2024 Swing Intensive

Friday Afternoon Swing Intensive

It’s back! Our 2020 Swing Intensive program was so successful that we’re offering it once again in 2024. Strengthen your skills and prepare for a weekend packed full of swing sessions with this choice of energizing dance tracks taught by internationally acclaimed swing dancers and teachers! Some swing dance experience is recommended. At the time of purchase, you’ll be asked to specify whether you prefer to lead, follow, or switch roles.

When: Pre-festival on Friday, February 16th, 2024 from 1-6PM. This special event is not included in the full-festival ticket.

Cost: Swing Intensive tickets are $45 (under 26) or $55 (26 & up) and are available for purchase on the Advance Ticket form. Availability is limited and tickets will be sold at the door for $65 only if space remains.

Meet the Teachers:

Rafal Pustelny is a vibrant dancer and instructor who is passionate about traditional dances from all around the world! Rafal moved to NYC in 2010 and there studied American Jazz dance forms, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Balboa. He quickly established himself as one of the top dancers in NYC, and has since earned acclaim in the international swing dance community.

Rafal continues his own dance education by studying Tap, Clogging, Hungarian folk dances, and Polish folk dances. As a performer, he works with several regional groups, including “Gatsby Entertainment,” “The Vanaver Caravan,” “Project Connect”, and “Harvest Moon Hoppers”, as well as community events and corporate parties. A Frankie Manning Foundation Ambassador, he teaches and performs locally with “You Should Be Dancing” studios and in New York City. You can also find him at international events where he works with dance communities across the globe.

Gaby Cook is an esteemed, active professional in the global lindy hop community. For nearly 20 years, she has established her career performing and teaching for major swing dance festivals worldwide — including Camp Hollywood, Beantown, Swing Out New Hampshire, Herräng Dance Camp, Lindy on the Rocks, Paris Jazz Roots, Stompology and Lindy Focus. On stage, she is a principal dancer for the acclaimed “SW!NG OUT”, which premiered at the Joyce theater (2021) and tours regularly. Other stage credits include: “Macy’s Day Parade Live Broadcast” for Nickelodeon’s Blues Clues (2022), “Swing’s the Thing” with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (2023), “Decades of Dance” at the BET Soultrain Awards (2021), “Don’t Mean a Thing” with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center (2021) and many appearances in film and TV. She regularly advocates for lindy hop in industry dance communities and is consistently “on-call” with university dance programs (past: Julliard, Marymount, NYU, Columbia).

In class, she is playful, informative and honest. She prioritizes equality for followers and leaders in the classroom space — and has championed a movement first approach to teaching partnered dance content. Online at @gaby_cook

With nearly 10 years of experience, AJ Howard takes the influences from Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Lindy Hop scenes to bring his own unique style and energy to the Swing Dancing community. He burst into the scene in 2016, winning competitions throughout the US with his partner Jennifer, showing the dance world what Sacramento really had to offer! Competing at international events such as Camp Hollywood and the International Lindy Hop Championships, AJ became well known for his generous use of aerials paired with his energetic dancing.

AJ has also had the honor of performing on stage for the debut run of “SW!NG OUT” in addition to dance groups such as HellaBlackLindyHop and the Midtown Stompers, along with the privilege to spread his love of dance through teaching at Lindy Hop events across the US, on a Carnival Cruise ship, and overseas in countries such as Denmark and Sweden.


Track 1: Swing with Gaby & AJ
Track 2: Charleston with Rafal
1:00-2:10Rhythm and fundamentals
Learn the basic rhythms of the dance that define Lindy Hop. Internalizing these rhythms will inform all fundamental moves of the dance – as well as your improvisations to come.
Charleston Basics 
Learn the basic Charleston step and fundamental moves.
How do we move together. Partnering will show students how we lead and follow the dance – and best ways to collaborate creatively.
Classic Moves in Charleston 
Learn popular moves in partner Charleston.
3:45-4:50Moves that Flow
Vocabulary, moves and syntax! This class will help dancers understand how the moves fit together and how to create a natural, comfortable flow in Swing.
Charleston Variations 
Level up your Charleston with fancy moves!
5:00-6:00     Combined Session: Social Dancing and Jams with Gaby, AJ and Rafal
Social dance is social. This is a combined class that shows students how to share ideas in a fun, supportive setting.

Online price: $45 (under 26) / $55 (26 & up

Door price (if available): $65

Photos from the 2020 Swing Intensive: