Erin Morris is a champion solo jazz dancer, celebrated lindy hop artist, and a working jazz musician. She is a formidable improviser and spirited partner, able to draw upon a wealth of musical knowledge and vernacular dance movement. Her strongest influences are Katherine Dunham and Leon James and, of course, the music itself. In the classroom she is renowned for her depth and clarity, and she strives to develop artists and individuals. She is very proud that none of her students ever look like her. She has taught, performed, and competed around the world.
Erin began teaching dance in 1999 for the University of Michigan swing club. She invested more than a decade in her home lindy hop scene and spent four years teaching primarily as a lead to meet the unique challenges of that scene. In 2011 she founded Michigan’s first chorus girl troupe, Erin Morris & Her Ragdolls, to explore her voice as a choreographer and to become an ambassador for women in jazz. She choreographed more than 40 original routines for the Ragdolls and worked closely with local band leaders, including the acclaimed James Dapogny, to present revues and performances that featured live music.
Erin moved to St. Louis in 2016 to continue her journey as a working musician and dancer. She is currently developing a traditional jazz program for local high schools that combines jazz band with dance class. She bought a 3 story brick house a few blocks from historic Cherokee St. and is busy painting everything pink.
Sara Deckard, though never classically trained, has been dancing since her mother taught her how to "mash potatoes" as a little girl. In 2004, she fell in love with Lindy Hop and all dances of the Jazz Age such as Charleston, Balboa, Shag, Drag Blues and others. She began competing and performing in 2005 and has since won titles in Lindy Hop, authentic jazz, and blues dance at events around the world. As much as she loves to show off, Sara is a true street dancer and is happiest on the social dance floor, or connecting with students in a relaxed workshop setting.
As a teacher, Sara is spirited and encouraging. She emphasizes staying true to the spirit of Swing and creating authentic, organic movement while maintaining one's own creative voice and, of course, having as much fun as possible. She strives to give her students the confidence to get out and let their spirit move, experiment with new steps and celebrate happy accidents. Sara has taught at many workshops around the world, including the acclaimed Herräng Dance camp in Sweden.
Minn Vo is LA's premier dance competitor and without a doubt one of the most versatile performers today. Inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2004, He covers all areas of Vernacular Jazz Dance, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Air Steps, Collegiate Shag, and has an extensive influence on the contemporary movement of urban street dance. His competition background stems from a long history of 1st place titles in the local, national, and world competition circuit since 1997 including American Lindy Hop Championships, National Jitterbug Championships, The U.S Open Lindy Division, Harlem Jazz Festival, California Balboa-Swing Championships, 2008 North American Lindy Hop Championship, 2008 World Swing Dance Championships and many more.
He is the founder of The Hollywood Hot Shots dance team, who is specializing in preservation and education of both Historical and Contemporary Urban American Street Dance. He has made his mark in TV commercials, film, and music videos.
The most recent accomplishments include staring on season five "Dancing with the stars", Performing for the 2012 "Guys Choice Awards" Featured dancer on the TV show "Doctors", "The LXD". Featured dancer for Jonas Brother music video "Love Bug", Choreographers and danced for Katie Perry's music video "Thinking of You" and Gloria Estefan "Hotel Nacional, Choreographers and lead dancers for feature film "G.I.JOE" ,dancer in an upcoming film "Today's The Day", recently
assist choreographed and danced on 'Shake It Up' and his group The Hollywood Hotshots have been the big opening number this year, for the 125th Tournament of Roses in Pasadena.
Melissa Shahin & Jeremy Otth
After years of teaching separately, Melissa Shahin and Jeremy Otth began their partnership 2012 while in search of learning each other’s dance styles. Since they have teamed up they have had the opportunity to do featured performances and hold titles in National Swing Dance Championships. Melissa has a dance history founded in ballroom. She has traveled and toured performing for Jeff Tyzik’s “Let’s Dance!” and has been featured dancing on Marvel’s Agent Carter TV Series, Johnny Hallyday’s “De L’Amour” music video, and a variety of performances including the opening show for the Rose Parade. Jeremy has enjoyed studying the art and history of Swing dancing for 20 years. He has been seen on TV and movies like Dancing with the Stars, the 13th Floor, Marvel’s Agent Carter, and specialized music videos. He hold several Championship titles and is recognized in the California’s Swing Dance Hall of Fame. Together With Melissa’s emphasis on style and elegance and Jeremy’s passion for dance history, creativity and jitterbug spirit they create a dynamic partnership that makes you enjoy partner dancing on whole new level. Their dynamic teaching style and love for people hope to inspire you towards your dance goals and aspirations.
Originally from Kiev (Ukraine), Ilona is no stranger to music and dance. Growing up in the former Soviet Union she was exposed to dance and music from the age of four. A classically trained pianist, Ilona has a deep understanding and appreciation for music and rhythm. Prior to her immigration to the US in 1979, she was trained to accompany dancers with the world-renowned Ukrainian dance troupe, Virsky Ukranian Dance Ensemble. This is where Ilona developed her true passion and reverence for discipline and form, qualities that sets all great dancers apart from the rest.
Over the last 20 years Ilona has expanded her artistic expression once again, discovering Latin dance – Salsa, Mambo and Argentine Tango. Trained by Perry Rogovin, Sandor, Mariano Chicho Framboli and Juana Sepulveda , Geraldine Rojas and Ezequil Paludi, Fabian Salas and Lola Diaz among other acclaimed Tango instructors, Ilona has a strong foundation and deep respect for the “fundamentals” upon which this dance is structured.
Meet Ilona Glinarsky
As a passionate advocate for social partner dance and a Tango community activist, Ilona is always seeking new ways to share her passion and make a difference in the world. She often offers free introductory classes in various communities throughout Los Angeles, appears on various radio talk shows and works hard on getting her message out into to world. She is presently organizing fourth annual LA Tango Marathon, that is created to bring the entire LA Tango community and the entire West Coast Tango communities together.
In March 2012 Ilona became an organizer of a new beautiful monthly Milonga @ LAX , which has quickly become one of the most popular places for Tango dancing, just steps from LAX (at the Elks Lodge, Playa Del Rey)
Ilona is also a founded and hostess of the Tango Experience, a weekly practica/milonga taking place every Wednesday night at The Woman's Club, El Segundo.
Most recently Ilona has dabbled in film-making by writing and directing an award-winning short film A Tango for Joe, featured here: PAH Nation – Hollywood, by Christopher Coppola.
Her passion lies in introducing ordinary people to Argentine Tango, the most extraordinary dance based on connection, mindfulness improvisation and non-verbal communication.
Ilona sees Tango as a dialog between two equal partners, therefore her emphasis is on developing and expanding ones capacity to communicate authentically from the heart, to trust and surrender, to lead and follow, to be fully present in the moment – skills and abilities essential to creating a conscious, fulfilling relationships, both on and off the dance floor.
Her studies in Spiritual Psychology (University of Santa Monica) as well as her own yoga practice, are additional valuable skills Ilona brings into her holistic teaching approach.