Dan & Gemma Guest
Based in London, Dan and Gemma specialise in Afro American partner dances and vernacular Jazz from the 1920 to 1940s. Their particular specialities are Lindy Hop, Balboa and Charleston, together with less well known dances of the era such as Laminu, Peabody and Big Apple. For a full list, see the dance styles page.
Dan started swing dancing in 1994 and is a former UK Lindy Hop Champion. He is a respected dance historian and a renowned instructor, having taught at many prestigious swing dance events throughout the world, such as Herrang. His teaching expertise has been honed through the hundreds of workshops that he has taught over the years across dozens of different countries. He has appeared in national newspapers, radio and television, and has worked as a dance coach on the BBC's Strictly Dance Fever.
Dan was instrumental in the revival of Balboa, having learned from many of the original "old timer" Balboa dancers. In 2002, he started Britain's first dedicated weekly Balboa night, which he is still running today. He started the London Balboa Festival in 2003 - one of only three dedicated Balboa camps in the world at that time. He is widely credited with bringing Balboa to the UK and helping to popularise swing dance both here and more widely in Europe.
Gemma has been swing dancing since 2001. She was a founding member and president of the Cambridge Lindy Hoppers swing dance society, and has been involved in running many events including the first Cambridge Lindy Exchange. She taught regular classes in Cambridge and was a choreographer and performer in the society's dance troupe. Since 2008, Gemma has been teaching with Dan at their weekly class nights as well as at swing dance events across the UK and Europe. She also performed with Jenny Thomas' all-girl dance troupe Sophisticated Ladies.
Dan and Gemma focus on the techniques and body mechanics that make dancing feel natural and effortless at all tempos. Being perfectionists, they emphasise lead and follow technique together with developing good basics. They have a relaxed and light-hearted teaching style and have a knack for simplifying and explaining complex ideas. Their teaching is based on recognised learning methodologies for the acquisition of motor skills. They explain how to put energy and life into all aspects of the dance and how to vary the dynamics to really make it swing!
For details of where to find us, please see the Classes and Calendar sections of this site. In addition, you can also check out our Schedule of teaching engagements at forthcoming special camps and workshops. If you're interested in bringing us to your area then contact us using the details here.