Instructors 2

INSTRUCTORS

Dee Daniels Locke started Swing Dancing at the age of four with her Dad in the basement while wearing her mom’s heels and her favorite plaid skirt. With a hiatus into hip hop during her school years, she realized her true dance calling was Lindy Hop, and was a co-founding member of the Bemidji State Swing Dance Club. For over a decade she’s shared her love of Lindy Hop with dancers young and old. She has become an influential member of the Twin Cities scene and continues to inspire students at all levels. She looks to motivate new generations of swing dancers by organizing programs for Minnesota’s youth. Dee loves to “shake her thang” and she wants you to shake yours, too. She encourages self-expression on the dance floor, and she prides herself on making each dance unique to the musical experience and partner, creating an authentic dance conversation. She advocates individual creativity as the true spirit of Lindy Hop. Dee has taught, performed, and choreographed around the Midwest. She thought it was exceptionally cool to be invited to dance for the Dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. But even more ridiculously exhilarating was the opportunity to assist Frankie Manning in teaching a class! Most important to know is that Dee never refuses Peanut M&Ms, and will gladly become a lifelong friend to anyone who offers her that bite-sized chocolate heaven. She’s won several awards, but mostly she wants to have a good dance. You should ask her, she follows and leads….and she wants to dance with you.

Michael Brafford got his swing dancing start at Iowa University. After graduating Mikey has continued to compete, teach, and he founded the Heartland Swing Festival and Collegiate Jitterbug Championships in Des Moines. He has taught classes and workshops for several groups around the Midwest. His style combines Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Shag, Charleston, Hip Hop and everything in between.

Abigail Browning fell in love with the grace and athleticism of swing dancing, and has pursued the art and history of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston ever since. With an upbringing in classical piano, she dances to express the intricacies and joy of jazz as an art form. A poet with an MFA in Creative Writing, Abigail enjoys using metaphors as she teaches. She fosters creativity and musicality for follows and leads through technique, and emphasizes body control through isolation, repetition, and balance while having fun and understanding the historical background of the dance. As well as teaching and organizing, Abigail is a passionate DJ, having spun at weekly dances and at national events from Lindy Focus in Asheville, North Carolina to Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden. She has since taught and DJed in Washington, DC at The Jam Cellar, and now lives and teaches locally in North Carolina.

Adam Speen strives to provide a unique perspective combining classic swing dance technique with a modern ideology. Partnership and playfulness are the focus for Adam on the dance floor, creating a “yes and” environment for his partners and himself. He brings the same positive environment to the classroom where conditioning drills, visual media, and demonstrations by students are commonplace. Adam loves having the opportunity to travel and teach so many amazing students but you will find him his happiest on the social dance floor. When not dancing, Adam works as a Toxicologist at UNC Chapel Hill.