Geneviève Vermylen is one of the founders of Apollo Swing, which began in 1996. It was her passion for the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s which naturally led her to Lindy Hop. Taking her first swinging steps at Herrang Dance Camp - arguably the most famous Lindy Hop festival in the world - she soon began travelling the world to train with and learn from top instructors.
Since 2016 Elise has been running one arm of Apollo and loves organising almost as much as dancing! Passionate about developing her skills across a wide range of swing dances including solo jazz, Charleston and Balboa, as a teacher Elise wants to bring this passion and enthusiasm to her students, and believes very much in making swing dancing accessible and fun for anyone brave enough to try it!
He introduced Lindy Hop in Belgium together with Geneviève, resulting in the creation of Apollo Swing in 1996. For over twenty years, Didier has been spreading his cheery disposition and sharing his talent in Belgium; both in Lindy Hop classes, and on the social dance floor. He remains as passionate as at the start of his career, and is always on the lookout for new inspiration.
Coming first from the Rock ‘n’ Roll world, with her father being the lead singer of the Belgian Blues-Rockabilly Band, The Wild Ones, Morganne spent all her life listening to Gospel, Swing, Blues, Rhythm’n’Blues, Country, Rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll. She grew up as an Old Soul, always attracted to and fascinated by things from the past; specifically, it was her love for African-American Culture that led her Lindy Hop.
Jérôme De Paepe
Jerôme started dancing at Apollo Swing in 2012 and has been hooked ever since. He loves movies, good beers, otters, and of course - swingouts.
Helena has a passionate, creative personality. She worked for a well-known fashion designer and co-founded a dance school, of which she was the creative director and a full-time instructor. Inspired by the style of the early 20th century, Helena is now exploring retro hair styling, make-up (Retro Lena) and the design and making of retro clothing. If that were not enough, Helena also completed an intensive Yoga teacher training and currently teaches weekly Yoga classes. After retiring from dance for a few years, Lindy Hop reignited Helena's passion! It's not only the cheerful energy of the dance, but also the style, setting and atmosphere that make her heart pound faster. She has been an instructor at Apollo Swing in Mechelen since 2015.
It all started with a fifties Fiat 500 - since then Verdiana has lived a life of vintage passion: from clothing to hairstyling, furniture and music. So it wasn’t long until she discovered the Lindy during her work as a vintage hairdresser for Radio Modern. Once she got the bounce in her bones, her life changed completely! You can regularly see Verdiana popping up at social dances in Belgium and attending international dance camps and workshops, catching the eyes of the innocent bystanders with her Italian-style Lindy moves. When it comes to swing dancing, for Verdiana it’s all about having fun and moving your body to the music. Musicality is the key for two individuals to become one on the dance floor.
Sven Van houcke
Sven took his first dance steps as a teenager with the slow waltz, quickstep, jive, and disco swing. As a young adult, he stopped dancing because of judo, paragliding, canyoning, and to take care of his family. But a passion for dancing was always in Sven’s blood: a few years ago, together with his partner Elke, he discovered the joys of Lindy Hop and began taking classes at schools across Belgium to develop his skills. Now not a single day passes without him being occupied by Lindy Hop. The social dance floor is his habitat. Sven likes nothing better than passing his passion for Lindy Hop on to others.
Ayumi first discovered the world of dance during university through Rock ‘n’ Roll and ballroom dancing. For several years now she has been passionate about swing dance, which has become her daily source of energy. Dance is a universe in which everyone can express their inner-selves and share their emotions, while also challenging themselves. Ayumi seeks to transmit this to her students by sharing all her energy and passion. Taking her inspiration from old clips from the ‘30s and ‘40s, especially those of the Harvest Moon Ball competitions, in 2018, Ayumi started dancing with the Brussels troupe, the Jazz Maniacs.
Brieuc developed a crush on Lindy Hop while he was still a student. Like many students, he came across some incredible videos of fabulous dancers that made him curious to try it. It was finally arriving in Brussels and discovering all the dance parties and the social side of swing dance that finally ensured he was addicted. Always on the dancefloor for fun, his dance style is rather theatrical. A love of fun, bonding with people, and musicality are key to Brieuc’s dancing. Never hesitate to ask him to dance when you meet him, he will be happy about it! Lead, follow - everything suits him! After all; we're here to have fun!
Elena was born in Sicily and theatre was her first love. Although convinced that she couldn’t dance, a year after she moved to Brussels, in 2011, she registered with the Apollo Swing School for Lindy Hop classes. She was immediately hooked and a few months after her first class, she was already participating in international lindy hop, jazz solo, Charleston and blues workshops. She is aware that she still has a lot to learn about jazz and swing history and culture, of which she considers herself to be an attentive observer. In her classes, she aims at sharing her passion and help make everyone feel confident and happy while dancing. Jazz, swing and blues express values she strongly believes in, such as authenticity, freedom and a sense of community. As Elena explains, theatre was the place where she started looking for herself, and Brussels is the city where she can travel through various cultures and get inspired by them. “Jazz is an endless journey which started from my ears, infiltrated my body before reaching my soul.”
Benjamin Van Dalem
Benjamin had a love for music and dancing since childhood, but it never played a central role in his life. However, this changed in 2019 when he discovered Lindy Hop at Apollo Swing Leuven. He was captivated by the beauty, playfullness and freedom that Lindy Hop offered, and it quickly evolved into his most passionate hobby. Socials, workshops, and international festivals have become an integral part of his life growing his knowledge about the dance. In the end, Lindy Hop became for him a source of joy and strong friendships. With his love for teaching and the motivation to share the beauty of Lindy Hop, he aims to introduce others to its wonderful aspects, grow the community, and share his knowledge.
Céline gratefully discovered Lindy Hop in 2010. She cannot stay away from its positive energy and the communicative good spirits that derive from this dance. Her past experience with tap dancing, couple dancing, classical as well as modern dance, along with her interest for music and dances from the 30ies and 40ies musicals, all find expression in Lindy Hop. Céline is always eager to enlarge her experience as follower as well as leader, and in other related dances the likes of blues, balboa, collegiate shag, st-louis shag. You can count on her to share her passion for Lindy Hop with much enthusiasm and benevolence.
Marijse was from a very young age immersed into various types of dances such as ballet, contemporary jazz and urban, but fell fully in love with Lindy Hop in 2018. The community spirit, warm and openminded only confirmed her infatuation. You will no doubt see her often on social events as well as workshops, as she is enthusiastic to discover all possible jazz styles.
Heleen Van Cleynenbreugel
Heleen is a sportive centipede and she derives much energy and pleasure from dancing. She discovered Lindy Hop in 2019 during the Rock That Swing Festival in Munich. The playfulness of this partner dance is what she appreciates most. Once home, she registered with the Apollo Swing lessons. After a few years as a follower, she looked at other ways to improve her skills in that dance. During the switch-classes, she was introduced to the leader position which she much appreciated and which comforted her in putting a further step into teaching. She is hoping to inspire others and help them find pleasure in this dance style.
After a few years dancing Rock ‘n’ Roll, Camille fell completely in love with Lindy Hop when she discovered a video of the famous clip from Hellzapoppin’. The music, the rhythm, and the energy radiating from the dancers captivated her. Since then she has sought to learn everything she can, travelling to festivals and workshops abroad. In 2018 Camille started teaching at Apollo Swing, and is part of Brussels troupe, the Jazz Maniacs.
Visual artist, Ornella Macchia is also dancer, performer and teacher of Lindy Hop, Charleston and Solo Jazz from Brussels. She is inspired by the Authentic Jazz and Swing of the Afro-American community between 1920' and 40 in Harlem, New York. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, Harvest Moon Ball, Spirits moves, etc. are her sources of inspiration. With a background in gymnastics, classical dance and Tango, she flourished in Lindy Hop in their rhythmic and theatrical aspects. In 2017, she joined the Brussels performance group Jazz Maniacs which is characterized by Flashy steps, Fast Dance and Aerials. Recently she joined the Old-Style Jazz Dance Troup "The Old Soulz". She performs in Belgium and abroad, in festivals and competitions... and winning the last Savoy Cup Team City battle. As a teacher, Ornella wants to share her passion by combining technique, challenge, Old school style and joy !
Born in Italy but bred in Vienna as a dancer, I have been learning to stop worrying and love the dance since 2016. Jazz music is what got me into swing dancing but in turn dance has allowed me to deepen and broaden my understanding of music. During these years I have been exploring different styles: starting from lindy hop, then falling in love with shag and last but not least, having to make more space in my heart to accomodate tap dancing. If I learned anything in the time I spent dancing (definitely not turning out well in photos) is that what makes it meaningful over and over to me is first of all the quality of one’s rhythm and then the rewards that are coming from learning how to exert control on your own body. Oh, and that when in doubt, faster is always the answer.
Nguyên-Bao Thai Ngoc
In 2018 he discovered Lindy hop and was immediately attracted by the way people enjoy the music while sharing body patterns in joyful and energetic ways. Swing dance was definitely the perfect combination between technique, flow, playfulness, acrobatics, improvisation and self expression.
Barbora "Bára" Hřebačková makes her living through dance. She started dancing early and hip hopped her way into tap, charleston & jazz dance, growing in these styles while living in Prague, Czech Republic. Currently she resides in Brussels, Belgium. Dancing for her means seeking a connection to herself, to the audience and to her students. In classes, Bára strives to create a comfortable learning environment in which students learn to develop independently while maintaining a connection to the community, tradition and cultural heritage of the tap dance art form. www.barahrebackova.be
Vincent started his Swing journey in 2018, where he had the chance to start classes alongside many other talented and soon-to-be amazing dancers. He took advantage of the opportunity to practice as much as possible, while accumulating experience and resources from parties and festivals around the world. He got so passionate about the dance and its history that in parallel to Lindy he learned Shag, Balboa and even started tap dancing. His source of inspiration is most and foremost found within the Brussels scene, which he cannot get enough of the authentic and powerful energy. Coming from a "9 to 5" office type of job, he is grateful for all the good things Swing dance brought to his life and he cannot wait to share his passion with newcomers.
Sophie started Lindy Hop and solo jazz in 2018 and never quite stopped dancing since. After several years training and various workshops in Belgium and abroad, she started the group The ‘Triplettes Steps’ together with two of her friends and sidekicks, Sandy and Jazya. Sophie does the choreography while dancing in various festivals.
Kenneth Shipp hails from St. Louis, USA, as an instructor who grew up dancing hip-hop and DJing breaking comps before jumping into blues. He has spent the past few years passionately studying the family of blues idioms, incorporating his nerdy personality along the way. Kenneth’s life experiences inform his dancing and teaching style so that students walk away with a better historical and contextual understanding. With every class and practice, he'll encourage you to approach social dancing with coolness, relaxation, or in other words “Chill The Fuck Out.” When he’s not dancing, you can likely find him ranting about the latest blockbuster movie, game, or nerd convention, or desperately trying to dismantle toxic institutions.
Martin discovered Lindy Hop in 2013 with the much inspiring Sep and Leni and never stopped dancing since. He continued the learning process thanks to the follows met on the dance floors across Europe. What he particularly likes in Lindy Hop is the connexion, the musicality, sharing joy in a partner dance. During his many stays in Herräng, he was drawn into the historical context in which Lindy Hop was grounded in Harlem. He loves creating a well meaning and joyful context during his lessons, allowing the participants to gain in confidence and develop their competences as dancers.
Dancing is for Hong-Giao a means of expression which has been induced since childhood. She found it in the precision of classic dancing, in the connection to her roots through Vietnamese dances, or in the team spirit in synchronized swimming. She came to know Lindy Hop in 2017, in Brussels, a most determining and revealing encounter. Her teachers were an inspiration for her on a pedagogic as well as artistic level. Hong-Giao enjoys as much swinging on the dance floor as teaching. She contributed in teaching and spreading Lindy Hop for three consecutive years in France, in the Drôme Valley. Now back in Belgium, she continues her joyful adventure !
Charlotte started dancing at the age of 6. Through the years she learned different dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Streetdance and African dance. Still, she missed something… After a break of a couple of years, in 2017, she rediscovered her passion for dancing in Lindy Hop. The energetic dance scene opened a whole new world for her. What attracted her in the first place was the musical variety and freedom the dance offered. Afterwards she learned the pleasure of good communication between a leader and a follower. This combined with the technical aspects keeps the dance exciting and challenging. Her love for teaching derives from previous experiences with youth and young adults in classical education. This love along with her enthusiasm for the dance make her suitable to teach others Lindy Hop.
Dean Started dancing Lindy Hop in 2014, practising with Apollo Swing in Leuven and Hasselt. What began as a hobby soon turned into a passion. Bringing his experience in sports education to dance teaching, combined with his enthusiasm for and love of music, Dean will teach anyone how to do the Lindy Hop!
A lover of social dancing and passionate about developing herself as a dancer, Lies hopes to inspire people to learn and enjoy dancing as part of their daily lives. No matter if it is Lindy, Balboa, or Collegiate Shag, you will always find her on the dancefloor with with a big smile on her face, jamming to all kinds of swing music. This energy brought Lies to teaching, where she is able to share her joy and passion with others. The social nature of Lindy Hop is very important to her; Lies loves being part of the dance scene, and feels privileged to have met so many great and talented people at various festivals both at home and abroad.
Pauline van Bogaert
Pauline discovered Lindy Hop during her studies in Scotland and Germany. Fascinated by the rich culture of the swing era, she fell in love with this energetic dance and its warm community. Back in Belgium, she practices Lindy Hop on a weekly basis, focusing on developing her musicality and creativity. By attending international workshops she keeps inspired by the art of body movement, improvisation and connection. Having a good time and spreading the joy of the dance is her ultimate goal.