Teachers

Michael Kielbasa (USA) – Brandi Guild (USA)

Michael has been training and teaching for the past 10 years in most styles of Partner Dancing. He lives in San Diego and teaches out of Starlight Dance Studio. As one of the top Champion West Coast Swing Professionals Michael has been traveling, teaching and performing all throughout the United States and the World in countries like Canada, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia. He is known for his Instruction, Choreography, unique Style and Approach. Michael is dedicated to the growth of all dance and its recognition as a sport and exciting social activity for everyone to enjoy.

Brandi

Dancing was not a part of Brandi’s early life. Beginning at age 5, softball was her focus. It paid off, as she was awarded a full athletic scholarship to pitch for Marshall University. After making it to the final round of trials for the US Olympic team, Brandi was ready for the next chapter in her life.

Dancing happened by accident. A move to Las Vegas and a night out at a county/western club with her sister, Brandi found what she was meant to do. After joining a dance team, she took the bold step of moving to Michigan to pursue her first professional dance partnership. Less than 2 years later, she won her first world championship.

Brandi holds titles in Country/Western, International 10 Dance, and West Coast Swing, however, it is West Coast Swing that has captured her heart. An active competitor, she travels the globe teaching, judging, and performing. She is known as one of the top technicians in the world and has the pleasure of sharing her knowledge with dancers of all levels.

Brandi currently lives in San Diego with her 2 children. She, along with her partner, Ronnie DeBenedetta, is director of City of Angels swing dance event in Los Angeles.

Branditobias.com has been created as a hub for dancers of all levels who share a love of West Coast Swing. It is a positive, creative, collaborative environment to learn, share, and grow in your knowledge and understanding of the dance.

Jakub Jakoubek (CZ) & Emeline Rochefeuille (FRA)

Natively from Czech Republic & Reunion Island, Jakub and Em took their first steps into the dance world at the age of 16 and 12, both starting with Ballroom Dancing (Latin, Standard & line-dancing).

After her arrival in France at the age of 18, as Em sought to start a new dance form, she bumped into a video of Jordan & Tatiana, and fell in love with WCS right away. She was trained by Maxence Martin who gave her a solid knowledge from which she developed her own dancing and teaching style. Today, she acts in the WCS Community not only as a teacher, but also as a DJ and photographer.
Jakub’s dance world consists of social dances such as Zouk, WCS or Salsa but there is also a part of solo or group Modern and Contemporary dances. He started to dance and compete in WCS in 2014, guided mainly by Maxence Martin and Mario Robau, while using a lot of his background knowledge in his approach. His philosophy in dance is focused on communication.
They were both hooked since they discovered WCS, and were especially drawn to the creativity, musicality, and freedom within the dance. Just by pure chance, they had to teach together in a styling workshop in June 2016, thanks to Rita and Adam. At the end of the week-end the students suggested that they should partner up, so they did.
They have been traveling the world ever since, flying from country to country to share their passion for WCS, and they love it…

Jang Widler and Estelle Bonnaire (Switzerland)

Jang & EstelleJang Widler

It is while working closely with some of the best teachers in the world, such as Brandy Tobias, Michael Kiehm, Michael Kielbasa, Dawn Kiehm etc that Jang has developed his own technique and vision of teaching. Stemming from martial arts and former salsa champion, his particular approach appeals by its precision, its evidence and efficiency.

It is with Brandi Tobias’s and Michael Kiehm’s support that he embarks in 2011, in teaching professors in Europe.

Recognized as the best «Coach» in Europe, Jang is now the coach of more then 50 teachers and dancers in Europe. www.wcs-masterclass.fr

Michael Kiehm one of the legends of wcs (Champions division and Master dance instructor) wrote about Jang:
“Jang’s ability to analyze movement and break it down is topped only by his charismatic, professional approach in communicating with his students. It was an honor having him here at the Starlight. Jang has the tools needed to take your dancing to the next level”.

More info on: www.jangwidler.com

 

Doug Silton (USA)

Doug Silton, professional dancer, choreographer, performer, and instructor, has been dancing since 1988 and has been teaching, competing, and performing internationally since 1998. He travels the globe sharing his love of social dancing, technique, as well as judging on the WSDC and NASDE circuits and competing in the Showcase and Sophisticated dance divisions.

Originally from Los Angeles suburbia, Doug traveled to Maine for his undergraduate degree in Art History from Bowdoin College (class of 2000), lived abroad in Florence (1998-1999) where he started teaching swing dancing, and after graduation moved back to Los Angeles to dance and teach full time. In January of 2015, he moved to Gresham, Oregon where he now and forever resides.

Doug is the founder of a Domestic Non-Profit Foundation, The Silton Foundation, which gives dance scholarships annually to dancers in financial need. Doug is also the founder of several dance teams: Oregon Reigns, The NorthWesties, the Just In Time Jitterbugs, and Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Swingers.

Doug is a top competitor (Showcase Division) and judge on the NASDE West Coast Swing tour, a 3-time American Lindy Hop and Blues Champion, and a 2-Time World Swing Dance Champion. Doug is the only competitor to ever be a finalist in Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Carolina Shag in the same year at the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Doug has partnered with the following brilliant dancers: Nicki Silton (d. 2017), Ben Morris, Tess Minnick, Angel Griffin, Brittany Espinoza, Amber Ripley, Sarah Hettervik, Kristin Sorci, Mary Ann Nuñez, Karla Catana, and Carolina Cerisola.

In the street Latin world, Doug is a World Swing Dance Championships Salsa Champion and Reno Dance Sensation Salsa Champion (with Liz Rojas – Salsamania) . In May of 2008, he made it to the final round at the Mayan Pro Salsa Competition (with Espie Hernandez), the second largest street Salsa competition in the world, placing 8th.

In the commercial dance industry,  Doug is represented by GTA (Go 2 Talent Agency). His credits include being featured in movies, on TV shows, and in commercials and music videos. Doug has choreographed for Bette Midler and Toni Basil and performed numerous times at Carnival: The Choreographer’s Ball in Hollywood, CA (partner dancing with Angel Jenkins, Melina Ramirez, Kristin Sorci, Nick Williams, and solo with a Contact Juggling performance); this is the venue for top choreographers from all over the world. You can see him in the movie Poseidon, Jason Derulo’s music video “Hit The Lights” and  at his favorite dance and live music venue of all time: The Floor Improv Night in Los Angeles, CA. Doug works regularly with featured dancers and choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, and Live To Dance.

A highlight of Doug’s dance career was being inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame (2015).

Doug is the founder of:

1. LindyGroove (with Lance Powell) in Pasadena, CA, still the world’s largest weekly swing dance venue for 12+ years!

2. Where’s Westie (with Pete Green)

3. WCS Rueda (with Damon D’Amico) has its home at www.WCSRueda.com, with free instruction online for various calls for partner changes and patterns in West Coast Swing.

4. Westie Seconds (with Jack Smith)

5. Westie Woodstock (dance convention – coming Summer of 2019)

6. Lindy And Party Dance Convention (with Ben Morris)