Meet the 2019 teachers staff.
Ben Morris & Victoria Henk
Born in Kirkland, Washington, Ben Morris began swing dancing at the age of 12 after moving to Denver, Colorado. Ben began teaching in 2003, and now is one of the most sought after west coast swing teachers in the world. Both a Champion Lindy Hopper and a Champion West Coast Swing Dancer; he is a 2 time World Swing Dance Champion, 3 time U.S. Open Swing Dance Champion and the 2016 U.S. Open Classic Dance Champion. He’s known for his fun dance style, infectious personality, and enjoyable workshops.
Victoria Henk‘s shenanigans began at age 4 with ballet and gymnastics, with hip hop and jazz soon joining the mix at age 6. At the age of 8 she starting training at the Schwimmer´s 5678 Dance Studio where she was quickly placed onto both the juniors West Coast Swing and Jazz teams. Victoria´s passion and ability for both the solo dances and West Coast Swing was cultivated at the studio until she began to dedicate as much time to it is as she possibly could. When she began to compete she quickly met with success, culminating in her winning the 2014 NASDE All Star Tour and immediately afterwards beginning to place and final in Champions divisions. She now teaches hip hop at Buddy Schimmer´s Dance Center, continues to train at the Edge Performing Arts Center in LA with the top choreographers in the world, travels around the globe to teach West Coast Swing with her new partner Ben Morris, and is a full time student at a University. In her spare time she likes to…wait…spare time? What spare time?
Maxence Martin & Virginie Grondin
Maxence Martin is one of the most renowned west coast swing performers and teachers of the world! Ex-Champion of judo and black belt, he started his dance carreer in Lindy-Hop. Quickly he fell in love with WCS. Maxence is the only French dancer to obtain the West Coast Swing champion title in the USA. His energetic and precise way of teaching always draw big numbers of dancers to his classes.
Virginie Grondin is one of the best female west coast swing dancers in Europe. At the moment she is getting high placements in champion divisions at the biggest American events such as Madjam and SwingDiego. Together with Maxence she place 5th at the US Open classic division in 2016. Virginie has been dancing since she was five years old! Rock ‘n roll, boogie, classical and contemporary dance, modern jazz. In 2012 she partnered up with Maxence. Together, they are the most succesful French couple in their own country and abroad. We are very happy to have them back at the Dutch Open!
John Kirkconnell & Alyssa Glanville
John Kirkconnell and Alyssa Glanville have been partners for three years. Together, their partnership emphasizes musicality and connection. John and Alyssa compete, teach and travel around the world and they are excited to continue growing in the dance together. John has been dancing West Coast Swing for the better part of a decade. He has traveled around North America and Europe spreading his personal love for Swing. His students love his playful personality and the connection he makes with the music. Alyssa began dancing when she was ten, focusing mainly on Jitterbug/Lindy Hop. Throughout the years, she has dabbled in the basic ballroom, ballet, hip hop, jazz and contemporary. Through a friend, she heard about Boogie by the Bay in 2008 and dragged her mom to check out Lindy. She ended up competing in novice strictly and won it! She was hooked ever since, and was especially drawn to the creativity, musicality, and freedom within WCS. Living in the Bay Area has given her many opportunities to teach and grow in her own dance. She won the All Star Jack and Jill and Jr. Strictly in 2010 at the US Open Swing Dance Championship, and she has competed and placed top 5 in All Stars and Champion divisions over the past years.
We are very excited to have this dynamic duo back in Holland!
Michael 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 and is considered to be one of the top dancers and teachers in the scene.
Bret & Joëlle Navarre
Originating from opposite sides of the world (USA/France), Bret and Joëlle Navarre found each other through dance, and quickly realized they belonged together. Ever since, they have been traveling the world teaching, competing, performing, judging, and spreading West Coast Swing. They bring their own style to the dance floor, coming from a fusion of Bret’s background in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Latin, and Ballroom, mixed with Joëlle’s skills from Hip Hop, Belly Dance, Salsa, and Afro-Caribbean Dances.
They organize together “Med in Swing”, a social WCS event in South of France, focused on dancing, learning and having fun! Between the both of them, they combine over 25 years of experience dancing and teaching. They are mostly recognized for their pedagogy, focusing on making their students understand the techniques and mechanisms involved in West Coast Swing, while maintaining a fun and welcoming learning atmosphere.