Uptown Swing Collective is a Registered Non-Profit Society in BC.
Our Board of Directors is:
Jodie Haraga - Organizer, Educator, Lindy Hop follow/lead
Jodie started dancing in 2015 after attending a Canada Day jazz festival concert with her daughter, Emma. The whole family was soon obsessed with learning Lindy Hop, and began taking lessons and workshops, going on dance retreats, and attending social dances several nights each week.
She has now converted her garage into Boogie Back Alley dance studio where she and her husband, Paul, and younger daughter, Danica, meet up with friends to practise dance moves and learn jazz routines.
Jodie has been a resident of New West since 2011 and an educator since 1997. The swing dance scene brings together many of Jodie’s passions: teaching and learning, making and dancing to live music, and building community and connections. She is particularly interested in reaching out to up-and-coming student jazz musicians and dancers, to show them the world of traditional jazz for social dancers.
Julie Gaudet - Organizer, Communicator, Lindy Hop & Balboa follow
Julie has always loved live music, but it wasn’t until 2013 that she discovered Lindy Hop, by chance, at a concert. She knew right away that she wanted to do that too and within weeks, Julie was taking lessons and attending weekly social dances with her husband, Michel. Since then they have attended over 60 workshops and retreats in BC and the US, mainly taking classes in Lindy Hop and Balboa.
During the beginning of their dance journey, when the learning curve was high and self-confidence was low, what brought them back each week was the great music and obvious joy of all the dancers.
As a resident of New West for the last 15+ years, Julie loves the sense of community in the City, and is passionate about bringing people of all ages together to enjoy live jazz and social dancing with their friends and neighbours.
Barney Lee - Organizer, Dance Instructor, Dancer Extraordinaire
Barney first learned ballroom dancing at the UBC Dance Club in the 90's. When he discovered the amazingly welcoming community at a Lindy Hop dance at Jungle Swing/The Legion, he was hooked!
He has always loved the wonderful sense of connection and community, and it is that community spirit that he wants to foster in New Westminster.
Barney loves teaching dancing too, enjoying the challenge of making instruction as clear and concise as possible, while keeping it entertaining and accessible to all people.
We wouldn’t be able to run events if we didn’t have a lot of help from our community!
Here are the founding members of our collective that have been so important in helping us get started (in alphabetical order):
Allan Wong - graphic and web design, guitar player, Lindy Hop lead/follow
Candra Marr - dance instructor, professional researcher, Lindy Hop & Blues follow/lead
Darrel Yurychuk - green living, professional volunteer, swing dance ambassador, Lindy Hop lead/follow
Josh Roberts - professional jazz musician, guitar/banjo player, arranger, bandleader, jazz jam coordinator
Michel Gaudet - DJ, mandatory volunteer, Lindy Hop & Balboa lead
Paul Toth - sound tech, organizational behaviour expert, swing dance ambassador, Lindy Hop lead