Michael has been training and dancing for the past 20 years, in most styles of Partner Dancing. He is considered one of the top Champion West Coast Swing dancers in the world. Michael has been traveling, teaching and performing not only in the United States but in countries like Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia. He is known for his instruction, choreography, unique style, approach and quality. Michael is dedicated to the growth of WCS as a fun and exciting social activity for everyone to enjoy.
Thibault & Nicole Ramirez
Thibault and Nicole have been together since the beginning of 2019, quickly building a strong partnership and establishing a name for themselves. Becoming the World Champions of 2019 with their winning Showcase routine, they immediately began traveling all over the world teaching, performing, judging, and competing. They choreograph routines and coach dancers all around the world with an emphasis on mentoring and competition.
With over 20 years of knowledge in West Coast Swing and other partner and solo dances, their teaching style is very appreciated everywhere they go and benefits dancers of all styles. Their emotive, passionate spirits shine when they are on stage and while teaching. They love to motivate their students to excel and reach their maximum potential. Their personalities are very energetic and open to connecting with people, on and off the dance floor.
Cameo started dancing almost immediately after birth. Daughter of Michael and Amber Cross (The 1st US Open Swing Dance Champions ever), she was exposed to WCS almost immediately. In 2016, Cameo was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame and in June 2018, won a local Northern California Emmy for her work in BaseBallet II: Into the Game. At age 34, Cameo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience not only related to WCS, but also dancing as a whole that is extremely valuable for WCS dancers to gain an understanding of to apply to their own bodies and movement.
Ben started dancing WCS at 11 years old, and he very quickly fell in love with the dance. At 16, he had already competed and placed in the Champions division. Now age 33, he has been teaching for over 10 years. Known for his extremely outgoing personality, and his love for social dancing in WCS, he continues to bring joy into WCS dancers lives everywhere across the world. In 2017, Ben was also inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.
Kyle Redd & Sarah Van Drake
At 20 years old, Kyle & Sarah choreographed & won their 1st World Championship US Open title together in the Showcase Division. Introducing modernized techniques to contemporary music, they began to create a large following across the world. With a two year old and a thriving career, this determined partnership began to live out their dream, traveling the world performing, competing, and teaching West Coast Swing full time! As a partnership, they have been teaching, competing, performing, judging and choreographing all over the world for 25 years.They travel over 20 states, 15 countries, and 250,000 miles in the air a year. They are Event Directors for both Swingtime & SwingCouver.
Robert Royston began his professional career on the competitive couples dance circuit in 1989, starting in country dance, then adding West Coast Swing, hustle and cabaret. He remains a top competitor, teacher, judge and MC in the West Coast Swing community while also choreographing and producing shows for stage, music videos, television, and film. He is an eight time U.S. Open Champion with titles in five divisions. He is also in the Swing Dance Hall of Fame.
At age fifteen, Alyssa became a Jr. Dance Instructor at Nordquist and was then introduced to West Coast Swing–and thus fell headfirst into a new love. She started traveling for competitions and made it to the All-Stars Division in around 2 years. She sat in the Champions chairs for the first time at SwingDiego 2012, and shortly after began her career as an instructor. Since then, Alyssa has been fortunate enough to travel the world, teaching movement, sharing in the love of West Coast Swing! She’s gained many titles in Champions and continues to push to make that list longer.
In 2006 Sean discovered West Coast Swing as a junior and by 2009 Sean began competing in the adult professional routine divisions in both the Showcase and Classic division. In the years following, Sean has won numerous international Classic Routine divisions, Jack and Jill, and Strictly Swing titles. Sean has consistently been one of the top 5 leaders in the WCS community throughout his career, was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2018, and continues to strive to give back to the community through his mentorships of aspiring dancers and through his annual dance event “Choreo Camp”.
Tara has been competing with jazz teams, swing formation teams, and partner routines in the young adult and showcase divisions. She also regularly competes in jack and jill and strictly swing competitions for west coast swing around the United States. Tara has taught a plethora of dance styles internationally as well as across the United States. Within the last year, Tara has begun MCing for swing events including: Sin City, Swingtacular, Dance N’ Play, Swingin New England, and City of Angels. Locally in Southern California, Tara works out of Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, California and at Buddy Schwimmer’s studio, The Dance Center in Redlands, California.
Christopher Dumond is a dancer most known for his West Coast Swing dancing which he started 10 years ago. He first starting dancing in Hip Hop and Ballet when he was 10. Once he moved to the Schwimmer’s studio at 13, he began training in Contemporary, Jazz, Ballroom, Latin, Tap, Night Club, West Coast Swing, etc. Chris has been doing routines since 2008 with his first appearance at the US Open that year. In 2012 and 2013 he won in the Young Adult Division at the US Open. Once he moved up to Classic he has made finals every year he has entered at the Open and even placed 5th in 2016. He has won numerous JnJ’s, Strictly’s, and Routine divisions at multiple events around the world. Aside from creating his own routine songs he has cut many routine songs for couples ranging from Pro/Am all the way to Classic and Showcase. Being a junior in the community has really motivated Chris to give back to the youth of this dance. He is the co-sponsor for the Joy Award at the US Open and goes out of his way to teach and coach the future of this dance.
Melissa began her training at age four at Star Dance Studio in San Francisco. While studying Lindy Hop for three years, Melissa dabbled in the social West Coast Swing scene. It wasn't long before she found an intense passion for WCS due to the versatility of the dance and the music. Currently, Melissa teaches, competes, judges, choreographs, and performs all over the world. She is ranked among the top WEST COAST SWING dancers in the world and has won numerous champion level competitions including Showcase Swing, Classic Swing, Strictly Swing, Team, and Jack & Jill Competitions.
One of the fastest male dancers to climb the ranks to the Champions division, Arjay has developed a reputation for his unique teaching style, his innovative patterns and musicality. Arjay has won many awards in all dance divisions of the highest caliber; such as Strictly Swing division, Invitational and Champions Jack and Jill division, and both Classic and Showcase Divisions. He has also been a member of Shazam, a West Coast Swing team comprised of the world’s best Champion west coast swing dancers. Arjay currently competes, judges, coaches, choreographs and teaches all over the world.
Emily started her dance journey in college where she learned a variety of partner dances from a ballroom organization for students. She quickly developed a passion for West Coast Swing and began dancing and DJing locally. Outside of DJing, Emily has been teaching for 4 years, both swing and other partner dances. In her partnership with Glenn Ball this year, she has won the Pro Showtime Division at the UCWDC World Championships, the Show-dance division at the Houston Challenge Ballroom event and the Showcase division at the US Open.
John K. Piper
Piper is also a Champion and has been teaching West Coast swing on the national level for the past ten years. He began his dance journey as a high school student dancing with the Paradise dancers. He has competed, choreographed, and won countless awards in Showcase, Team Routines, Classic, Rising star, Pro-am, and Champions Jack and Jill. He is best known for social dancing and building community. Dance to him is about connection and allowing dancers to share their art with each other.
Austin Kois is a Champion level West Coast Swing dancer. He started dancing West Coast Swing nearly 10 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to his mother. Dancing for him was and is always about making friends and having a great time doing it. He strives to have enjoyable, connected, and creative social dances and to enjoy connecting and dancing with people from around the world.
Estelle Bonnaire is a Champion level West Coast Swing dancer. She is from Montpellier, France and is now living in Northern California. She teaches, judges and competes regularly. (More info to come)
Joel is a Champion West Coast Swing dancer and active competitor in the Showcase routine division, and he dances all over the country (and world!) for fun. Originally trained in Ballroom dancing, he loves teaching workshops, especially concept-based ones, and has started experimenting with short collaboration videos as a way of promoting WCS to new groups of people.
In 2005 Joanna started competing on the national west coast swing circuit and since 2008 dances at the All-Star/Champion level. Joanna has placed top 5 at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in All-Star Jack & Jill, Open Strictly Swing, Sophisticated Swing and Cabaret. A few of her most memorable competitive achievements include: 1st place in Novice J&J out of about 120 follows at Phoenix 4th of July convention in 2006, winning her first Champions J&J at Bridgetown Swing in 2008, winning the coveted Bishop award for 1st place in All-Star J&J at Swingtime in the Rockies in 2011 and most recently, earning her first Opus award for 1st place in Sophisticated Swing at the US Open in 2018.
Janelle Guido is a Champion West Coast Swing dancer who travels the circuit teaching, judging, and competing. She has been competing in the West Coast Swing circuit for the past 12 years and now competes in the champion division. In 2015, she won the NASDE Jack and Jill Tour and is a recipient of the California Swing Dance Hall of FAME “Nova Star” award.
For the past 10 years, she has spread her love of WCS in the Bay area to students wanting to learn, improve, or perfect their dance skills. She prides herself on being able to tailor her lessons so that students of all experience levels will always feel challenged while still having fun!
Jason has over 20 years of experience in various forms of dance, including: Ballroom, Country, Swing, Latin and others. He is an active competitor in the WSDC circuit. He's spent the last 12 years building West Coast Swing University in the U.S. and Canada. Today, he teaches thousands of children in schools and special cotillion events each year. Jason believes that building a “backyard” of dancers is the key to growing our dance community and sharing the love of dance worldwide. He as also won many Jack & Jills and Strictlys in the Champions Division!!