Introducing the wonderful teachers coming to share their wisdom, energy and joy as part of the incredible teaching team for Slowdown. Read on below to learn a little more about what each of them will bring to the floor this year – and prepare to be entertained, challenged and inspired!
Andy Fodor is one of Australia’s most loved social dancers, known for his ability to connect with any partner and make them shine.
He holds many competition titles across all styles and tempos, and yet is constantly looking to challenge himself to improve and discover new avenues for creativity.
Andy’s generous, joyful personality and his practical, down to earth style of instruction has made him a sought after teacher at events all over Australia and NZ including Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Christchurch and even London!
He loves to unlock the joy of dancing for students and be part of their journey to be the best dancer they can be. Andy is thrilled to be part of Slowdown, and looks forward to dancing with you!
Cathie Gough, one of Slowdown’s organisers, is thrilled to be co-presenting Slowdown and teaching alongside some of Australia’s most talented swing, blues and balboa dancers.
With a strong background in gymnastics and jazz dancing, Cathie discovered swing dancing in 2003, and was well and truly hooked straight away. Throughout the last 12 years, Cathie has been privileged to dance, perform, compete, teach and judge all styles of swing dancing around Australia, in New Zealand and in London, and has co-taught swing performance troupes for six years.
Cathie enjoys encouraging students to actively embrace their own individual style while trying new things their dancing. With a passion for people, she thrives on teaching to all levels of dancers, no matter what their pace. Cathie has a genuine warmth and personal approach to teaching and thoroughly enjoys sharing one of the happiest dances in the world.
Cathie is the proud founder of Savoy Dance, teaching swing weekly in Canberra. She loves meeting new people and can’t wait to join you on the dance floor in October.
After a lifetime of being a dedicated non-dancer, Evan Hughes started swing dancing in 2004 and is now a regular fixture of the Melbourne scene.
Currently, Evan anchors one of Melbourne’s biggest venues and teaches workshops in Australia and New Zealand covering all tempos of lindy hop, aerials, solo jazz, and blues.
Evan has a true sensitivity to the subtleties of lead and follow. He is an amazingly dynamic dancer who loves reflecting his partner’s strengths in a dance conversation. He is an accomplished dancer having won many competitions in slow lindy, blues and in balboa, and will bring all this experience to his Slowdown classes.
A musician and beautiful dancer, we’re excited to have Georgia Brooks back in Canberra for 2017 Slowdown.
Living, dancing and singing in Melbourne, Georgia is a talented vocalist and singing teacher with a bad lindy hop habit. She teaches lindy hop, solo jazz and blues weekly in Melbourne, and works with the jazz music and dance collective The Melbourne Rhythm Project.
Georgia is known for her relaxed, dry wit and supremely practical approach to teaching. She encourages students to seek out the ridiculous, and to take risks with new ideas. Georgia brings her understanding and passion for music into all her blues classes.
Georgia has taught swing dance all around Australia and New Zealand including events such as Church City Blues (Adelaide), Blues Before Sunrise (Melbourne), the Little Big Weekend (Sydney) and Blues Indigo (Auckland). Georgia loves dancing to all styles of music but there is something special about that feeling of a slower tune. She hopes her classes at Slowdown help you to find different ways to dance with the music and enjoy that feeling of a nice, slow groove.
Based in Melbourne, Joel Kohn began his dance career in 2005 (or there abouts…his memory is a little hazy). Having trained as a jazz drummer for many years, Joel’s passion for the music is what lead him to dancing, and it continues to fuel his love of all things Swing.
Joel trained under some of the top instructors in the world and has competed in dance events across the country, with many awards to his name, including multiple first places in the AJC Blues Division with Julia Wharington. In addition to his weekly teaching venues, Joel appears regularly as a teacher of SundayBlues Night and the Cotton Club @ Spotted Mallard, and was one of the guest instructors at Church City Blues. He is a self-confessed devotee of slow dancing in all its forms.
Joel is also a member of Echoes of Harlem, the most prestigious dance troupe in town, and regularly performs at events and festivals on the local calendar.
Meaningful play is all about getting into the zone, which Balboa delivers in spades. John Wharington has been teaching Balboa since 2007 with a focus on creative teaching techniques, distilling the dance to its essence, and bringing an infectious enthusiasm to his classes. He’s taught numerous workshops throughout Australia, travels to the USA annually for Balboa, and is a keen competition dancer, with six Australian Balboa Championship titles under his belt. John has an analytical approach to the dance, loves to explore the frontiers, and is highly motivated by seeing his students’ progress. Incorporating games frequently into classes, John loves teaching with Julia to be memorable and rewarding for everyone.
Josh McKiterick is back as a teacher for Slowdown, both dancing and sharing his love for Blues Dancing.
Josh is well known as the host of Church City Blues, and is passionate about providing an accessible framework within which to connect with fantastic music and with each another.
When learning from Josh, expect a fresh and innovative approach to help rediscover new ways to access this wonderful dance.
While Julia Wharington has been dancing some form of partner dancing since she was a young teenager, she found her passion for all things swing in 2008, and has never looked back since. She is a true all-rounder, happily dancing Balboa, Lindy Hop, Shag, or Blues, depending on song, mood and partner. Balboa will always have a special spot in her heart, because she met her husband John on a Balboa dance floor (naaaaawwwww). Together they are four-times Australian Balboa Champions, and they haven’t been doing all that shabby at the major competitions in the US either – Julia’s biggest international success has been winning the CalBal Open Jack & Jill in 2016.
Julia has been teaching Swing dancing since 2011, both in her hometown Melbourne, as well as at various events around Australia. It gives her immense joy to provide the students with a fun learning experience, with her favourite times being those little success moments, when she sees big smiles around the room because the students get the hang of something that is being taught.
Kara Martin has always loved dancing, firstly on her Dad’s toes and later in jazz ballet classes, but it wasn’t until 2003 that Kara’s groove found its anchor in swing dancing. Her love of blues and balboa followed shortly after.
She began teaching in 2005 and since then has travelled all around Australia and to New Zealand teaching and sharing her passion for swing dancing. As a teacher, Kara’s aim is to inspire people to want to learn and develop their own style. She is a seasoned dance traveller and her support of both national and international competitions and exchanges is as well-known as her infectious smile and dynamic dance style.
Hailing from Hobart, Kara was co-director of FootNotes Dance and founder of Hobart’s first and much loved swing exchange, Devil City Swing. She now calls Melbourne home and co-anchors the infamous North Melbourne with Nial Bruce.
Kate Ticehurst is new to the teaching line up of Slowdown and is arguably Canberra’s best and most loved African Brazilian dance teacher. Kate is the director of Subsdance Dance Studio and Glamourosas Brazilian Entertainment in Canberra. She has been a dancer for 20 years, specializing in Brazilian cultural dances for the last 12 years specifically Samba and Afro Brazilian dance. Kate has performed in Rio Carnaval and has learned from some of the most well known teachers in the world for Samba No Pe and Afro Brazilian Dance, including one on one time with Rosangela Silvestre, creator of the ‘Silvestre Technique’and teacher to some of the best ballet and Afro Contemporary dances in the world.
‘The stories of the ‘Orixa’ spirits of African religions Candomble and Yoruba inspired Kate to learn more about this dance movement. The stories are relatable to our own lives, the dance style is so freeing and empowering. Her style is a combination of Orixa inspired movement (which helps us have a better connection with ourselves) and afro dance movement. It is a dance which really gets you in touch with yourself, it is very grounding and forfulling. Come and share in the amazing feeling on the Sunday of Slowdown!
Now living in Perth, Kenneth Gosnold started dancing in Adelaide before travelling across Australia, Asia, Europe and America, attending workshops and learning everywhere he went. Kenneth‘s love of dance comes from a love of the music. Playing the piano his whole life, he enjoys interacting with the music through his dancing and communicating this to his dance partners. When he’s teaching he enjoys encouraging his students to play with rhythms and seeing how people hear and see it. Kenneth loves watching how different people interpret the same music and how they make it work for the way their own bodies move. He loves both Blues dancing and fast Lindy Hop and the techniques they share. Kenneth‘s love for swing and Blues took him around the world but his main passion is for helping and watching the Australian scene grow into the amazing place it is now he can not wait to share what he’s learnt at Slowdown this year!
Shaunie de Little was first bitten by the dancing bug in 2009 at a live blues gig in Adelaide. Studying the full spectrum of jazz dance styles (#danceallthedances), Shaunie has taught lindy hop, balboa and blues from Adelaide to Melbourne, where she now focuses her energy on teaching solo jazz, and performing as part of the Hot Jam dance troupe.
An experienced competitor, taking the floor both at home and internationally to share her dancing joy, Shaunie has a passion for solo movement, rhythm and the importance of individual expression.
Shaz Callaghan loves all kinds of music. She loves the kind that makes you want to holler, tap your feet, shimmy all over, hold someone close, shake what your mama gave you, or shuffle off to Buffalo. For Shaz it doesn’t get better than music and dancing, whether it’s having a boogie in her lounge room or swinging out on a packed ballroom floor in New York City.
Shaz has an unparalleled understanding of body movement, musicality and rhythm and is sought after as a teacher’s teacher! She is also one of Australia’s most acclaimed choreographers and this year we offer you a chance to learn and perform a piece from Shaz. Her work is imbued with emotion and will challenge and inspire you.
Join us at Slowdown 2017 for “Slow jazz with Shaz”!
For Shob Nambiar, one of Slowdown’s organisers, bringing the idea of Slowdown to life is simply a dream come true. She has been dancing since age 5 and brings that lifelong passion to her swing dancing.
She has a special love for the beautiful connection, conversation and freedom that exists in slow dancing and regularly dances and teaches slow lindy, blues and balboa…constantly finding new avenues of challenge and discovery. With her partner Andy Fodor, she holds 5 consecutive Australian titles in Slow Lindy and Blues and has taught all over Australia, NZ and even London! Her teaching comes from the heart and a deep desire to allow her students to be their very best selves on the dance floor. She is thrilled and proud to be on the Slowdown teaching team, and looks forward to dance with you in October.