Our teachersIntroduce themselves
Before Ilja started dancing, he was crazy about theatre. In 2014 however, he saw a video about Lindy Hop, decided this would be his new passion and never looked back. The sheer joy Lindy Hop provided, together with being the happiest social dance he ever witnessed, made sure he was dancing every dance of the week. In 2016 he added Collegiate Shag to his repetoire. The speed combined with the craziness and high energy really matched what Ilja loves most about dancing. For him, dances are also theater plays in which he improvises with his partner, the music and even the surroundings. Dance with Ilja to learn to use the music, communicate with your partner, and most importantly, have a great time while doing it. He will always aim to work a crowd, to entertain and to surprise his partner and the audience. Or, as he puts it himself: ”If my partner has laughed and shouted out in surprise, it was a good dance”.
Originally starting to dance Lindy Hop in Bern, Switzerland, Kay soon moved to Stockholm, where he was basically dancing non-stop, trying to soak up as much of the super-energetic Swedish Lindy spirit as possible and finally ended up in Utrecht. His goal is to try to take the best out of these different dance worlds that he has been exposed to and passing it on to his students. In his dancing and teaching, he is constantly striving for that perfect balance between moving together with your partner and being your own dancer because there is nothing quite like when this happens and everything just clicks.
But he is amazing!
Laura’s love of dancing started all the way in Mexico. After that, zouk, Argentine tango, lindyhop and blues were added. In 2011 Laura took her first bluesclass and was hooked immediately! Since that first class she travels all over Europe to participate in workshops. A year later she started teaching Blues classes with Frank, and they have just one goal: getting people to be enthusiastic for this amazing and relaxed partnerdance! Laura always says that bluesdancing is the most ultimate relaxation within the transpiration. During her classes there is a lot of focus on subtlety, musicality and mostly a lot of fun.
When she grew up she had the opportunity to taste from different styles of dancing.
She remembers the night when she got introduced to lindyhop very clearly. A friend pursuaded her to go dancing on a Wednesday night and somehow they ended up in “De Winkel van Sinkel”. There she got overwhelmed by this amazing dance. It felt like they stepped into a movie and Joyce immediately wanted to be part of it. Not long after that night she started taking classes, went to festivals and took every opportunity to go dancing and to develop her skills.
Over the past three years of dancing lindyhop she managed to develop her own style. She loves to play around with the dynamics of the music.
To her the most important values of dancing are having fun with each other and feeling the music with your entire body instead of thinking about it.
She hopes she can inspire you to express yourself in this dance and she hope she can support you in discovering your own movement and style.
When Esther started dancing lindy hop a few years ago, she was immediately attracted by the happy music and energetic vibe. She became a true fanatic, travelling from one (international) workshop to another and dancing as much as possible. Esther generally loves dancing to energetic, more upbeat music. What she liked most about lindy hop from the beginning is the opportunity to be creative, how it’s impossible not to have fun and the amount of silliness allowed. Probably that’s why collegiate shag was an instant match! Esther wants to spread the love for shag and help swing dancers expand their repertoire.
Frank has been one of the early lindy hoppers in this country, but was deep down always more a blues man, even back when there were just a handful of blues dancers in Europe. He’s been teaching regularly in the Netherlands since 2008 and gave workshops in many countries across Europe. He tends to favour fun over technique, and connection and musicality over spectacle. Blues is something you release, not something you learn.
Natalia began her career in the arts industry in Colombia, where she was born and raised. She holds 1st place titles in singing competitions, Cheerleading and Karate, a strong foundation on which she developed her athletic and vivacious dance and performance style.
After moving to Canada, she discovered Swing dancing in 2005 and co-founded Swing Dynamite, the city’s first dedicated Swing school and performance troupe, in 2006. Natalia started dancing Lindy Hop at age 17 and at age 19, she had already led a Swing dance team to take a silver medal at the Canadian Swing Championships.
As a performer, she has danced on many stages across Canada and the US. Highlights include dancing with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, on TV with Rogers, ATV, CTV and Canada TV. She has also danced and acted in TV commercials.
Natalia is an award-winning competitor in Lindy Hop, Jazz, Balboa, Blues and West Coast Swing. A Swing instructor of 14 years, she has taught throughout Canada, the USA, Mexico, and the Netherlands. She speaks English, Spanish, and French, and is currently learning Dutch.
With several teaching and working partners, Natalia taught most recently in Utrecht, Netherlands with Juan Villafañe (Buenos Aires, Argentina). She taught her previous dance residency in Utrecht with Mikey Pedroza (Orange County, USA).
Natalia has taught with Mickey Fortanasce (New York, USA) and collaborated for many years with Zack Richard (Montreal, Canada) and Daniel Newsome (Seattle, USA).
Natalia also teaches alone. Her latest residencies were in Phoenix, USA and in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
If I learned anything in the time I spent dancing (definitely not turning out well in photos) is that what makes it meaningful over and over to me is first of all the quality of rhythm one is able to produce and then the rewards that are coming from learning how to exert control on your own body. Oh, and that I like Leon James.
Also I would like to make clear that if anyone will unwisely ask me to dance a blues (most probably in a busy passage while I am trying to run away), he/she should also be ready to bear the consequences of their actions.
gymnastics at the early age of 4. However, she was attracted more to the rhythmic part of it than to the gymnastics. Therefore she soon tried other dancing styles, and later on she experienced the joy of partnered dancing through
ballroom dancing. After moving to Utrecht, she was introduced in 2016 to Lindyhop, the dance with many styles, possibilities, and the freedom to be yourself: a perfect match. In class, Roos likes to first give you the technical tools for dancing comfortably, and then expand this with creativity and musicality
such that you can express your true self in the dance.
Rohan came across lindyhop in 2011, and fell hopelessly in love with the dance and the spirit of swing music. After countless hours of learning, dancing and DJ’ing at local and international workshops, he has developed his own unique style and perspective on swing dancing. Borrowing elements from other dances, such as blues, charleston and latin, he loves to get creative while dancing. He focuses his lessons on developing a great connection with the partner and an individual style.
Stella is a familiar face in the (international) lindy hop scene since 2014. Besides her activities as a teacher, she is also head of the board of Swing in Utrecht. Thanks to her experience as a jazz vocalist and (jazz) ballet dancer her dancing style is characterised by gracefulness, high energy, challenging rhythm and improvisation. As a lindy hop teacher Stella encourages you to face up to the challenges you will find in lindy hop, to explore your own creativity and most of all to have a lot of fun during every dance.
Roberto bumped into lindyhop in 2004, when he chose dancing as a nice hard challenge for a techie like him. He’s since travelled, learnt, performed, taught, learnt… did he mention “learnt”? What can you expect from him? He’s a nerd and dancing is no exception: endless discussions on the how/why/what/when of dance technique make him as happy as a child. Talking of which, the happy child that is (not too) deep inside is what you’ll find when you dance with him!
Timo started dancing Lindyhop in 2015 after finally being convinced by friends to join a drop-in class. As a passionate rock climber he didn’t expect to like dancing, but he immediately fell in love with the fun and easygoing vibe of Lindyhop. He started going to as many social nights and events as possible and discovered the complex techniques behind the dance. Timo loves to talk all night about all the technical points of the dance, but then there would be no time left to dance and have fun, which is even more important!
Dancing is part of her life since the age of 11. She started Jazz dance in Germany and moved on later to ballroom dance and Hip hop. She fell in love with Lindy hop in 2017 when a colleague took her to a drop-in class. Since then, she has been traveling to festivals around Europe in order to soak in different influences and find her own style. In her classes she emphasizes to express yourself as a dancer individually as well as in a couple.