Learning to swing dance will make YOU a better person.
Firstly, it’s a fun way of exercising that doesn’t feel like work. Similar to jogging, it provides cardio and light impact from all the moving around, especially when you are dancing to up-beat tunes, and it actually tones your arms and core because of the partnering skills. Oh yeah, and of course it works out your legs.
Second, when you learn how to partner-dance your awareness of self and sharing is completely elevated. Sure you improve your strength, coordination and balance learning any new physical activity, but partner dancing teaches you how to work as a team and share your ideas physically with another person. It’s playful and works like a movement based dialogue between the two dancers.
Learning to Swing dance requires you to be a good listener, explore collaborative creativity and practice being supportive. There is a great joy in physically connecting and playing with another person. Whether you accidentally create a moment with your partner that fits the music or just end up laughing at the silliness of a flubbed step, Swing dancing makes you smile. We would argue that being happy, having more sensitivity and compassion towards others and being in good physical shape would = A Better You
Hi, Michael and Evita here. Welcome and thanks for coming to our website. This little bit is dedicated to telling you our personal story about what Lindy Hop did for us and what it can do for you.
Both of us separately found Swing dancing when we were students in college and considered it to be an awesome extra curricular hobby. The music, the fashion, the physical activity and most important, the socializing, were all “must-haves” as we entered our twenties. Swing dancing and Lindy Hopping turned into a full-on life style. We loved it! And in 1999 we never would have imagined becoming professional, internationally touring teachers and performers.
We have multiple stories of insecurity, fear, embarrassment, you name it. It took us a lot of courage to first step out on the dance floor. It was very intimidating to enter our first dance contest where you are judged. But getting past all the awkward moments and following our curiosity and passion lead us to taking a huge leap of faith.
We each left our home towns and moved to Los Angeles. That is where we first met each other, in 2003, and where we auditioned, and made it into Ryan Francois’ dance company. We definitely accomplished our 10,000 hours during that time. We were sculpted by Ryan and rehearsed every week, three days a week, five hours a day, for over a year. (That’s not including social dancing in the evenings.) During that time, we never actually got to perform. Ryan was not satisfied yet with our abilities and couldn’t put his name on a company that wasn’t up to his standards.
Although frustrating and demoralizing at times, that taught us to value work, find patience and have perseverance. We eventually left LA, relocated to NYC in 2005 and decided to be dance partners.
Since then our growth has been slow and steady. We never really had a huge competition win where everyone watched on YouTube and went crazy about us. Swing dance clips weren’t even up on YouTube back then. We did have an exciting TV moment when we auditioned and made it to finals in Las Vegas on “So You Think You Can Dance”. That was probably the first time we got significant national recognition and it helped us step up from being “no-bodies”.
In the international Lindy Hop community our work came gradually as people got to know us and as Ryan and Jenny recommended us for gigs. I think we kept working because we were always so grateful, so happy and in awe that we were getting jobs.
This beautiful life of traveling and teaching gave us amazing opportunities to meet phenomenal people all over the world.
Through teaching people how to Swing dance we began to realize how powerful and important it is to take care of each other. Partner dancing focuses of course on the partnership and when you really boil it down to what makes us happy in life it’s connecting with others, helping others succeed and bringing joy into other’s lives. For us, Lindy Hop and Swing dancing have given us an artistic outlet and a most incredible way of connecting with people not only through a physical dance but through inspiring conversations and hopeful stories of awaking and transformation.
A few of Evita and Michael’s accomplishments and performances:
Bryant Park Dance Parties: Featured Instructors 2014-2016
“Swing is the Thing” with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra 2015
House Dancers for The Rainbow Room, New York City 2014
Jacob’s Pillow, Inside Out Stage – Summer Festival 2012, 2013
Midsummer Night Swing, New York City 2014-2016
The Rose Theatre with Jazz at Lincoln Center
The Kennedy Center with Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
“Sleigh Bells Swing” with the George Gee Orchestra at the Edison Ballroom
Pittsburg Civic Light Opera production of SWING! 2009
Sacramento Music Circus production of SWING! 2008
Japan touring production of SWING! 2008
FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” 2007
Where in the world are Michael & Evita?
If you are looking to post our bio for promotional needs, feel free to copy and paste the paragraph below :::::::
Michael and Evita are International Lindy Hop dancers and teachers based in New York City. They bring an exuberant energy and joy to every project. Their combined resumes span the globe, together having performed on prestigious stages and dancing with Philharmonic Orchestras, touring with Broadway shows, working with Jazz at Lincoln Center plus appearances on, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Michael and Evita have worked together for over 10 years and have been dancing Lindy Hop for 17 years.
Michael and Evita developed a home teaching regular classes at Dance Manhattan, New York City’s most recognized school for social dance (2005 – 2014).
Currently, the two teach pop up workshops all over the world and produce performance material for Syncopated City Dance Company. (www.syncopatedcity.org)
As dance teachers, Michael and Evita emphasize the understanding of anatomy and efficient use of the body. Connecting movements through elegant flow, clearly projecting direction within the body, and romantic personal interactions are what create their lead and follow technique. Above all other descriptions, one will surely say that Michael and Evita are inspiring to watch and possess a warm welcome to any student of Lindy Hop. You can enjoy more of their instruction by subscribing to their mailing list at MICHAELANDEVITA.COM