The SwingColumbus Executive Board is comprised of seven avid Lindy Hoppers with many years of swing dance experience. Between them they have danced all over the US and the world and bring back all their enthusiasm and knowledge to the Columbus scene. They strive to create the best events, foster a welcoming scene with the nicest dancers, and make our city a great place to go dancing.
But don't think for a minute that just seven people make it all happen. Anyone can get involved, whether it's as little as helping put away equipment, or as big as joining an event committee to put on a big workshop. Just contact the chair person for the area you're interested in, or find them at the next event. Many hands make light work!
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Gail Clendenin began swing dancing in 2004 at Ohio University, where she did not miss a single Jitterbug Club lesson or event all of her first quarter at school. She stayed with the OU Jitterbug Club all through undergrad, eventually organizing club events, teaching lessons, and marrying another obsessed club member.
When they moved to Columbus in 2009, Gail and her husband, Daniel, joined the SwingColumbus dance team and were pulled deeper into the scene.
Shannon began her dance career as a kid, clogging her way through all the Steam and Gas shows and county fairs in Virginia. She was a dance major in college, studying ballet and modern dance. Moving to NYC to work at The Julliard School and Martha Graham Dance Company, she discovered Lindy Hop during a free lesson at Swing46 and the addiction with Lindy began. She spent every spare moment in workshops and lessons, and soon began competing at national events and even appearing on TV.
Her boyfriend (and future husband) moved several times for work, and Shannon eventually followed, digging into new and wonderful dance scenes along the way. She was in Washington, DC at the height of the Hollywood Lindy explosion, and in Chicago for their awesome groovy musicality. All these diverse styles of Lindy helped fuse her dance style into a bluesy, savoy- whip, charleston-frenzied mess.
It is her passion to teach and spread the joy of Lindy. With her dance partner, Mark Calkins, they are the Lindyroos and regularly perform through the Columbus community. Shannon and Mark are founders of the SwingColumbus Performance Team and continue to choreograph and coach for them. When not dancing, which is rare, she works for a marketing firm in Westerville. She lives in Galena with her husband, Jason, and enjoys naming all the wildlife that frequents their home.
Since becoming a board member Mark has put many efforts in defining the SwingColumbus scene that you currently experience today. He coordinates music for Rocktober and the Columbus Lindy & Blues Exchange, as well as for events at our weekly and monthly venues. He is looking to continue the excitement by bringing more live music throughout the year.
With dance partner Shannon Varner (together they are known as the Lindyroos), he regularly teaches lessons and is the co-founder of the award-winning competitive dance troupe Team SwingColumbus. Mark’s individual competition achievements include Beantown Dance Camp, Swing-In, Rocktober, SparX, Hawkeye Swing Festival, and Lindy Focus. He competed in the “World’s Largest Jack and Jill” and advanced into the semi-final round at Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday celebration in New York City.
Daniel Hoy caucuses with the technology party of the swing dance
congress. He recently earned a master’s degree in Physics and seeks
to translate a deep understanding of higher mathematics to the role of
treasurer. While he does occasionally contemplate the correct basis
for representing SwingColumbus’ finances, Daniel promises not to add
undue creativity into the accounting process. Before joining the
SwingColumbus board, Daniel taught for the Ohio University Jitterbug
Club and SwingColumbus and competed with the SwingColumbus performance
. A teacher by day and dancer by night, Ali enjoys everything about teaching dance. She discovered swing in 2007 in her first year at the University of Dayton, and her feet haven't stopped moving since. After her first year in the swing club at UD, Ali was elected President and remained in that role until she graduated. As a part of the UD Swing Club, Ali performed on their competition team and choreographed an award-winning team routine in 2011. Since college, Ali competes with the SwingColumbus Competition Team which has won first place in numerous regional events. She has placed in many regional Jack and Jill and strictly competitions, including a first place win at the Nevermore Jazz Ball in St. Louis, MO. Ali is passionate about spreading her love for swing dance in Columbus and beyond, which starts with great instructors right here in town. As Instructor Chair, Ali provides Columbus dancers with a variety of classes across many levels, taught by skilled local instructors.
Devon likes to make faces . . . a lot. She's a crafting fool that has a reputation for being a monster. Watch out or she may attack you with cuteness.
Devon had her first experience swing dancing when she was a lovely awkward middle schooler. Her brother and sister-in-law taught her some east coast and took her to a dance. Having fun things like a curfew, meant she didn't get to really dive into the swing world until later in college. Since then Devon has taken advantage of free housing at dance events to travel and meet more people.