Neil started swing dancing back in 1999, and teaching just a year later. His instruction style emphasizes leading and following, all while making sure to have fun. His favorite dance is lindy hop, though balboa and blues are fancied by him as well. Neil has given workshops around Ohio, but continues to call the OSU Swing Dance Club his home. His favorite thing to teach is dance theory, such as how to style moves, how to improvise as you dance, and how to really feel to the music. Feel free to talk to him after lessons with any questions you have. They don't even have to be related to the lesson!
Mark Calkins recalls being terrified to undertake dancing for the first time, watching his older sister dance in their garage to the sounds of Janet Jackson. After many years of taunting memories of Rhythm Nation, he broke his dance phobia and was introduced to swing dancing while attending Ohio University. Partnering with Shannon Varner; together they are known as The Lindyroos. With their shared love of the authentic dances from the swing era, they have been guest performers for the Columbus Jazz Orchestra's JazZoo and BalletMet's Great Gatsby. As founders and choreographers of the SwingColumbus performance troupe they lead the team to win multiple competition around the Midwest and a top ten finish at the International Lindy Hop Championships.
Teaching: Intermediate Lindy Hop (Fall 2012)
Shannon discovered Lindy Hop while living in New York City in 1997. She has won numerous awards, placing in such competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, Virginia State Open, and the Jack & Jill Contest at Midsummer Night Swing in NYC. She has performed in New York and Chicago with some of her credits including: PBS’ “Swingin with the Duke” with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Today Show, and Chicago’s month long dance program, Dance Chicago. Shannon rounds out her dance experience with a background in arts administration at The Martha Graham Dance Co and the prestigious Juilliard School.
Eric discovered swing dancing in 2001 at the Ohio State University and has been loving it ever since. Eric hopes to give back to the swing community what he's received from it, a passion for dancing. His enjoyment comes from meeting and dancing with new people from all over, as well as being able to just have fun. Eric is eager to DJ and teach for various clubs and organizations and has done so for several, including SwingColumbus, Otterbein University's Swing Dance Club, Ohio University's Jitterbug Club, and of course, the Ohio State University's Swing Dance Club. He's taught East Coast, Charleston, Lindy Hop, and Balboa. Although Lindy Hop is his first love, Balboa is his current passion.
We frequenty get instructors from the community to come teach at the club. Many of them have information available about their teaching and influences available at SwingColumbus.