Featured Instructors

Julie Brown

Julie Brown:
Boston, MA

Julie’s expressive dancing and joyful, playful connection are known throughout the country. With a background in performance and solo dance, she is best known for her solo blues, artistic choreography, and seamlessly integrating following with expression.

As a teacher,  Julie presents material with a caring and often light-hearted tone. She carefully crafts her classes and continuously tailors her material to fit the crowd at hand. Julie teaches regularly in her hometown of Boston, and has taught workshops everywhere from California to London.   A hard-working competitor,  Julie has also won many national competitions, including Enter the Blues 2013 Choreography Competition and Solo Competition, Mile High Blues 2012 Strictly and Jack & Jill, Enter the Blues 2012 Strictly and Choreography Competition, Emerald City Blues 2011 Strictly and Solo Cuttin, and many. https://dancewithjulie.wordpress.com/

Shawn Hershey

Shawn Hershey:
New York, NY

Shawn Hershey came from an extensive music background, studying classical trumpet performance at the Eastman School of Music, so when he started lindy hopping in 1999 with the Lindybaby studio, he quickly got hooked! He has studied extensively at camps and workshops with nationally renowned instructors, and in 2002, started teaching swing and lindy hop in Boston around with various partners. Shawn also began teaching and performing lindy hop internationally with his sister, Betina Hershey.

Shawn’s style is a blend of traditional blues, lindy hop, and tango. He strives for technical perfection, but values musicality and fun above all else! Shawn has won or placed in dozens of blues competitions throughout the years, most notably Enter the Blues, Mile High Blues, Emerald City Blues, Cheap Thrills, and BluesSHOUT! He started teaching blues in 2005, and has since traveled and taught at workshops and events around the US and Europe, including Blues Muse, Austin Blues Party, Down Home Blues, the Fusion Exchange, and BluesSHOUT! Shawn teaches nationally and internationally with Amanda Gruhl, Julie Brown, and Natalya Alissa. He has also taught with Mike Legett, Heidi Fite, Joy Arico, and Kathy Warwick.

Before moving to NYC, Shawn taught with a collective of Boston dance instructors at New School Swing in Charlestown, MA. Along with Josh Fialkoff, he runs a successful swing and blues bands, The Fried Bananas. http://www.shawnhershey.com

Brenda Russell

Brenda Russell:
Portland, OR

“Why so serious?” That’s what people always ask when they first observe me. I think I was born with that look on my face. My aunt said I was so serious as a child it was intimidating. Don’t let my look of concentration mislead you. Really I am a laid back, easy going, pretty geeky girl. It’s the geeky part that tends to put me in a focused, driven sort of state. I can be intense. I don’t do things a little bit. I go for it, and with passion. Like the meaning of my name “enthusiastic, fire brand”.

I am in many ways introverted, like most technicians. I can be particular, but am not as obsessive as I often get accused of. I love my work and my students. I give as much as I can and sometimes more to teaching. I really love studying movement and watching the transformation that occurs when someone shifts the way they stand, breathe, move. http://www.dancemode.com/

Damon Stone

Damon Stone:
St Paul, MN

Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied a score of different dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of vernacular Jazz/Blues dance across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers. He is largely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Blues idiom dance, a long time board member of the Northern California Lindy Society, member of the California Historical Jazz Dance Foundation, and has been interviewed as a dance historian in documentary and for radio. Damon has been a featured instructor at camps, festivals, and workshops across five continents. http://damonstone.dance/