Our 2017 Camp Hollywood instructors:
*click on any of the names below to be directed to our instructors' websites*
They're baaaack! For Camp Hollywood's big 20th year celebration, Hollywood Style originators Erik and Sylvia are coming out of retirement to share a little of their knowledge with us.
Erik Robison and Sylvia Skylar began dancing together in April of 1997. Their similar interest in reviving the earlier forms of swing dance was the driving force behind their wholehearted investigation into the more traditional swing dances, such as Partnered Charleston, Collegiate Shag, and the Balboa, as well as the more common dance of the 6 and 8 count Lindy Hop. They studied hours of old movies, soundies, and vitaphone shorts and actually had the opportunity to learn first-hand from many of the original dancers from these clips.
The more they studied, they realized that there was an entire style of Lindy Hop which seemed to be lost in the modern Lindy movement. It was the style that belonged to the swing dancers from Southern California and more specifically, Hollywood, during the 1930's and the 1940's. Erik and Sylvia fell in love with the style and dedicated themselves completely to its revival. Erik and Sylvia named and trademarked their rendition of this authentic Lindy Hop style "Hollywood Style". Hollywood style refers not to the geographic area of origin, but to the medium from which they learned, old Hollywood and its dancers.
Jo and Kevin live and breathe Lindy Hop with their passion for celebrating life through dance. They travel globally teaching and performing dances from the Jazz Era of the 1920's to 1940's. Since their partnership began in 2007 they have taught in 28 Countries across 5 continents including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Together they hold titles at the International Lindy Hop Championships, European Swing Dance Championships, American Lindy Hop Championship, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Camp Hollywood and Camp Jitterbug. With clear and humorous instruction, these two creative and versatile dancers will entertain, inspire and help you become the best dancer you can be. They are striving to change the world...one rock step at a time.
Todd Yannacone is one of the most recognizable names on the swing dancing circuit today. He has won countless championship titles from the most prestigious competitions around - The American Lindy Hop Championships, The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, The U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships, The National Jitterbug Championships, The Rhythmic Arts Festival, Lone Star Championships, The International Lindy Hop Championships, Lindy Focus - to name just a few. Todd has been inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame, and has been interviewed for articles by Swing Dancer Magazine and various other publications. He has taught vernacular jazz, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Charleston, and other jazz era dances both locally and internationally since he was 16 years old. His demand as an instructor, performer, and judge has taken him to 28 countries and five continents. He specializes in connection and musicality, which is apparent every time he steps on the dance floor. He has worked with dance and music legends alike, and is a member of the acclaimed dance troupe, the Silver Shadows.
Nina began Lindy hopping in 1998, after breaking down some sweet moves from the movie "Swing Kids". Her teaching career started when she was 14 and she's been touring the world ever since. She is a founding member of the Silver Shadows and has won dozens of competitions nationally and internationally. Sadly, she is no longer 14, and has taken on a variety of new roles in the Lindy Hop community. In 2008 she co-founded the International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington DC and co-ran Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore . Basically, she's a really big deal.
David and Kim met in a dark, smokey Swing dance class at a bar in 1994. By 1996 they were teaching Swing dance together at the world famous Brown Derby. It was there that they first learned to teach a class that was both informative and entertaining. Over the years they have honed their skills as teachers in small and large class rooms around the world. As competitors David and Kim have numerous titles together from The National Jitterbug , International Lindy hop, and US Open Championships, just to name a few. They have also been inducted into the California Swing Dance hall of Fame, both individually and as a couple. David and Kim have been honored to have worked in Hollywood as choreographers, consultants and performers. With many credits to their name. But with all these accomplishments, David and Kim's real passion is teaching and sharing their love of all things Swing. They are known for their humorous and comprehensive teaching style that draws inspiration from Southern California Swing history and has kept them in demand these many years. They look forward to seeing all of you on a dance floor soon!
Mike and Casey have partnered since early 2006, and have been teaching and performing regularly since. They focus on the roots of lindy hop and jazz dance, and find inspiration from the originators of the dance. Mike and Casey thrive on the spirit of jazz music, letting it guide their creativity and innovation on the dance floor. As teachers, Mike's and Casey's strength lies in their ability to simplify the complex, teach to various levels of dancers simultaneously, and make their students laugh – usually by telling bad jokes. They have 23 cumulative years of experience with Lindy Hop, authentic Jazz, Charleston, Black Bottom, Tap, other early jazz dances, making them favorites wherever they teach. They are glad to be back for their tenth Camp Hollywood!
Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. The depth of his understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stems from studying with the original dancers. Nick’s desire for authenticity, combined with his passion for dance evolution, leads to a style known for precision, lightness, musicality and dynamic energy. His successes include World Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Swing Dance Champion, American Lindy Hop Champion, National Jitterbug Champion, International Lindy Hop Champion, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown Champion, American Classic Balboa Champion and California Balboa/Swing Champion. He is also an accomplished choreographer and has been featured on the hit television show So You Think You Can Dance. As an instructor, he is known for his ability to break down movements and technique to create a fun and light-hearted learning environment. His true love of music and dancing will forever inspire him to learn, teach, and grow. In 2004 and 2010, Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. Nick is also a member of the performance dance troupe Hot Club Stomp.
Be sure to check out his newest venture, Jitterblast, a fun swing dance inspired workout and warmup, mornings before classes at this year's Camp Hollywood!
Sylvia, an internationally recognized authority on most types of Swing Dance, has been teaching for 25 years throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Sylvia studied with the great dancer Dean Collins, and was a member of his last dance troupe. She studied Balboa with Maxie Dorf and Willie Desatoff and spent years learning from the greatest Southern California Balboa dancers.
Sylvia is an inductee into the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame as well as the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. She won the US Open twice, was the NASDE top point winner, third place in the National Carolina Shag Dance Championships, won many Strictly Swing contests in Lindy, Balboa and West Coast Swing through the US.
In 2005 Mikey Pedroza and Nikki pulled each other in a Jack and Jill contest and won first place even though they never danced together before. Something special clicked with their styles, heights, and passions. Since then they have been traveling around the world teaching, performing and competing. Together they hold winnings from: National Jitterbug Championships, US Open Swing Dance Championships, World Swing Dance Championships, Boston Tea Party, Camp Jitterbug, Swing in the Colony, Lindy and Party Weekend, Rhythmic Arts Festival, Reno Dance Sensation, California Girl Jam and many other local competitions.
Delilah can be found truckin’ at dance events all over! She was classically trained in ballet since birth and bumped into swing dancing at 15. It was then in 2005 that she got the bug, the lindy bug! Delilah learned how to swing dance at the mercury cafe and started traveling to workshops. Over the years, she has performed and competed individually and with numerous teams including the CU jitterbuffs, Atomic Rhythm, Baltown Grapplers, Woodside Jumpers, and 23skidoo! She is part of Denver’s premiere girl troupe, The Diamond Dolls. The two awards that she is most proud of are the Golden Budgie and the Underground Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood 2015. Her cheerful smile, playful presentation, and creative movements will put a smile on your face.
Kenny Nelson started swing dancing in 1997 when the swing revival hit. Riding this wave, he discovered lindy hop and other related vintage swing dances. His curiosity, desire to learn and perform has kept him hooked ever since. His classes are known for being fun, detailed, and technique based whether he’s teaching lindy hop, charleston, or airsteps. Kenny’s competitive side has found him winning at numerous events including ULHS, Montreal Swing Riot, MWLF, and his favorite event - Camp Hollywood. He can't wait to return!
Chris and Beth Grover both started dancing in 1998 and have been teaching, competing and performing together since 2004. They are influenced by the vintage dance styles made popular by the Southern California dancers in the 1930′s and 1940′s, and they have had the privilege of learning from many of the first generation California Lindy Hop and Balboa dancers. Chris and Beth teach with an emphasis on partner connection and fluidity, and are passionate about preserving the spirit and energy of the original dances. They are proud to be members of the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame.
Minn Vo & Stefanie Klausmann Vo are founders of The Hollywood Hotshots, LA's premier performance company, specializing in preservation and education of both Historical and Contemporary Urban American Street Dance. The company has performed at dance camps and special events all over the world. They are considered one of the leading pioneers to bring authentic vernacular jazz dance back into the mainstream. The Company's goal is to recreate the mood and spirit of the bygone era and commit to retaining its authenticity through fashion, etiquette and dance. They also create a fusion style, by brining in a variety of dances like Ballroom, Salsa, Tango, Afro Cuban, Commercial, Jazz and Hip Hop. They made their mark in music videos, TV, commercials, print and film. Their most recent accomplishments include being featured on Disney's "Shake It Up", ABC's "Dancing With The Stars", "The Bachelorette", "Keeping up with the Kardashians", "Crazy Ex", FOX's " So You Think You Can Dance", "Master Chef", "Today's The Day", "School Dance", HollywoodBowl "Brian Setzer in Concert",Season 2 "LXD", G.I.JOE , Tosh.O and Superbowl commercials for Budweiser, Samsung and Honda. They have been working with artists such as SIA, Katy Perry, Alica Keys, Gloria Estefan, Redfoo, The Jonas Brothers, Plain White T's, and Matthew Morrison. Minn has been an LA Lindy Hopper since the mid-90s and has been a part of Camp Hollywood from the very beginning with his smooth authentic style.
Mike Mizgalski & Irina Amzashvili
Irina started swing dancing at the age of fifteen and was immediately hooked after attending her first social dance. Over the course of the next few years, under the close guidance of some fantastic local dancers and many, many hours spent practicing and social dancing, Irina exceeded normal expectations of a beginner and was already teaching by the end of her first year. She is absolutely in love with Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Shag and is constantly pushing herself to try and achieve new heights with her dancing. Irina is thrilled to be partnering with the legendary "Sailor" Mike Mizgalski with whom she placed 2nd in their first Shag competition together at the National Jitterbug Championships.
It all started in 1998 with a girl, The Derby in Hollywood, a pair of 501 jeans and a bowling shirt. After spending the night at the bar refilling his glass watching that girl spin around the dance floor like a beautiful top, Mike vowed to learn this “swing dance” and impress the hell out of that girl if it killed him. After 5 frustrating months of classes he was about ready quit when he saw a couple dancing this thing called “Collegiate Shag”, he was hooked, and practiced for hours in front of his VCR watching a grainy copy of the Artie Shaw soundie of Lady Be Good trying to get it. He did. The next year he won his first trophy at the prestigious Camp Hollywood shag contest. Since then Mike has received trophies in that contest eight times, winning it twice! He reunited with “the girl” years later and after their dance, she responded “holy crap you’re good!”…VICTORY!
Tise started her dance education in her early years, studying jazz and flamenco dance with master teachers, and since 1997 she began swing dancing. Tise‘s swing repertoire includes Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Charleston, and more, learning from the original dancers from that era. She has performed and taught around the US, as well as consistently winning top placements in international level dance competitions. Tise has worked as the head judge at numerous dance competition and events, and continues to mentor and support the next generation of dancers.
Tise is dedicated to preserving yet innovating the dance. Most importantly, Tise hopes to inspire other dancers to find their own sense of style and spirit by spreading her own knowledge, joy, and energy to the people who appreciate the fine art of dance.
"Dance is the hidden language of the soul." ~ Martha Graham