Mari Foster (she/her) remembers the fateful evening she heard the song "Shiny Stockings" by Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald at a dance event. This was the moment she knew she had to learn Lindy Hop. Mari spent her early days learning from Sylvia Sykes, who taught local classes at a beautiful historic ballroom in Santa Barbara, CA, and soon fell in love with the playfulness of the dance. In 2011, she and a few co-conspirators formed The Lindy Circle, a non-profit dance organization dedicated to spreading the joy of Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Vernacular Jazz. She regularly taught, DJ'd, and organized social dances and workshop events for the Santa Barbara dance community until she moved to Boston in 2016 to pursue a career in public education. As a teacher both on and off the dance floor, Mari is passionate about building an inclusive community where everyone feels empowered to explore self-expression and connection through music and movement.
Shoham (he/him) got started swing dancing as a junior at UPenn, all because of a fateful sandwich. The rest is history. He's studied Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Blues at events and workshops around the world, and has been teaching and competing since 2010. As a dancer, he focusing on having the most fun social dances under thes un (or moonn). As an instructor, he focuses on clear communcation between partners, and loves teaching his students to play with rhythm variations, momentum, and dancing in general.
Shuyi (she/they) found Lindy Hop and Authentic Solo Jazz dance while living in New Orleans due to spending too much of her spare time at the Frenchmen Street music clubs. Inspired by many amazing local dancers and bands, she began studying these dances in New Orleans and continued after moving to Boston. Shuyi has taken classes at Boston Lindy Hop, other local dance organizations, and various events and workshops, and she is indebted to many current and former teachers and mentors for their generous instruction and support.
Shuyi values playfulness, creativity, and comfortable connection in partner dancing and also loves solo dancing. When not dancing, you can find her teaching law school classes, taking tap dance classes, and trying to learn to play the double bass. (That last thing is not going so well.)
Andrea Byrnes schedule a private lesson
Andrea (she/her) began taking dance classes in primary school where she fell in love with Irish step dancing. She performed, competed, and taught Irish dancing for over two decades. She began studying Lindy Hop in Durham, North Carolina during graduate school. After moving to Boston in 2014, Andrea dove into Lindy Hop at New School Swing, and later at Boston Lindy Hop. Eventually, her swing dance curiosities led her to Charleston, Balboa, and Authentic Solo Jazz, St. Louis Shag, Collegiate Shag, and of course more Lindy Hop. Since then, she’s traveled to numerous swing dance festivals, competitions, and workshops. As a student and teacher, Andrea loves rhythm, music, and focused practice. She strives for expressive, athletic dancing and loves sharing and evolving ideas with other dancers.
Andrew Selzer schedule a private lesson
Andrew Selzer (he/him) is a teacher, choreographer, and performer who began swing dancing at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Swing Dance Club. A native of Southern California, Andrew had a unique swing dance upbringing from learning and dancing on both coasts of the United States. At Penn State and the central Pennsylvania area he had the opportunity to teach, DJ, and organize workshops for several years until his college graduation. His travel bug has taken him to places such as Paris, France and Herräng, Sweden, and led to experiences that have provided him with a smorgasbord of influences to draw upon in addition to his about 10 years of swing dance teaching experience a classroom setting .
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". To learn more about his past accomplishments check out this webpage.
Cassie's (she/her) nickname as a kid was “dancing fancy”. She loved to dress up and dance in front of the giant mirror in her family’s hallway. Obviously, her dream job was to be a tap-dancing orthodontist. While her dream career never took off, the need to groove stayed strong and in 2013 she went looking for dance classes in Boston. Lindy Hop’s focus on connecting with the music and your partner was love from the beginning. Well almost. Cassie didn’t go out social dancing for over nine months. Learn from her mistakes. Go out social dancing. Anyway, after a year of Lindy Hop she started Balboa too, and loved learning new ways of partner dancing and showing the music. Cassie values individuality and strives to learn and teach how to make dancing work for yourself and fit with your partner. She thinks you can pretty much dance any way you want so long as it’s connected and you feel like the music made you do it. In addition to social dancing and teaching, Cassie also organizes for a few Boston swing dance organizations. When Cassie’s not dancing, she probably cooking or trying on outfits (ok, and dancing) in front of her mirror - some things never change.
Mari Adams schedule a private lesson
Mariel (Mari) Adams (she/her) has been swing dancing for more than two decades (literally 2/3rds of her life) starting the first time when she was taken out dancing with her mom in 1998 (instead of getting a baby sitter – boringggg), and she still loves it! She has worked as a dance teacher since 2007, teaching and choreographing a variety of dance styles in high school and college, and has since focused on Lindy Hop and vernacular Jazz for much of her adult life. She has a background in performing arts (vocal & theater/improv) and other dance styles (Latin dancing, west coast swing, hip hop, jazz, ballet, modern, west African), 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 exercise and reduce stress! Dance frees people to move, enjoy their bodies, and express themselves. Mari is a huge proponent of dancers exploring their individual movement and inspiring each other through a conversation with the instruments/musicians and dance. She has a special place in her heart for soul, blues, and classing swing music, and to her Social Dancing is the most important reason for spreading the love of Lindy Hop.
Edgar Herwick III schedule a private lesson
Edgar (he/him) 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 lesson
Cari (she/her) 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.
Katie Piselli schedule a private lesson
Katie (she/her) 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.
Ken Thomas schedule a private lesson
Ken (he/him) started Lindy Hopping with New School Swing when he moved to Boston in 2010, and was immediately hooked! He started teaching with New School in 2014. Ken thinks that social dancing is an excellent way to have a fun conversation with a friend or a stranger, and values equally both creativity and clear relaxed partnership. If you social dance in Boston, you'll probably see him out. Ask him to dance!
The organization that is now Boston Lindy Hop merged with a former swing dance school named New School Swing in 2016. 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!