Artists

Instructors

Sylvia Sykes

Sylvia Sykes began dancing in 1966, competing in 1970, and teaching in 1979. She has studied with many of the dance greats, including Frankie Manning, Dean Collins, Maxie Dorf, and Willie Desatoff. Her extensive studies and travels have made her an expert on regional dance styles and she is known for her expertise in, and the preservation of the older forms of Swing dance. In addition, she is credited with helping to preserve the Balboa by introducing the dance World Wide.
In 1985 Sylvia and Jonathan Bixby co-founded the Santa Barbara Swing Dance Club, a twice-monthly live-music dance club that they continue to run. She is still teaching her weekly classes that she started teaching in 1979, plus she teaches out of town over forty weekends per year. Her dance troupe ran for fifteen years, performed with some of the great Swing bands, and nurtured other International teachers. She has been a member of the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance since its inception, has taught at the University of California, and has appeared in many TV shows and in several documentaries on Swing dancing over the years.
Sylvia is actively judging and teaching various forms of Shag, Balboa, Lindy Hop, and West Coast Swing throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is still an active competitor and she has won or placed in virtually every Swing event she has entered, in a multitude of Swing forums.

Nick Williams

Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. The depth of his understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stems from studying with the original dancers. Nick’s desire for authenticity, combined with his passion for dance evolution, leads to a style known for precision, lightness, musicality and dynamic energy.
His successes include World Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Swing Dance Champion, American Lindy Hop Champion, National Jitterbug Champion, International Lindy Hop Champion, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown Champion, American Classic Balboa Champion, California Balboa/Swing Champion, and California Balboa Classic Champion.
He is also an accomplished choreographer and has been featured on the hit television show So You Think You Can Dance. As an instructor, he is known for his ability to break down movements and technique to create a fun and light-hearted learning environment. His true love of music and dancing will forever inspire him to learn, teach, and grow. In 2004 and 2010, Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.

Olga Marina

Olga was born into a family of teachers and since early years has been an energetic live wire – studying music, doing athletics, martial arts and gymnastics. In 2007 she was introduced to Lindy Hop and this is where the real passion story begins. She got dance hooked and started to explore more of the dance world by getting into Blues and later Balboa. She has been actively travelling the globe in pursuit of more opportunities to dance, learn and compete. Later she began to share her love for swing music and dance by teaching. Now Olga is the international balboa instructor, teaching solo and couple Balboa all over the world.
At her classes she pays a lot of attention to getting the students interested and involved by giving challenging and fun tasks, working both on technique and musicality and infecting them even more with the love of dancing. For the time being she is passionately developing a new direction of swing dance practices – iSoloBalboa – offline and online solo classes for balboa leaders and followers which aim at polishing up technique and developing creativity and personal aesthetics.

Andreas Olsson

Andreas Olsson lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He grew up on the wrestling mat, fighting other little boys in leotards. He won most of the time since he’s always given 100% in everything that he does. He also played the violin in his childhood. You might not think classical music and wrestling has much in common with Swing dancing, but it has definitely contributed to him becoming the unpredictable, creative, musical and interesting dancer he is today.
Andreas was introduced to Lindy Hop in 2001 and a few years later to Balboa and other dances. In his early career, Andreas focused on performance and competition. He was part of the Swedish National Lindy Hop team and the Stockholm based performance troop Shout n Feel it. His international teaching career started in the mid 2000´s. Since then, Andreas teaches Lindy Hop, Solo Jazz, Balboa, Saint Louis Shag, Collegiate Shag and other swing dances all around the world. He often competes and was awarded first place at events as Balboa division at National Jitterbug Championships (Camp Hollywood), Lindy and Balboa division at International Lindy Hop Championships, American Classic Balboa Championships (All Balboa Weekend), Rendezvous Championships (New York Balweek) and Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout. Andreas is also the reigning champion of the American Classic Balboa Championships at All Balboa Weekend together with Olga Marina.
Andreas is not only involved in the swing dance community as a dancer. He has since many years back been the competition organiser and DJ coordinator of Snowball. He is organising events and is a founder of the Bal-Love festival in Prague, Czech Republic. He is also the launching an online Balboa class system called BALACADEMY, in 2020.
Before working full time with Swing dance, Andreas was working as a maritime archaeologist in Stockholm. Diving, history and archaeology is still one of his greatest interests.
As a dancer, Andreas is known for his his unique style, creativity and musicality. He is a technical dancer who is highly appreciated for his social dancing skills and his ability to connect and dance with follows of many different styles. He thinks of himself as a swing dancer first and stresses the importance that dancers today learn a little bit of all the swing dances.  
As a dance teacher, Andreas has a warm and comfortable approach towards students. He is known for being good at breaking down the dances in an understandable way through inventive exersizes and class contents. As Andreas sees it, teaching inspiring not only because it allows you to see dancers improve, but also because it offers a possibility to learn more about dancing and to contribute the ever-changing dance styles.

Jennifer Lee

Jenn Lee (She/Her) is a renowned swing dance instructor with a passion for fostering an inclusive and collaborative learning environment. She emphasizes the importance of follow voice, ensuring equal attention to both leads and follows. Jenn acknowledges the Black cultural roots of swing dancing and encourages dancers to appreciate its rich history. As a professional follow without a dedicated partner, Jenn’s versatile dance style adapts to various partners and teaching collaborations, enhancing her abilities as an instructor. Her strong music background allows her to seamlessly integrate rhythmic concepts and musicality into her classes, helping students express themselves on the dance floor. Jenn’s love for social dancing and the swing community is evident in her warm approach and adaptable style, making her a valuable addition to any dance event she participates in.

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 very short detours into Ballroom and Blues. 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 hometown of Austin, Texas, where he’s enjoyed teaching Lindy Hop and Balboa for Four on the Floor and the Austin Swing Syndicate, and is a contributing instructor for BalAustin.
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, invitationals, and has several placements at ABW, EBC, CalBal, 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.

Live Band

ENRIC PEIDRO SWINGTET

Tenor sax player Enric Peidro is one of the most popular and respected mainstream jazz players both in his home country, Spain as well as all over Europe.
He has an extensive discography both as a sideman and as a leader and a long and fruitful music career wich includes collaborations, recordings and live appearances with some of the most respected classic jazz musicians of the international scene as well as countless performances at many jazz festivals and jazz clubs all over Europe.
Often reviewed in the Jazz media as a strong, creative player and one of the very few specialists nowadays in the language of the classic swing-era tenor styles, of wich he shows great knowledge.
In later years his popularity has increased exponentially and he travels extensively all around the world, both working as a singled, teaming up with local musicians and rhythm sections or with his own units, mainly a quartet under his name or a sextet wich often expand to seven or eight pieces,wich under the name of Enric Peidro Swingtet has delighted both listeners and dancers with his classy, elegant and yet hard swingin approach.

About Enric Peidro Swingtet: To describe both the music and the philosophy of Peidro and his Swingtet, perhaps would easier to explain what they do not do:
Although dedicated to classic jazz, however, nothing further from their intentions than musical archeology or museum nostalgia; No revival is needed in their opinion, because classic Jazz and Swing are alive and in very good shape when played honestly and devotedly.
Tenor Sax, trumpet and trombone, along with a rhythm section of piano, double bass and drums are the line up of this band. A group wich always is in constant search of new material, either new tunes or arrangements often paying attention to the ones that reflect the exquisite, the surprising, the unexpected, and often rediscovering long forgotten compositions whose freshness proves that quality music not only resists the passage of time in an enviable way, but also that through an honest, imaginative and spontaneous musical approach, swing music is alive and well. The Enric Peidro Swingtet is ready to make both listeners and dancers to leave the ballroom or the concert hall with a smile in their face.
For further info please visit: www.enricpeidro.com

DJs

Sergey

For the last 19 years Sergey has been looking for tunes that make swing dancers feel better. Quickly he became one of the most sought for DJs in his home scene. Despite many years of being active he only made his international debut at Herräng last year. Also he was lucky to play for demanding balboa dancers at Bal-love, KBW and Snowball in just a few months. Sergey will serve a carefully selected classic swing that not only suits balboa but also fires it up.

Yulia

Hey, my name is Yulia. I’m a swing dancer and DJ.
I have played swing music over 15 years locally, and at national and international dance events, too. My true love is authentic jazz of the swing era. I keep trying to find out more about jazz and swing history, to learn more about the context of the music. And I truly enjoy reading stories from the lives of jazz musicians.

Heeseong Lee

Heeseong started swing dancing in 2010, learned Lindy Hop, Balboa, and blues, and participated in and staffed various events such as CSI and Battle Korea in Korea.
Currently, as a Balboa and Lindyhop instructor, he runs regular Dynamic Balboa classes, teaches Balboa and Lindyhop in various swing dance communities in Korea, and creates and teaches Balboa Team: Risig Star.
He has been awarded at several Balboa Competitions, has participated in a number of Korean and international events, has continued to attend several international Balboa events every year since 2015, and is teaching various styles in the Korean Balboa community through exchanges with international dancers.
He is actively working as an instructor and competition judge at various events such as Battle Korea, Daegu Balboa Exchange, and Balboa CUP.
In addition, he works as a Balboa and Lindyhop DJ and continues to attend various swing dance communities, Balboa, Lindyhop and Blues socials and events.

Ksenia

Ksenia has been DJ-ing for more than 15 years and is considered to be among the best Russian DJs. She DJs at local parties, and frequently travels to national events to DJ. She is also the head DJ for some of the biggest Moscow events: Moscow Christmas Swing dance camp and Moscow Comes Around. Her favorite music for dancing is the big band swing, however, she likes occasionally add to her sets pieces by small combos, modern swing bands, etc.