SWING FIVE teachers and performers


Eliisa & Janek Õunamägi

Eliisa started dancing already in early childhood and only within couple of years, dancing became big part of her life. She has danced several styles but swing and step dance, which she was first introduced to in 1994, have remained closest to her heart. Back then she danced Lindy Hop and other swing dance styles as a part of a show dance and in competitions in Estonia and nearby countries. Growing up, she discovered the social side of Lindy, where the chemistry and teamwork between partners became very important to her. Today, Eliisa is constantly learning from the best Lindy Hop dancers of the world. Since 2012 she has devoted herself to teach and
spread the word of Lindy as a social dance.
Janek has danced since 2008. His heart was won over by many possibilities to improvise in Lindy Hop. Next to Lindy, he has also been active in folk dance. Since 2012, Janek is teaching Lindy Hop to all levels from beginners to advanced. Like Eliisa, he as well betters his dancing and teaching skills under the best Lindy Hop dancers there are.
Eliisa and Janek have danced together since 2008 and from 2012 they are the main dance teachers of the Tallinn Swing Dance Society. The amazing chemistry and teamwork these two have won’t be unnoticed by anyone on the dance floor. Their classes are fun and
captivating, where lot of stress is put on a follower and leader partnership techniques. Their main goal is to help people feel good with every partner on the dance floor.

Johannes Gustav Varkki & Laima Kirsimaa

Johannes Gustav found himself in his first swing dance lesson by a lucky chance back in 2012. He loved every minute of it and was hooked from the first steps and swinging tunes. Before Lindy Hop, Johannes had practiced a wide variety of hobbies that later turned out helped his dance career in a big way – BMX, piano, basketball, swimming, karate etc. He enjoys the social aspect, freedom and inspiring music in dancing. Johannes has attended different international swing dance festivals in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Italy and Czech Republic. He also has been teaching Lindy Hop since 2014.
Laima started dancing in 2013 and has been honing her skills in her home scene and abroad in numerous workshops and festivals. In 2014 she put on her teaching shoes. For Laima the endless playfulness, the creative ways of self-expression and the connection through body language in a sauce of music are the most attractive aspects of swing dances.
Laima and Johanned Gustav have been dancing together since 2014. They have created and performed a couple of swing dance choreographies together and also participated in competitions. They also teach together and in their classes focus on friendly atmosphere, joy and freedom in dancing and the improvisation within lead and follow dance principles.

Katharina Matkevitš

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Having been dancing flamenco for years, Katharina discovered the world of swing dance in 2014. She fell in love to Lindy Hop already from the first rock-step and couldn’t imagine having any other day without swing music and dancing. From there on, she’s constantly searching for new ways to develop her dancing skills and dance vocabulary. She has actively taken part in several workshops and dance festivals in Estonia and abroad like Poland, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Germany and Lithuania. Next to Lindy Hop, Katharina also dances Shag and Balboa, mastering her skills both as a leader and a follower. For Katharina, the most important aspect of dancing is to interpret the music. The second most important thing is to genuinely enjoy dancing from all of your heart so it can be reflected from the smile of your dancing partner.
photo: MorroW Shoots

Remigijus Rančys


Remigijus Rančys is a young jazz artist with multiple and rapidly unfolding talents – he plays the saxophone, keyboards and flute, composes and arranges music. The stylistic sympathies of this universal musician lie with the jazz tradition, but in addition to jazz classics, he also takes interest in world music and the ethnic branches of the mainstream of jazz – Balkan, Gypsy, Brazilian and African music. An active musician and composer, Rančys is an initiator and participant of numerous projects.                                                    Jūratė Kučinskaitė

Ülo Mälgand


Ülo is an Estonian musician, composer, arranger and a teacher. Before starting to work as a concertmaster of a rhythm section in the Estonian Police and Border Guard Orchestra BIG BAND in 2003, he worked as a concertmaster in a professional brass band. Throughout the years, Ülo has been active in several music groups. Since 2002 he has arranged and played clavier in Dave Benton Latin-Caribbean Show and Dance Band and Dave Benton Perfect Band, which is well known among Estonians. He has collaborated with some of the top vocalists and musicians in Estonia as well as participated in a making of 100 recordings. He has been the creator of two groups called the Modern Fox and the New Murphy Band where he arranged most of the pieces. He has also edited several pieces to be played by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Orchestra BIG BAND. Since 1991, Ülo has worked at the Georg Ots’ Tallinn Music school as a rhythmic teacher and as a concertmaster of a rhythmic singing department.


The Schwings Band (LT)


Music, performed by The Schwing band will carry the listener to the the 1930s, filled with the sounds of Swing and Hot Jazz. Improvisation, tinctured with warm, acoustic, rhythm-based tones, is the cornerstone of these genres. Band’s repertoire includes interpretations of original compositions also melodies of Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins and other well known jazz musicians of the era. Instrumentalists of the trio are excellent jazz musicians of the new generation, actively performing in Lithuania, as well as abroad.
Remigijus Rančys – saxophones, melodion, pandeiro
Richardas Banys – piano
Paulius Volkovas – guitar
Gediminas Svilas – double bass

Anna Curly

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Anna played her first piano pieces already at the age of 4. But considering the fact that her father was a piano teacher and her mother a concertmaster at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, it was not surprising. After graduating classical piano at the Tallinn Music High School, Anna continued her studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. But due to her arm injury, she had to switch from piano to teaching music and that’s when she discovered singing. Today Anna has become a charming and captivating singer and a music teacher in Estonia, using Anna Curly as her stage name. As the bubbly and joyous swing music from the 1930’ is Anna’s favourite, it took her to study swing and step dance. Therefore don’t be surprised when you see this delightful singer off stage on the dance floor doing rock-steps during her concerts. https://www.facebook.com/annacurlymusic/

Airi Allvee


Airi Allvee is one of the most unique and most versatile Estonian female singers. During her 25-year-long career she has been mostly known as a fabulous jazz singer, but blues and 50s rock’n’roll have always had a special place in her heart. Airi has worked with bands like White House, New Murphy Band, Hot Pipes, Modern Fox, After All, Underwater, Estonian Dream Big Band, Compromise Blue and many others. Facebook