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2023 STAFF

Teachers / Judges

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Nathalie Gomes Adams - HEAD JUDGE

Nathalie is originally from France. While in NYC for 11 years, she founded Hop Swing & A Jump, a NYC dance studio and dance troupe that were strictly dedicated to the dances of the swing era. Everyone who was in NYC between 1996 and 2005 remembers her for her smile, patience and dedication to her students. Although teaching and building a local community was her true passion, she repeatedly won every major U.S. swing dance title, became a World Swing Dance Champion and traveled the world to teach and perform.

Known for her gravity-defying aerials, Nathalie has taught and performed in more than 23 countries. Her vibrant performances have earned Nathalie many stage, film, and television appearances. She performed and served as a consultant in the original Broadway production of Swing!, and has appeared at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She was a featured dancer in the 2003 Julia Roberts film Mona Lisa Smile and was a model for the dancing elves in Robert Zemeckis' 2004 animated feature The Polar Express with Tom Hanks. Her national television appearances include repeat engagements on The Today Show, as well as Entertainment Tonight, The View, Good Morning America, and on MTV. Nathalie founded Dance Quarter, and created and coordinates Mindsteppers where 700 children learn how to dance weekly!

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Kenneth Shipp - BLUES

Kenneth Shipp hails from St. Louis, MO as an instructor who grew up dancing hip hop and breakdancing before jumping into blues. He has spent the past few years passionately studying the family of blues idioms, incorporating his nerdy personality along the way. Kenneth’s life experiences inform his dancing and wants his students to walk away with a better historical and contextual understanding to exhibit it in their dances. With every class and practice, he’ll encourage you to approach social dancing with coolness, relaxation, or in other words “Chill The F$%& Out.” When he’s not dancing, you can likely find him ranting about the latest blockbuster movie, game, or nerd convention.


Odysseus Bailer - BLUES

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Mike Sonder - LINDY HOP, BLUES

Mike strives to create a learning environment that is fun, challenging, and inclusive. The goal is for each individual student to find their next step forward and enjoy that process of growth. Mike loves seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand a concept or feel a movement work naturally in their body for the first time.
Mike has taught dance in 21 countries and counting. He currently teaches Lindy Hop, Air Steps, Solo Jazz, and many different Blues styles.

Mike loves teaching private lessons and wants to teach YOU. Private lessons are great for individually tailored learning and physically feeling movements. If you don’t know what to work on, no problem. Mike enjoys figuring out the best way to help you get to your next level of dancing.

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Katie Cobalt - LINDY HOP


Hello! I am Katie Cobalt. I am a full time international Lindy Hop instructor based in Madrid – originally from Hong Kong but via London. I am known for my classroom energy, dancefloor sass, and infectious enthusiasm for Lindy Hop.

As a teacher, I focus on individually helping my students on their own dance journeys. After teaching with Swing Patrol London for 3 years, I have had many students grow from beginners to being teachers themselves as well as placing in competitions. I now teach all over the world and online!

 I hold first place titles at Savoy Cup, International Lindy Hop Championships and Balkan Lindy Hop Championships. While I continues to throw down in international competitions, I highly value the joy and playful spirit that made me fall head over heels for Lindy Hop.

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Gaby Cook - LINDY HOP

Gaby Cook is a esteemed, active professional in the global lindy hop community. For nearly 20 years, she has established her career, teaching and performing worldwide for events such as Herräng Dance Camp, Paris Jazz Roots and Lindy Focus. She leads two swing and jazz based dance companies: Wild Rhythm Dance Company and Gatsby Entertainment. These companies have been featured on stages such as Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Series, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The 92nd St Y, Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center and many appearances at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center. Wild Rhythm was a dance company in residence for the CUNY Dance Initiative program (2019-2020 season) In New York, Gaby curates and teaches a swing dance educational program with Caleb Teicher and Nathan Bugh at the 92Y. In class, she is playful, informative and honest. Through teaching dance, she seeks connect new audiences to the immensely rich history of swing-era dances. She prioritizes equality for followers and leaders in the classroom space — and has championed a movement first approach to teaching partnered dance content. 

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With nearly 10 years of experience, AJ takes the influences from Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Lindy Hop scenes to bring his own unique style and energy to the Swing Dancing community. He burst into the scene in 2016, winning competitions throughout the US with his partner Jennifer, showing the dance world what Sacramento really had to offer! 

Competing at international events such as Camp Hollywood and the International Lindy Hop Championships, AJ became well known for his generous use of aerials paired with his energetic dancing. 

AJ has also had the honor of performing on stage for the debut run of "SW!NG OUT" in addition to dance groups such as HellaBlackLindyHop and the Midtown Stompers, along with the privilege to spread his love of dance through teaching at Lindy Hop events across the US, on a Carnival Cruise ship, and overseas in countries such as Denmark and Sweden.

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Carla Heiney - LINDY HOP

Carla Crowen (FKA Carla Heiney) has been teaching Lindy Hop and other forms of Vintage swing dancing for over 15 years. She lays claim to some of the most prestigious competition titles including American Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Lindy Hop Champion, World Lindy Hop Champion, and International Lindy Hop Champion. She has also choreographed for the well-known and well-loved hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” In 2011 Carla was creative director for a new hit dance show featuring several full-sized orchestras and professional dancers entitled “Let’s Dance” which toured parts of the US and Canada. She has traveled all over the world teaching dance including numerous times at the infamous Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden. She has performed on the prestigious stages of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Social dancing and teaching are passions for Carla and she thinks that learning to dance is something everyone is capable of doing. She has an amazing ability to communicate movement and partnering in her teaching. Her dancing is grounded in technique and improvisation which coincides with the jazz music she loves to dance to. Carla is an avid fan of having fun while learning and not taking yourself too seriously. Carla relocated to Pennsylvania and has been working hard on creating a new, up and coming swing dance community there. If you are ever in the Central PA area, go visit them at

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Zack Richard - LINDY HOP

Nearly twenty years ago Zack discovered a passion for swing dancing (through the movie Swing Kids… yup. Classic!) and kinda never looked back. Or like, only looked back occasionally. That being said, it’s a love of discovery, connection to the other, to ourselves, and to the music that brought him to co-found Swing ConneXion with Maryse Lebeau – after having already made Montreal swing dance history by developing the first years of Studio 88 Swing and the Swinging Air Force.

It is with sustained interest that Zack thinks and approaches his teaching. Always figuring out or discovering new ways to dance, to think, and connect with the spirit of jazz and communication between partners, the best compliment he can receive – despite his many wins on the competition dance floor – is still “Hey thanks, amazing class!”

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Vicky Grenier - LINDY HOP


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Michel Mazerolle - LINDY HOP


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Maude Frenette-Roy - LINDY HOP


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Lunou Samson Poirot - LINDY HOP


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Jonathan Caron - LINDY HOP


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Myriam Tétreault - ROCKABILLY JIVE & BOP


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Joëlle White - BOOGIE WOOGIE

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Michael Dominguez Robitaille - ROCKABILLY JIVE


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Audrey Thivierge  - ROCKABILLY JIVE


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