We’re excited to present the following dance instructors to our on line dance program. Many are well known in our dance community and some are new to NDN. Please take a moment to check them out!
Michelle Badion has been teaching partner dancing full time in the Seattle area since 1989. She loves to dance, perform, and most of all to teach. She has a way of making dancing accessible and fun for everyone. Michelle specializes in Argentine Tango, Salsa, and West Coast Swing, but also loves to teach Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Country, East Coast Swing, Cha-Cha, Nightclub 2-Step, Cumbia, and Bachata. Michelle was a frequent guest instructor for NW Dance Network during our in-person instruction. We are excited to have her return to us.
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 and with his dance partner Nancy Fry, 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 dance events and shows in Seattle, including What Is This Thing Called Swing? with The Rhythm Hot Shots from Sweden, 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, Suessical 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 2011 movie Camilla Dickinson.
Sean (Gator Boy) Donovan
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.
Daniela Gallardo’s love for music and dance also started at an early age. She created her first choreography at age 15 and has been dancing Salsa for over 10 years. The mission of La Clave Cubana is to share the transforming energy of dance through the real essence of Cuban Salsa. “We believe dance should be for everyone who is looking to improve their mental, physical or even social lives and that is why we devote ourselves to pass along the joy of Salsa to anyone, no matter what age you are or what experience you may have.” Agua!”
Having taught Swing and Blues dances for over 20 years, and on three continents, John is ever ready to share his passion for dance. He’s poured countless hours into his practice and has inspired thousands of people with his dancing and teaching. He is known for using playfulness and humor while guiding students deep into the fundamentals of partnered movement. His students often express how fun and transformative his classes are. John just asks his students to bring their curiosity to class, and he’ll provide the rest.
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.
Richard Powers is a full-time instructor in dance history and contemporary social dance forms at Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Theater and Performance Studies. Richard’s principal focus since 1975 has been social dance forms, from the Renaissance to today. Specializations include 19th century American and European social dance, dances of the Ragtime Era and Jazz Ages, and currently evolving vernacular dance forms. Richard is an engaging and fascinating purveyor of dance and its history, enabling a more complete comprehension of the dances we love.
Naomi Scher, a Nia Black Belt Instructor certified in Nia FreeDance and Nia Moving to Heal blends her lifelong passion for movement, dance, and the healing arts with the balanced beauty of Nia, offering an inspiring and joyous full Body experience.
Click the link for more information on Naomi’s classes:
Reinier (Rey) Valdes
Reinier (Rey) Valdes is the founder of La Clave Cubana and along with Daniela Gallardo, are the Co-Directors of their studio located in Seattle. Rey was born in Habana, Cuba, and Daniela, from Mexico. Both have discovered a passion for dancing at an early age. Rey started dancing at the young age of 13 and was immediately recruited and showcase throughout Cuba. At 18, he graduated from the Cuban School of Dance as a dance instructor specializing in popular dances like Salsa, Son, Cha Cha, Mambo, and Rumba. His dancing talents led him to Brazil where he started his own performance group called “Influencia Latina.”