MICKEY FORTANASCE & ANNA-MARIA BERNHARD
Mickey Fortanasce (USA) has been dancing and competing for the past eighteen years. During this time his innovation and showmanship coupled with his love of both dance history and theory have led him to become an internationally recognized Balboa teacher and competitor. Mickey has three victories at the Balboa Rendezvous’ International Balboa Championship (2006, 2007 and 2010) as well as All Balboa Weekend’s American Classic Balboa Championship (2008), routine division (2011) and IBC (2016). Other winnings include first place in the Balboa divisions at both the International Lindy Hop Championships (2010) and the European Swing Dance Championship (2011). Mickey has taught extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, Korea, Russia, and Australia. He has been featured in NBC’s 1st Look, Time Out New York, The New York Sun and Good Day New York.
Anna-Maria (Germany) has danced since her childhood ballet, and tried many other dance styles before becoming infected with the fun of swing dancing. Since 2012 she has taught Balboa, Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz, and in 2014 she started her own dance business “SwingDance Leipzig” teaching with her husband and dance partner Ralf. She participates (very successfully!) in international competitions. In her classes, she attaches great importance to the basics, technicality and provides inspiration for followers. It is no surprise then that after teaching her first international workshop at Studio Hop Summer Camp 2016, she is now much in demand for teaching at other interntional Balboa weekends.
MARCUS KOCH & BÄRBL KAUFER
Marcus and Bärbl (Germany) 2016 marked the 25th year of their successful dance partnership. With their knowledge, energy, commitment, and lifelong passion for the Swing dances Marcus and Bärbl have contributed enormously to the Swing dance community.
They have successfully achieved what many dancing partners strive for in the swing world. Their passion, hard work and love for the dance has awarded them a very successful career in which they have won multiple awards including World, US, and national titles over the years.
They continue to share, inspire and provide first-hand knowledge to all generations from around the globe and are still highly requested as international teachers. Meanwhile, they never lose their joy or passion for dancing and teaching. Their journey began with Boogie Woogie, but nowadays they are one of the few couples to teach and inspire through all major Swing dances, including Hollywood and Savoy Style Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, Balboa, Charleston, Vernacular Jazz, and the Big Apple. Most important for them are not their titles but to spread the joy and know.
NEJC ZUPAN & VANESSA GRANJON
Nejc (Slovenia) started dancing swing back in 2003 as a result of his contemporary dance experience and a strong love for jazz music. Because of this he became a main culprit for popularization of Lindy Hop and Balboa in Slovenia in the early 2000s. His Swing dance experience is a collection of endless research into different dance forms, many international workshops and his humble willingness to keep learning from anybod who is whilling to teach him. He pays special attention to jazz movement and musicality, both equintessential to any Swing dancing.
A passionate little ball of fury, Vanessa (France) has been dancing swing dances for more than 10 years all across Europe.
Her style is dynamic, musical and creative, always pushing the boundaries of what can be done. An enthusiastic and experienced teacher, she knows how to bring out the little details that make all the difference.
ALBERT FERRÁN & NEUS CASTELLS
Since September 2015 Albert and Neus have been training and teaching Balboa regularly in Barcelona, and from 2017 internationally. Their classes mainly focus on the technique, with special emphasis on the foundations and the connection with the partner, in order to become a team where the two dancers can express themselves individually while they fly at the dance floor as one.
Albert (Spain) has been dancing Balboa since 2005 and he teaches internationally since 2011. His passion for this dance has made him one of the driving forces behind the creation and growth of a community of Balboa dancers in Barcelona, which is increasing day by day. He has developed his own style with a particular way of combining Pure Bal and Bal Swing being very musical. He has won different international Balboa competitions such as the Eurobal Cup in 2011 the BOTP Classic Open in 2013, and the Easter Balboa Championships 2013, and was second in the Open Social of the ABW 2017 in Cleveland.
Neus (Spain) discovered Balboa in 2010 and since then she has combined her fascination with Balboa with Lindy Hop and other swing dances, dancing, training and teaching locally, wanting to learn more and share her passion. For her a day without dancing and without having tried and learned something new is like a lost day. She got first place at the J’n’J of Toulouse Balboa Festival 2017.
ALEJANDRO & MONTSE