Get ready to meet the international teachers Agnieszka & Konrad for Intermediate and Advanced couple blues dance and slow/bluesy Lindy and Edmilson for groovy afro swing and wonderful solo blues topic classes aswell as a solo class for our more advanced students. On top of this, we have Serpil and Erol, our residential teachers, from Turkey for a special “beginners” track to let more dancers get the blues!
Agnieszka Pluwak & Konrad Pruśniewski (Poland)
Some 10 years ago, Agnieszka discovered swing dance during her stay in California as a student. Returning to Poland she joined the well-known Swingout.pl dance school in Warsaw, established in the basement of a block of flats.
At that time, Konrad was still fighting in Thai boxing and MMA, and at night he was restoring furniture. He took dance classes, and although his dance partner ran away from his involuntary aerial moves, dancing became a part of his life for good.
Agnieszka in the meantime had discovered the blues at Herrang Summer Camp, and she fell in love with the possibilities of improvisation and interpretation offered by the music. For her, blues was a combination of all the dance genres she had learned in her life since the age of 8 (Afro, ballroom dancing, hip-hop, contemporary dance). She then met Konrad at a Warsaw dance party and their common swing and blues journey started. In Warsaw, they organized their first big blues event – Valentine’s Blues, which turned out to be a festival, and then – Autumn Blues.
They started teaching blues and lindy hop, first locally and then in various cities in Poland and in many festivals across Europe.
After founding the Warsaw blues and slow swing scene, they passed the baton to their students and settled in Gdynia. Here, after much persuasion, they founded the Harlem Beats school where they teach with their team of passionate teachers. It is through the Harlem Beats school that they want to create a lively scene of blues and swing in Gdynia whilst sharing their passion for blues also in international dance scenes.
“In our approach we try to cover all the diverse areas of blues: from blues as a dialogue with both leader and follower interchanging in leading, through clear and harmonic energy flow, musicality, interpretation, relaxation, working with breath, isolations, the history and types of blues, up to fancy moves. We try to encourage participants of our classes to explore new techniques and moves as if nobody was watching them and to play with the music and make fun of oneself while dancing, just as its founding fathers and inventors did.”
Edmilson Botelho (Portugal)
Born and raised in the São Tome and Principe Islands, Edmilson da Cruz Botelho has always lived surrounded by music.
His rhythm builds on the African traditional dances that he has learned while in his home country, including usôa, puíta, funaná, kadance (kizomba) and semba.
At the age of 17, Edmilson moved to Porto and soon after that, he discovered Lindy Hop. His passion for dance led him to become a Lindy Hop and Blues teacher. For him, dance is all about feeling, groove and joy.
Edmilson successfully participated in various couple and solo blues competitions over the past years and was invited to complete a blues teacher formation, ‘Bluesology’ given by Adamo & Vicci in Valencia. This year he is also part of the group of instructors creating courses for The Blues Room. You will find Edmilson teaching and sharing his wonderful energy and choreo’s at various festivals in Europe.
Serpil Yildirim & Erol Akinci (Turkey)
Serpil and Erol had the pleasure of meeting in 2019 and, shortly thereafter, began collaborating. Serpil, with a background in dance, and Erol, with a musical foundation, found a harmonious partnership, each bringing their unique style and approach to the partnership. They are in the process of immersing themselves in the intricacies of jazz culture, exploring various methods to incorporate its essence into their approach to dance. They humbly strive to explore new artistic expressions and are dedicated to giving back to their local community as contributors. In a small but heartfelt endeavor, Serpil and Erol took on the role of organizers for the first Izmir Swing Festival in 2022. They endeavor to introduce this festival to both local and international dancers as an alternative event, providing a platform to learn and appreciate various dance styles in relation to jazz.