Ryan Martin’s love of jazz music initially inspired him to start swing dancing in 1997. Since that time, the music and dance of the swing era have become the primary preoccupations in his life.
He has been dancing and teaching various swing dances off-and-on for the last twenty years. And in the last ten years he has expanded his involvement by studying the history of these dances.
Ryan has travelled around the country collecting interviews with dancers from the original swing era, and he completed a feature length documentary, called “The Rebirth of Shag”, that focuses on one swing dance in particular, the Collegiate Shag.
He was one of the original co-founders of the Hot Rhythm Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote and sustain the jazz music and dance forms that originated in early part of the twentieth century. He was involved with running that organization and its main event, the Hot Rhythm Holiday, for eight years.
Today Ryan travels to teach and compete in Collegiate Shag, both domestically and abroad. He currently holds regular classes in Collegiate Shag at both the Rhythm Room dance studio in Dallas, TX and Four on the Floor dance studio in Austin, TX.
Keira Hansen was first introduced to the world of swing dancing through her sister well over ten years ago. She spent her formative years throwing down at swing dance events all over the Midwest before moving to Texas, where she now continually challenges herself to hone her craft through teaching, competing, scene building, and event organizing. Although her first love was Lindy Hop, she has spent the last several years exploring the worlds of Balboa, St. Louis Shag, and Collegiate Shag. She finds fulfillment in giving her students the tools they need in order to make their own creative choices about dancing. And she strives to make everyone she dances with walk away with a smile on their face and a sense of belonging in their heart.