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.”
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.
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.
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.