In the past few years, Anaïs has become a driving force in the Montreal Lindy hop scene. Her focus on improvisation and authentic self-expression has earned her the respect and recognition of the Lindy Hop community. First hooked by the rhythmic and playful language of tap dancing 10 years ago, she then fell in deep passion for Lindy hop. Endlessly in the process of exploring new ideas, she mostly focuses on broadening her understanding of the jazz language, tradition and cultural history. Anaïs is a member of the Northern Lights, and a founding member of the W Project and the Cat’s Club Chorus Line, two badass all-women authentic jazz troupes. With many titles to her name in solo, couple, and team divisions, she recently won the 2013 notorious New Orleans Showdown battle with Alain Fragman. She was one of the invited speakers at the Frankie100 Jazz Dance Research panel last May in New York City. Anaïs teaches regularly at the Cat’s Corner Swing Dance School. Her pedagogic approach strives to awaken each dancer’s ability to find a full and unique presence. She devotes her academic research to studying the cultural politics of Lindy Hop today.
Judge / Montréal
Caitlin was a founding member of Minnie’s Moochers - the innovative, multi-award winning teenage performance troupe from Ithaca, NY that helped redefine the modern era of Lindy Hop. Since debuting with the Moochers at the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships, Caitlin has taught around the world and even made several notable television and print appearances, including an awards performance with Fall Out Boy. She has worked to blaze a trail of respect for female, headlining instructors. She is also a staunch advocate for mental health. Recently, Caitlin has branched out to lead her own Toronto-based band, The Sugar Foot Stompers. And two decades later, she remains in-demand as an instructor. With Caitlin, you may get a bunch of cool moves, but you can always count on articulate instruction, focus on solid technique based on momentum and rhythm, a musician’s focus on finding a deeper connection to the music, and fun and creative methods that will challenge and inspire you to improve every dance!
Judge / Toronto
Annie's passion for dance was first well demonstrated when she chose her career as a dance teacher and performer over her engineering physics degree's possibilities. She also trained as a competing artistic gymnast when she was a teenager. She is a co-founder and co-owner of Studio 88-SWING in Montreal (Canada) where she has taught swing since 2001. As the artistic director, she also manages and dances in the Montreal Swinging Air Force dance performance troupe, which has been International Lindy Hop Champions in 2010-11 and 2014 and Canadian Champion 2013-14-15. She is passionate and enthusiastic as a swing dancer, teacher and competitor. Her style joins dynamism and power with a subtleness that is very feminine. She has numerous titles in competition including 6 first place at International Lindy Hop Championships (2008 to 2013 included) in Washington in the Showcase Category and also first place at the European Championships in London in October 2013. She also danced at the Montreal Jazz Fest with the electro-swing band Caravan Palace and was hired as a choreographer for the Cirque du Soleil and lately for the TV Show ''Les Dieux de la Danse''.
Judge / Montréal
In 2009, Katie Piselli developed a simultaneous crush on Lindy Hop and this cute guy that grew into a deep love (for both). Her dancing now embodies the energy, freedom of expression, and personal style that she values so much in the jazz era clips and teachers that have inspired her. Coming to Lindy Hop from a professional background in musical theater, Katie loves a good live show and was inevitably drawn to competitions and performances as a form of expression. Her musical dancing won her various awards and her quirky choreography projects (esp. for her local dance team, The Riff) have earned her an artistic voice.
More importantly, though, Katie found a calling to share what she is (still) learning about jazz era dances, history and traditions. While she has had the pleasure of teaching nationally and internationally, she’s definitely a “dance mom” in her home scene in Boston. Her career has blossomed through the day-to-day development and teaching of classes for local swing schools, dances, colleges, community groups, and her own experimental school, The Riff Academy.
Judge / Boston
A dancer reputed for his energy, J-P has been dancing since he was 10. He jump started his career through competition, which equipped him with a well-trained eye when time comes to give competitors his OUI!
Judge / Toulouse
An amazing clarinet player and the soul behind bands such as Masson Stomp and the Early Jazz Band, JS is there to ask the quintessential question: "OK these folks are doing cool stuff, but does it SWING?"
Judge / Montréal
For most, "Gen St-Lo" doesn't need any kind of introduction. A decorated dancer, an international teacher, and organizer of the celebrated Montreal Swing Riot, she is the embodiment of that elusive "spirit" of swing.