Chuck and Lauren

The one and only, Mr Chuck Brown. Teaching with him is the lovely Ms Lauren Jones. We are very happy to have them both back! ❤️

Chuck Brown is a current Champion level dance competitor with over 25 years of experience. He is recognized as a top international dance instructor/coach, head judge, NASDE Circuit and US Open Certified Primary Judge, DJ, event promoter, community builder and business consultant. Chuck has been the head judge at over 200 events worldwide and has helped train hundreds of judges and competitors.

Chuck is one of the most sought after instructors/coaches in WCS. His teaching methods are “out of the box” and have produced some of the fastest moving and successful dancers in WCS

He is an incredibly passionate, emotional and tough technical teacher who cares deeply about his student’s dance and life goals as well as their friendships; he pours his heart into his job and many people around the world say that his passion, knowledge, spirit, and love for helping people is one of a kind.

In addition, he is the co-owner and co-event director for The After Party “TAP”; the most innovative and fun WCS event on the circuit. Chuck is known for “pushing his events past the norm.” In addition to his own events, he also consults and is involved with many other events around the world.

Chuck is on the road most of the year working as a dance artist and bases between Bend, OR; Europe and Singapore. He is an avid backpacker, gear outfitter and loves sitting at coffee shops and exploring the world. When he is not dancing or hiking, he works for Fjällräven®.

Lauren got into West Coast Swing back in 2011 thanks to her wonderful mum but moved to Vietnam shortly after. 5 years later, she scooted over to Singapore, fell in love with WCS again as well as the community there and social danced her heart out before making her way through Europe in 2019.

Although she has dabbled in salsa/bachata and smooth jive on a social level, it is WCS that has her hooked. Whilst achieving All-Star level in 2022, it is the social floor that is her happy place; she loves the balance between connecting with a partner on the floor and the freedom of self-expression, all to a wide range of music genres. She is over the moon to be working with the inspiring dancers of the community and her aim is to leave each person she dances with smiling, be it at her or with her!

Sonya Dessureault and Nelson Clarke

Today we present another original member of our teaching staff, the awesome Ms Sonya Dessureault.

Sonya is excited to be back for another edition of Rock The Barn. If she could have dreamt an event, it would have been this one: the people, the set up, the food, the dancing… Join her in training to do a deep dive into technique and discover your own movement through west coast swing.

We are also really happy to welcome mr Nelson Clarke back to the barn, a fellow Canadian and all star dancer. ❤️

Sonya began her career when she went to school for modern dance in her hometown of Montreal, Quebec. Afterwards, she worked professionally as a salsa and latin street dance teacher. Sonya discovered west coast swing through a crossover performance at a salsa congress.

Sonya loved the freedom of expression in west coast swing and knew she had found her dance. With her trademark intensity, she trained and quickly moved up the ranks. She took a risk and left everything she had in Montreal and went to Europe. She began by teaching at a west coast swing event and from there was invited to teach all over the continent. Sonya began a partnership with Stephen White at that time, together producing several notable and iconic showcase and classic routines.
Sonya believes all great dancing comes from learning to understand and then having fun with what you know. She’s technically precise and thorough in her teaching methods and structures. She’s known for her fierce commitment to personal growth in herself and others, both on and off the dance floor. Now, Sonya works full-time to empower people in partner dancing to dance free.

Nelson Clarke was introduced to Line Dancing by his grandmother in the town of Cornwall, Ontario, when he was just 11 years old and took to it like a fish to water. By the time he was 18, he was teaching group classes in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Three years into teaching he joined a Line Team that toured and performed across North America.
While on tour in 2005 he came across a West Coast Swing class at a local bar in Connecticut, joined the class and never looked back.
By 2007 he was attending and competing at WSDC events working his way up the ladder to Allstar both as leader and a follower.

In 2014 Nelson moved to Toronto and started teaching intermediate level weekly group classes with great response until 2020. He is currently teaching private lessons and monthly workshops as well as specializing in choreographing Pro Am routines, Team routines and Jack & Jill /Invitational routines.

Maxime and Torri Zzaou

We are really happy to welcome Maxime and Torri Zzaoui back to Rock the Barn. They have, with the exception of 2022, been part of our crew since 2017 and always bring joy to our event and new perspectives to west coast swing. ❤️

Maxime started dancing at the age of 5 in Lyon, France. He studied contemporary at the Conservatory for 6 years before starting his career in the West Coast Swing community. He is now one of the top male professionals, and was the first European to place in the top 5 of the Classic division at the US Open 2012.

Torri began dancing when she was 3 years old in California, USA.

She has studied other dances, but has always been a part of the West Coast Swing community; she has won the Young America/Young Adult divisions a total of 6 times at the US Open. Torri was the first and only person to win both the Classic and Showcase division in the same year at the 2010 US Open, and continued to win the Showcase division for the next 4 years.

Maxime and Torri have built a partnership and travel the world teaching together. They love the fun and social atmosphere of West Coast Swing, and always want to make their classes informative yet enjoyable for everyone.

PJ Turner

PJ is a respected West Coast Swing dancer in the community and is one of the most approachable professionals in the business. He resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, but can be found social dancing, teaching, competing, judging, and performing around the world.

At the age of 10, he started his dancing journey in Clogging. Just a couple of years later, at 12 years old, he began line dancing at the local night club, Cotton Eyed Joe and at 14 years old, he found his passion for partner and couples dancing.

As an adult, PJ started traveling the Swing Circuit, competing in Jack and Jills and Strictly competitions, and sparking his NASDE tour mission; to become the NASDE tour Champion.

During this time, he was the recipient of several social dance awards including the Prestigious Bob Preiss Social Dance Award from Swing Diego, Boogie by the Bay and River City Swing. In 2012, he achieved his goal and title of NASDE tour Champion! In 2013, he transitioned to competing in the Classic Swing Division in an Off-Broadway show in New York called Swango, and began competing in the Classic Swing Division, where he was a US Open finalist. In 2022, PJ started competing in the UCWDC as a Country Professional, winning a World Title in the Pro/Pro Division. Competing with his new dance partner, Mia Pastor, the two of them took 2nd Place at The Open Swing Dance Championships in the Showcase Division.

With his big cheesy grin and down to earth personality, you will have a great time with him at any event. Make sure you’re ready for him “BOOM MOMENTS” because they will blow you away! Though he may talk a little funny, his southern charm will bring a smile to your face. He is easy to find on the social floor, simply look for him with his backwards hat. He is incredibly approachable and his animated dance style will make dancers of all levels have an outstanding dance with him.

Viktoria Burman and Pontus Henriksson

We are thrilled to welcome Viktoria Burman and Pontus Henriksson to Rock the Barn, where they will be leading our intensive refresher course in West Coast Swing on Friday, 21/7, from 14:00 to 18:30 at Gräsmyr Loge, just outside Umeå.

About Viktoria

Viktoria Burman has been a passionate West Coast Swing dancer since 2015. Her journey in the dance world quickly progressed, and by 2017 she began sharing her love for the dance as an instructor.

Viktoria is unique in that she instructs and competes as both a leader and a follower, showcasing her versatility and deep understanding of the dance. She firmly believes that the beginner course is the most crucial and enjoyable to teach, as it lays the foundation for all future dancing. Her favorite part of teaching is delving into the technical details that can significantly improve her students’ dancing experience.

About Pontus

Pontus Henriksson started his West Coast Swing journey in the autumn of 2015 and began teaching in 2018. His dedication and skill in the dance have recently elevated him to the Advanced division in competitions. Pontus is not just a competitor but a true enthusiast of social dancing, which he describes as the most rewarding aspect of his dance life. His infectious enthusiasm and expertise make his classes both informative and fun.

Evelina Lundberg and Nelson Clarke

Evelina Lundberg

Evelina started dancing at the age of six and fell in love with West Coast Swing in 2015. She has since become a globally recognized instructor, judge, competitor, and social dancer. Evelina’s workshops are known for their energy and creativity, focusing on the beauty of mutual influence in dance.

Nelson Clarke

Nelson began his dance journey at 11 and discovered West Coast Swing in 2005. Competing at the Allstar level as both a leader and follower, Nelson specializes in teaching and choreographing routines. His extensive experience and passion make his classes both informative and fun.