Wednesday Evening Class Series Instructors
Guy Caridi has been dancing since 1988, performing and choreographing since 1991, and teaching since 1993. He has taught and performed internationally and is well known for his respectful, sensitive, and humorous teaching style. Guy is a founding member of Seattle’s Savoy Swing Club> He and his frequent dance partner, Nancy Fry, were the first couple from the Pacific Northwest to teach Lindy Hop and Balboa. He continues as the artistic director of the Savoy Swing Club Performance Troupe. In 1999, Guy and Nancy took home trophies in the Lindy Hop and Team divisions at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships in southern California. In total, four of five routines choreographed by Guy were place-winners.
Guy has produced many noteworthy dance events and shows in Seattle, including What Is This Thing Called Swing? with The Rhythm Hot Shots from Sweden; Swingin’ Then, Swingin’ Now! with the legendary Norma Miller; and the annual Pacific Northwest Lindy Hop Championships (1999-2006).
Guy’s choreography credits for local theaters and schools include Oklahoma!; Wizard of Oz; The Music Man; Oliver!; Peter Pan; Beauty and the Beast; Seussical, the Musical; The Sound of Music; Godspell; Into the Woods; Fiddler on the Roof; Mary Poppins; and Newsies! He also choreographed and was a featured dancer in the 2012 film Camilla Dickinson.
Nancy Fry discovered her passion for dance in 1981 and has been dancing ever since! She finds great joy in connecting and co-creating with her dance partners on the dance floor and believes that this special connection is where the magic in partner dancing is found. Over the years, Nancy has enjoyed dancing and teaching a large variety of partner dances. She and her dance partner, Guy Caridi, competed at the 1999 US Open Swing Dance Championships, where they placed in both events in which they competed. One of these awards was for the team competition in which she performed with the Savoy Swing Club Performance Troupe.
Nancy began teaching Lindy Hop, Balboa, and jazz-related Swing movement classes with Guy in 1994, with the Seattle Savoy Swing Club, which she helped found. She started teaching with NW Dance Network in 2004, where she teaches Swing, Nightclub 2-Step, and many other dance styles. Her teaching focuses on developing that special connection between partners, helping her students to develop the ability to lead and follow, and to communicate through movement while having fun doing it!
Sunday Mini Class Series Instructors
Sean Donovan loves to dance, and it shows with the passion, joy, and excitement he brings to teaching. Positive and playful, Sean is a creative and effective communicator who focuses on the power of dance to delight and transform us. Dancing and teaching since 1999, both nationally and in Seattle, Sean has been on staff with NW Dance Network since 2004. Sean revels in teaching a variety of dances, from Swing (his first love) and Zydeco (a passion that prompted numerous learning expeditions to Louisiana and Texas to Blues, Waltz, Whiskey River Jitterbug, Country Two Step, and more. Sean is also an accomplished DJ, both on-air with KBCS 91.3FM for over a dozen years and in dance halls and clubs all over Seattle, mixing grooves from various genres in ways that keep the mood high and the dancers on the floor. More information on Sean at Gator Boy Productions
Janiceis a longtime resident of Port Townsend. At one time she was a dance partner with Walter Dill, who, along with Nancianna Dill, started Living Traditions, which eventually became NW Dance Network.
For the past several years, Janice has been teaching on her own in Port Townsend and on Whidbey Island, although she has also been an instructor during our Seabeck dance weekends. She is president of Port Townsend’s Discovery Dance, which is a non-profit organization, similar to NDN.
Janice says, “I live with an eye toward finding the beauty in everything I do…every day.”
Scot began dancing on the country circuit in 2004, and fast became one of the most sought-after leads on the dance floor. He began dancing West Coast Swing in 2008 and started sharing his love of the dance through teaching in 2014. As a past president of the Seattle Swing Dance Club and current VP, he continues to grow the West Coast Swing community with outreach programs geared toward new dancers.
Wren’s extensive training began early with a childhood of competitive gymnastics. After gymnastics, she devoted herself to various forms of dance before falling in love with West Coast Swing. She dances, teaches, competes, and judges at local, national, and international locations. As a member and former officer of the Seattle Swing Dance Club, she helps to foster the local WCS community through social dancing spreading her passion for West Coast Swing to a growing community of dancers.
Former shortstop Dean Paton abandoned the baseball diamond for the dance hall in 1994, and fell so hopelessly in love with waltz that he founded the Valse Cafe Orchestra, an award-winning ensemble committed to the art of playing music for dancers. Dean loves the traveling dances and his passion is teaching the original Viennese waltz, which some like to call rotary or turning waltz. Since 2007 he has taught at the Century Ballroom, where he produces a fourth Sunday live-music dance called the Waltz Café as well as an outlandish Masquerade Ball each January. “My first goal in every class is always the same,” Dean says: “make it safe to screw up, safe to step on the wrong foot, safe to do even the simplest of moves completely wrong. Because only when you feel safe enough to make mistakes will you have enough confidence to take risks. And taking risks is necessary to really learn effectively.”
Michelle is one of Seattle’s most experienced dance teachers, having taught full time in Seattle for over thirty years. She was Seattle’s first Salsa teacher and third Argentine Tango Teacher. She was also part of Seattle’s second wave of good West Coast Swing teachers, and taught ballroom dance at the Washington Dance Club.
Michelle loves to dance and totally believes that social dancing enhances every person’s life. What truly sets her apart and makes her one of the most sought–after teachers in Seattle are some of the following characteristics:
- Michelle’s lessons and classes are fun and skillfully taught with enthusiasm and humor.
- She keeps up on local trends and keep her dancing skills sharp.
- She keeps abreast of the worldwide trends in the dances.
- Michelle performs publicly, showcasing her skill and grace, while at the same time encouraging new and aspiring dancers.
Lilli Ann Carey
Lilli Ann Carey began partner dancing with Living Traditions in the 1990s and then went on to teach for them for several years before leaving to start her own company, Dance for Joy! Lilli Ann loves to dance almost anything, but focuses her teaching on waltz, West and East Coast swing, Zydeco, foxtrot, one-step, blues, fusion, and a few vintage dance forms. Lilli Ann promotes dance through classes, workshops, and events through her company, Dance for Joy! and is excited to return to Northwest Dance this fall! She is known for producing larger scale events including the An Evening in Vienna Viennese Ball and also coordinates the highly successful Dancing ’til Dusk program for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Lilli Ann has taught in Vancouver BC, Juneau and Fairbanks Alaska, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, in the Bay area, Portland, Oregon and St Petersburg, Russia. Her creativity, love of the connected and playful dance, and innovation has brought her national and international recognition and an ongoing and excited student base. You’ll often find her teaching with her daughter Claire.
Claire began learning swing dance at the age of seven in 1998, and began teaching partner dance in 2008. She discovered her passion for West Coast Swing in 2010, where she has achieved multiple first placements, and competed in the All Star division. She has loved teaching Cross Step Waltz, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Blues, Foxtrot, Nightclub Two Step, and other vintage waltz forms in Seattle for Dance For Joy! Claire and her mom, Lilli Ann have taught together both nationally and internationally, and are known for their fun, innovative, and technically-minded teaching. In class, Claire specializes in empowering follows to have strong skills in connection, intuition, and self expression. She also loves teaching private lessons to leads and follows, and helping students find the nuances that make everything click into place!
Lara Diniz, from Niterói in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, learned how to dance and teach Forró while she attended university in São José dos Campos in São Paulo, Brazil.
After arriving in Seattle, she hoped to fine tune her proficiency in Forró by taking additional lessons, only to discover the absence of any Forró instruction! Thus began her journey to become Seattle’s first and foremost Forró instructor.
Lara continues to study other Brazilian social dances such as Samba de Gafieira, Bolero, and Brazilian Zouk, but her favorite is, and always will be, Forró.
Lara is fluid in both the lead and follow roles. She continues to dance and teach at Forró festivals around the United States.
Joe Ferreria (He/His) is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a dance instructor, choreographer, and performer, with 25 years of expertise, 15 of those years performing and teaching social dances, including Argentine Tango. In the tango scene, Joe has been taught by several legendary tango masters, and he has his proper method of teaching, always looking for the student’s progress. Joe is full of energy and likes to share this energy with everyone in the room, he believes that if everybody does the same action at the same time, the energy become one.
En Canto is Seattle’s premier Brazilian Forró band. Forró, pronounced foe-hoe, refers to both a music and dance style of northeastern Brazil. The band’s sound is fueled primarily by twin accordions and tinged with jazz backgrounds several of the musicians bring to En Canto’s exuberant sonic journeys.
Expect swirling Brazilian rhythms and irresistible melodies that drive dancers across the floor. En Canto’s music honors classics and contemporaries such as Luiz Gonzaga, Gilberto Gil, Dominguinhos, Mestrinho, and Sivuca. The musicians add their own inspirational vibes, drawn from their musical explorations here in the Pacific Northwest.
En Canto performs regularly at music festivals around the US and Canada. In 2018, En Canto was featured at the New York Forró Festival alongside some legendary performers: Forró in the Dark, Luic Da Silva, Vitor Goncalves, and Felipe Hostins.
Lovers of this music have multiple opportunities to see En Canto throughout the summer. They’re currently planning a Festa Junina on June 11th sponsored by the Seattle Parks Department (location and details to be determined); Festival at Cape Disappointment on July 9th; and Brasilfest at Seattle Center on August 21st.
Members of the band include vocalist Adriana Giordano, accordion players Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, flautist Meese Agrawal Tonkin, pianist Mike Withey, drummer Jeff Busch, and bassist Mike Catts.