Sylvia Sykes began dancing in 1966, competing in 1970, and teaching in 1979. She has studied with many of the dance greats, including Frankie Manning, Dean Collins, Maxie Dorf, and Willie Desatoff.
Her extensive studies and travels have made her an expert on regional dance styles and she is known for her expertise in the older forms of Swing dance. She is credited with helping to preserve Balboa by introducing the dance worldwide.
Her dance troupe ran for fifteen years, performed with some of the great Swing bands, and nurtured other International teachers. She has appeared in many TV shows and in several documentaries on Swing dancing over the years.
Sylvia is actively judging and teaching various forms of Shag, Balboa, Lindy Hop, and West Coast Swing throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is still an active competitor and she has won or placed in virtually every Swing event she has entered, in a multitude of Swing forms.
Marty has been dancing long enough to forget when he started. As a teacher, he is well known for his ability to break down everything he teaches to the smallest basic elements. He emphasizes understanding how those basics work and allowing the natural energy and rhythm to guide all movements. His lighthearted approach makes workshops with him engaging and fun.
Before "retiring" to bring up a family, Marty and his wife Jen taught extensively both internationally and throughout the U.S. They have done several performances with a variety of teams, most notably performing at the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington DC to an audience of over 200,000. They placed in many international competitions as well.
Marty has been an influential dancer in the swing scene. He not only brings great skill, great teaching and great dancing, he brings a great personality and energy.
We are very excited that Marty Lau will be back to partner Sylvia Sykes this year. Due to family commitments he rarely teaches outside the USA, only teaching at a handful of prestigious Balboa events in Europe (including BalBreak of course!), so we feel tremendously fortunate that he will be back to teach again in 2017.