Born and raised in sunny San Diego, Megan had no idea that one day she would fall in love with the lindy hop, let alone become the President of the Breakaway team.
In her first semester as a student at UC Berkeley, Megan found swing dancing purely by accident - she walked past a group of people dancing on the main campus plaza and heard the jazz music she had always loved listening to. She became instantly enamored, and quickly signed her life away to Berkeley's swing dancing club, Lindy on Sproul. Megan eventually came to facilitate the student-led course called SwingCal, and choreograph for performance troupes including The [M]ovement and Sproul Stompers.
After graduating from Cal, Megan felt a hole in her life where lindy hop had been, and now she has found her new family in The Breakaway crew. More than anything, Megan loves to share the joy of swing with new dancers, and she makes sure everyone she knows gets bitten by the lindy bug.
Find Megan at the Breakaway on Tuesday nights and ask her to dance!
Mary - Ressource Manager
Mary's older sister was an inspiration and first encouraged her to try social Ballroom Dancing, then Balboa. From there, Mary went on to discover Lindy Hop at Lindy on Sproul where she met and became friends with many founding members of The Breakaway. Captivated by the dance's joyful affirmation of being and opportunity for playful expression, she is thrilled to be on the marketing team to help share this dance with others.
Hunter- Teaching Coordinator
Hunter currently works as a Behavior Therapist but his night time has been spent dancing for the past 13 years. Teaching, performing, and competing, Hunter has done it all. From teaching dance in South Korea to placing at Camp Jitterbug, Hunter looks forward to sharing his expertise with new and excited students of the East Bay. Having studied Ballet, modern Jazz, and Tap, Hunter brings a well rounded dance background to Lindy-Hop.
Jessyca - Marketing Manager
Jessyca is a vivacious lindy hopper, excited to share her bubbly happiness of the dance! Born and raised in Québec, Canada it’s in 2013 that she unexpectedly found out about lindy hop as a The Shim Sham performance was happening in the streets of Montreal. She went to her first social dance night on the first week of her first class, a few months later she was doing workshops and got into a performance troupe, placed and won competitions during her first year of dancing. Through though times and injuries, she never stopped to give back to the community. Now, Jessyca just moved to Bay Area where she has a happy married life and is the co-founder of Oakland’s swing dance studio, The Breakaway.
Her background as a jazz musician definitely influenced her take on swing dance. “Jazz offers to the dancers an opportunity to improvise, something we rarely do anymore in our world and adult life. It inspires me more than anything else to know that while we are cherishing an individual freedom of self-expression we also enjoy the responsibility to the group or our dance partner.”
Shawn had two lives. There was the 17 or so years before he danced, and there was all the years after that - when he was given a chance to dance with [M] at Berkeley. As a total noob, he was simultaneously introduced to both lindyhop and hiphop dancing. This forged a palpable link in his heart for these two styles from different era - the "classic/vintage urban" and "modern urban" dance that shared much of the same roots.
Being an active member of the Bay Area urban dance community, Shawn continues to introduce the beauty of connected partnering and dance conversation to the scene through performances, open sessions, and cyphers. Being a bold and idealistic lindyhopper, he strives to build a swing scene where dancers can be free from conformity, celebrate individuality, and continue the innovation and evolution on this historical style of dance.
"If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance."
Joleigh - Venue Partnership
Joleigh grew up in the Bay Area and loves being a part of the Oakland community. She first started swing dancing in Berkeley at Lindy on Sproul in the Fall of 2006, and was a student in the very first SwingCal class in Spring 2007. After graduating, she stayed involved in the East Bay Lindy Hop community and taught at SwingCal, Pixar, and I-House, started mentor groups, and helped organize events such as the Stanford-Cal Lindy Exchange and Lindy at Night. In 2011, Joleigh and James partnered with Jean and Bromley to open a Berkeley dance venue called The Dancers' Den. Her passion lies in community building, having a good laugh on the dance floor, and meeting new people.
Joleigh's vision is to collaborate with dancers in the Oakland community to build awareness of the historical roots of Lindy Hop, and foster an open, diverse environment where dancers can be creative, try new things, and explore uncharted territories of dance together.
Amalia discovered swing dancing for the first time through a Balboa workshop that a friend pulled her into in her hometown, Barcelona in 2008. She enjoyed it very much and shortly after she was introduced to Lindy hop. She moved to Grenoble (France) in 2009 and got the chance to keep learning and exploring the swing scene there and around Europe. A few years later, she discovered the pleasure of dancing slow music as well through Blues. Lindy brings her lots of joy, fun, playfulness and a big smile in her face while Blues dancing allows her to express more sensuality and explore a different connection that is very grounding for her. Building a swing dancing community here in the East Bay with such wonderful people is a new adventure that she is very passionate about and very grateful to be part of. See you at The Breakaway!