LaBLove Instructors

7 December 2012

LaBLove 2017 Instructors
Main Teachers
Laura Chieko
New York City, NY, USA
Laura Chieko

Laura Chieko loves to dance, even more than she loves shoes. Since 2006, Laura has trained in Lindy hop, balboa, and blues, and dabbled in a myriad of other dance styles. She is known for her grace, enchanting performance, and effortless following. Her musical training informs her intricate musicality and opinions on how clarinets should sound. Laura loves blues for its emphasis on connection and the rich diversity in its music which she seeks to celebrate on and off the dance floor. On that dance floor, she is best known for her poise, ability to rock the color orange, and occasionally winning things.

An educator in dance halls and traditional classrooms, Laura is known for her sunny disposition, student engagement, and captivating exploration of tiny details. She pulls from her wide cross training to create classes accessible to a broad range of students.



back to top
Marc Longhenry
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Marc Longhenry

Marc began dancing East Coast Swing in the fall of 2010 at University of Delaware at the request of a friend, playing video games in most of his free time. The dancing bug quickly dug deep and it didn't take long for Marc to begin traveling up to Philadelphia to LaB's many dances and gradually expanding his repetoire to include Lindyhop, Charleston, Balboa, Hiphop, Tango, Salsa, Fusion, and his love, the Blues.

Marc now contributes to the Philadelphia community as a LaBTech, the Ringleader of Powerhouse Blues, and a regular Teacher and DJ. He travels to events nearly every month of the year to connect with the national and international dancing community, to grow and learn to better himself and those around him, and to have fun and experience the world. This, and the commitment that he is for the dancing community, shows up in the way he dances, the way he teaches his classes, the way he competes, and the way he interacts with students.

Marc also runs events, offers private lessons, and travels around to provide benefit to various communities. If you're interested in contacting him about private lessons or other services, please visit his website: www.MarcLonghenry.com

(Photo Credit to Devon Rowland Photography)



back to top
Jennifer Barnett
New York City, NY, USA
Jennifer Barnett

Known for bringing a little math and science into the ballroom (don't worry, just a little), Jen began tap dancing in pre-school and continued dancing and later teaching through high school. After putting aside dance to focus on chemistry in college, Jen was happy to return to dance during graduate school--this time the partnered swing dances of Lindy Hop and Balboa. During that time, Jen began teaching and promoting, co-running beloved Philly events such as the Saturday Night Fish Fry, Philly Bal Night, and Bal Jam '08. She now calls New York City home and enjoys teaching locally at You Should Be Dancing! and dancing at White Heat among other favorites.

Jen teaches and competes in Balboa on the international stage, having won the All Balboa Weekend J&J five times (0.500 batting average this last decade :)) She has also won or placed in various strictly competitions at the All Balboa Weekend, California Balboa Classic, Camp Hollywood, and the Eastern Balboa Championships (R.I.P.) and teaches around the world. In addition to competing and teaching, Jen also enjoys performing. (What can you say? She's an only child.) She can be seen dancing real fast in NYC's own AmazeBals as well as at private events. Jen's favorites have been smack dab in the middle of the Museum of Natural History, right under the giant blue whale, and of course at Lincoln Center.

As a teacher, Jen tries to balance her straight-forward manner and high expectations with lots of love, humor, and support for her students. She's known for being able to teach truly multi-level classes where everyone is challenged to push their best a little farther. Never forgetting to address both follows and leads, Jen blends a clear, technical presentation with the musicality and spirit that make swing dancing so enjoyable.

Check out her website at: RockinInRhythm.com



back to top
Matt Mitchell
Austin, TX, USA
Matt Mitchell

Matt has been honing his dance skills since 1998. He's studied with top Lindy Hop and Balboa contemporaries as well being influenced by the original greats (Frankie Manning, Dean Collins, Maxie Dorf and Willy Desatoff).

From 2007 through 2011, he was one of the lead instructors for Get Hep Swing (assisting the incomparable Valerie Salstrom) and helped choreograph award-winning Swing routines. He strives to bring solid fundamentals and just-the-right-amount of connection to Lindy Hop and Balboa while creating room for musicality and playfulness. In 2011 he relocated to his home town of Austin where he's enjoyed teaching Lindy Hop and Balboa for Four on the Floor and is a contributing instructor for BalAustin. He's happy to be wrangling the talented group of DJs Austin is lucky enough to have at the Swing Syndicate.

Nationally and internationally, Matt has been an instructor at Boogie By The Bay, the Eastern Balboa Championships, Dance Renaissance, and the Canadian Balboa Championships. He competes regularly in Balboa and has several placements at ABW, EBC, CBC, ILHC, and Camp Hollywood.

He was also a stand-in for Kevin Bacon in Footloose..

..Recreating the famous dance scene in a skit. C'mon, he's not that old.



back to top
Lauren Levey
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lauren LeveyLauren could not be more excited to be teaching at this year's LaBLove! A life-long lover of music, she was drawn to the Lindy Hop for the inspirational sounds and creativity that the dance allowed. She began teaching at her college Swing club about 6 years ago, and has enjoyed spreading the love of the dance ever since. She is particularly inspired by killer horn licks and chunking rhythm guitar, and loves to explore the rhythms and melodies of the music within her body during the dance. Lauren firmly believes that the music holds the keys to the beauty of the Lindy Hop dance that we share, and cannot wait to share her perspective on the dance with you this weekend.

Photo Credit: Jessika Duquette



back to top
Tim Martin
New York City, NY, USA
Tim MartinTim is a New York-based dancer and instructor, with roots in and around the Philly scene. He started dancing at The College of New Jersey in 2003, and often went dancing in Philly at the Saturday Night Fish Fry or Tokyo Ballroom. Now he's excited to visit as an instructor at LaBLove! In his dancing, Tim focuses on musicality, momentum, and emotionally connecting with one's partner, and he's looking forward to sharing his ideas with you this weekend!

Photo Credit: Bryon Hon

back to top