November Instructor Bios

November Instructor Bios

Amanda Gruhl schedule a private

Amanda has been dancing since age five. Experienced in dance instruction, choreography, performance, and show production, she has studied blues dance, lindy hop, jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical dance, sacred dance, and hip hop. She has also had instruction in other dance forms such as Argentine tango, flamenco, modern dance, popping/breaking, and ballroom dance.

Amanda and Ogden Sawyer have been dancing, choreographing, and competing in blues dance since 2000, and teaching blues dance since 2002. Their style of modern blues combines historic blues dance with modern concepts of strong connection, partnered improvisation, and elements from many of the different dance styles they have studied. This unique blend has given them a national reputation for inspiring and emotional partnered blues dancing. Their teaching style communicates their passion for blues dancing, and encourages dancers of all levels to take chances and push their personal boundaries.

Since 2003, they have been teaching at national events and workshops, including Blues Shout, Down Home Blues, Cheap Thrills, Red White and Blues, and Emerald City Blues Festival, and encouraging and supporting the recent growth and popularity of blues dance.

Amanda has also been teaching locally with Shawn Hershey since 2005 and they have since traveled and taught together at workshops and events around North America, including Austin Blues Party, Down Home Blues, From Montreal With Love, the Blues Blast Workshop Weekend in central PA, and Albany Smorgasboard. Their style of blending lindy hop, ballroom, blues, and Argentine tango into their dancing is both beautiful and powerful, and earns them praise wherever they go, most recently at the Emerald City Blues Festival, where they took 2nd place in the Strictly Competition.

Amanda and Shawn (in blue) performing with D’Shebam at BIX 2007:

Shawn Hershey schedule a private

Shawn began studying Lindy Hop from Kerrin Flanagan and Elizabeth Miller at the Lindybaby studio in 1999. Having always loved and studied jazz music he was immediately drawn in by the dance. He has studied extensively at camps and workshops across the US with many nationally renowned Lindy Hop instructors.

In addition to being an avid social dancer he has won awards at several national and regional competitions. Shawn began teaching Lindy Hop with Marilee Annareau in 2002 in order to help share his love of dance and music. In 2004, he happily joined the It’s All Swing studio and has been teaching there ever since.

Shawn also occasionally teaches and performs with his sister Betina Hershey. Betina and Shawn were brought to Tokyo in 2004, and again in 2005, to teach Lindy Hop workshops. He has also taught workshops at Boston University with Diana Byrne, Kerrin, and Betina. He also often teaches with Amanda Gruhl at It’s All Swing and regional workshops.

Shawn (in red) and Amanda performing to Bugle Call Rag with D’Shebam at Waterfire 2007:

For additional videos of Shawn’s performances, go to www.ShawnHershey.com.

For private lessons, feel free to contact him via phone or email.

Email: shawn@newschoolswing.com
Phone: (617) 470-8105

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