Dance Instructors

We are happy to present free professional dance lessons. These lessons will be offered at River Run. Six professional dance instructors from around the country will be on hand to literally get festival attendees in the swing musically.

Josh and Emily McLaughlin

Josh & Emily started swing dancing about eight years ago. As a couple, they’ve been dancing for almost four years. They are co-owners of a company called Syncopated Rhythms. Their group of four dancers holds monthly workshops for the local scene. They DJ and teach regularly at various venues. They’ve been traveling quite a bit lately to complete, teach and DJ.

They have taught at Bal Rendesvouz, the Portland Lindy Exchange, Portland Fusion Exchange, Portland Parks and recreation, Come Raine, Come Shine, Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, and Oregon Dance Fair. In competitions they placed first in Oregon Dance Fair’s Lindy Competition 2007, and the Jack and Jill at Seattle Balboa Festival 2009.

Dan Newsome and Gaby Cook

Dan Newsome and Gabby CookDaniel Newsome has been a professional dancer, dj and historian for the last 10 years. In addition to teaching tens of thousands of students at Denver`s Mercury Cafe Daniel has also traveled to learn, teach, compete and has won at major national competitions such as the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Midwest Lindy Fest, Reno Dance Sensation, National Jitterbug Championships and the Rhythmic Arts Festival. He also co-founded, choreographed and coached 23 Skidoo, Denver`s nationally recognized swing team, and also has a new team in Seattle that won at ULHS in its first year. Daniel has dozens of first place wins, but his lifelong pursuit is touching as many lives as possible with the beauty and artistry of Lindy Hop, Shag, Balboa, Solo Jazz Dance and Tap. His goal is to bring music and dance to people in a way that inspires them and develops talent in anyone, regardless of background, age or ability.

Gabriella Cook has a broad-based professional background in dance, music and theater. Gabriella`s classical training comes from San Francisco Ballet where she performed in professional shows for nearly 10 years. She also danced with other institutions including Lines Ballet Company and Interlochen Center for the Arts exploring dance styles from ballet, to modern, to contemporary jazz. Over the last 5 years she has integrated this training into tango, Lindy hop and balboa. Since then she has been a dedicated performer, teacher and choreographer in Seattle, Portland and Providence. Gabriella teaches a core-centered approach to dance and balances the “zen” of following with historically-informed musical expression.


  1. […] great jazz bands playing that you had a hard time choosing who to dance to — and that is the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree! Plus they love dancers! This is a small dance crowd but lots of fun. You can go for the whole […]