Mike began dancing in 1992 when he found dance partners who liked to be tossed in the air. He started teaching regular dance classes in 1994. He owes much credit to the world’s best coaches in swing, ballroom, country and Latin dancing.
Mike prefers to perform where he can showcase his leading, following, and improvisational skills. These and musicality are his focus.
Mike continues to perform and teach. He judges at just about every event, and is the Chief Judge for several swing events and country events. When he’s not judging or performing, he’s the MC.
No matter your pronoun, or whether you lead or follow, Mike would like a social dance with you
The most important job I have is to ask people to dance who are sitting and watching the other dancers. I’m excited if they say yes. It never matters to me if they are professional dancers or if they are brand new; both give me equal pleasure…both teach me something new.
Having danced for many years I’ve come to understand the physical and psychological interplay that makes dancing work. The path here for me was not easy, but now that I know the path, I love lighting the way for others.
I draw on many disciplines as well as dance–from martial arts to body-building, neurology to psychology, physics to engineering, improv comedy to farming–really. I’ve learned everything by imitation, analogy and action, and I believe students learn best with all three in a lesson.
I’ve taught myself the lead and follow of all dances that I teach; I think it’s important for the instructor to be equally versed in both roles and to understand the rules that make each role work. Consequently, I’ve developed a curriculum based upon my Rules of Lead and Rules of Follow. I test them constantly on any partner I can find. Understanding what’s expected of you in any endeavor makes it tremendously easy to prioritize your goals and streamline your practice time…something I know you’ll benefit from immediately.
Leads or follows, do me a favor: if you see me near the dance floor, ask me to dance. I promise to say yes!