Her dance experience met with academic formation in Arts helps Alina to comprehend Jazz Dance, her major passion, as a historical and anthropological phenomenon of the Art of mixed identities. This helps her as a dancer to find new profound approaches to choreography, social dance, improvisation, musicality and a dancing style. Moreover, she has been sharing her experience teaching both solo and couple dances with her partner Fedor Nedotko, lecturing, performing, choreographing and collaborating with jazz bands as well as hosting dance weekends, workshops and festivals in Ukraine, Russia as well as around the world.
She set up her company Jazz Workshop with Alina Sokulska in 2013, cherishing the concept of dance expression to Jazz Music of any style, elaborating on her own dance language and artistic voice researching rare jazz dance forms of the 20th century through African-American Body Movement.
Her dance mentors, both met and never met ones are Al Minns, Leon James, Teddy Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Alvin Ailey, Brothers-in-Jazz and Irven Lewis, Chester Whitmore, Gordon Neil, Frankie Martinez, Josette Wiggan, Roxane Butterfly, many others and of course… Music!
In her art she tries to follow the quotation by Hope Boykin, Ailey dancer:
Everything should be done with purpose, passion and style. Everything.
Nick and Ilaria
Nick and Ilaria are a cool London based blues dance duo. They love the way that blues celebrates human nature and is able to bring people together by giving them a medium to express their true selves.
Ilaria is a caring teacher who encourages personal expression by not only explaining fundamental techniques to her students, but also providing the tools to let people connect to different partners and forms of blues music.
Nick is a school teacher by day and dance teacher by night. He loves finding out exactly how things work (hence the science teaching) which means he is perfectly poised to break down techniques and moves in a simple and logical manner.
In London Nick and Ilaria are ambassadors of the blues community; teaching weekly and performing front and center with The Down and Outs troupe. Internationally they started their teaching journey in 2014 for the special occasion of Milan’s first blues dancing workshop. Since then they have been part of teaching teams all over Europe from St. Petersburg to Valencia.
“We believe everyone should experience blues dancing, giving yourself to the incredible music so you can express all aspects of your character!” Nick and Ilaria page
Elise and Rija
Elise started dancing when she was five. She learnt several dances like modern’Jazz and funk before settling for couple dances. She first fell in love with lindy hop because of the joy and craziness that it brought her, competing and winning several competitions and teaching for the biggest Parisian school “Brotherswing”. After meeting Rija, a few years ago, he convinced her easily to introduce slow lindy and blues into her dance, with a groovy touch. Rija discovered ballroom dancing when he was fifteen and hasn’t stopped dancing ever since. He took his first lindy hop class in Grenoble (France) in 2008 and has travelled all over the world to get more experience. He has since then taught in several cities in France and he is a major actor of the lindy hop scene in Paris. He is also a well known dancer in the european blues scene. He won every major blues competition in France and won twice the strictly competition of the “drag the blues” in Barcelona. You will easily recognize him on the dance floor with his unique “drag blues” style.
All of their travels allowed them to take classes with the best dancers in the world and led them to improve as dancers and teachers. They now teach at many festivals in France and also abroad (Berlin, Poland, Italy …).
When dancing blues and slow lindy, they have this special connection switching energies, from release to accelerations. They will do their best to pass on musicality, groove and improvisation in order for you to have a blast on the social dance floor.
Polina and Igor
Polina Yampolskaya tap dancer and teacher, choreographer, musician, singer and actress.
In a age of 3 Polina starts her dance career in a ballet school in Moscow. After 8 years of education she begins to work in the theatre of plastic art “Searchers” as a dancer, actress and singer. When she was a student of a theatre academy tap dance appeared in her life and then Polina realized that swing dance, swing music and “all that jazz” is her life, dream and destiny! At 2005 she founds her own tap school “Jam Studio” and begins to perform in the clubs and various scenes of Moscow, St. Petersburg, cities of Ukraine, Belorussia, Lithuania and Germany.
As everybody knows, tap dance is not only dance, but also a musical instrument, that produces sounds, so every tap dancer should be a dancer and musician at the same time.
On Polina classes students learn about the technical side of tap dance, choreography and sound skills.
Igor Yampolsky jazz drummer, tap and body percussion teacher.
Igor was born in the family of the famous musician, drummer, trumpet player and figure skater Igor Yampolsky. From an early age he started teaching his son drums and trumpet. By age 6, Igor professionally performed at the festival “Slavic Bazaar” in Vitebsk with Oleg Lundstrem big band, at 8 years he becomes Scholar of Vladimir Spivakov award, and participates in a variety of television projects.
19 years old Igor becomes the drummer of George Garanian big band. At the same time he meets Polina Butko and starts with the tap dancing, body percussion, lindy-hop and authentic jazz. With incredible speed Igor develops sophisticated technique of tap dance, in a year successfully begins to teach rhythm and body percussion. On his lessons he teaches his students what music is made of, how to feel timing, accents, offbeat and many others music functions.