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Mike Topel
Mike began country line dancing in 1992, and he quickly turned to couples social dance when he found dance partners who liked to be tossed in the air. He started teaching regular dance classes in 1994 and eventually quit an office job in 1998 to teach dance and perform full-time. Mike’s teaching style was developed from his martial arts background (where, as a second-degree black belt, he taught for five years). Mike prefers to compete in dance events that test his leading, following, and improvisational skills. He utilizes the balance and physical control of the martial arts in competition and social dancing, and found that improvisation and musicality were his greatest strengths. Mike continues to perform, compete, judge, MC, DJ, and teach. He’s performed this last decade of the US Open Swing Dance Championships, UCWDC Country Worlds, and everywhere in the country in the NASDE and WSDC swing circuits. He judges at just about every event, and is the Chief Judge for several events. When he’s not judging or performing, he’s MCing. With students all over the continent, Mike gives special attention to his social dancing, which keeps him up until 4 AM on weekends he’s on the road. During the week he teaches regular classes at Austin City Dance Club, and DJs a weekly (Tuesday) swing dance.

shawn_swaithesShawn Swaithes
Shawn Swaithes (Sways) coaches, judges, and performs all over the globe. He competes on the UCWDC circuit and has won many divisional championships along with a World Championship in Masters classic. Shawn has won numerous Top teacher awards throughout his career, and has also earned the Star Award for favorite couples instructor, as well as coaching many clients to World Championship titles of their own. Shawn lives in Orlando, Florida, where he hosts regular dances and the annual Orange Blossom Dance Festival competition.

jason_and_sophyJason Miklic & Sophy Kdep

Jason Miklic and Sophy Kdep met on the dance floor in May of 1998, and they have been together ever since. They travel all over the country teaching, competing, performing and judging. They are ranked among the top West Coast Swing dancers in the country. JasonAndSophy are full-time dance instructors specializing in swing, country, hustle, ballroom and theatre arts. They are passionate promoters of west coast swing. As instructors, JasonAndSophy are known for their unique ability to illustrate techniques to give their students a better understanding of movements and to help them achieve their maximum dancing potential. JasonAndSophy love to share their passion and knowledge for dancing.

Jason Miklic began dancing West Coast Swing in 1995 for the same reason as most straight and single men his age...to meet girls. However, he quickly fell in love with the dance and realized that he wanted to take his dancing to the next level. He began competing in 1997 in the Jack and Jill and Strictly Swing and even the Country Western couples divisions. Rising quickly through the ranks Jason decided to begin competing in both the Classic and Showcase divisions. He proceeded to gather top five and later, top three finishes throughout the National Association of Swing Dance Events (NASDE) tour events including the America's Classic and the Chicago Classic Showcase division championship in 2009. Jason continues to dance and teach all over the world. He is also one of three principal instructors for the XtremeWCSwing Dance Training program, a fundamental and practical training program designed for serious dancers of all levels. Jason lives in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area with his beautiful wife and two adorable little girls.

Sophy Kdep discovered her love for dancing in 1998 and it quickly became her favorite hobby.  Dancing introduced her to husband Jason Miklic.  Being able to share the love for dancing with Jason transpired into her passion and soon thereafter, her full-time career. Sophy is one of the top West Coast Swing dancers in the Midwest.  Her energetic style radiates through her instructions and everyone she dances with.  Sophy founded the XtremeWCSwing Dance Training program, a fundamental and practical training program designed for serious dancers of all levels.  She is also the event director for Swingin' Dance Party, Indy Swing Bash and 2014 Meet Me In St. Louis Swing Dance Championships.

gilesSteve and Michaela Giles
Steve & Michaela have been teaching and competing nationally at a competitive level for the last 20 years.

Steve is also a two-time US Open West Coast Swing Champion and has been the Master of Ceremonies at many of the most popular West Coast Swing events!

LoriRyanJamminPromo_editLori Wahl Rousar and Ryan Dobbins

Having fun as a country line dancer, Ryan quickly took note of the couples on the sides of the dance floor and found a new interest. Getting an exposure to multiple forms of partner dances, West Coast Swing and Hustle sparked a joy and drive that would not disappear and currently has him traveling across the country competing in the All Star division.  Ryan’s solid background in education has helped many dancers connect, feel, understand, apply, and most importantly have an enjoyable time on the
dance floor.  

Lori Rousar resides in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She began dancing and competing at country events in 1998. After a few years, she changed her focus from country to West Coast Swing and Hustle. Currently, Lori is a successful All Star competitor and her passion for West Coast Swing has her traveling across the country competing, teaching and judging at several events. Through her playful styling, technique, and musicality, Lori encourages others to apply their own unique qualities to this dance. She truly enjoys the social aspect of dancing and is extremely grateful for the wonderful family it has brought to her life.

Ryan and Lori have attended Jammin for many years. They are honored, privileged, and excited to be on this year’s staff and cannot wait to dance with everyone!

Stevie_photoStevie Bliss

Stevie Bliss grew up a cowgirl/horse trainer; she began dancing at the age of 19 at a Fred Astaire studio in Canton, Ohio because she wanted to try something new! Put simply - Stevie walked onto the studio floor and never danced off. Now owner of Bliss Dance LLC, Stevie has made it her life's work to continue to spread the love, passion, and general enjoyment that dance brings to life with as many people as humanly possible :)

In addition to American Rhythm, American smooth, Samba, and Salsa, Stevie has trained in and taught Hip Hop, Swing, and Country. Stevie currently travels on the United Country Western Dance Council and the World Swing Dance Council competitive circuits. Stevie’s favorite experience that runs along with dance is the network of people, fellow competitors, and students she get to dance with on a daily basis.

Recently Stevie have discovered a new passion - utilizing dance as a way to raise funds and show support for various charity organizations including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.

kristieKristie Waltz
Kristie is a member of the Columbus Swing Dance Club and has provided many hours of dance instruction to our members. As one of Columbus' top dance instructors, she conducts workshops for many groups and clubs in the area. The beginner as well as the advanced dancer can learn from Kristie's training with national dance champions and from her years of experience dancing various styles. Kristie instructs her workshops with professionalism while maintaining a fun learning environment. Her workshops range from east coast swing, night club two step, cha-cha, west coast swing, and ballroom. Many participants of Kristie's workshops leave with a good foundation that prepares them with ease for the next level of their dance experience.

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