Instructors

2019 Instructors 


LATASHA BARNES


LaTasha “Tasha” Barnes is an artist, dancer, entrepreneur, and ambassador of culture. Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Tasha has enjoyed much of her life immersed in jazz, funk, soul, and R&B music and dance thanks to her DJ father and dancing family. Having turned that lifelong passion into cultural activism she serves towards achieving the mission of Urban Artistry, Inc to preserve the arts that represent the urban experience, as a directing member, performer and educator. She is celebrated for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout all her dance forms which include: House, Hip Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Through her own expression and endeavors Tasha hopes to inspire fellow artists to cultivate an authentic sense of self in their creative expressions and daily lives.


FELIPE BRAGA

Many ask how Felipe learned Lindy Hop so quickly: transitioning from a toilet-cleaning newbie dancer marveling at the Folkets Hus floor to a Herrang instructor in three short years. The explanation is simple: his pre-Lindy life prepared him for what was to come. Training in theatrical acting gave Felipe body awareness and control as well as an ability to improvise--both in his energetic and now infamous class warm-ups, and in the competitions where he always shines. Felipe’s experience playing drums, as well as his youth in Brazil --where the music and dance culture are rich-- gave him an innate sense of rhythm. And finally Felipe’s days as a dancing party-animator for a live music club in Brazil gave him plenty of training for getting people excited about dancing in his Lindy Hop classes today.. But more important than any of this is that Felipe has embodied the Lindy Hop spirit since before he knew it existed. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t like Felipe. His warm personality charms every dancer he meets, and his ability to connect with people in conversation carries over onto the dance floor. He leaves every follower with a smile, and anyone who has danced or talked with him will confirm: he always makes you feel special. (bio written by Laura Lee Spencer)


DEE DANIELS LOCKE 

Dee started Swing Dancing at the age of four with her Dad in the basement, wearing her Mom’s heels and her favorite plaid skirt. With a hiatus into hip-hop during her school years, she was called back to Lindy Hop, and co-founded her college swing dance club. She has became an influential member of the Minneapolis scene, where you can find her teaching at Uptown Swing. For over a decade she’s shared her love of Lindy Hop with dancers young and old, teaching and dancing nationally at swing dance events Dee loves feeling free on the dance floor and advocates for self-expression and individual creativity as the true spirit of Lindy Hop. She loves Lindy hop's particular way of corresponding to the music and partner, priding herself on making each dance unique to the musical experience and partner, creating an authentic dance conversation. She has taught, performed, and choreographed nationally and internationally. It’s important to know is that Dee never refuses Peanut M&Ms, and will gladly become a lifelong friend to those offering 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.


CHARLIE WIEPRECHT

Charlie Wieprecht began his dance journey in his hometown of Baltimore, crawling up the ranks there and becoming one of the main instructors at the Mobtown Ballroom. Charlie's style can be described as smooth and dynamic (i.e. kicking and jumping). He values connection with his partner and being a lead who listens. He is known by his friends as a walking "safe space", so it's unsurprising that he brings that quality to the dance floor. When not at the Ballroom he performs and teaches as a member of Guardian Dance, a dance troupe directed by Breai Mason-Campbell. When not dancing, he enjoys giving historical walking tours of Baltimore to whoever will listen.


SARAH SPOON
(beginner track instructor, Emcee, DJ)

Sarah Spoon hails from London originally, but now spends her time travelling in pursuit of that particular type of joy that comes from lindy hop. Having grown up dabbling in ballroom dancing, salsa, and northern soul, when she accidentally discovered swing dancing it really was addiction at first triple step. Frequently joking that dancing is the love of her life, Sarah is big on connection, communication and equality in partner dancing. She believes in the power of laughter, and her classes and MCing reflect this. She teaches, performs and competes as a follow and a lead, and loves social dancing more than pizza. You should ask her to dance!