Marcus Koch & Bärbl Kaufer

Balboa | Collegiate Shag

Marcus and Bärbl were the main inspiration for the first Swing Paradise in 2016. They are the organisers of one of the biggest swing dance events in the world – Rock That Swing Festival in Munich which brings together Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, St. Louis Shag with the best music bands, instructors and even old-timers who still are the legends of original swing dances.

Dancing, teaching and inspiring people together for already 26 years, Marcus and Bärbl are the legends themselves, not only preserving and developing swing culture of the 1920s-1950s but also sharing their knowledge and experience everyday both locally in Munich and internationally travelling all around the world. It all really started for them when they discovered that some of the original dancers have been still alive, so they took off to meet legends like Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Gil Bradey, Jean Veloz and Ray Hirsch and moved to the US for four years.

We just couldn’t imagine not having them again for the Swing Paradise 2017 and here they are – very happy to be back again!

Andreas Olsson & Moe Sakan

Balboa

A pearl of the Orient, who is believed to have found the philosopher’s stone, the alchemist of the performing arts such as dancing, theater, television and film, and the UK’s top female swing dancer – Moe is active and vivid swing dancer all around the globe. One of the most important titles she has won and is most proud of is the world’s biggest Jack’n’Jill competition with Marcus Koch at Frankie 95.

But Moe is just a perfect match with Andreas, who is secretly known as the guy behind Energizer batteries bunny costume, representing never ending energy, claimed to be the unchallenged record holder (so far!) of most hours spent on social swing dance floors in Stockholm, he only takes a break to change into another colourful bow tie or t-shirt with a funny print and give inspiring swing dance classes so contributing to the ever-changing dance style and scene. Andreas and Moe love to see their students learn and improve. Both super happy to come for the first time to Swing Paradise!

Michal Oblacinski & Katarzyna Dybowska

Collegiate Shag

If you have ever heard about the massive SHAG craze happened in Poland two years ago, then these two lovely cats were responsible for that. It triggered many great new festivals and events around Europe, connecting many great people into a small but very friendly and intense shag community. Swing Paradise is a great example of that.

Besides owning two cats and running the Cajun Spices jazz band, Michal and Kasia are taking care of more than 200 passionate students – they are the leading couple in Warsaw Swing Dance scene, and probably one of the most active travelling instructors from Poland. They have built a family-like Swingout.pl community with their local classes, helped to evolve many great dancers who now help them organise bigger festivals like Cold Moon Bal, Warsaw Collegiate Shag Festival, Warsaw Lindy Hop Exchange and Autumn Blues and have been very supportive to Vilnius Balboa & Shag scene since very beginning. We are very happy to have them at Swing Paradise 2017!

Martynas Stonys & Lina Vilniskyte

Balboa

Martynas, better known as the Lindyman, is one of the main leaders in Vilnius Swing Dance scene and founder of famous hoppers’ dance studio, which brought many new talents to the swing world. After a decade of mastering his Lindy Hop ideas, he dedicated to develop as a Balboa dancer together with Lina to keep Vilnius’ Balboa scene active and growing.

They are one half of the people behind the scenes in making the Swing Paradise festival happen, teaching local classes twice per week and actively participating in Balboa events around Europe. The most important thing for Martynas & Lina is to help their students become better dancers everyday, to give individual focus in small details to make the progress most effective. Their classes are well structured, full of Lina’s vintage style charm and Martynas’ MC skills make you learn in fun and enjoyable way.

Arnas Razgunas & Egle Nemickaite

Collegiate Shag

Arnas and Eglė are among the recent Collegiate Shag revivalists in Europe, a very active part of polish SHAG craze and the other half of Swing Paradise organisers. Partnered up from the very first dance they are dancing, performing, teaching and inspiring the community at hoppers’ dance studio in Vilnius everyday.

Passion and joy for Lindy Hop & Collegiate Shag gained their name as international instructors, rich experience in teaching everyday classes grants quality and fun with clear explanation of their material by expressing swing music and yourself in it. Arnas is also a part of well-known swing DJ duo project Rhythm Lord Brothers which grants great tunes not only in the class but on the social dance floor too!

Rokas Borusevicius & Simona Pogosian

Balboa

Rokas and Simona coupled up in 2014 when they both started digging into St. Louis Shag. Everything started from the huge wish to expand their dancing abilities and try out something fresh and new. Rokas and Simona are dancing and teaching at Vilnius Lindy Hop club ‘Lindyhop.lt’.

Besides being crazy about Lindy hop, both call themselves Swing Era dancers in general: Simona is in love with Authentic Jazz dancing, enjoys Slow Dance and Balboa, while Rokas is mad about Tap. What unites this couple is their big passion for St.Louis Shag dance. The first St. Louis Shag class they taught in Lithuania took place in March of 2015 during ‘All Lithuanian Weekend’ festival and since then they have been actively growing a small community of enthusiasts with intense local workshops and performances and starting to teach internationally as well.