Alison Cockrill began formal dance training at age 4, and a professional performing career in 1987. She has performed works by and toured internationally with modern dance choreographers Wade Madsen and Pat Graney. She fell in love with salsa after a trip to Guatemala in the mid-nineties and has been teaching it since 1999. One of her favorite parts of teaching is when beginning students get hooked and say what she said her first time in a salsa club, "I can't believe this was here all this time."
Cebrina Chavez began her formal dance training in Spain in 1993 after falling in love with dance during a backpacking trip across Europe. She returned to Seattle to become one of the original co-founders of Somos el Son Dance Company and has been teaching and performing Salsa ever since.
Darla Weideman started dancing in 2004 right here at the Century Ballroom. Knowing from the beginning that dance was to become more than just a hobby, she began teaching and traveling for dance within a year. Having been a member of Seattle's Sister Kate and Jackson Street Lindy Hoppers, Darla's enthusiasm and approachability go with her to every dance she encounters, be it the Century Ballroom or the grocery store isle. She has taught at such places as Hep Cat Productions and Swing Out Northwest and has most recently placed in the 2006 Pacific Northwest Lindy Hop Championships and 2007 Northwest Balboa Fest.
Dean Paton abandoned the baseball diamond for the dance hall in 1994, and fell so hopelessly in love with waltz that he founded the Valse Cafe Orchestra, an ensemble committed to the art of playing music for dancers. When he teaches rotary waltz, Dean stresses mastering the core of the dance - turning left, turning right, transitioning between the two -- then helps dancers use this foundation as a platform on which to build organic, graceful movement as well as a few elegant moves.
Dennis Richards is a dancer, performer, and teacher of Cuban salsa which is also known as Casino. Although he has been dancing all his life, Dennis began learning Casino in Buenos Aires Argentina in 1996. He also dances and teaches Rueda de Casino, Bachata and Body Movement for Dancers. Dennis has studied dance in Havana, Vancouver, and in Seattle for the last 10 years. His focus is on allowing each person to develop their personal feel for the music and to help his students continue to mature as dancers.
Deron Hayes discovered partner dancing as a teenager and immediately fell in love! She has been an integral member of the Century Ballroom team since 2000 and has been teaching & performing Salsa since 2003. In 2008, she discovered a new love: West Coast Swing. She is currently an Advanced level national West Coast Swing competitor and is looking forward to tackling many more competitions in the future. Besides challenging herself to be a better dancer through performing & competing, Deron is passionate about growing the local dance community and teaching all levels of dancer. She loves being a part of people's social dance journey and watching how it transforms their lives.
Frances Tee began dancing Ballet after watching the Dance of the Hours in Walt Disney's Fantasia. She discovered partner dancing in Boston where she learned to Lindy Hop and hasn't stopped partner dancing since. Coming to Seattle in 2007, she picked up Salsa dancing and continues to explore all dance to continually improve her connection to music and her partner. She wants to share Kizomba as one way to show how wonderful it can be to dance with that connection.
Geoff Moyer first stumbled upon social dance in 2000 with no dance training and two eager left feet. Hooked immediately, he filled his time with Salsa classes, and shortly found himself dancing just about every night of the week. He has focused over the years on the New York (On2) style of Salsa, but also enjoys Cha Cha, Bachata, Tango, Kizomba and other forms of Salsa (Cuban, On1, Rueda). Geoff has also taken numerous workshops around the US with top Salsa instructors, and learned in-depth for the last 8 years from Andre Mintz, a world-renowned New York Salsa dancer, teacher and former member of the Eddie Torres and Santo Rico dance teams. As the current captain of the Mambo U dance team in Seattle, Geoff looks forward to sharing the joy of Latin music and dance throughout Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Greg Rolnick's dance training and performances began with ballet and modern dance in San Francisco, touring and performing with modern dance companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 1997 he became totally devoted to Argentine Tango when Fabian Salas came to teach at the Century Ballroom for two months. Since then he has taught and performed in California, New York, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. Greg's most influential teachers include Sebastian Arce y Mariana Montes, Chicho Frumboli y Juana Sepulveda, and Mario Consiglieri y Anabella Diaz-Hojman. Greg's ongoing study of the Gyrotonic Expansion System is helpful to promote relaxed, centered, grounded, clear and technically correct movement for the Argentine Tango classes.
Hallie Kuperman is the owner of Century Ballroom and The Tin Table restaurant in Seattle, Washington. Since 1991 she has taught pretty much every form of social dance with the exception of Argentine Tango (for which you have to have prettier legs!). Currently she teaches Salsa and West Coast Swing. She produces, co-choreographs and performs in Century's annual cabaret shows. Since 2005 she has been the co-instructor for NW School's Social Dance Program. Since 2010 she has helped produce the "Dancing With The Stars"-style fundraiser, "Seattle Dances," for Plymouth Housing Group. She has taught at Google, Microsoft, Team Survivor Northwest, EMP, University of WA, Cornish College of the Arts, Folklife and more schools and private lessons than she can remember. Her passion is Century Ballroom, her students, clients of the Ballroom and The Tin Table and creating a community that people will never forget.
Jay Senior has always enjoyed connecting with music through dance. He derived much of his early enjoyment gyrating well into the morning hours at outdoor raves such as Burning Man. But something was always missing. Discovering first Swing and Country dancing in early 2000 and then Salsa and Bachata in 2007, Jay realized what was missing was the connection one experiences with music that can only be achieved through partner dancing. Then he discovered Kizomba and the true meaning of connection. Jay teaches Kizomba with Frances Tee at workshops throughout Seattle and most recently started teaching at Century Ballroom.
Jen Nelson began her love affair with Lindy Hop 13 years ago-they are high school sweethearts—and Mr. Hop still knows how to set her atwitter. She has competed nationally and is a current member of the all-female performance dance troupe, Sister Kate. Social dancing is her absolute favorite thing and she loves to infect others with the jitterbug. When she's not succumbing to Swing's many charms, she can be found around town flirting with theater and mewling with various bands.
Jonathan Wingard-Phillips was all but convinced that he had two left feet and no sense of rhythm, until he started experimenting with Ballroom Dancing in 2005. Immediately he fell in love with partner dancing, but when he found Salsa, he thought he had found his match. Bachata is his new love. It gives him the opportunity to express himself and be creative with the amazing music. The body-rolls, dips, and sexiness are just icing on the cake.
Josh Scribner is a Seattle-based dancer and choreographer known for his innovative and contemporary interpretation of tap dance. He recently finished a year-long tour with Cirque du Soleil, has appeared on the television show "Showtime at the Apollo" at New York's famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, toured with the Las Vegas dance company, "Iron Beats," and participated in the creation process for Cirque du Soleil's "Zaia." When not performing, he teaches and choreographs around the US and Canada, and directs the Alchemy Tap Project, a performance company for dedicated teens and young adults.
Justin Hirschy discovered his love for dance in 2006 when he started Ballroom dancing. He found Salsa in 2007 and has been a Salsaholic every since. His most recent endeavor is West Coast Swing, and he has been competing in conventions along the West Coast for the past year. Justin is passionate about the lead/follow aspect of social dancing and loves to pass on his joy of dance.
Mark Kihara has been enthusiastically dancing Swing since 1998. An avid social dancer, Mark has traveled and danced Lindy Hop in more than ten countries. Mark was a member of the 2002 1st place American Lindy Hop Championship team. Great energy is brought to every class he teaches, and he becomes most excited while getting people to share his love of the dance.
A Detroit, Michigan native, Matthew Maddin came to Seattle in 2000 and upon arrival, began learning an array of dances, including Salsa, Lindy Hop, Blues, and Tango. For years he focused intently on learning, developing, and mastering proper technique and skill in each dance, and with a solid foundation and a thoughtful, fun and friendly personality, he naturally became a teacher. In 2009 Matthew was introduced to West Coast Swing and was instantly hooked. He found that the fluid style and vast creativity of the dance suited him perfectly. Matthew has brought home awards from various regional, national and international competitions. He loves inviting and sharing the dance with others, and enjoys most of all, seeing people connect and have fun on the dance floor.
Nicole Adams started dancing at the tender age of 2, in the doorway of her sister's ballet class. Her extensive training background includes Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Ballroom, Latin and Swing. Then she found Argentine Tango at the Century Ballroom. She completely fell in love with the dance's ability to take her to a brand new level of freedom and expression. For Nicole, Tango provides an opportunity to not only continually train and develop her technique, but more importantly gives her the space to communicate her own personality and emotions while having a fully connected conversation with her partner through Tango's beautiful and elegant movement. She hopes to bring her strong dance background and years as a Pilates instructor to assist in finding the right alignment and posture for each individual. Nicole has performed with "Tango en Vie" around the Northwest and most recently in Seattle's Folklife Festival and at Century Ballroom in the Tango Cabaret.
In Memoriam Susan Melee Balshor 1949-2013
Susan passed away unexpectedly on Jan 23rd from complications with the norovirus. Please take a moment to read a beautiful testament to her by her dear friend and dance partner, Dean. She will be terribly missed, and our hearts go out to her friends and family.
Travis Whetman has been an avid teacher and student of vintage Jazz dancing and Jazz music for several years. After moving to Seattle in 2000 Travis became a member of the award-winning dance troupe the Jackson Street Lindyhoppers as a dancer and choreographer. Travis has been a featured dancer in the Century Ballroom cabaret shows "Musica Vitae!", "Swinging Radio Hour", and "Love Lessons" as well as in the Seattle independent film, "Police Beat". In addition to performing, Travis has placed 1st in the Pacific Northwest Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Jitterbug, Northwest Balboa Fest, and the Midwestern Balboa Swing Festival.
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