Now teaching in Seattle
Salsa, Ballroom and Latin Dance Specialist
JULIET McMAINS, Ph.D.
Juliet has just relocated to Seattle, WA to teach in the Dance Program the University of Washington. With an eclectic dance background--including ballroom, salsa, swing, ballet, jazz, modern, yoga, and dance history, Juliet brings a broad array of experience and perspective to her teaching. While twenty-four years of intensive study in multiple dance disciplines underlies the breadth of her knowledge, the depth of her insight into partnering cannot be overstated. She has been teaching salsa since 1997 and has introduced thousands of students to the excitement and joy of social salsa dancing. See testimonials to read what students are saying. She comes to Seattle from Orlando where she was teaching salsa and ballroom at the Zebra Room and at the University of Central Florida. As a DanceSport professional, she has taught at studios in Boston, California, and Florida, traveled internationally to perform and compete, won championships in the U.S. and Canada, and twice been named a U.S. National Rising Star finalist. She has taught in dance departments at universities in Florida and California. Juliet has a Ph.D. is Dance History and Theory from the University of California at Riverside and a B.A. in Women's Studies from Harvard University.
Juliet McMains has been studying dance for twenty-four years and teaching for the past nineteen. Her early training was in the disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz, and theatrical. In college, she was infected with the ballroom dancing virus. Soon she was devoting every spare minute and dollar to lessons and competitions. It even invaded her academic work, resulting in her senior thesis, "Tradition and Transgression: Gender Roles in Ballroom Dancing." Senior year of college, Juliet was president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Ballroom Dance Club, which won the national collegiate ballroom dance championships in 1994. She competed in amateur standard at the championship level after college before conceding that she was not actively pursuing a sensible career like other Harvard graduates because she was devoting all her time to dancing. So in January of 1997, Juliet "turned pro" so that she could justify spending so much time in a mirror-lined wooden box. A partner change at this time also precipitated a decision to switch her own competition focus from standard to Latin. In the fall of 1997, she moved to Southern California to pursue a Ph.D. in dance history and theory at the University of California, Riverside.
In California, Juliet threw herself into study of dance from many angles-that of professional dancesport competitor, entertainer, dance scholar, dance teacher, and social dance enthusiast. It was during this period of extensive participation in multiple dance communities that Juliet was able to develop her own theories about dance. Her academic work brought her into contact with multiple world dance forms and equipped her with tools for close movement and choreographic analysis. Training among Southern California's professional top dancesport competitors tuned her technical prowess in partnering. Late nights spent in Southern California nightclubs dancing salsa, swing, and tango taught her about improvisation, musicality, and playfulness. Working in Hollywood's entertainment industry, re-embracing ballet classes, discovering the tremendous benefits of yoga, and soaking in the myriad of performing companies touring Los Angeles have likewise contributed to her multifaceted approach to dance.
In 2001, Juliet relocated to Orlando, FL to pursue a professional dance partnership in International Latin with Radim Lanik and spread her newfound passion for social dance with Central Florida. During her five years in Central Florida, Juliet won many DanceSport competitions with Radim, and then later with American Smooth partner Rick Elliot. She also spent three semesters teaching in the nationally renowned dance department at Florida State University and two semesters teaching at the University of Central Florida. In 2003, she completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory and has since continued her dance scholarship by presenting papers at national and international conferences. Her current research projects include a history of salsa dance and an examination into the relationship between ballroom rumba and Afro-Cuban rumba. Juliet's academic specializations include dance ethnography, social dance history, post-structural theory, cultural studies, and feminist theory. For a taste of her academic work, see these publications:
McMains, Juliet. Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2006.
McMains, Juliet. "Brownface: Representations of Latin-ness in Dancesport." Dance Research Journal, 33/2, Winter 2001.
McMains, Juliet and Danielle Robinson. "Swinging Out: Southern California's Lindy Revival." I See America Dancing: Selected Readings, 1685-2000, Ed. Maureen Needham. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002.
Originally from Jamaica, Sean moved to the United States at age eleven, where he began studying trombone and pursuing his growing passion for jazz music. After high school, Sean joined the U.S. Army and played trombone in the 82nd Airborne Division Band. He then returned to school to pursue a degree in computer science and began intensive training in Wing Chun kung fu, which he continues today. After completing his degree and beginning work as a computer programmer, Sean was eventually lured into salsa classes in 2003. His prior musical training and the awareness of energy flow he had gained from martial arts enabled Sean to move quickly through his salsa education. Sean began studying casino style salsa, but soon switched to LA style salsa and began performing with Salsa Karibe Dance Team in 2004. It is, however, when he is dancing NY style salsa/mambo on2, that Sean feels his instincts as a jazz musician can be most fully expressed as a dancer. Impressed with his musicality, Juliet invited Sean to teach for Salsa Addiction in 2006. His patience, sense of humor, and ability to relate to a wide range of people quickly helped him become a superior teacher. Sean currently teaches classes on1 and on2. Sean's salsa style, marked by rhythmical shines and the ability to easily adjust to partners of varying skill sets, makes him a highly sought after dance partner for salseras of all levels.
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