Introducing our celebrated local London talent, we present the fabulous London Throwdown Teaching Team of 2017!
Benjamin Cook and Ash Cochrane
Ash grew up in Australia and moved to London in 2008. Ash brings her infectious energy and passion for the dance to each class she teaches and is delighted to be able to pass on her love of dancing to others. Her main teaching focus at the moment is the Dixie Dinahs, an all girls troupe for which Ash is co-leader and main choreographer. When she’s not teaching, Ash can be found tearing up the social and competition floor. Placing in events all round the world her recent highlights include winning the Advanced Strictly Lindy at ILHC 2013 with Ben and taking first place in the Chorus Line division and the Cabaret division at Savoy Cup 2017 with the Dixie Dinahs.
Benjamin originally hails from Melbourne, Australia, where he found swing dancing in 2006. He now lives in London; teaching, performing and traveling the world chasing Lindy Hop. Benjamin is a full time Lindy Hopper and currently runs two weekly swing venues in London, two performance troupes, and has taught all around Europe for the last 8 years. Proud to have come from a background without professional dance training, he has placed in over 30 different competitions around the world, is a 2-time UK Lindy Hop Champion and also won the Advanced Strictly Lindy at ILHC in 2013 with Ash. Benjamin’s ability to break down moves and ideas into surprisingly manageable pieces, and attention to personal detail of his students has earned him a reputation as one of the UK’s most prominent instructors. Ben loves to teach people all the things that he loves about swing, and his number one goal is always to show dancers the ways to exceed their own expectations without straying from having fun!
Steph Kokay and Pete Grange
Steph and Pete are a swing dancing duo who originally hail from New Zealand and have been dancing and teaching together since 2010. Having competed all over New Zealand and Australia, these two Kiwis thought it was time for a challenge, and a few years ago made the move to London. They are both currently employed as swing dance teachers for Swing Patrol London. Steph is a full time Drama teacher during the day, but by night is totally devoted to all things lindy hop. Her love of dance stems from a very young age when she was introduced to solo jazz dancing early on. Since then, Steph has gone on to develop a real passion for swing dancing, teaching and performing. Peter is a structural engineer and loves to chat about concrete when hes not swinging-out on the dance floor. Pete stumbled across swing dancing eight-years ago and has been hooked ever since.
Matt Bedell and Laura Knight
Known as the boss of Brat Pack, Matt Bedell enlists Laura’s swing expertise in the training of this top London dance troupe. With a combined passion for lindy hop, visionary dance engineering and toe-tapping rhythms, you can expect explosive things from this pair of talented dancers.
Matt hails from the USA and has been dancing lindy hop since the late 1990s. He has performed in multiple shows around the country including Mercedes Ellington’s In the Basie Miller Mood, Broadway Dancin’ and Swing Dance America!, and a classic appearance on television’s Showtime at the Apollo in 2003. Matt has placed in various competitions including at The American Lindy Hop Championships from 2003 – 2006 and his award winning choreography earned the Brat Pack team 3rd place at the European Swing Dance Championships 2015.
Laura stumbled into a swing class back in 2009 and has never looked back. Since then she has taught dance locally in London and at events in Europe and around the UK. Laura founded Girl Jam – an annual solo dance event and the Dixie Dinahs – an award winning all-girl performance troupe. For a few years she also ran the London Swing Festival. Laura‘s never been very good at ‘spare time.’ She finds herself endlessly inspired by the music and the history of dance.
These days you’ll sometimes find her guest teaching the Brat Pack with Matt Bedell or teaching weekend workshops for Swing Patrol, but mostly, you’ll find her on the dance floor, trading phrases on the side or swinging out with a partner. Laura believes that social dancing is where magic happens. She makes no apologies for that.
Michaela Delmonte and Scott Cupit
Michaela and Scott team up again to bring some classic style and fresh inspiration for their classes at London Throwdown.
From his first introduction to swing Scott was instantly drawn to the energy of the dance, the music and the people. Scott’s love for swing dancing is contagious – with his first classes back in Melbourne starting with just 23 people on the first night they soon grew to over 200 people after only eight weeks! Fifteen years later Swing Patrol run weekly classes in Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, Berlin and London. Scott loves teaches weekly classes as well as running the business and he is often invited to teach abroad and at local scenes around the UK. After 15 years he still thinks he has the best job in the world.
Michaela is loved and admired throughout the London swing dance scene for her great teaching, brilliant dancing and calm and nurturing spirit. You will often see her flying through the air as one of London’s strongest aerialists or teaching the skill to others at an aerials workshop. She coaches the Skyliners alongside Ben Cook and Cat Foley and her co-choreography recently earned the team first place in the teams division at Savoy Cup 2017. Michaela also teaches at Swing Patrol Brixton and at Brixton Bounce and proudly says she has “the best students in the world”.