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Please give what you can – this event is sliding scale! Suggested Registration of $75 per person for all four weeks, or $25 per workshop. Thank you for helping to support Ashokan and sliding scale programs like this one. We are truly grateful for whatever you can give. 


Sundays November 29 thru December 20th, 4-6pm!

Join NYC dancer Brian Lawton for a tour of vernacular jazz dance with special guests each week. Get up on your feet and learn the steps that electrified your grandparents and bring joy to this day. We welcome participants to play along, sing along, dance along, ask questions! All registrants can watch the video of the workshop again in our archive for a year!

Brian Lawton

Brian Lawton is a New York City-based dancer, instructor, choreographer, and director. He has an eclectic background in ballet, jazz, and modern as well as Latin and Ballroom dances with a speciality in the vernacular jazz dances of the 1920’s-1940’s. Brian has performed in Shakespeare in the Park’s Comedy of Errors, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden and in their recent music video “Go Robot”, and Swing! at Gateway Playhouse. He has traveled around the world with his wife, Samantha Lawton (Samantha and Brian), teaching vernacular jazz, Charleston, and Lindy Hop. He was the Assistant Director/Choreographer of the new musical Part of the Plan (TPAC) as well as Assistant Director of Distant Thunder (A.R.T. /New York Theaters) both alongside Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Brian is currently the Choreographer and Resident Director of the A Charlie Brown Christmas National Tour.

with Special Guests

Dec. 6

Evita Arce

Known for her magical energy, high-flying aerials and dynamic movement, Evita Arce is a specialist in the Lindy Hop, The Charleston, Solo Jazz, and other Swing era dances. Evita performed the featured Lindy Hop role with partner, Michael Jagger, in the Broadway show SWING for the 2008 Japan tour, The Sacramento Music Circus, and the Benedum Theater in Pittsburgh. Additionally, Evita performed in “Let Freedom Swing”, a Celebration of America, sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and held at the Kennedy Center. It was part of the Martin Luther King day and 2009 Inaugural Festivities.

Evita’s choreography and partner-work have earned her 1st and 2nd place in numerous national contests. In October 2007 at the American Lindy Hop Championships she won 1st place in Blues and Cabaret. Evita was recognized for her solo-Charleston dancing with 1st and 2nd place standings. She also took 1st place in the Jazz dance competitions, both solo and partner (with partner Nathan Bugh), at ILHC 2012!

Evita has taught at Camp Savoy (UK), Swing Out North West, Swing Out New Hampshire, Lindy Focus, Camp Jitterbug (Seattle), Sving du Nord, Boogie Baeren (Germany), Tokyo Swing Dance Society, Camp Oz (Australia), many other regional workshops, and the world famous Swedish Lindy Hop dance camp in Herrangue.

Syncopated City, an off-shoot of the Swing FX dance troupe, was managed by Evita and partner Michael Jagger in NYC and was featured in the Edinburough, Scotland Jazz Festival, and performed at the Cabarets of Camp Savoy, as well as venues around the city and the country!

Dec. 13

Michael Jagger

Michael Jagger and Evita Arce are full time professional dancers in New York City, and they have each been dancing for over 10 years and with each other for over 4 years. They both teach regular swing classes at Dance Manhattan and have taught at several national and international dance camps including: Swing Out New Hampshire, Swing Out North West, Lindy Focus, Beantown Swing Camp, Boogie Bären and Camp Savoy. They also work with world renown Lindy Hoppers Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas in their company, Swing Xtreme. Competitively, Michael and Evita recently took 1st place in the Cabaret Division at ILHC and have placed in several other national competitions in various divisions. As if all this weren’t enough, they attempt to balance teaching and competing with their professional performance careers.

They have multiple stage credits as Lindy Hoppers, working with renowned artists like Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. They were featured dancers for J@LCO in Let Freedom Swing, a celebration of jazz for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Kennedy Center earlier this year. They joined J@LCO again this summer for a tribute to Benny Goodman at the Rose Theater in NYC. As principle dancers, they have starred as the Lindy Hop couple in several productions of the Broadway musical Swing!, including regional productions at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the California Music Circus in Sacramento and the 2008 Japanese tour.

Students and audience members alike are drawn to their energy and humor, while also admiring the couple’s technical execution. In all their endeavors, Michael and Evita strive to spread the love and spirit of Lindy Hop.

Dec. 20

Nathan Bugh

Nathan Bugh “rocked the stage” at Carnegie Hall, dancing Lindy Hop with the New York Pops Orchestra. And he has performed in Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater, in “Swingin’ Frankie’s Way.” Nathan brought the 20’s to life in the “Great Gatsby” episode of David Tutera’s “My Fair Wedding;” appeared on FoxNC’s “Fox and Friends Christmas” with George Gee; and he danced Lindy Hop at the legendary dance mecca, Jacob’s Pillow, as part of the Vanaver Caravan’s “Earth Beat.”  He has also danced in several music videos, including the Weepies, “Be My Honey Pie.”

As a national competitor, Nathan has taken 1st place in Lindy, Slow Dancing, Solo Charleston, Team, Jill&Jack, and Cabaret divisions. He is one of the most eminent solo-jazz contestants in the world, having won both the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown (2012) and International Lindy Hop Championships (2014). He is also the director and choreographer of “Yeah Man,” the 2015 ILHC Team champions. He is based in New York City, where he performs and teaches regularly, in affiliation with Syncopated City Dance Company, and Gaby Galore.

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EMAIL events@ashokancenter.org      PHONE  845-657-8333 x28

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