Jessica Miltenberger*

Jessica M small grpIf there’s jazz music anywhere within a 30-mile radius of Jessica, you can bet she will find it and be dancing before you can say, “Where did she go?” She discovered Lindy Hop in 2009 and the boundless joy of jazz dancing gave Jessica’s life a whole new focus. You can now find her out seven nights a week throwing down Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues and Shag, and seeking out local bands wherever she happens to be.

As a Brooklyn-based performer and choreographer, Jessica swung out to sold out crowds at events like the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island, as well as performing for fellow dancers locally and on the road. Her personal dance infatuation lies with all the smaller origin and component dances that sprang up from the early 19-teens through the late 1940s alongside the bigger dances we still do today, and she is as eager to learn them all as she is to share them with you.

Jessica’s thirteen year ballet background gives her a unique viewpoint on visual learning and instruction, and her goal as a teacher is to help students combine the pure joy of vernacular movement with aesthetic awareness so that every dance looks as good as it feels. That being said, one of the things she loves most about Lindy Hop is that there is no “perfect” dancer. These dances sprang from creative minds fusing with live music and the excitement of a crowd to create new movements and translate bodies into instruments. Jessica seeks out the balance between quality partner connection and self-expression, with the goal of making her students express themselves as best they can, not just be a reflection of their teachers. Jessica mentions, “I’m a constant student myself, and I believe my commitment to learning and sharing the dances I love is reflected in my teaching.”