Meet our instructors!
Jason Swihart schedule a private
Chris Mayer schedule a private
Chris is known in the Blues and Swing dance community for his musicality, creativity, and fun-loving spirit. A self-proclaimed Lindy Hop addict until he found Blues in 2006, Chris was drawn into dancing by its unique freedom of expression. Since then he has created a style of his own, with influences from Tango, Ballroom, and everything in between.
Chris loves the challenge and camaraderie of national Blues and Swing competitions — Give him any song and any partner, and he's going to have fun. He is adored by students everywhere from Hawaii to Heidelberg, and his teaching and dancing can be summed up best by this quote: "Technique? Check. Fun moves? Check. Playful attitude? Check!"
Andrew Selzer schedule a private
When it comes to teaching, Andrew's three priorities are paying attention to your partner, being inspired by the music, and putting emphasis on "T’aint what you do it’s the way that you do it". Some past accomplishments include: Lindustrial Revolution Jack & Jill 2010 (1st), Hot Mess Team Comp 2011 (1st), Jammin on the James Jick & Jall 2012(1st), SparX Solo Jazz 2012 (2nd)
Katie began her dance career as a toddler in her mother’s dance studio and has since spent her years training professionally in dance and Musical Theater Performance. As dancing was always her favorite form of expression, she was thrilled to be introduced (by her hubby) to a social dance that went with every jazz song she ever loved: the Lindy Hop! She is now a regular in the Boston scene, dancing Lindy Hop as well as Balboa, West Coast, Charleston, and Authentic Solo Jazz. Katie travels out of state regularly to social dance, compete, study, and perform. She is also a passionate, high energy, and approachable teacher who focuses on how to make social dancing fun and feel great with every partner at every level. It is her greatest joy to share these dances with anyone who wants to learn.
Brian Pletcher schedule a private
Brian started dancing Lindy Hop in 2000 at Middlebury College and has been hooked ever since. Currently, he teaches at Boston Swing Central and runs the Lindy Bomb Squad with is wife, Kellian Adams. The Lindy Bomb Squad is a group dedicated to spreading the joy of Lindy Hop through dancing in public spaces.
Mari Adams schedule a private
Mariel (Mari) Adams has been dancing for over ten years and just recently moved to Boston, MA. She has worked as a dance teacher since 2007, teaching modern, improv, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, salsa, and of course swing. She has a background in all performing arts (vocal & theater/improv) which makes for an eclectic style of emotion, character, and dynamics within her dancing. Dance is one of her favorite forms of expression because it includes the entire body and mind at once. It’s a great way to get rid of stress and to exercise as well! Teaching others to dance frees them to move, enjoy their bodies, and to express themselves. During school, instead of attending football games and mixers, she travelled to national events such as the World Lindy Hop Championships. ILHC, and exchanges for social dancing too! She has won awards for Advanced Jack and Jills, and Strictly titles, most recently placing 1st at a National Ballroom competition in Argentina, when she studied abroad to learn Argentine Tango and Break Dance. Recently, Mariel took a hiatus from competition and travel to focus on her education, but now is happy to be “back in the swing of things.” She has a special place in her heart for soul music and blues dancing, and to her, social dancing is the most important reason for spreading the love of Lindy Hop. She is very excited to be teaching with the New School Swing team!
Annabel Truesdell Quisao
Annabel is a self proclaimed social dancing addict who loves the communication and spontaneity fostered on the dance floor. In her teaching, she emphasizes connection, clarity, and technique, giving students the tools to inspire their partners and have fun and fulfilling dances. She loves spreading the joy of Lindy Hop.
A musician since she was 5 years old, Annabel always has had a special place in her heart for jazz and standards. After years of hearing her grandparents talk about dancing to the wonderful bands of the 1930s and 1940s, Annabel was quickly hooked on Lindy Hop when she was first exposed to it during the spring of 2003 at her undergraduate university, Colgate. She continued to fall in love with the dance at Penn State where she was also introduced to Balboa and Blues dancing, began traveling to workshops and competitions, and taught weekly classes. Since 2010, she has lived and taught in Memphis, Washington, DC., and currently, Boston.
Though first and foremost a social dancer, Annabel loves the challenge and excitement of competing. As a frequent presence in competition finals, she's collected some awards. Examples include 1st Place in the Fast Blues Strictly (with Daniel Repsch) at BluesShout 2011, 1st Place in the Open Lindy Hop Strictly (with John Paul Helveston) at the International Lindy Hop Championships 2011, and 2nd Place in the Amateur Jack and Jill at All Balboa Weekend 2013.
Edgar Herwick schedule a private
Edgar hails from the booming metropolis of Frackville, Pennsylvania where he learned how to build a fire, cut keys, and change a tire -- but not do a swingout. A guitar player with a background in theater – Edgar figures that music and dance have been a part of his life for three decades. He began studying Lindy Hop in Boston around 2009. He's learned from dancers here and around the country, and spent considerable time working under Daryl Begin and Jennifer Stout at Providence Swings in Rhode Island. Edgar can be seen regularly on the social dance floors here in Boston and at the occasional regional or national event. He's also competed in Jack & Jill competitions both regionally and nationally (with mixed results). As a teacher, Edgar believes strongly in the music, watching video, and practicing your dancing. He strives to move with purpose and dance with conviction and hopes to inspire his students to do the same. He's also emceed dance events and competitions including Providence Swings' Dirty Dozen Weekend and Beantown Camp. When not dancing, Edgar is a radio host and producer for 89.7 WGBH – Boston Public Radio. He leaves you with this: “When you are dancing with your partner, for that two and a half minutes, you are in love with each other…It’s a love affair, between you and your partner and the music." -Frankie Manning
Cari Meisel schedule a private
Cari got her start dancing in 2009 when she accidentally tried out for Penn’s West Philly Swingers dance troupe. She was hooked from the first triple step, and hasn't stopped swinging out since! After graduating, she became involved in teaching and organizing for Lindy and Blues in Philadelphia, and picked up a serious dance-travel bug. In 2013, Cari moved to Boston to start graduate school, and, of course, to do more dancing. She loves creativity, comfortable connection, and communication in all her dances, and would be happy to talk your ear off any time about dancing, teaching ideas, and/or ways to practice dance at home alone and not wake your neighbors.
Shana Worel schedule a private
Although she’s a recent transplant to the Boston area, Shana has been teaching Lindy Hop, Balboa, and other swing dances since 1999. She ran a successful swing dance school in Boulder CO for 15 years and has taught hundreds of dance classes. She is well known for clear explanations and fun style, getting people to the next level the easiest way. She’s competed in a bajillion contests and has come away with plenty of awards, but her proudest achievements are her dance students that have gone on to become accomplished performers, competitors, and most importantly, social dancers. Shana is also a sought-after DJ, and has been featured at All Balboa Weekend, Lindy Focus, California Balboa Classic, Lindy on the Rocks, The Balboa Experiment, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout and many other events. She loves talking about music and helping new DJs learn, so ask her a question. Or ten. Or fifteen if they’re about Lionel Hampton. She's also a rocket scientist by day. But she'd rather talk about Lionel Hampton.
In an effort to redirect some of her boundless energy, Heather's parents enrolled her in gymnastics at the age of 3. When that wasn't enough to rein her in, they added dance classes to the mix (ballet, modern, jazz) and Heather found her first true love. Dance was always a part of her life, whether through classes or through her theater studies, until 2009 when she decided to try her hand (erm, feet) at Lindy Hop. From that first class she was hooked! Having primarily studied under the current and former New School Swing instructors, Heather is a product of the local scene in Boston. However, she also regularly travels to regional and national events to dance and learn (and she thinks you should, too!). She believes that dance and movement can break down barriers and increase joy, and she sees great value in social dancing as a means to making the world a better place. As a dancer she loves connection, communication, and inspiration from the music and her partner. As a teacher she strives to provide clear instruction and assist in increasing body awareness in her students. But above all she believes that dancing should feel great and be fun!
Carl Herrmann grew up in rural Illinois, and would like to report that it’s a good place to be from. In 2008, he started dancing in pursuit of a woman. Before too long, he was over her, but he hasn't been able to stop dancing. He is shocked that they have not made a romantic comedy about his life yet. He is known for his improvisational dancing, unique sense of style, and, most of all, his deep thoughts. He thinks about dancing as about momentum, communication, and fun. He loves rules - because they are fun to break.
Kellian Pletcher schedule a private
Kellian Adams Pletcher is a sophisticated woman of consequence. mostly. Kellian's goal is to spread the gospel of lindy hop far and wide, to include all breathing humans into the fabulous world of swing and to dance with as many people as possible until her knees fall off. When she's not building games with Green Door Labs or training to become a kung fu master, Kellian spends her time with the Boston Lindy Bomb Squad, a lindy hop flash mob and its cousins, the Lindy Bomb Squad Special Ops (for tactical dance operations) and Lindy Bomb Squad JR (for tactical operations involving 12 year olds.)
Kellian has been dancing for over 10 years and is known respectably as "Yao bai nai nai" or "the grandmother of swing dance" in Shanghai for building one of the very first swing dance clubs in China. She highly recommends Mac Russian red lipstick and you should definitely ask her to dance. Definitely.
John Constantine schedule a private
John Constantine has been Swing Dancing for over a decade. His first experience dancing was during high school when he was literally dragged to the local swing dance by his sister. That attitude quickly changed as he discovered Swing Dance would be a life long passion. During college John spent every month traveling, competing, and learning how to be a better dancer in cities across the South East. Moving to Boston and traveling in the North East has vastly altered John's personal style and technical skill. John is dedicated to mastering the craft of Lindy Hop and considers himself a life long learner. He is known as a high energy and expressive teacher. Technique is at the forefront of his mind but his classes always have more than a few jokes. Fun is the ultimate expression of swing dance and taking a lesson should not prevent you, or him, from having a great time!
Lee Tucker schedule a private
After a four-year stint in DC, Lee moved to Boston in August 2010 to begin his PhD in Economics, and he has become a fixture of the local and regional dance communities. Lee is an active teacher, DJ, competitor, and social dancer. He has won or placed at events around the country such as the Big Big Event (DC), Lindy on the Rocks (CO), the Wicked Lindy Weekend (MA), Midwest Lindyfest (MN), and the Orange County (CA) Inspiration Weekend. He is also the 2008 International Lindy Hop Pro-Am Champion, and is fond of using that title to impress his non-dancing friends' parents. Lee believes in the value of Lindy Hop as a social dance, and his teaching style emphasizes developing technique that gives both leaders and followers more options to explore their own creativity.
Mike Legenthal schedule a private
Mike is a passionate aficionado of jazz and blues dances, known all over the world for her friendliness, teaching skills, beautiful following, and expressive dancing. She brings both vibrant energy and technical precision to the classroom, and strives to make every social dance the best experience possible. Mike’s teaching history is extensive; having taught at a range of events from residencies to international workshops to private trainings, she brings preparation and flexibility to every class. A typical class could involve students morphing into robot penguins or seaweed, standing on one foot with their eyes closed, or analyzing chord changes- all in the pursuit of better dancing. Regardless of the material, her classes always include a mix of abstract and concrete topics, plenty of levity, and challenging homework to help students improve long after class has ended.
Dan Legenthal schedule a private
Kevin Sihlanick schedule a private
Retired NSS Instructors
New School Swing was founded in 2010 by Shawn Hershey, Amanda Gruhl, and Nicole Zuckerman. Since that time, we have had many instructors who are no longer in the Boston area or are otherwise no longer teaching with us. Check them out here!