Providence Swings Instructors
I started partner dancing in 1996, but didn’t discover Lindy Hop until 2002. Once I found it, though, I’ve held on tight and haven’t let go. I’ve been competing since 2004 and teaching since 2005. I am continuously trying to improve my skills both as a dancer and a teacher. And I’ve gotten pretty good at being an organizer, too.
I’ve been a member of the Providence Swings Board of Directors since its inception and am proud of what our little organization has accomplished over the years. It hasn’t always been easy. There is a lot of blood sweat and tears that goes into this endeavor, but it’s worth it to see the joy on people’s faces when they’re dancing and having fun.
When I’m not dancing, I work as an environmental engineer for the State of Rhode Island, but I might also be practicing yoga or playing volleyball.
In the summer of 2013 I told Norma Miller that I recently discovered Lindy Hop and her response was “where have you been? It’s been around for over 70 years!” That’s exactly how I feel. Where has this dance been all of my life? I guess that in many ways, Lindy Hop was just waiting for me to discover its many unique qualities. Not only is this dance, a way to unwind and melt my concerns away, but it is a wonderful way to express creativity and emotion without saying a single word. It’s magic and it’s the purest form of joy that I’ve ever known. It’s probably the best decision that I’ve ever made in all of my life.
If a friend of yours says “come to a dance lesson with me to Providence Swings”, promise me that you’ll do yourself a favor and go! Take a chance and let go of that fear of the unfamiliar. The worst thing that can happen is that you have the time of your life. I promise that after that first hour lesson, you won’t know what hit you and you’ll go full steam ahead and never look back. I’m continuously trying to improve my dancing by taking classes at Providence Swings, competing, traveling to workshops, and social dancing as much as I can. The best part is all the friends you’ll meet along the way and all of the dance adventures that still lie ahead.
Daryl has spent a considerable amount of time studying the classic footwork and movements of the original Lindy Hoppers and as a result, has an indepth and personalized understanding of the dance. Mostly self taught, Daryl has the ability to demonstrate complex concepts and loves incorporating the history of the Jazz era dances into his teaching. He also loves to compete and sees it as an opportunity to continuously improve. Plus, he works harder than anyone we know on his dancing
Before I came to Providence Swings in May 2014 the phrase, “I can’t/don’t dance” was part of my typical social dialogue. Although you might say I’m a bit of a late bloomer (after all Lindy Hop had been around some 50 years before I was even born!), now that I’ve started dancing I just can’t stop. The dynamic, energetic, and relatable nature of jazz music is what initially drew me to swing, but the amazing community at Providence Swings and creativity/individuality of the dance is what has kept me coming back!
If you’ve always thought you “can’t” dance, be bold and think about coming to a class at Providence Swings!
When I’m not swinging out, you’ll either find me outside rock climbing, or studying sea sponges for my PhD.
Photo credit: Ravi Kumar
In the fall of 2005, I started swing dancing when a good friend of mine dragged me kicking and screaming to a beginner lindy hop class at Providence Swings. I soon fell in love with not only the dance, but the friendly and welcoming people of the swing community. I found myself looking forward all week to those Thursday evenings. Recently I discovered Balboa, and together with my boyfriend (who I met at Providence Swings), we travel all over the northeast to master this truly wonderful dance.
I didn’t start dancing until I was 16 with tap and jazz classes. I fell in love with tap and danced with Brown U’s group, “What’s on Tap” for 4 years while at RISD. After some minor-turned-major hip pain after college, I needed a hip replacement out of the blue in 2011. A couple months of physical therapy and I was back on my feet…looking to get back into my tap obsession. I happened to stumble upon Providence Swings in 2012, though, because I had always been interested in jazz music and the style of lindy hop. I went to the first class and have been die-hard obsessed ever since! I am constantly striving to work at the quality of my basic movement and ways to bring out “me” within my dancing.
When I’m not lindy hopping, I’m working towards my license in Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy, and dreaming about a future career of combining my love for art, dance, and helping others.
Photo credit: Tom Hagar