Fabien and Lisa met in Herrang, Sweden in 2010 and have been teaching and dancing together ever since. Coming from different backgrounds they both bring their own particular expertise, talents, and enthusiasm to the partnership.
Their fun natured teaching style, yet ability to breakdown a movement, means their classes are a perfect mix for those wanting to progress their dancing.
Constantly pushing themselves in their own dancing means they understand the work that goes into becoming a better dancer and are passionate about sharing their experiences and helping others to achieve their goals.
What Alba first loved about swing dance was the dancers! Then she became truly addicted to jazz music and to dance floors. She loves lindy hop, blues, balboa and authentic jazz, and she both practices and teaches all of these dances. She started teaching in England in 2008. And in 2012 she took the plunge and made her dream come true: she quit her job, moved back to Madrid, and created Big Mama Swing with international top lead Gastón Fernández. Over the years, she became a popular international teacher, invited to events all over the world, and grew more and more eager to share her passion.
Gastón Fernández (“Gas”) specializes in vintage dance styles, including Tango, which brings drama and power to his blues style, as well as a very sensitive and intense connection. However, while tango makes his blues technique richer, he never loses the essence of the blues. He grew to become a renowned international teacher and travelled the world to the most prestigious swing festivals. Devoted to promoting swing dance in Latin America, Gastón has created and run many events in Argentina. He is also an avid jazz music collector and a popular, world-known DJ.
Since they met in 2012, Cédric and Caroline have decided to join their competences in order to develop their qualities of dancers and teachers. As well as very active on the local swing scene in Strasbourg (LindySpot), they also go beyond borders and further and further away to dance, teach and perform.
You will be able to appreciate their dynamic classes, a delicate blend of Cédric’s humor and Caroline’s poetry. Both are keen on transmitting their ideas through a very progressive pedagogy. One that approaches technique in a very precise and detailed manner, and also teaches movements combining basics, surprises, musicality and grace. Where as Cédric reminds you of the big principles of musicality, Caroline invites you to explore sensations, emotions and personal expression.
Bénédicte and Laurent have been teaching together in Paris since 2017. Over the last years they have been travelling in more than 50 blues festivals to compete, to teach, and most of all to socialize and to meet people in the blues community. They have worked hard together on the pedagogics of their teaching to be able to make people feel comfortable and help them improve at the same time… Better be ready to have a good time in their class, that’s what they want the most !!
As a teacher, Bénédicte attaches special importance to the role of each part of your body in your dance. Laurent, on the contrary, develops a mechanical approach to movements that he explains by relying on physical principles.
Alina Sokulska is an international dance artist, choreographer, performer, instructor and researcher. She has elaborated on her dance language through the inspiration and deep research and more than 12 years of practice of social dances, in a mix with contemporary dance techniques and movement research concepts.
Together with her group Giant Steps, Alina has been holding dance education programs for professional, amateur dancers, as well as for academic environments, sharing her dance improvisation approach through individuality, imagination and sophisticated musicality.
Currently Alina is collaborating with the top dance and music events, music bands, as well as working on experimental performance scenic pieces. She has taught at docent collaboration at Conservatori Superior de Dansa of Barcelona Institute of Theatre and was an official representative of dance at International Jazz Day’18 host by UNESCO and Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. Alina is a founder and curator of Evolution Solo Weekend, a festival and a platform for education in social dances, and is carrying out her doctoral research on performance art at University of Barcelona’s Comparative Literature department.
You can find out more about Alina and her work on her website: https://alinasokulska.com
Gastón “Gas” Fernández is a professional dancer and dance instructor, based in Madird, Spain. He specializes in vintage dance styles including Lindy Hop, Charleston, authentic jazz, Balboa, Blues and Tango. As a former gymnast he is known in the swing dance community for his powerful acrobatics and aerials, while his background in Tango gives his blues style drama and strength, grounded in a sensitive connection with his partner. Gastón’s passion for swing has taken him around the world, teaching from New york to Melbourne, he has taught in some of the best swing and blues camps in the world, like Herran, Snowball, MSF, Lindy shock, Smokey feet, Berlin Blues Explotion, Noctourne Blues, and many more
Gastón is devoted to promoting and fostering swing dance and culture in Argentina, Latin America and Spain. He has directed two stage productions featuring live jazz and vintage dance in Buenos Aires: Swing Argentino with the Cuerdas del Sur band, and La Batalla: Swing en el Konex with the Antigua Jazz Band. He also runs South America’s first and largest annual swing dance festival, LHAIF (Lindy Hop Argentina International Festival) each year in Buenos Aires and the first Blues event in South America, “Careless weekend”
He has also been a major proponent of Blues dance in Buenos Aires and is now is teaching Blues internationally. With intense partner connection, Gas fuses Blues with Tango technique, though always striving to stay grounded in the essence of the Blues.
Gastón is also an avid jazz music collector and a popular DJ. He has DJ’d for swing and blues dancers around the world.
Fabien started dancing the same way most of us did, practicing his steps over and over again in his living room. Through many hours of practice, teaching, and competing, he has become passionate dancer and experienced teacher. Well known for his partnership with Lisa Clarke, Fabien used to be part of a crew of solo dancers: The Dopey Joes, that competed at ILHC. He has also choreographed many small solo routines with Lisa. Fabien is on the lookout for more inspiration, and is practicing his solo dancing every morning: primal movements, isolations, hip hop based moves and obviously Jazz and Blues. In order to be a better dancer, you have to understand and master your own body and how you move. Constantly pushing himself in his own dancing means he understands the work that goes into becoming a better dancer. He also knows that dancing is just dancing, and that there is no reason not to have fun while improving yourself at the same time.
Alexandra Karsenty has been teaching and dancing as a professional dance performer since 2004, but she’s already been training and sharing her love for dancing for 30 years ! Devoting her career to many different dances, she was also requested as a choreographer for various artistic projects. In 2016, she became director of her dance and theater company_Cie ADP. Having plunged into Blues dance, she has been winning different competitions, especially in solo. Graduated as teacher in contemporary Dance but also as Social Dance Instructor, the workshops can be about a large range of tools she’s been providing for 15 years to dancers from various backgrounds. She’s always been focusing her pedagogy on motion, rythm and posture, but each class can play with dynamics, body isolations, centre and axis related to the ground, different shifts of weight, spins and turns, but also wellness, and always always taking care of people ! Her special human skills and her love for sharing, allow her to adapt her teaching to each and everyone !