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Teachers and Staff

Clayton Smith
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Clayton has been swing dancing since 2001. A Saint Louis native, he fell in love with Lindy Hop while at college in Portland, OR. He has since traveled extensively for dance workshops and competitions, served as the president and instructor for two university swing dance organizations from 2003-2008, and became an active leader of the Saint Louis swing dance scene upon returning to his home city. Clayton has been teaching for Lindy Hop Saint Louis since 2011, and is currently serving as the lead instructor.


Anna Baker
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Anna Baker fell in love with swing dancing in 2009 upon having her very first dance. She began instructing in 2010, and has kept her focus on building the best dance community possible. Aside from teaching classes and workshops stateside, she has taught in England, Poland, Scotland, France, Germany and night classes at the world's largest swing dance festival in Herrang, Sweden. Anna moved to St. Louis in 2012 and promptly fell in love with the city and its people. She currently teaches Lindy, Blues, Balboa, Chaleston, Solo jazz, Collegiate Shag, and St. Louis Shag.


Christian Frommelt
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Christian Frommelt, a St. Louis native, is a world-renowned swing dance instructor, performer, and social dancer. In addition to being an accomplished lindy hop, charleston, and solo jazz dancer, Christian is one of the world’s foremost aficionados of St. Louis Shag, which he learned from original St. Louis Shag dancers John Bedrosian, the late Tommy Russo, and Lorraine Byrnes, who also belong to a unique local jitterbug tradition. While Christian possesses a historical perspective in his dancing and teaching, he embraces the importance of individual style and creativity above all else. Some of Christian’s proudest accomplishments include winning the 2014 Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans, Louisiana and placing 3rd in the 2014 Lindy Hop World Cup at Rock That Swing in Munich, Germany, both with partner Jenny Shirar. Christian’s versatile talents have carried him to places such as Vienna, Austria, London, and Sidney, Australia, in addition to countless corners of the United States. His passions remain in St. Louis, where he enjoys social dancing, teaching lessons, and relishing the city’s rich live music offerings; co-organizing events such as Lindy Hop St. Louis’ Nevermore Jazz Ball & St. Louis Swing Dance Festival; and performing in a variety settings such as the Beggar’s Carnivale, and self-produced shows at the St. Louis Fringe Festival.


Jenny Shirar
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Jess Straatmann
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Jess Straatmann always knew she wanted to dance. For lack of other options in her small town, she started country line dancing. After moving to St. Louis in 1999, Jess got her first taste of swing dancing at the Casa Loma Ballroom, and it was love at first triple step. Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, lead, follow, freestyle - she loves it all. Jess is overjoyed to have the opportunity to share her love of dance and live music with folks in the Lindy Hop St. Louis community.


Tal Stein
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Liz Schwarzkopf
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Carl Hacker
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