2017 Fall Swing Dance Weekend Instructors

Nick Davis

Photo credit: Rhianna Gelhart for The Register-Guard

Nick began dancing in 1998 and discovered Lindy Hop in 2002. After founding Eugene’s Track Town Swing in 2012, he has traveled around the globe to hone his dancing skills. He has been featured in music videos from the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, was on the cover of the Eugene Weekly and the front page of the Register-Guard, and was the 2014 Frankie Manning Foundation Ambassador to Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden.

He has since become part of the Frankie Manning Foundation and is actively involved in shaping the future of the global swing dance scene. When not traveling to dance events, Nick can be found teaching and DJing in Eugene and Portland. He believes bringing people together through the joy of Lindy Hop is his true life calling.

Nika Jin

Photo credit: Amanda Avery for Amanda L Smith Photography

Nika started teaching and organizing Lindy Hop related shenanigans in Eugene, OR in 2013. Solo Jazz has a special place in her heart, because it has led to a much deeper understanding and appreciation of music and self expression. Honestly, it still blows her mind that that she is allowed to extend her arms past her body. She loves sharing dance and strives to bring an open-mind and unbridled enthusiasm to the classroom and/or dance floor. When not dancing, she fills her life with burritos, trees, and fancy dirt.

Austin Neverman

Austin is a dance enthusiast and professional instructor based in Portland, Oregon. He competes and performs internationally, as both a lead and a follow. He began growing his native Iowan swing scene in 2009 and since 2012 has expanded his professional repertoire to include ballroom dancing, Argentine tango, and west coast swing. On any given week, you can find him playing DJ at Stumptown Dance, dishing out moves for the Portland Lindy Society, or coaching his students individually. While his dancing incorporates many influences, he strives to project a playful ethos, accented by dynamic choices.

Kali Henson

Kali is a Kansas native now living in Portland, Oregon, teaching, competing, and performing vintage swing, ballroom, and Latin dancing. Her dance journey began in 2010, when she took salsa lessons in Guatemala and fell in love with partner dancing. She was president of her college swing club in 2012 and later taught professionally at a ballroom and Latin dance studio in Iowa. Since 2013, Kali has placed in and won over 16 vintage swing and blues competitions. She also leads a solo jazz troupe called the Portland Rhythm Shakers, which performs throughout Oregon and Washington.

Emily Ernst

Emily has been dancing since she was three years old. Through Scandinavian folk dancing, she realized that dance would be her life-long passion. When she was fourteen, she joined a German dance group and started performing all over the Northwest US. Emily started swing dancing in 2005 and teaching in 2008. Soon after, she started choreographing routines, competing, DJing and judging in Portland as well as out of town. She has traveled to numerous places to teach Balboa, Lindy Hop and Charleston including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Alaska, Germany and Australia.

She has a special love for Balboa. She and her partners are constantly pushing themselves to create new moves and styling variations during practice sessions, but also gather inspiration from great Balboa dancers from the past and present such as Willie Desatoff, Mickey Fortanasce and Kelly Arsenault. She has taken first in Balboa at SF Bal Fest and Camp Balboa Seattle, third at the California Balboa Classic, and second at Balhalla in Seattle. She looks forward to traveling abroad and spreading her love of dance to the world!

Rod Young

Rod’s passion for swing dancing grew out of his interest in 1930-1940s jazz (swing music). He started dancing in 2008 and before long he was out on the dance floor several nights a week. In less than 2 years, he was teaching and DJing for various swing events around town. He’s placed in half a dozen regional dance competitions, taking first twice. His desire to promote classic swing jazz music and dance motivated him to join the board of the local non-profit swing organization, The Portland Lindy Society (PLS) where he served as president for 5 years. He currently manages a weekly dance on Thursday evenings (with two live bands each night). He’s taught nearly every week for the last 6 years and is always excited to see each new dancer get going.