Thorin discovered swing dancing** in 1997 and immediately fell in love with it. He has since immersed himself in the music, history and culture of this wonderful dance. Thorin can be seen dancing in “Swing The Movie” and has been hired to teach and dance at events throughout the Bay Area. There are few things in the world that Thorin loves more than dancing and he is very excited to have started Swing Set Lounge to share this passion. Thorin’s hope for Swing Set Lounge is that you find a fun, friendly, safe place to grow as a dancer while having so much fun you don’t notice you’re learning.
**Thorin did not actually discover swing dancing
Shira has enjoyed a lifelong passion for dance and found the world of social dancing when Lindy Hop took hold of Santa Cruz in 1997. Shira has taught dance locally since 1990 focusing on studio styles of jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap and lyrical until her skill and dedication to swing and social dancing led to regular classes in lindy hop starting in 2000. Shira has been teaching social swing styles since then, taking a break from dance for her two bouncing baby boys (who still refuse to dance with her, but have perfected the eye roll especially for those moments she drags them onto the dance floor for a spin).
Shira’s first passion is for community building and her dedication to teaching and hosting social dance events is a direct incarnation of the spirit of community and peer learning.
Shira’s hope is that dancers who come to her classes have fun, meet great friends, get serious about becoming a great dancer, and share their new skills, bringing up the level of all dancers in the community.
Shira definitely wants to dance with you! Please ask her!
Monica’s first exposure to swing dance was in a college social dance class in the early 90’s, though she had previous dance experience through performing and teaching colorguard (marching band pageantry) during high school, college, and beyond. Re-visiting East Coast Swing in the late 90’s inevitably lead to West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop, which was all over Santa Cruz at the time!
Once bitten by the Jitterbug there was no going back, so it eventually lead to dancing in San Francisco, Southern California, Ohio, Seattle, Phoenix and even London. She’s had the privilege of dancing with and learning the Shim Sham from Lindy Hop Legend Frankie Manning. Through the early 2000’s she took from swing champs of that era: Shawn and Debbie, Erik and Slyvia, Kim and David and Slyvia Sykes, eventually discovering** Balboa. She loves all things swing–the music the fashion the movies; even the cars–but her dance passion is Balboa. She has been privileged to meet some of the original Balboa dancers as well as “Old Timers” from movie clips; it has truly been an adventure.
Monica has long-dreamed of sharing her love of Balboa to the Santa Cruz community, and is so grateful for this new swing dance venue! It’s great to see the Jitterbug take a bite of new dancers, and to reconnect with dancers from way back.
**Monica did not actually discover Balboa.
Monica began dancing in 2010 when the college swing dance club seemed more appealing than doing homework. She was instantly hooked and dance has been a major part of her life ever since. She spent the following years running around to different dance venues in the Bay Area and talking people’s ears off about Lindy Hop. Upon moving to Santa Cruz, her dance cravings led her to teaching and helping out at local swing venues. In addition to finding joy in the movement itself, she also fell in love with the welcoming dance community where she could interact with fantastic individuals she might not otherwise get to know. She wants Swing Set Lounge to grow into a vibrant and friendly community.
Monica hopes that people find the same joy in swing dance that she does. She is more than happy to dance with you or show you some cool moves, so just ask!
Hayley Brentmar is our wonderful admin/decorator/coordinator. She was instrumental in the creation of Swing Set Lounge and has been consistently contributing her time and effort into this little venture of ours.