JOHN KIRKCONNELL & ALYSSA GLANVILLE
John and Alyssa have been partners for about two and a half years. John has been dancing West Coast Swing for the better part of a decade, almost the same as the age difference between him and Alyssa. When he began to teach, he quickly became one of Canada’s best dancers and instructors. He has traveled around North America and Europe spreading his personal love for Swing. All his students love his playful personality and the connection he makes with the music.
Alyssa started West Coast about 5 years ago, and immediately fell in love with the dance, especially the creative aspect drawn from other dances. She has experience in Lindyhop, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Jazz, and Ballet. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area has given her many opportunities to teach and grow in her own dance, and yet she chose to dance with John…
They both compete on the Swing Circuit in the Champions division. Together their partnership emphasizes musicality and connection. They made finals with their first routine at this past US Open, and are excited to continue growing together.
Thibault Ramirez is living in Toulon, south of France. He started dancing at 6 years old with Boogie Woogie, where he succeeded in competing in Junior and Main class division. He placed many times in the French National team and he has won a France champion title. In the meantime, he has also danced other partner dances like salsa, Bachata Kizomba…. Then shortly after, he started teaching in his parents’ dance studio and in October 2013 he participated in his 1st WCS competition in the novice division. He became passionate by this dance, got training and gave up every other dances to fully pursue his passion for WCS. He has trained with the best professionals of this dance. In less than 4 years, he became one of the best All-star dancers and placed in a lot of European and American Events. His own and unique style comes from his Boogie Experience with his excellent musicality. He is currently a very good teacher. He likes to combine good technique in a relaxed environment with fun and discipline. His teaching, his vision of WCS and his analysis and expertise of the dance make him a very appreciated and valued teacher in all the different dance conventions in the world where he teaches, judges and competes. When only 22 years old, Thibault Ramirez is considered as a very talented “rising star” of West Coast Swing.
Irina is a firecracker of a woman. Phenomenon if you will. Because what can you really say about this force of nature? Irina is a passionate and versatile dance teacher running her own dance school.
Dancing since she was 7, Irina was doing Ballroom, Belly Dancing, Jazz, Hustle, Discofox, Salsa, Bachata, WCS, and pretty much any social dance. She began taking a serious interest in West Coast Swing in 2010, learned from the best and has been a very successful competitor. She is the first dancer in Russia to reach the All-Star division and the first one to have Champion points. She has won the Advanced Jack & Jill at the US Open 2012, the first European All Star division at Midland Swing Open, the All-Star Jack & Jill at French Open 2014, BudaFest 2015, Mid-Atlantic Dance Jam 2015, first European Invitational J’n’J at UK Champs 2016, US Open 2016 in Strictly Swing, first All Star European Championship 2017.
When teaching she’s demanding and encouraging just in the right proportion.
Nowadays Irina travels all around the world from Asia to US dancing, teaching and competing in 13 coutnries, more than 30 cities. But most of all Irina is a social dancer. You can find her from the dancefloor all night long!
Kyle Redd & Sarah VaNn Drake
Kyle and Sarah are 5 time NASDE Champions, hold 11 US Open Titles and are 8 time Grand National Champions. As a partnership, they have been teaching, competing, performing, judging and choreographing all over the world for 12 years. They are the only couple to hold a US Open Swing Dance Championship title in both the “Showcase” and “Classic” Divisions. This innovative couple love what they do and it shows every time they step on the floor.
They have performed 24 WestCoast Swing Routines all over the world and are constantly driving to evolve style while strengthening technique. Kyle and Sarah are best known for their ability to teach their innovative style while preserving the fundamental roots of West Coast Swing.
Taletha has been teaching partner dancing for over 18 years. Currently, Taletha teaches independently in Austin, Texas at both Austin City Dance Club and Austin Uptown Dance Studio. She also conducts workshops and private lessons at West Coast Swing events around the world. Her goal as an instructor is to be approachable and teach entertaining and educational lessons for her students. She has extensive training in various partner dance styles including Country, Latin Social, Hustle, Ballroom and of course West Coast Swing. Taletha co-created the Naughty and Nice Lady's Styling DVD series with Sabrina Paxman which have become popular world-wide. Taletha also co-organizes two local dance events; Austin Rocks and the Texas Swing X-Change, which have helped put Austin on the map in the WC Swing community. Taletha’s newest and proudest endeavor has been her recent creation of her West Coast Swing Teacher Training Course. She is extremely passionate about teaching and especially enjoys teaching people not just what to teach but how to teach. Taletha likes to spend her free time creating theme parties, eating sushi, floating the river, writing poetry, and snuggling with her cat Fuzz Fuzz and boxer puppy Bijou.
Doug was born and raised in Wisconsin which is where he has spent most of his life. He has an extensive background in musical theater having held the positions of Actor, Director, Choreographer, Conductor and Producer for many productions. Doug's first love in music was the trumpet where he had the pleasure of playing in Jazz bands, pit orchestras and other community ensembles. Doug went on to attend VanderCook College of Music Education for his music teaching degree.
Doug's formal training in dance started when he stumbled upon West Coast Swing in 2001. Since then he has won numerous titles across the country, including US Open Champion. He taught many forms of dance full time from 2005 to present, including ECS, Hustle, Salsa, Night Club 2, Country 2 and of course West Coast Swing. He continues to travel on average 40 weekends a year.
Since 2012 Doug has traveled the West Coast Swing circuit competing with his classic routine partner Melissa Rollins.