Dara´s love of dancing started with moving to the latin rhythms growing up in the Caribbean, but he fell in love with Lindy Hop in the frozen north of Scotland, in 2009, and fell in love again with Blues at a workshop just 6 months later.
Dara has been teaching Lindy Hop and Blues since 2011 and lived out of a suitcase as a travelling man for 5 years; moving between scenes, teaching and DJing workshops around Europe. In 2017, he relocated to Valencia - finally back in the warm climate he enjoys - to join forces with Leigh and cook up some special sauce for some of the biggest blues events in Europe.
Dara teaches Blues Dance, Lindy Hop, Authentic Jazz, blues DJing and blues history both in his home scene in Valencia, Spain; and at international blues events.
Bibi has been dancing for 25 years (and teaching for over 18!), but it is only when she discovered the blues that she found her true “perfect match”.
The overwhelming passion for blues music and dance quickly became a one-way ticket to the world. In fact, she is a well-known face on the international scene, she travels all around Europe, USA and Asia to deepen her knowledge, teach, share and spread all of her love and appreciation for the blues. She has given birth also to several communities of blues dancers in Italy, teaching weekly courses and workshops.
Bibi holds a strong sense of respect for the values of African American culture, and for the importance of researching and respecting the cultural roots and history of blues. What she loves about blues are the breadth of blues music as well as the creativity, the freedom of expression and the deep connection and communication with the music and the partner in the dance.
Bibi is also a known Dj, and for her, music is a great, continuous source of emotions, the true engine of everything she does! She has been spinning the decks since 2014, inspiring tons of dancers all around the globe and keeping the party jumping everywhere she went! She can Dj with different supports, including Vinyls!
Aside from dancing, she is a nerd of body mechanics, in fact she is also a certified yoga instructor and she is just about to graduate in Kinesiology and Movement Sciences.
I LOVE dancing.
I love making art out of dance, curating experiences for other people to dance, and developing curriculums for teaching dance.
I’m obsessed with organizing information and experiences concerning movement.
I am always looking for the “next step” in my life. This thirst for knowledge has lead me to wander into learning the fundamentals of many partner and solo dance styles, just so I can see how “they do it”. Similarly, I have wandered my way into learning about embodiment, breathwork and meditation. I am constantly looking for more ways of artistic and physical expression. What can satisfy my desire to interpret and communicate with the world? But more than that… how can I artistically facilitate other people into having their own experiences through movement? Being a part of a group of people moving together gives a sense of belonging and purpose, and is one of the most powerful experiences of my life. What else is possible with this medium?
Shawn Hershey came from an extensive music background, studying classical trumpet performance at the Eastman School of Music, so when he started lindy hopping in 1999 with the Lindybaby studio, he quickly got hooked! He has studied extensively at camps and workshops with nationally renowned instructors, and in 2002, started teaching swing and lindy hop in Boston around with various partners. Shawn also began teaching and performing lindy hop internationally with his sister, Betina Hershey.
Shawn’s style is a blend of traditional blues, lindy hop, and tango. He strives for technical perfection, but values musicality and fun above all else! Shawn has won or placed in dozens of blues competitions throughout the years, most notably Enter the Blues, Mile High Blues, Emerald City Blues, Cheap Thrills, and BluesSHOUT! He started teaching blues in 2005, and has since traveled and taught at workshops and events around the US and Europe, including Blues Muse, Austin Blues Party, Down Home Blues, the Fusion Exchange, and BluesSHOUT! Shawn has taught nationally and internationally with Amanda Gruhl, Julie Brown, Mike Legett, Heidi Fite, Joy Arico, Jenny Sowden, and others.
Before moving to NYC, Shawn taught with a collective of Boston dance instructors at New School Swing in Charlestown, MA. Along with Josh Fialkoff, he runs a successful swing and blues bands, The Fried Bananas.
Annette hails from Heidelberg, Germany and is one of Europe's most prominent proselytisers of blues dance as a teacher, social dancer, DJ and organiser. Her love of teaching and dancing are infectious and if you've travelled for blues, you probably already knew that!
Annette likes her blues to cut straight to the bone with rhythms so compelling that you can't help but dance! Annette has spun for almost every major European blues event and is excited to come to [your town] to see the dancers rush to the dance floor and work it! You'll recognize her at the DJ stand; she's the one who can’t help but dance in her seat while queuing the next song.
Gabriel passionately started partner dancing in Strasbourg by taking hours of weekly classes in Tango, Ballroom dancing, Lindy hop, Cuban Salsa. After meeting the Blues scene in 2011, he travelled all around Europe to social dance, train, meet Blues communities, compete. For the last nine years, he has been teaching Blues locally (Paris, then Orléans), co-organized the Blues in Paris festival, and regularly taught in local and international workshops in Europe. His movement background also includes Fencing, Karate, Capoeira, Taichi, Qigong and African dance.
He feels that exploring movement is pure joy and that the genuine nature of Blues music facilitate the connection with ourself and the openness to others. What he likes the most is guiding people to their inner joy of moving by helping them releasing their mind and body to the music.