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Evita Arce is a Swing dance phenom, known internationally for her endless energy, inspiring performances, and elegant, feminine movement. Whether she’s on stage or leading a class, her vibrant persona inspires on-lookers to dance and live in the moment. Evita is most recognized right now for her featured role in the swing documentary “Alive and Kicking” which released publicly this spring 2017. Her Lindy Hop career, which started in 1998, has taken her all over the world teaching internationally since 2005.
As a teacher, Evita’s patience and bright, friendly classroom manor belies the extraordinary depth of her technical knowledge. She is adament about understanding anatomy and efficiancy of movement. Her open, enthusiastic connection with students lends to her entertaining communication in the classroom.
As a performer, Evita has commercial, film and television appearances. Most noted was with partner, Michael Jagger, on “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2007, and later, following in the footsteps of their mentors, Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas, Michael and Evita danced the feature Lindy Hop role in multiple tours of the Broadway musical “SWING!” (2008 – 2009)
Evita has choreographed and danced for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Evita also choreographed “Sleigh Bells Swing,” a 2 week show in Time Square with George Gee’s Orchestra at the Edison Ballroom. At the landmark “Frankie 95”, Evita was among the hand full of dancers to appear before 2,000 Swing dancers from around the globe. Evita has also directed several productions for the Lindy Hop community including the Beantown Bounce show and the Lindy Focus New Years Eve show.
Evita was a member of Ryan Francois’s company, Swing X-treme and a member of The Killer Dillers who won the team division at ILHC in 2009. Evita has also danced with other companies in New York City which has helped to round out her skills in tap, modern and tango.
With partner Michael Jagger, and collaboration from Nathan Bugh, Evita co-directed Syncopated City Dance Company in New York City for 4 years winning recognition from the New York Foundation of the Arts. The company had multiple performances on concert stages such as Ulster County Performaning Arts Center, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, NYC Choreographers Ball, and Jacob’s Pillow.
Evita has a complete online swing school curriculum and invites everyone to enjoy that material and stay in touch via the website. www.michaelandevita.com
Nathan Bugh presents a unique, rhythmic style of jazz dance in performance and in workshops worldwide. He “rocked the stage” at Carnegie Hall, dancing Lindy Hop with the New York Pops Orchestra; he performed in Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater in Swingin’ Frankie’s Way; and he danced in the Vanaver Caravan’s Earth Beat, at Jacob’s Pillow. Nathan brought the 20’s to life in the Great Gatsby episode of My Fair Wedding. And he appeared on FoxNC’s Fox and Friends Christmas. He is a principle dancer in the feature film, Rebel In The Rye. He has also danced in several music videos, including the Weepies, Be My Honey Pie.
As a national competitor, Nathan has taken 1st place in Lindy, Slow Dancing, Solo Charleston, Team, Jill & Jack, and Cabaret divisions. He is one of the most eminent solo-jazz contestants in the world, having won both the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown (2012) and International Lindy Hop Championships (2014). He is also the director and choreographer of “Yeah Man,” the 2015 ILHC Team champions. Nathan is based in New York City, where he performs regularly and teaches social-dance classes.
Gaby Cook is national-award winning dancer who is praised for her dynamic style and choreographic ingenuity. In her 10 years+ of professional experience, she has gained a bevy of national awards in Swing, Charleston and Balboa, and appeared in various film and television as a swing dancer.
With a solid foundation of studio dance training, she has developed a unique style in Lindy Hop. She blends the raw, athletic power of Lindy Hop, with the grace and refinement of the movie musical-era. She brings great care to lines, shapes and balance in her personal performance, as well as her choreographic work. In the classroom, she shares her knowledge of the dance with a cheerful disposition, and clear straight-forward instruction. She is passionate about Lindy Hop traditions and works to share the joy of swing with new audiences.
Michael Jagger has been dancing Lindy Hop for over 18 years, and he has traveled the globe with his regular teaching partner, Evita Arce, for over 12 years. In the classroom, he emphasizes the importance of creating and strengthening connection with one’s partner, and on the social dance floor his aim is to provide dance partners a safe, positive place to play.
For 6 years, Michael was the co-executive director of Syncopated City Dance Company, the premier professional dance company in NYC specializing in vernacular dance for stage and screen. Performance highlights include Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Ulster Ballet’s Festival of Dance, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Rainbow Room to name but a few. He has also been a featured dancer in the Lindy track for several tours of Broadway’s Swing! The Musical, the role which was originally conceived and performed by his mentors, Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas.
Some of Michael’s biggest influences and inspiration come from the likes of Ryan and Jenny, David Dalmo, Fred Astaire, Tommy Rall, Nathan Bugh and his partner, Evita. He feels insanely blessed for the life dancing has afforded him, and you can find out more about Michael at michaelandevita.com.
Peter Strom is one of the most dedicated and well traveled instructors on the Lindy Hop scene today. His humor in classes is only matched by the clarity and care he takes with his students. Since his start in 1998 he has taught at international dance camps from Australia to South Korea to Herrang, Sweden. He is currently a member of the renowned team the Silver Shadows and the founder of Uptown Swing in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Naomi Uyama discovered Lindy Hop in her hometown of Washington DC during the late nineties. Over the past decade she has taught workshops all around the world and performed for dance and music legends alike. She has won the champion title at such prestigious competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. She founded the internationally renowned dance team The Silver Shadows, and was an original organizer of “The Jam Cellar”- one of DC’s best dance venues. When she’s not traveling in the name of triple steps Naomi currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Aryn Rathbone is a long-time lover of jazz, and first became enamored with swing dancing when she realized it meant she could dance to Duke Ellington. Since then she hasn’t looked back. Sometime after, she began teaching Lindy Hop, and later Balboa, and she teaches regularly in both Tampa and Orlando. In the classroom she values technique-oriented instruction for followers and leaders, empowering students to own their learning experiences, and pedagogy rooted in a respect for the history of the dances.
Aryn will be the dedicated follow instructor for the beginner track during Classic City Swing.