Jeremy Harris has been dancing swing for 12 years, and is excited to be part of the organizing team that has jumpstarted the Breakaway into existence. His everyday persona includes being a professional Architect, a jazz saxophonist, and outdoors enthusiast. His secret superpower unravels as the Breakaway's unofficial band schmoozer and Graphics Lead for the group.
His goal is to create a dancing community, that gives back to the local community, and connects dancers of Lindy Hop with the vibrant urban dancing scene, history, and diversity of Oakland. He envisions a space where dancers of all types can express their styles, learn from each other, and inspire a new generation of Lindy Hop that would make Frankie Manning proud.
Melanie has been a dancer all of her life with her first true love being ballet. Her first swing out happened at a summer swing dance camp when she was a wee lass. She continued to dabble in other forms of dance, including salsa and ballroom dancing until she joined the [M]ovement dance group as a swing dancer and choreographer at UC Berkeley. There, she met many of the members of The Breakaway and fell in love with jazz - particularly New Orleans jazz music (and food!) - and the form of dance that evolved with it: the lindy hop. She is super excited to be part of The Breakaway team helping members of the Oakland and East Bay community discover the thrill of self expression through dancing and the excitement of listening to live jazz.
Brynna's passion for dancing first began after watching Singing in the Rain as a child. She instantly fell in love with the movement and music, and over the next few years, she decided to try on various dance hats including tap, jazz, and ballroom dance. Originally from Los Angeles, Brynna first discovered swing dance in 2010 during her new student orientation at Berkeley. She soon became actively involved in Lindy on Sproul and SwingCal. Here, she also discovered a love of sharing her favorite jazz tunes through DJing. Currently, in addition to being the DJ and Band Coordinator at The Breakaway, she also is member of the solo jazz dance troupe Someday Sweethearts. Brynna is thrilled to be a part of the Breakaway Team, and is excited to watch the East Bay dance scene to continue to grow.
Melissa is an avid lover of social lindy hop. As a co-organizer of the Breakaway, she hopes to foster dancers who listen to the music, learn new ways to express themselves, and enjoy the moment. Some of her favorite dance memories include performing at the Apollo Theater for Frankie 100, dancing to live bands at speakeasies, and organizing a lindy-bomb at Berkeley's 4th Street Jazz Festival. She loves to meet new people, think and effect social justice, and support the community.
James began his love of swing dancing after watching the movie Swing Kids and seeing all the cotillion kids at his high school actually swing dance. In 2004, he was randomly walking on Upper Sproul while attending UC Berkeley, and started dancing at Lindy on Sproul on the day of its revival. He trained under dance guru Howard Chong and after a year, began choreographing Movement performances and organizing Lindy on Sproul to produce Lindy at Night and Swing Cal.
After graduating from Cal, James co-founded the Dancers Den. James is at it yet again at The Breakaway because he deeply believes that swing dancing should be a permanent fixture of fun, community, and exercise in the modern day, not only for the dancers but for the organizers, the DJs, and the bands as well. When not swing dancing, James loves to backpack and nurture his up and coming boy band career.
Rachel started volunteering at The Breakaway at the door, and was so excited to support a new swing dance venue in the Oakland that she started volunteering other areas as well. She loves planning parties and building community. She has been dancing since a she was a youngin’ jamming out to the radio in her room, and remembers first hearing big band music on the radio in high school. Years later, the two connected when she was hanging out in Golden Gate Park and got pulled into Lindy in the Park. Dancing has also inspired her to get back to her childhood hobby of playing music. Rachel loves doing fancy walks on the dance floor.