Wednesday Night Hop started swinging in 2005 with the goal to keep Lindy Hop alive and kicking in the South Bay. We offer inspiring classes and fun filled swing dance parties every Wednesday. Featuring LIVE MUSIC, fun games and contests, and entertaining party themes. Learn how to swing dance from scratch or take your Lindy to new levels, in a fun and friendly setting. Kick your Wednesdays into high gear with a fabulous night of dancing, great music and good friends. Come join the fun!
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WNH Staff and Instructors
Gilles, Lori, Tamara, Doug, Lee, Tom
Margaret, Matthew, Nick
Gilles Bouvier was raised on cheese and crème fraîche in Paris, France. He came to the United States in 1997 to work as a chip design engineer in the Silicon Valley. Just as he was starting to discover the Lindy Hop, he was exiled (okay, not really) to Britain for 6 months. But the Swing madness had already got to him and he started taking classes with Graeme & Ann in Bristol, England. Back in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998, he continued to learn under Rob & Diane.
When not practicing Jazz steps, he is either rock-climbing, hiking a mountain, playing a little guitar, spending too much time on his Mac, or thinking about French food. Since 2002, Gilles has been dancing and performing with The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue. Gilles teaches at Wednesday Night Hop at Cheryl Burke Dance.
When Lori Taniguchi's father was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and given stern doctor's orders to exercise 3-4 times a week, he took it as carte blanche to attend every conceivable dance class in the East Bay. His enthusiastic daughter was happy to tag along and it wasn't long before the Lindy love-bug bit her.
Lori is an indiscriminate consumer of all types of dance and a peppy partner on the dance floor, proving that the right attitude can make up for many technical sins. When not dancing, she works as an administrator at Stanford University, eats her body weight in sushi, and juggles at least five books on her nightstand at once.
If the dancer in Tamara Armishev had to be labeled, it would have come with a "Made at WNH" tag. Tamara began dancing in our studio in 2010 and immediately got hooked up. Soon, she started counting her weeks starting from Wednesdays, awaiting impatiently for the next night of dancing. Nowadays she can be spotted dancing all across the Bay Area, with Wednesday Night Hop being her home base, filled with friends that feel like family.
When not out dancing, Tamara takes care of her two lovely daughters, hangs out and chats with friends, dresses up, does crafts, and immerses herself in deep philosophical thoughts... or maybe she just daydreams ;).
Special Guest InstructorsAmanda, Angela, Brian, Carla, Chris E, Crystal, Idalia, Jeff, Julie, Justin, Katie,
Katrina, Kevin W, Kylie, Olivia, Rebecca, Richard & Margot, Roger
Amanda Marchand has been swing dancing since 1993, officially started calling it Lindy Hop in 1997 in Santa Barbara, and has been traveling to dance events all over the country and world, teaching dance, and just dancing at every opportunity since then! Although primarily a social dancer for most of her dance career, Amanda has also competed at the national level, taking 3rd place in 2012 and 2nd place in 2013 in the Advanced Jack & Jill at Camp Hollywood. She has also won or placed many times at smaller regional events across California in Lindy Hop, Balboa, and West Coast Swing. Amanda is also the new creative director for the Sweet 16, a vintage chorus girl group performing team solo jazz choreography at events around the Bay Area. Amanda loves swing and jazz dancing with a passion, and loves to pass that passion on to others!
Angela Lee was dragged into the Lindy scene by her boyfriend in Beijing, China, 2004. Her eyes were really opened when she first attended Sea Jam in Singapore a year later — she never had thought partner dance could be so much fun! For all sorts of reasons, she pretty much stopped Lindy Hopping from 2005 till the summer of 2008, when she returned to the dance floor at Wednesday Night Hop.
Lindy hop is all about having fun and making great friends for her. Other fun stuff that she does includes but not limited to ^_^: outdoor paintball, photography, watching animated movies, cooking, playing rock band, watching dance clips on Youtube (a lot)!
Brian Zimmer hated (failed at) dancing for most of his life. Through a strange twist of fate he ended up being coerced to dance while passing a swing dancing group in college and has been hooked ever since. Fate had a pretty good time watching Brian fumble around awkwardly for months - he had no sense of rhythm, and had to ask all of his follows to find the beat for him. However, Brian prevailed and showed fate what's up!
Brian has taught at various locations throughout the Bay, including UC Berkeley, Pixar, and Google. He is sort of OCD about understanding the mechanics of dance, and brings this to his teaching through imparting solid technique grounded in understanding momentum (he credits most of this to Jean and Bromley training him as a member of the Frequent Flyers). He also believes that any class that you're not having fun in is probably not worth your time.
In the "real world", Brian is currently a (you guessed it) software engineer in Silicon Valley. When he isn't working or swinging, he dabbles in tap dancing, hip hop, and photography; reads sci-fi and philosophy; attempts to gain more culinary prowess; and utillizes his Netflix account to the greatest extent possible.
Carla Heiney has been teaching Lindy Hop and other forms of Vintage swing dancing for over 15 years and is founder and owner for Lindy Central located in the San Francisco Bay area. She lays claim to some of the most prestigious competition titles including American Lindy Hop Champion, US Open Lindy Hop Champion, World Lindy Hop Champion, and International Lindy Hop Champion. She has also choreographed for the well-known and well-loved hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” In 2011 Carla was creative director for a new hit dance show featuring several full-sized orchestras and professional dancers entitled “Let’s Dance” which toured parts of the US and Canada. She has traveled all over the world teaching dance including numerous times at the infamous Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden. She has performed on the prestigious stages of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Social dancing and teaching are passions for Carla and she thinks that learning to dance is something everyone is capable of doing. She has an amazing ability to communicate movement and partnering in her teaching. Her dancing is grounded in technique and improvisation which coincides with the jazz music she loves to dance to. Carla is an avid fan of having fun; while learning technique is of serious importance, learning while having fun and remembering the amazing thrill of dancing while on the social floor is something she certainly wants all her students to experience and become masters of themselves.
Since 2012, Carla has decreased her international traveling in order to focus on her family and on being a mom. She currently teaches and performs in the San Francisco Bay Area and runs several incredible workshops throughout the year featuring wonderful, international guest instructors. You can learn more about Carla and her events at www.LindyCentral.com
Chris aka "Enriquez" fell in love with swing dancing in San Diego after seeing a swing out for the first time. He wasn't sure what it was but he knew he had to learn. After 2 years of working, dancing, and staying out way too late, he ended up moving to the Bay Area for school and setting up his second swing dancing home.
When he isn't dancing, Chris can be found putting broken ankles and feet back together, on a bike, or tackling a new adventure.
After having dabbled in ballroom and east coast swing for several years, Crystal Nakatsu was bit by lindy bug in 2006, and was hooked on vintage swing since! She was a member of the Swing Columbus dance team from 2009-2011, participating in numerous performances in the midwest region, and was part of the winning performances at the Dayton Swing Smackdown and Swing IN team competitions during her tenure.
In recent years, Balboa has taken over as Crystal's swing dance of choice! An alumna of The Balboa Experiment, she (with her partners) have also recently won the SF BalFest 2013 Couples Balboa contest, and the 2014 Camp Seattle Balboa Jack 'n Jill.
With a bright smile and endless energy, Idalia Ramos swivels across the dance floor day in and day out. Since she found Lindy Hop, she made it her life. The welcoming faces of the swing dancing community in San Francisco, plus the vintage charm of the city, left her with no choice but to transplant herself all the way from Las Vegas to the Bay Area. She didn't have a job or a place to live, but there was plenty of dancing to be done in the city while the rest fell in order. Now that's passion.
Some of her accomplishments include placing 1st in the Fillmore Jazz Festival in 2011 and making all the finals at Camp Hollywood which included the Amateur Balboa, Strictly Lindy, Classic Lindy, and Jack and Jill. She ended up taking two trophies home for Classic Lindy and Jack and Jill! Not to shabby for her first time competing at a National level.
When she is not on the dance floor, and not dancing by herself in her room, she goes on culinary adventures with friends, takes hikes, paints/draws, and occasionally plays bartender to come up with cool cocktails!
Idalia is currently teaching beginner and intermediate classes at the Women's Building in San Francisco with Nathan Dias. She loves to bring a smile to peoples faces through the joy of Lindy Hop wherever she is, and is excited to share it with the world.
Jeff Kroll was drawn to Ballroom dancing in college and pursued it for over 9 years. The big band swing music was his siren's call, though, so you can imagine his thrill when he discovered Lindy Hop in the 90's... All swing music, all the time! He hasn't looked back since. His big Lindy influences early on were Rob & Diane van Haaren and Ryan Francois & Jenny Thomas.
Later, his world changed again when he discovered Balboa via Steve Garrett & Heidi Salerno. He was a founding member of the their Oaktown Alligators Balboa performance group, and started teaching in 2003. Jeff has danced on TV and for the big screen, and has performed, taught, and DJed at countless public and private events all over the country and even internationally!
His love for dancing and his desire to share it is reflected in the enthusiasm and positive energy he brings to his classes. Jeff infuses everything with fun and creativity, even the most technical of details, and he is known for relaxed, patient individual attention and encouraging guidance.
Julie Tsai, a native New Yorker, transplanted herself a number of years ago to the Bay Area for school. Her dance background includes ballet and social ballroom. As an undergraduate (and beyond) she has performed with the Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble directed by Richard Powers and the Knotts Dance Company. She is currently Artistic Director of the Academy of Danse Libre, and a founding member of the Swing Cats Rhythm Revue performance troupe. She is enthusiastic about spreading the joy of dance in its many forms and likes to incorporate different styles in her lindy.
When not on the dance floor or at her clinic she can be found reading, watching movies or theater productions, cooking (or really just eating), and dreaming of traveling the world.
Justin Hill is a native of Seattle, WA, where he learned to dance and acquired a taste for fast music and strong coffee. He first learned to dance at the age of 15. After a short time as a pastry chef, he traded early mornings and pastry bags for late nights and dance floors and hasn't looked back. Justin is always looking to spread the love of swing dance and music, whether as a performer, teacher, DJ or organizer.
Katie O’Neill grew up listening to 78's on her family's victrola and found a new way to appreciate swing music through Lindy Hop, Balboa, and solo jazz while attending college in the Bay Area. Upon graduating, she moved back to her hometown of San Luis Obispo where she joined the SLO Rugcutters. She helped organize, DJ, and teach at the local venues during the week and traveled for dance events on the weekends. She is excited to return to the Bay Area where her dance adventures began and to share her enthusiasm for authentic jazz dances. When she isn't dancing, you can probably find her behind one of her cameras, hiking, or referencing British comedies.
Katrina Haus had been listening to jazz and swing for many years before she started dancing in college in 2007. She was always struck by its infectious rhythms and soulful melodies, so the first thing she did when she got to USC was find the swing dance club on campus. She took full advantage of all the dancing Los Angeles had to offer, and later in Berlin and Tokyo during her studies abroad, and now back at home in the Bay Area.
She is currently in two performance troupes: The Decobelles and The Sweet Sixteen. She views teaching at Wednesday Night Hop as yet another way to spread her love of this music and dance and is very grateful for it.
Kevin Weng caught the lindy-bug sometime in September of 2010, and has since dived head-first into joy of swinging out (and other moves too). Once he started, he couldn't stop. It's becoming an addiction; he attends every workshop and big weekend event that he can and only find himself wanting more. It's just too fun. There is such merriment meeting people and making connections. It brings him joy sharing a beautiful song with anyone on the dance floor. And all the silliness lets him express himself so freely. He sometimes wonders why isn't everybody a Lindyhopper. So here he is, to spread the thing we call Lindyhop.
Kylie Woodard was a competitive figure skater before she dedicated herself to dancing. Her dance repertoire includes Ballet, Jazz and Lindy Hop. She has performed and taught Lindy Hop regularly in the Bay Area since 2005. What she loves about Lindy is that it's not just an insatiable dance, it is a community that allowed her to develop wonderful friendships. She hopes it will do the same for you!
Hailing from her hometown of Vancouver, WA where she raised a pet cow as a child and went to a school where she got sent to the principal's office for wearing shorts on the wrong day, Olivia Taylor now lives in the big city and lives her dreams. When she was just 17, Olivia was peer pressured into going to Swing Club at her school. Little did she know that it would alter her life forever. In 2008 she moved to Seattle to pursue lindy hop and she has never looked back. She has since performed, competed, choreographed and taught. Olivia discovered a lot of bad habits in her own dancing embarrassingly late in her dancing career, and desperately wishes that someone would have told her about them sooner. This is one of the reasons she is excited about teaching: to spare others from the same fate that she suffered.
When Rebecca Shannon was growing up in Alabama she had three favorite things, a tutu, a raccoon tail (which she wore everyday pinned to her underwear) and the Wonder Book of Art. Since being a raccoon was out of the question she decided to become a ballerina and eventually studied with the School of American Ballet in New York. Alas, a career in ballet was not to be so she gave up dancing cold turkey and took up her last favorite thing, art. She became a successful artist and art teacher and for the past 16 years has gleefully guided hundreds of kindergartners through 8th graders down the path of color, line and form.
In 2005 she came across Lindy in the Park. Her feet were uncontrollably pulled towards the happy rhythms of the music there and she took her first lesson ever since going cold turkey so long ago. After spending a year in East Coast Swing Land she finally got the nerve to learn Lindy Hop but cried every night because she thought it was too hard. Her dance Epiphany came during her first Frankie Manning workshop and she was saved-and hooked! She has gone on to learn Balboa, Collegiate Shag and Blues dancing as well as Lindy hop. She has taught, performed and competed throughout the Bay Area and currently is the teaching partner of David Blood at City College of San Francisco where she also performs with and does choreography for the CC performance group the Hot Bloods. Rebecca will proudly tell you that she has ADD (addicted to dance disease) and is eager to get her students hooked too.
Richard Perkins and Margot Helm have been dancing together since 2006 (even earlier, if you count the bad 90's rock days). They built their jazz, Charleston, and Lindy foundations with Swing Patrol on the mean streets of Melbourne, Australia, so you'll have to forgive them if they dance with a bit of an accent. Soon after returning to the US in 2008, they discovered Wednesday Night Hop. Then they developed a new addiction in Balboa during a year-long bender involving some friends and a hardwood dining room floor.
They dance with the Bay area performance troupe, Double or Nothing, and even choreograph routines from time to time. They are also co-founders of For Dancers Only, the South Bay venue for Lindy/Balboa/Shag/Blues addicts. They look forward to getting you hooked on swing dancing and jazz music too.
When Roger Thiede was in high school he was first inspired by Lindy Hop after seeing the movie "Swing Kids". He took his first Lindy Hop class in the summer of 2003 and he was hooked! Roger loves every incarnation of Swing. He has explored East Coast and West Coast Swing, but his heart remains with his first love, Lindy Hop.
Roger has placed in the winner circle at various swing dance venues; he has performed with Bay Area performance groups and started teaching Lindy Hop in 2008. He travels a lot and takes the opportunity to social dance at every destination!
Roger personal belief is 'As an Engineer I see elegance in simple logic. Good Lindy Hop is an expression of simple actions and reactions in perfect harmony'.
Former Staff & InstructorsAudrey, Lilly, Pinar, Cheryl, Gabe & Andrea, Kim, Laura, Andrea O
Audrey Kanemoto wanted to grow up to be Fred Astaire and started tap dancing at age 11. She found the excitement of being Ginger through partner dancing and lindy hop in 2001. She continued work on her technique, style, and stage quality with lindy hop performance groups SF Bounce, The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue, and the 3-Minute Maniacs.
Audrey has travelled and competed at lindy hop events and camps earning a name for herself as an exuberant and passionate solo charleston dancer. Her highest lindy hop success was a clean sweep of the three first place trophies at Inspiration Weekend 2007 in Orange County. When she is not dancing, Audrey is an architect specializing in green custom residential additions and remodels.
Audrey runs and teaches classes at Wednesday Night Hop in Mountain View. She also teaches weekly classes on Monday nights with Nathan Dias in the Sunset district at Amura Dance Studio in San Francisco.
Belly dancer, was the answer Pinar Bailey gave when, in first grade, she was first asked about what she wants to be when she grows up. Her academically oriented parents laughed and worried a bit. Her dance interests broadened over the years from Turkish folk dancing in grade and high school, to ballroom dancing during college and finally lindy hop and vintage swing dances - such as Balboa and Charleston - since she moved to San Francisco in 2000.
Pinar has taught swing dances in California and competed and performed locally and across the U.S. for many years. She was a member of swing dance troupes like SF Bounce and 3 Minute Maniacs. She enjoys doing yoga and taking a variety of dance classes to apply body movement and alignment concepts to her dancing and teaching. When dancing, she is most captivated by the syncopated movement that originates from the unique rhythms and the experience of sharing how she interpretes the music in the flow of a dance with her partner.
Pinar grew up in Istanbul, Turkey before relocating to the Bay Area and recently got her Ph.D. in Biophysics at UCSF. She enjoys cooking, gardening and good design and one day would like to be a surfer chick.
After teaching for two years at HepCat Productions in Seattle, Cheryl Crow is thrilled to be bringing her engaging, effective, and often silly teaching style to Wednesday Night Hop. Cheryl believes that people learn best in an environment that is equal parts informative, supportive, and FUN, and she lives to see the a-ha moments where a concept suddenly becomes clear to a student. She is passionate about making dancers feel welcomed into the larger community and comfortable with the often challenging process of learning this incredible dance. With a background in high level soccer, Cheryl brings an energetic and dynamic athleticism to the dance and firmly believes that if a former "jock" like her can learn to dance, anyone can!
When not on the dance floor, Cheryl can be found studying for her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Samuel Merritt University, kicking the soccer ball around, baking delicious gluten-free goods, learning how to use her DSLR camera, volunteering for Jolkona Foundation, or playing with her ridiculously cute kittens.
Last year, Cheryl made a video called Why I Dance which details her experience dancing with rheumatoid arthritis and exhibits her enthusiasm for dancing through all obstacles life might put in front of you.
This year, she took on the challenge again and made a follow-up video called Why We Dance. The video highlights the reasons people dance, from Athens, Greece to San Francisco, California. Quotes from dancers are shown between clips of lindy hop and swing dancers social dancing, competing and performing in various cities and venues, mostly on the West coast of the US.
Andrea Wolf and Gabriel Takacs have been enthusiastic members of the dance scene since 2000 when they began Lindy Hopping together in Tucson, Arizona. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2001, they continued learning Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Jazz, and Blues from renowned instructors, including Ben and Sheri Yau, Debbie Gitt, Patrick Fredrickson, and Doug Silton. In 2005, Gabe started graduate school at Stanford University where he began teaching weekly lessons. Meanwhile, Andrea taught Lindy Hop and Blues classes in Los Angeles until moving to the Bay Area in 2006.
Expanding their love of social dancing to choreography and performance, Gabe and Andrea joined the dance troupe Double or Nothing in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In addition to weekly classes at Stanford, Gabe and Andrea have been seen teaching at Bay Area venues, including Swing Central, Steppin' Out and now Wednesday Night Hop. They enjoy using technique intensive concepts to continually reach new levels in their dancing and teaching. Since 2007 they have been traveling nationally to Lindy exchanges and events in order to continually expand their dance perspectives.
Kim Tran was born and raised near the beaches of Southern California. She moved to the bay area for college and has yet to leave! In the summer of 2006, Norma Miller came to teach a workshop and inspired Kim to embrace Lindy Hop. Kim has been a regular at bay area dance venues since graduating in 2007. Though not formally trained in dance, Kim attributes her coordination to her competitive soccer days. From 2006-2008, Kim performed with the dance troupe Double or Nothing.
Kim enjoys traveling to swing camps around the country and learning from a variety of instructors. She currently is a member of 101 Junction and Rhythm N Honey performance troupes. When not dancing, Kim works at Stanford where she conducts research on Cystic Fibrosis. She also loves watching sports, cooking and eating yummy foods.
Laura Robeck is a Bay Area original; born and raised in the south bay. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Stanford, she has always had a passion for dancing. By day she is a mild mannered science teacher at Carlmont High School, at night she likes to let loose on the dance floor. She has always danced, tap, jazz and ballet, even before she was born.
Laura fell in love with swing while studying in Los Angeles. She has a passion for performing so come see her sparkle while she gets down with her bad self. She previously choreographed and performed around the Bay Area with The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue. After taking some time off to have a baby, Laura is back teaching at Wednesday Night Hop.
Andrea Owens was a dedicated member of the WNH Team over the years, but in 2009 she found a great job opportunity in Pasadena, CA. We will miss her very much and wish her the best in her new adventures, and much dancing at Lindy Groove.
Andrea has been in the fitness industry for many years teaching classes such as Cardio Funk, Step, Body Sculpt, Yoga/stretch, Body Pump, High and Low impact, Stability ball, Circuit, and Jump rope. She has also competed in the National Aerobics Championships with an appearance on ESPN in 1999! In 2000, she received her Master's in Kinesiology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and is currently managing a corporate fitness center.
Andrea's addiction to swing dancing began in 1998. Since then, she has not stopped dancing. She was a long time member of The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue. She can frequently be seen dancing at any swing dance venue within a 60 mile radius of her current location, and next time she's back in town hopefully teaching at Wednesday Night Hop.
FoundersMegan & Trevor
Megan Hornbecker is a talented dancer, instructor, performer and choreographer. She started Lindy Hopping in Santa Barbara in 1996. After moving to the Bay Area in 1997 she jumped into the swing revival in San Francisco, social dancing a minimum 5 nights a week and attending as many workshops, camps and classes as possible.
In 2000, she was a member of Paul and Sharon's 20 couple Grease Monkeys performance at Swing Camp Catalina, in addition to Rob and Diane van Haaren's performance troupe The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue. Megan has traveled the country and globe dancing, teaching and performing and has organized numerous lindy exchanges and events to promote Lindy Hop, indcluding SFLX 2001 and 2003. She combines her love of lindy, blues, shag and tango with her unique styling and sense of humor to create fun and inspiring classes.
From 2000 - 2006 Megan performed around the Bay Area with her dance troupe The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue. In 2005 she and Trevor founded Wednesday Night Hop, formerly known as Sunnyvale Swing and Steppin' Out. After taking some time off to pop out two kids, Megan is back and can be found teaching at dancing at 9:20 Special and Wednesday Night Hop at our new location at Cheryl Burke Dance.
Trevor Gattis began Ballroom and Salsa dancing in 1995 and took up Lindy Hop in 1999, learning from internationally renowned and loved Lindy Hop instructors Rob & Diane Van Haaren. In 2001, he joined Rob & Diane's performance troupe, The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue.
In 2001 he began teaching for Rob & Diane at Swing Central and from 2002-2005 he ran the operations of the venue, which hosted more than 100 dancers every Tuesday night. Trevor currently choreographs new routines and performs around the Bay Area with his dance troupe, The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue.
Trevor deejays once a month at Cheryl Burke Dance on Wednesday nights and at various Lindy camps, events and local swing dance venues. In addition, he teaches Lindy Hop Lessons at Wednesday Night Hop at Cheryl Burke Dance.