Leslie Coombs

Leslie Coombs has been involved with Swing music and dance since 1984, as a dancer, organizer, teacher and performer. In 1987 Leslie co-founded Swing Baltimore,a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Swing music and dance. She has worked since that time to establish Swing in the Baltimore area and is generally credited with the Swing dance revival in this community. Leslie serves as artistic director and coach for the FlyCats - Swing Baltimore's Lindy performing team.

As a teacher, Leslie has introduced thousands of people in the Baltimore-Washington area to the Lindy, the dance that emerged from Harlem during the heyday of the Swing era. Inspired by her love of this dance form, Leslie went to the source, Frankie Manning, and studied intensively with him for several years. His influence is readily seen in her high energy, authentic dance style and interpretation of the music. In addition, Leslie brings to her teaching a strong background in African dance, tap, Dunham technique, modern dance and an in-depth understanding of movement based on her training as a Dance/Movement therapist. Her teaching style is energetic, humorous and creative. She is able to go beyond the steps and focus on the "how and why" of movement in order to develop an efficient, fluid and expressive style of dance.

Leslie has taught Lindy and movement workshops at dance weekends and in cities throughout the United States. Her teaching consistently receives excellent reviews and her movement work is often cited as the highlight of the experience. So better prepare your ShoppingVouchers or those dancing clothes and shoes!


 

Chiles VandenBosche
Chiles VandenBosche runs the lindy program at the Avalon Studio. He has been swing dancing since 1998 and began teaching at the Avalon in 2001. He has taught workshops in venues such as the American Lindy Hop Championships, the Virginia State Open and as a regular guest instructor for the Washington Swing Dance Committee. He has been a member of the award winning Avalon Flycats since 1999. In 2003 Chiles took 1st place at the VSO for the Open Jack & Jill Lindy Hop Fast.

 

  Samone Angel
Samone Angel has over ten years experience mentoring, coaching and teaching in the Baltimore area. She has studied a variety of dance styles with instructors throughout the area, but her main swing dance instruction came from Avalon's own Leslie Coombs. Samone has performed with the FlyCats Lindy Hop Performance Team for three years and has taught Lindy Hop classes at the Avalon for the past year. She loves teaching Lindy Hop and can frequently be found working with new students at the studio's Thursday night practice dances.

 

  Lynn Baumeister
Lynn Baumeister has been dancing since she was quite young, starting with Baltic kolo dancing in her teens and progressing through a wide array of social dances including contra, square, cajun/zydeco, vintage, and appalachian clogging to name a few. She co-founded Pittsburgh's swing community and taught extensively there for 10 years before moving to Maryland in 2000. Here at Avalon Lynn enjoys teaching and "not being in charge of anything."

 

  Bob Churchill
Bob Churchill started dancing in 2001 and immediately became hooked on Balboa. He attended the first annual All-Balboa Weekend in Cleveland and has since devoted himself to learning this dance. His strongest influences are three nationally recognized teaching couples: Valerie Salstrom and Marty Klempner, Joel and Alison Plys, and Marty Lau and Jen Urich. Bob began teaching Balboa in 2003. He uses a focus on technique and humorous style to encourage students to get the most they can out of this nearly lost (but not for long!) dance. If you see him out, chase him down and ask about Bal. Smiles will be had by all!

 

  Norm Helmold
Norm Helmold is a native of SW Louisiana and has been playing the Cajun accordion and dancing to the music of SW Louisiana for many years. He has been teaching Zydeco and Cajun dancing for over 10 years.

 

 

Linda Schoenbrodt
Linda Schoenbrodt learned to Cajun and Zydeco dance 6 years ago and has been teaching lessons with Norm for the Baltimore Folk Music Society's Somebody Scream Cajun Zydeco dance club for several years.

 

 

Jim Watts
Jim Watts is a member of the National Dance Teachers of America (NDTA), and founder of the BRASS (Ballroom, Rhythm, and Smooth Swing) Dancing Institute, which he established to teach and promote Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dances. He has more than 40 years of dance experience, fine-tuned by extensive competitive dancing and professional training from world-class coaches. Jim is especially known in the Baltimore/Washington area for his smooth, creative style of "blended swing." Jim has been teaching a wide variety of dance classes with Lucy Moran over the last four years at the Avalon as well as at other venues.