Nika Obrosova & Heriberto Perez
Together Heriberto (Heri for short) and Nika have a combined dance experience of over 27 years in both lead and follow roles. They share a love for dance and teaching that allows them to interact with students in a unique way. Their understanding of the differences between the styles makes them very adept at solving problems students might encounter across different platforms of dance. They dance over 30 different styles proficiently (both social and competitive) and because of they diverse dance background they are sought after everywhere they go.
Heri and Nika have been a part of Viva Dance Studio in Cleveland Ohio for the past three years. They are constantly seeking to share their knowledge of dance with students for all walks of dance and life.
They enjoy traveling and quite possibly run on nothing but coffee most of the time, because they don’t want to miss a moment of dancing.
Rachel is a Movement Coach and Certified Neurosculpting® Facilitator. She is dedicated to developing customized workshops that provide sustainable tools that empower businesses, dancers, social justice activists, and educators to thrive. Participants leave workshops with a deeper understanding of how our minds and bodies are intrinsically linked and in constant communication. Rachel received her B.S. in Pure Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her Masters in Educational Policy and Leadership from University of Colorado at Denver. After teaching in urban high schools for 7 years, Rachel left the classroom to pursue her goal of combining dance and mindfulness practices to strengthen communities by cultivating healthier relationships rooted in trust and empathy. With over 23 years of experience in partner dancing including Brazilian Zouk, Lindy Hop, Blues, and Ballroom, she approaches the body and brain from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Workshops incorporate the 5-step Neurosculpting® process to regulate our emotions, heighten neuroplasticity, and edit our limiting beliefs in a way that better serve us. Contact Rachel with questions and ideas regarding workshops, private meditation and/or dance, small group sessions, speaking engagements or just to say “Hello!”
Joe DeMers is an champion Blues and Lindy Hop instructor from Denver, CO. He has toured the world teaching and performing from South Korea to France, Australia, Israel and all over the US. He loves to dance and is proud to be a dancer, performer, competitor, and instructor. He is the leading ambassador for Drag Blues, a lovely dance culmination of Blues aesthetic, Jazz elements, dynamic shapes, soft close embrace connection, and Frame Matching. Frame Matching is a codified framework of partner-dance connection explained by changes in posture, tone, tension, energy and direction of energy (ΔpTed).
Joe is the 2015 National Dance Teacher of the Year, teaching dance in Denver Public Schools as his day job. In 2008, he was awarded the Spirit of Lindy Hop award at Camp Jitterbug. In 2013 and 2014, he won the title of International Blues Dance Champion. He has choreographed for and performed in many theater productions, including SWING! the Musical and Home for the Holidays.
Joe enjoys Korean BBQ, anime, and long walks on the beach. For more information on him, or to read his published academic paper on Frame Matching and ΔpTed, check out his website at joeandnelle.com. Watch his free How to Dance Drag Blues instructional videos on youtube: http://youtu.be/tuIt9ooDKXE. You can see his latest Contemporary Blue routine: http://youtu.be/ySJGx4SIBsE.
Fen is a PhD candidate and lecturer in dance at the Ohio State University – a certified dance geek! They bring a sense of play and curiosity to the classroom, their scene, and the dance floor.
San Francisco, CA
In 1996 Emily Webb began her love affair with partner dance. She has studied Tango, Lindy Hop, Salsa, Blues, and Fusion. Thousands of students across the US and Canada have benefited from Emily’s dynamic and interactive teaching style. Her adaptability to student needs, knowledge of body mechanics, and specialized drills create high impact learning for students of all levels.
SF Bay, CA
Kelly started partner dancing with Lindy Hop and Blues in Seattle, WA around 2005. She choreographed for a modern dance repertory in University. In 2010, Kelly joined the circus and became a circus instructor for flying trapeze while performing professionally doing adagio acrobatics. With her background in hip-hop, modern/jazz, and acrobatics, Kelly naturally attached to the fusion dance movement, combining different styles of dance to musically express whatever song is playing. She’s been teaching partner dancing since 2007, primarily focused in Lindy Hop, Blues and Fusion, while dabbling at Tango and West Coast Swing. Internationally, Kelly has taught dance in 13 countries including South Korea, Thailand, Germany, and Denmark. She enjoys classes that push the envelope, explore creativity, and engage the body.
Music and dancing as always been food for Katrina’s soul. She feels the music on a very deep level and her body simply responds. Dancing has always been and will continue to be a place for Katrina to explore and express who she is, and she encourages everyone to do that same.As a dancer with a strong connection to musicality, she brings joy, emotion, fun and plenty of ridiculousness into her dances.
California-born, and Seattle-based, Becca (AKA: DJ ‘Tega) is a genre-bender. She has been dancing for six years and is now equal parts teacher, dancer and DJ…all while pursuing a PhD! Becca identifies as a fusion dancer with ballroom, Latin, blues, and hip-hop influences. Her DJ style prioritizes fostering the deepest connection possible for those dancing to her sets, which has earned her gigs at Seattle Fusion Festival, Mile High Blues, Easter Swing, Mist Connections, and Lakeside Fusion, in addition to the position of DJ Mentor at Mu & I Micro Practica in Seattle. Her music features everything from ooey-gooey micro, to juicy remixes, to beautiful lyrical pieces. She believes that a well-timed and crafted set can give any dancer emotional catharsis that can yield a dance high that lasts for hours. Her goal is to give everyone at least one “magic dance”, so be ready for some intense connection!
Angie is always listening for good music, anytime and anywhere. She started dancing and DJing in 2009, and has since expanded her love of both while traveling and playing all along the west coast. From the woods to wooden floors, she’s played for dancers at events that have included Recess productions, MFX, PUX, CIM, Mist Connections, Champagne & Roses/Emeralds, BAmF, SFF, MHB, and her own home scenes in Sacramento and the Bay Area. Her DJ philosophy – feed the floor so they want more. She enjoys breaking a song down into the elements of what makes it great for dancing, and serves up phat beats, tasty rhythms, and weaving harmonies. You can always find Angie grooving behind the booth, and her sets have been described as “raw kinetic catharsis” and “explosive love heartbeat”. She’s thrilled to play at the debut of Mile High Fusion, to tickle your brain and move your soul.
Nikki has been working as a professional cuddler since 2016 and holding intimacy discussions both online and in person at weekend retreats. She is interested in helping to empower people in asking for what they want and getting what they need in their life and encourages enthusiastic consent and negotiation within all realms of relationships, including dance partners!
Lyra has been dancing for 15 years, starting out with square dancing and contra dancing. They were introduced to other folk dancing and partner dancing at Northwest Folklife, and started Blues dancing six years ago. Around that time, they took fundamentals in swing, tango, and salsa, and started fusion dancing. They have since started teaching dance, both at the local dance venue, Barefoot, and at the elementary school where they teach. They love the interplay of ideas between different people and different dance styles, and you will find them mostly switch dancing or dancing solo.
Rachel started learning dance at the age of 6 and never stopped. She started with ballet, jazz, and tap, eventually moving to pointe, and learned polka and waltz growing up. After college, she found the joys of the partner dance community with swing, blues, salsa, waltz, and tango. Her curiosity about the body and body movement drives her exploration of various disciplines, and also led her to earn a black belt in Isshinryu karate. As her dance has grown, she continues to marvel at the unlimited possibilities of self-expression and movement. When Rachel’s in the room you might experience moments of intense vulnerability, silly physical humor, very focused attention to detail, or some fierce personal style (let’s be real, that last one’s always true).
When teaching dance, Rachel loves putting her Penn State degree in education to good use. Known for her incredible patience and ability to explain and demonstrate concepts in a variety of ways, she strives to get those “Aha!” moments. Rooted in strong fundamentals and clean technique, her lessons enjoy finding fun ways to sneak that focus into peoples’ dancing. As a regional and national instructor, dj, and scene organizer, Rachel is spreading her love of dance from coast to coast. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out http://www.redstirling.com.
DeAndré Carroll is the director of The FunKinetic Project. He is an award nominated choreographer, accomplished teacher, and performer specializing in dances of the African diaspora including West African, Afro-Caribbean, and Hip Hop dance forms.
DeAndré has been an instructor and active member of the Colorado dance community for over 20 years, having taught at such institutions as Motion Underground and Streetside Dance in Boulder, The Bboy Factory, School of Breaking, and Cleo Parker-Robinson Dance. He has also been the artistic director of The FunKinetic Project having produced the Disciples of Funk dance festival, now in its fourth year.
After many years of ballet, squares, and contras, Eleanor found blues and fusion dancing in the summer of 2016. The pure kinesthetic joy in these dances moved her to dance as frequently as possible. Having thought critically throughout her life about diversity, inclusion, and community, her writing inspired content for “Community, the Verb,” an event about race and whiteness in the fusion community which she then staffed. Eleanor is continuing this conversation as a facilitator in Portland, OR and is honored to be part of the conversation at MHF.
Aimee supports emerging activists and visionary community leaders to bring all of themselves into the work they do. Whether it’s through coaching, weekend events, or dance instruction, being touched by Aimee’s grounded presence and compassionate lens is both empowering and enlivening. With over 10 years of experience organizing dance events in contra, Blues, and fusion dance scenes, Aimee has played most roles from registration and volunteer coordination to housing and safer spaces, including managing the whole team and has a wealth of knowledge to share. Work with Aimee to be more clear about what is important to you and to get support on how to get there with ease and grace.
SF Bay, CA
Mark has been dancing for much of his life. He found social dancing with lindy & blues in 2005 and began teaching shortly thereafter, co-founding the still-running Drop Dead Blues in SLO, CA. Since then he’s organized a number of events and workshops and traveled the world as a dancer. In recent years he has dedicated his study to the emerging forms and conventions of “fusion” dance and is eager to explore and advance that movement via quality teaching throughout the world. He has taught at multiple events spanning four continents and in two languages.
Los Angeles, CA
Jeannie Lin is a dance instructor based in Los Angeles who has been moving, dancing, and performing since she was five. Her early training included gymnastics, ballet, and lyrical jazz while her later years included formal study in over 30 styles of partner dance including Waltz, Foxtrot, Salsa, Samba, Rumba, Cha-cha, Hustle, Lindy Hop, and West Coast Swing. Now, she is most content playing in the worlds of Fusion and Argentine Tango, where she continually chooses to blend, articulate, and integrate concepts from her ever-growing dance background. In the past few years, she’s had the fortunate opportunity to teach in over 30 cities across 12 countries.
As an instructor, Jeannie places a strong emphasis on partner connection and a highly attuned body awareness. She breaks down fundamental techniques in a clear, precise manner and enjoys challenging students to take risks by finding innovative ways of co-creating together. Jeannie encourages her students to approach each dance with curiosity, deep listening, and a willingness to play.