenna and Michele Holm both reside in the Florida Treasure Coast Area. There, they can be found teaching weekly workshops and private lessons promoting their passion of West Coast Swing. Their love of dancing began on the Country Circuit in 2003, where they met competing in Pro-Am. After many years of successful competition in Pro-AM and Couples Divisions, the decision was made to put all efforts into West Coast Swing. Today, they enjoy competing in Jack and Jill competitions throughout the state of Florida where they feel very fortunate to have so many Great Swing Events. With a Driven desire to expand their knowledge and stay current with West Coast Swing, they continue to take private lessons from top swing professionals. Be sure to ask them for a dance.
Over the last 14 years West Coast Swing has been Dawn’s passion. She began competing on the UCWDC circuit and became a World Champion in 1996 and 1997. She has competed in many swing competitions and has won and placed in many Jack-n-Jill and Strictly Swing contests. She gained knowledge and experience from many years of training with top dance professionals. Dawn currently teaches west coast swing at Goldcoast Ballroom in Coconut Creek, FL and Sultry Swing Studio in North Palm Beach, FL.
Dawn has been a valued member of the Miami Dance Magic staff for some time now. She has been Florida State Swing Champion and has added a lot more travel time recently to compete and train across the country!
~ DJ's ~
Born into a family of performing musicians, music has always been the love of April's life. She has trained in music since she can remember and finds absolute joy teaching and sharing the gift of music with others.
April's love of music led her to a love of dance. Dancing is the perfect medium to explore music. It allows you to express how the music makes you feel or how you feel through movement. Everyone has a song that makes them want to get up and dance.
Kelly began studying music at an early age. As a child she played multiple instruments and participated in music competitions while in school. She began dancing at the age of 12 in Country and Western but soon found West Coast Swing and has been hooked ever since. She began competing and traveling the WCS scene in 1998.
Bruce discovered dance in 1994 at the local Country Western dance hall. Competing briefly in UCWDC, migrating to West Coast Swing shortly thereafter and, has enjoyed dancing with the West Coast Swing family ever since. Currently hosting a dance in Jacksonville, Florida, with a passion to provide an unbiased environment, helping to grow the dance community. Bruce is very excited for the opportunity to DJ along side some of the best in the business. "People remember you not for what you say or do but, how you make them feel. It is my desire to make people feel good with music"
Vicki Kay has been a dancer for many years. As a youth in ballet and
jazz and in later years, Vicki accelerated her love of the dance and
moved into Ballroom, Latin and Swing. Her passion for dancing evolved
into a passion for music, as well. When given the opportunity, Vicki
rose to the occasion when asked to DJ years ago. She has been deejaying
now for many years for local ballrooms in the South Florida area, as
well as National events. She is the most respected DJ in the tri-county
area and has become the primary DJ for the South Florida Swing Dance
Society. Vicki is best known as the "West Coast Swing DJ" in South
Florida. She spends much of her time gathering the perfect tunes so
when she feels a change in the energy in the room, she knows she will always have the perfect tune. Vicki can feel the heartbeat of the
crowd. She is passionate about life, music, dancing, and her boys; but
most of all, her passion is felt by the entire dance community every
time she turns on her tunes. When Vicki Kay is the DJ, nobody leaves early.
Where do we begin? Music was no stranger to Desie growing up and it was not uncommon to find her with an instrument at hand and on a stage, often at the same time! This combination of a life-long penchant for creating music and performing finally culminated in 2010 when Desie was bitten by a radioactive penguin carrying the West Coastious Swingitis virus; there is no cure.
Exposure to Desie may result in, but not limited to, anxious feet, lack of sleep, and music running through your head. If you experience any of these symptoms you should immediately seek the nearest wood floor and let the music take you. Desie can now be found not just dancing/DJ'ing (and of course taking photo's) around Florida, but across the country, where her goal is to get everyone dancing!
Earl has lived in Jacksonville since 1968. He has worked in Television at Channel 12 and Channel 4. Earl started out playing in dance bands all around Jacksonville. He then shifted to DJing for private parties and weddings in the late eighties. Earl first became involved with the Florida Boppers at Back to the Beach II.
Earl is the Chairman of the Board for the Florida Boppers and is Chairperson for the DJ's at BTTB. Besides being a member of the Florida Boppers he is a member of the National Association of R&B DJ's. Allswing DJ's, and the First Coast Shag Club. In the year 2008 Earl was the Allswing DJ of the Year. And at the Grand Nationals in Atlanta Earl was inducted into the Allswing DJ Hall of Fame for 2009. Earl is a member of the National Fast Dance Hall of Fame and The Florida Boppers Hall of Fame.
~ Photos/Videographers/Other ~
Anne Keckler - Photographer
Anne Keckler was born and raised in Florida and began teaching ballroom dancing at the age of 20. She quit working in order to homeschool the oldest of her five children, and she has continued to homeschool them all.
Her father was a hobbyist photographer from New Zealand, and bought her a Kodak Instamatic camera when she was only 5. She took many, many photos of family, especially on vacation, but she never got serious about photography until her son, Patrick, got involved in acting and modeling. With her heart set on capturing memories of her children, as well as learning the finer points of photography, she purchased an inexpensive Nikon DSLR and began her educational journey into the realm of two-dimensional still images.
After the dancing bug bit again in 2009, Anne soon began attending dance events, and felt challenged to present the art of dancing in her photography. Recently she has been honored to be the official photographer at various dance events, including Floorplay New Years Eve, Dancing for Dreams, and the Orlando Jack and Jill Jam (O-Jam) 2012.
CJ learned to dance social ballroom as a teenager when her parents enrolled her for classes at Pounds Studio in Orlando. CJ eventually assisted the owner/instructor in her classes and by teaching privates for the studio. On a night out at a Country Bar with her original Dance Instructor in the early 1990s, CJ noticed a dance she had never seen before, and was so intrigued that she was bound and determined to learn the dance called West Coast Swing. She danced West Coast Swing socially for many years, and now periodically competes in Jack & Jill contests. CJ believes that the best part of West Coast Swing is the shared experience of interpreting the music and feeding off of each other’s interpretation. However, what CJ enjoys the most about dancing is the joy that it brings to her life and the friends she has made through dancing.
CJ has been performing administrative work in multiple capacities for many years. She is detail oriented with outstanding organizational, communication and multitasking skills. She has an astounding ability to master new concepts and ideas, as well as being analytical with a talent for deductive reasoning. She excels in creative problem solving skills and has been recognized for those abilities on several occasions. She considers herself an “idea” person and constantly strives to be helpful to others.
CJ marries her administrative and dance talents by frequently working behind the scenes with ideas and advice for dance/workshop/event organizers, by working on staff at many Florida WCS Events as Roommate Coordinator, and by writing, editing and publishing the E-Newsletter focused on West Coast Swing called Swing News Florida™, which covers West Coast Swing Happenings throughout the state of Florida. There are now close to 1,000 readers of Swing News™ from all over Florida, out of state, and even from other countries.