Planes, Trains, and Dance Floors
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.