June 15-18, 2017 Professional Instructor – Judges – D.J And Music Team
Michael Kielbasa has been dancing since he was 5 years old, under the guidance of his mother, Carmen Garcia, and uncle, Michael Kiehm. However, it wasn’t until the age of 17 , Michael began teaching & dancing competitively. Michael teaches all of the American style Ballroom and Latin dances as well as Swing, Hustle, Salsa, Lindy Hop, and other current club dances. Michael has won several 1st place Championship Titles in the Swing venue, and is currently teaching, judging, and competing worldwide almost every weekend. Michael began competing in the WCS circuit and Classic Division in 2003. Since achieving his Business Degree, Michael devotes many hours to private dance lessons and choreography. Michael has many top placements in WCS Jack & Jill, Strictly, and Classic Division Competitions.
Joshua Sturgeon & Hailee Vaughan:
Joshua Sturgeon began his life of partner dancing when he walked into a country bar on his 21st birthday. He was instantly hooked and found himself country dancing five nights per week. But soon, that wasn’t enough. He migrated to ballroom where he spent a few years competing and teaching for the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Boise, Idaho. He then moved back to Seattle where he got heavily involved in salsa. He spent the next two years dancing, teaching, traveling, and performing with the prestigious Salsa Salvaje dance troupe. After dabbling in multiple forms of dancing for 12 years, he decided that WCS would be his home. Why WCS? In his words, “WCS is all about dancing with this partner to this song in this moment. Every dance time you dance WCS, it’s a unique experience.”
In 2010, Joshua decided to get serious about WCS, at which point he won 5 out of his first 6 competitions. Since that time, he has been steadily rising through the WCS ranks.
Joshua has a reputation for being a very attentive partner on the social floor. He says, “anyone is worthy of my best three minutes.” He is also known for the unique style he brings to the floor. Robert Royston says of him, “He is the perfect combination of what’s new about swing, and then what’s kinda retro-cool about swing… He’s like Usher meets Sinatra.”
Hailee Vaughan is a passionate and competitive All-Star dancer from Seattle, WA — Hailee was introduced to West Coast Swing in 2014, immediately loving the dance. She continues to be enthralled by the world of WCS. Her other styles of expertise include Ballet, Horton & Graham Modern, Lyrical, and Contemporary Jazz.
In addition to being the first Rising Star US Open Opus Division Champion — as well as the runner up for the US Open Cabaret division in 2014 — Hailee has accomplished reaching a professional WCS level by her 2nd year of competitive dancing. Since beginning her competitive focus, Hailee has continued to final and (and typically place) without fail since her 2nd Novice competition, leaving most competitions with something to show for her work. Hailee is also the first National Swing Sixteen Champion (in addition to a qualified finalist for the Euro Swing Sixteen finals), and holds multiple national/international winning titles competing at an All Star/Chapmion level in JnJ, Strictly, and various routine divisions.
For the future, Hailee hopes to continue to find success on the competitive WCS circuit and use her experience, loving attitude, and knowledge to help grow communities both locally and worldwide, as well as finding new and progressive ways to welcome individuals of all life paths to pursue dance and movement.
Now and always, Hailee wishes to encourage others in persistence and hope in their dance journey, and inspire them to never give up on living their dream — despite the obstacles that may come up along the way.
Tara Trafzer & Christopher Dumond: Tara has been dancing for almost 20 years. She has been trained in classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Latin, Hip Hop, and West Coast Swing with the Schwimmers. Tara is known for teaching that focuses on swing technique as well as incorporating musicality into the dance for all levels. Her extensive training in a multitude of dances contributes to her ability to reach dancers from all backgrounds. Tara has competed in the young adult divisions since she was 13 and has competed in the Showcase Routine Division since she was 18. Tara teaches in the states and internationally in places including: France, England, & Russia. ChristopherDumond began West Coast Swing in 2009. He and his partner at the time, Nicole Clonch, were 2012 & 2013 U.S. Open Swing Dance Champions in the Young Adult Division. (age 14-17) Tara & Christopher began their WCS dance partnership Fall of 2015. Christopher Dumond composed the music for his U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships 5th place Classic Routine.
Mike Carringer started his dance journey in 2011 with country dancing, and after a year switched to West Coast Swing. Mike brings with him a fun and exciting energy on and off the dance floor;with a teaching style that focused on proper body mechanics and natural motion within the body. Mike is an accomplished West Coast Swing dancer; winning Rising Star and NASDE Tour for Jack & Jill’s 2015. He has competed well and placed in both Classic and Showcase Divisions. Mike is currently competing at the WSDC All-Star / Champion level, with a recent 2nd place at Seattle Easter Swing 2017.
Chief Judge – Jim Minty has background in American Ballroom, Country, and for the last 20 years, Swing Dance. Jim competed in his first NASDE Convention Champions Jack & Jill Competition in 1998. He’s competed with one Classic Routine partner and two Showcase Routine partners; placing 6th place at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships with one of his Showcase partners. Jim has been a very active Judge and Chief Judge at WSDC and NASDE Conventions Nationwide for over 15 years; as well as a Trainer of Judges. Jim is a regular judge at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships when he’s not competing in the Showcase Division. Jim brings a wealth of experience with a heavy dose of practicality about competitions; making you think about “what” and “how” to approach routine, as well as all other competitions – Won many WCS Swing Dance Championship Awards – Certified G.S.D.T.A. Instructor, Judge, National Competitor – Director of NASDE Event Seattle Easter Swing for 10 years. Jim Minty also has a Masters Degree in Project Management.
Joe Broderick & Leilani Nakagawa Leilanie’s dance journey spans 19 years . She is the owner of Uptown Ballroom in Tigard, OR. Leilani has been teaching & training for 7 years. Her exploration of West Coast Swing began in 2009. Her love for the freedom and expressivity of WCS inspired her to receive training from many top WCS dance professionals; therefore entering competitions and achieving All-Star level WCS dancer. Joe Broderick began on the UCWDC dance circuit dancing to country music. One WCS dance hooked Joe. He’s been dancing, competing, and Dj’ing WCS for the past 12 years ; primarily because Joe has a passion for DJ’ing a variety of music genres, especially WCS because he enjoys discovering new and unique music that gets people up dancing with no thought to sitting down.
Emcee – Forrest Hanson is very diverse with his many West Coast Swing skills. Forrest has been competing in the national WCS circuit for many years, earning Forrest the WCS dance and competition level of All-Star. He is also very passionate about WCS as a dance instructor and D.J. Yet, the past year, Forrest has also addd to his many diverse skills as an Emcee, his primary role and duties for us at Dance N Play 2016. Forrest is an enthusiastic team player, who enjoys making sure attendees have a great time!
David Hemmerich & Danielle Bolkan , David is a WSDC All-Star division competitor, and an instructor from Eugene, Oregon. He has been teaching west coast swing for seven years at his local club, helping his community and other communities grow through his enthusiastic teaching. In 1998 at the age of eight, he grew up watching his family dance in a local ballroom club and joined in on the fun, taking lessons and learning The Waltz, Rumba, and Salsa. He was introduced to West coast swing first but didn’t like it very much, as eight years David thought it too “weird”. At the age of seventeen, year 2007, he picked up the “weird” dance called west coast swing and began his long adventure, unknown to him how this dance would change his life for the better. Since that time he has won many awards in Jack n Jill’s, strictly competitions, and The Silton foundation award. David also has a musical background in guitar and drums and was a prominent musician at school. David enjoys teaching others to see the fun in the “weird” dance called West coast swing and is excited to be on staff for Dance n Play.
Tess Minnick is an accomplished competitive dancer, instructor, performer, and choreographer with over 11 years of experience in a wide variety of dance styles: West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Blues, Peabody, Balboa, Fusion, Tango, Fusion, Country, American Smooth / Standard Ballroom Dance Genres, American Rhythm / International Latin Dance Genres, and…Tess has competed professionally in American Rhythm, American Smooth, Country (UCWDC), Styles, and is currently on the West Coast Swing (WCS) circuit. Tess was the 2015 1st place winner in the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships Jack & Jill and Strictly Swing Divisions for WCS. In addition to competing and performing, her passion for all dance styles is evident in her quality instruction. She is devoted to the art of social dancing, fusion of styles, and inspiring anyone to express themselves through dance!
Melinda Booth is a certified PDIA teacher, certified GSDTA teacher, and certified NDDCB judge. She started dancing in 1995, and has worked her way to the advanced level of WSDC competition. Melinda loves social dancing first: and has traveled extensively around the country to over 100 WSDC conventions. In 1995, Melinda performed a routine with her husband, Paul at the U.S. Open Masters Classic division. Teaching is now the source of the biggest rewards for the Booths. They teach regular group lessons on Saturdays in Kirkland, and teach private lessons by appointment. Paul D.J’s at conventions coast to coast and in Canada, and has been drawing local dancers every Saturday night at Kirkland Dance Center since April 2002.
Koichi Tsunoda started DJing locally in Seattle in 2012 and has been growing momentum ever since. In 2013 he was D.J. at larger events in Washington, Oregon, Vancouver BC, California, & Korea. He is recognized by many as being incredibly friendly, having a “weird” sense of humor and being well traveled. Koichi enjoys Djing because it is a way to bring joy to people & introduce something new to the local dance scene. Often times he can be found playing for the late night crowd at dance conventions & after every event, shares his songs with the public. He never expected the long-running tradition of requesting a “Koichi’s last song” to take him down the path of becoming a West Coast Swing D.J. He’s super excited to return officially as a member of the Dance N Play staff this year.
D.J. And Music Staff:
Joe Broderick – Koichi Tsunoda – Forrest Hanson – Joshua Sturgeon & Hailee Vaughan Team