Perth Swing Dance Academy’s story can be traced all the way back to the start of the swing dance resurgence in Perth in the mid 90s! Back then, 4 amazing people (Roger Schmidlin, Janet Tolifson, Glenn Moore and Deb Moore) were pivotal in building up the Perth swing dance scene as we know it today!
The school has passed through generations, gone through name changes and has always strived to keep and build on the inclusive and friendly scene that they created whilst staying connected with the local, national and international swing dance scene!
Our vision at SDA is to revive and share the joy of vintage dancing and recreate the suave sophistication of the fashion. Our classes not only teach you how to dance but cover information about the history of swing dancing; the music and musicians of the era; the styles and fashion; the current worldwide swing dancing community and any other interesting bits of information about that age that we learn.
Dancing the Lindy Hop is an amazing experience for all of us so we’re glad that we have the opportunity to pass on this incredible dance. We believe that the Lindy Hop went hand in hand with the big events of the time and so dancers should have some understanding of the culture that Lindy developed in.
Shawn can still remember being so terrified when going to his first swing dance lesson, he almost didn’t walk in! That was over 12 years ago and he was hooked from day one! About 6 months later joined the Perth Swing Dance Society’s performance troupe, The Hullabaloo Hoppers, and has been performing, competing and teaching Lindy Hop in Perth and internationally, ever since.
Since then he’s won the 2009 Swing Blast Jack & Jill, the 2009 Hullabaloo (Perth Lindy Exchange) Jack & Jill, Shawn and Elida were one of the 5 couples to make the semi-finals at the 2013 Australian Hellzapoppin’ Prize and along with Bron, placed 4th at the Lindy Focus 30 second showcase in Asheville, North Carolina!
He’s also taught, performed and competed in Canada, The USA, Malaysia, South Korea and Dubai!
A fan of that old swingin’ jazz sound (particularly the faster ones), he can regularly be found swinging out at the various social dances in Perth. Always happy to dance with anyone from the pros to absolute beginners, he believes the key to a great dance is to have fun, engage with your partner, turn those ‘mistakes’ into your own special variation and smile!
Dabs’ dance experience started in Perth when she walked into a little bar called the Mustang. She then signed up for classes about 3 times a week and was … ADDICTED and has not stopped dancing since.
She has since attended workshops and danced in New York, Lindy Focus in North Carolina, New Orleans, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and even danced on the Great Wall of China. Her goal in life is to dance in every country she travels to. She has often been heard saying, “I choose Balboa over Lindy!” She believes the key to dancing is to have fun, smile and laugh!
When she is not dancing, Dabsy is busy being a Media Geek teacher, working on her photography, and thinking of more ways to take over the world.
Bron fell in love with Lindy Hop in 2009 when she started going to classes with a friend and quickly took to the social floor. Since her first Hulla exchange in 2010, Bron has jumped at the opportunity to venture further afield to attend workshops and socials and has travelled to SEA Jam in Malaysia and Thailand, Lindy Focus in North Carolina, Frankie 100 in New York, O-town Showdown in Ottawa, Camp Jitterbug in Seattle, Lindy Bout in Vancouver, Herrang Dance Camp and Snowball in Sweden.
Bron also taught for a number of dance scenes as she travelled across Canada; in Toronto, Moncton, Fredericton, Sackville, St John’s, Drumheller and Edmonton. Over the years her love of swing dance has grown to include blues, solo jazz, balboa and shag, and she enjoys djing at social events and slipping in a little bebop to temper the night. She loves to swing out at a racey BPM, and is often a survivor at late nights, fuelled by a thermos of hot tea spiced with endorphins.
Jason attended his first swing class shortly after finishing his PhD because he “all of a sudden had extra time on his hands”. After a single class, he was hooked, and it has slowly taken over his life.
However, while Jason was introduced to vintage dancing through Lindy Hop, his passion lies in Collegiate Shag; a niche style of swing that is danced to much faster music. Jason has competed nationally and internationally in Collegiate Shag, and we are very lucky to have him teaching his smooth style of Shag here in Perth!
Whether he is teaching Lindy Hop, Solo Jazz or Collegiate Shag, Jason’s goofy sense of humour will ensure that you’ll leave each class with a smile on your face.
When he’s not dancing, you’ll probably find Jason involved in one of his many other hobbies, whether it be with a racket in hand, unicycle beneath him, inverted on a yoga mat or halfway up a rock wall.
Beth fell in love with the Lindy Hop straight after her first lesson back, when she was 18! She had plucked up the courage to head to her first class by herself, not knowing anyone there. Little did she know that they would not only become her dance partners but also some of her closest friends!
With her previous dance background in jazz, ballroom and contemporary, Beth has developed her own style and fancy footwork.
Beth’s been swing dancing her way around the globe including Melbourne, England, Germany, Slovakia and Sweden!
Kate remembers back in 2003, waitressing at her first job since moving to the big smoke. It was a jazz and blues café opposite the mustang bar, where a regular crew of swing dancers came in for post dancing coffee and cake. If the music was right some swing dancing would happen in the middle of the café! It was just over a year later, at the end of 2004 when she got a chance to go and see this swing band on a Friday night. Instantly hooked, she started social dancing with the friendly regulars and knew this was a style she was going to stick with.
Lindy-Hop may be her first true love, but there’s plenty of room for Balboa, Blues and Collegiate Shag in her life. Kate has attended workshops, taught and competed in various styles of swing dance in Melbourne, Adelaide, Vancouver, Seattle and Los Angeles.
While she finds choreographing and performing Collegiate Shag “epically fun”, Kate relishes in the joy and connection that comes from social dancing.
Tenita’s profile will be up soon!
Brad’s profile will be up soon!
Maddy’s profile will be up soon!
Lennon’s profile will be up soon!