Teachers 2024

Jacob Wigger & Shani Brown

Shani Brown

From sunny southern California, Shani is best known for her fast, syncopated Balboa foot-work and her soft connection – which has been said to feel like a ‘warm hug’. As an instructor, she strives to make dancing simple and effortless with a strong emphasis on combining foundational basics with the soft skills of connection mechanics and partnership to develop smooth flow and personal style.

Shani has dedicated herself to learning, preserving and sharing her love for Balboa and other vernacular jazz dances. She began swing dancing 1998 and is honoured to have honed her social dance skills and footwork under the guidance of legendary dancers Willie Desatoff, Hal and Marge Takier, Bart Bartolo, Jack Carey, as well as Dean Raftery and many others. And although she has competed, placed and won several major competitions, she mainly enjoys social dancing and inspiring others to love balboa and swing.

Jacob Wigger

Jacob Wigger started swing dancing in 2003 and has been hooked ever since, with his first love being social dancing. As a teacher he uses a mix of humorous (in his opinion) analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.

Jacob has taught at numerous national and international events. He has also won numerous awards at major competitions. He is famous for his fast Pure Balboa footwork and his large repertoire of unique spins and turns when he’s in the spotlight.

Heather & Javier

Heather Ballew

Heather Ballew hails from Denver, Colorado where majestic mountains tower over the skyline and sunny days are plentiful. As a participant of the 1990's swing revival, she has seen swing dance styles and techniques vary and evolve a lot over the years. In the classroom she strives to help her students be successful on the social floor, but her ultimate goal is to open up new avenues for creativity and communication within the partnership. She loves dancing with people of all levels, and she is known for her connection, footwork, and playfulness. She can be found teaching around the United States and abroad, talking passionately about scene-building, and starting silly and sometimes thoughtful online discussions.

Javier Johnson

Javier Johnson is a rocket scientist by trade, and he brings a powerful analytical sense which joins the mechanics of dance and the soul of expression. He is well versed in all the swing dances, but specializes in Balboa and soul. As an international swing dance instructor, he's traveled around the world sharing his joy of teaching and his passion for jazz dances.