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Anthony Chen - Founder

Anthony's first ingress into the performing arts was at age 8 when his parents convinced him to learn and perform Chinese lion dances.  He then stumbled upon breakdancing during a national speech and debate tournament in middle school, and at the age of 16, he had his first foray into swing dancing alongside other young interns from a research laboratory.   Since then, he has trained in other dance styles ranging from hip-hop to West Coast Swing, but most of all he enjoys using this background to expand upon his technique and creativity in Lindy Hop.  On the social dance floor, he is known to be playful, musical, creative, and clear.  He holds first place titles from events such as Lindyfest and Lone Star Championships, Montreal Swing Riot, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Lindy Focus, and International Lindy Hop Championships.  Combined with his professional background in education, his love of both leading and following have been instrumental to making the classes that he teaches both clear and intuitive.  He is an active scene builder in his community and founded Salt Lake Swing, where he teaches locally. 

Check out his dancing and where he's going here.

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Irina Amzashvili

Dancing has always been a passion for Irina, her expression completely and boundlessly inspired by music. She began learning Lindy Hop in 2009 at the age of 15 and fell in love with it after her first night of social dancing. Shortly thereafter, her passion for Swing dancing expanded to include Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and solo Jazz. Since her start in Orange County, CA, Irina has taught these dances all across the U.S. as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia. As a teacher her goal is to patiently guide her students through building solid foundations and technique as well as inspiring individuality in personal movement. Irina's greatest joy as a teacher is to see her students progress with their dancing, no matter the increment.

Check out her dancing here.

Photo by John Marian.

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Grant Sunada

Grant has been teaching Lindy hop and Charleston for over 15 years and is known for emphasizing the joy, laughter, dynamics, and history of swing dancing.  Salt Lake Swing is excited to have him as part of the team!

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Monica Blanco

Mónica Blanco is originally from Madrid, Spain but moved to Salt Lake City in 2015.  Her dance background started with jazz dance when she was 7 years old. Over the years she has also studied Broadway dance and belly dancing. Since she discovered Lindy Hop and Balboa in 2012, she has focused on it and has taken numerous classes and workshops around Europe and the USA. She enjoys social dancing, watching people social dance and having fun (but mostly while social dancing).  Like most people, she has made the obvious realization that life is so much happier since swing dancing has become an essential part of it.

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Elizabeth bankhead

Elizabeth's first experience with swing dance was when she was 8 years old, dancing with her brother as a partner in a talent show. Swing surged again into her life as a teenager along with tap dancing and a little jazz. In 2003, during her university years (BYU), Elizabeth found Lindy Hop. Her heart found its home, its song, its dance. Though she has enjoyed ballroom, latin, clogging, african, tap and blues, Lindy is her soul's fabric.

Whether she is in Utah or traveling, Elizabeth believes that the purpose of dance is to experience joy. Anyone who sees her dance, cannot doubt she lives that belief. Her joy comes first through connecting with her partner and second in creative expression. Elizabeth is excited to teach with Salt Lake Swing, sharing not only her talent and skill, but her love for this art form.

 

 
 
     

Joseph Mellen

Joseph first started Lindy Hop at Utah State in the fall of 2012.  He joined USU's performance team at the same time, and joined their competition team the following year.  In 2013 he was invited to take over the Lindy Hop classes for the college, and taught until the fall semester of 2015.  The last year of his college experience, he helped coach the competition team.  After moving to Salt Lake in 2016, he has helped teach the Balboa classes with Carrie Munill.