Instructors & Classes

Whether you are looking to bring your dance to the next level or to learn the fundamentals, San Diego has a robust and large selection of talented instructors and classes. Click on their images below for more information or scroll to the bottom to view current classes and join in on a group class.

San Diego WCS Instructors

Other Instructors: Brandi Guild, Conor McClure

Current Weekly Classes (Updated 11/9/23)​

If this is your first time taking class, please always check with the studio for most the updated schedule!


Chris Chung
7pm: WCS Basics and Beyond
8pm: Intermediate Concepts

Location: McCann Dance


Brandi Guild/Jade Bryan (rotating)
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: WCS Basics
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: WCS Beyond Basics

Location: Starlight


Parker Dearborn
6pm: The Basics
7pm: The Bridge
7:30pm: Top Swing

Location: Dance Headquarters


Parker Dearborn
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: West Coast Swing Bridge to Intermediate
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: West Coast Swing Intermediate

Location: Starlight

Aiden Keith-Hynes

Since first discovering the dance in 2004, Aidan has worked towards mastering not just his own dance abilities, but his teaching and DJing skills as well. Recently reaching the level of Champion in J&J contests, after finaling at 23 events and becoming the points leader of the All-Star division throughout 2023, Aidan has proven himself repeatedly as one of the most creative, connected, and technical leaders on the circuit. Some of his recent accomplishments include 1st place at Budapest 2023 and Grand Nationals 2023, as well as 3rd place at Seattle Easter 2023, Desert City 2023, The Open 2022 and Boogie by the Bay 2022.

Aidan currently teaches out of Starlight Dance Studio in San Diego, CA, and is available for private lessons throughout the day and evening due to his flexible work schedule.

Call or Text: (818) 359-6435

Available for group workshops, private lessons, choreography (including pro-ams), video review, and Dj’ing social nights.


Chantelle Pianetta

Chantelle began her dance journey at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving on to the School of American Ballet in New York City. However, it was while studying at Columbia University that she discovered her love for swing dance through the CU Swing Club. In 2010, Chantelle made the decision to pursue dance full-time and returned to California, where she has been teaching and performing professionally ever since. 

Chantelle is the only person to work concurrently as a Champion West Coast Swing dancer and a company-level professional ballet dancer. During season breaks from Golden State Ballet, she travels the world teaching and performing WCS with her partner in life, Joel Torgeson. She has placed top 5 in Showcase at the last three US Open events and top 10 in Classic twice with Christopher Dumond. In 2023, Chantelle was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame as a Nova Star.

Teaches at Starlight Dance Studio


Available for private lessons



Chris has been dancing West Coast Swing for the past 10 years. Within this time, Chris has successfully developed a community in Maui and currently teaches and DJs in San Diego and the Socal area. Prior to West Coast Swing, Chris came from a breakdancing background, which influenced his teaching style, from body movement, functionality, and most of all, the music. Chris is known for his musicality, smooth connection, and having fun wherever he goes. He loves sharing “light bulb” moments and working with students who want to grow. 

Teaches at McCann Dance

Call or Text: (631) 335-3531

Available for group workshops, private lessons, and Dj’ing social nights. Currently teaching group classes.


Demetre (Meech) Souliotes

West Coast Swing – Dancer / Teacher / Judge / Choreographer / DJ / Event Director

Demetre has been performing and competing professionally in the top division in the world, the Champions Division, for over 20 years. He travels the world as a sought after Choreographer, Coach, Teacher, Judge, DJ, and Mentor. He runs local dance scenes in LA & SD, owns two annual dance conventions, and is a premier videographer in the dance space. He is one of a handful of current Champion Dancers who have helped shape what WCS is today, he been nominated to the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame 5 times and has been voted into the Champion of Champions Division by the top dancers in the word, 4 times.


Available for group workshops, private lessons, and Dj’ing social nights.



Jade started dancing at 3 training in jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop. At 17 she was introduced to partnership dancing and started training at Fred Astaire Dance Studio. After 3 years she started competing in American Smooth and Rhythm as well as West Coast Swing. Now Jade is an Independent Instructor that teaches all over San Diego county as well as across the United States. Currently she competes in the All-star division for West Coast Swing and won the Top Follow in the NASDE circuit for 2017. She also competes Pro- Am for West Coast Swing, American Smooth and American Rhythm. When Jade is not traveling she is helping the local dance scene teaching private lessons, group classes and deejaying at local events. 

Teaches at Champion Ballroom

Available for privates. Currently teaches group classes locally.

Call or Text: (858) 525-1225 


Joel Torgeson

Growing up in rural Minnesota, Joel’s love for dance was sparked by his friend Jack, who encouraged him to try out the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club. Joel’s passion for dance only grew from there, leading him to put his higher education studies in Biological Anthropology on hold to pursue his dance dreams in California. Now as a West Coast Swing Champion dancer, he tours the world with his partner Chantelle Pianetta, performing and teaching. In addition to his dance pursuits, Joel runs Feather Three, a dancewear brand, and shares his thoughts on dance and life through his blog at

Teaches at Starlight Dance Studio


Available for private lessons



Whether she’s competing, teaching, or performing, Champion West Coast Swing dancer Larisa Tingle always radiates her classy yet sassy style. A four-time US Open Classic division finalist, Larisa has also placed in the top 5 of many Champion J&J and Strictly competitions. Her expertise and passion for dance, music, and the technical side of WCS allows her to educate and inspire everywhere she goes.

When she’s not traveling, Larisa can be found in San Diego, CA where she owns and operates Starlight Dance Studio. At Starlight she cultivates community by providing a space for amazing instructors and a home for local dancers.

Available private lessons, group lessons, group classes, choreography and performances.

Call or Text: (619) 597-9494



Lisa Picard

Lisa first started dancing at the age of 4 in different styles such as ballet, tap and jazz. She then began training in ballroom at the age of 8 and began competing in ballroom at the age of 14. Training in mainly International latin and American Rhythm & Smooth, Lisa began teaching ballroom in 2008 before she found her new found passion for West Coast Swing in 2010. She attended her first convention at Swingtime in the Rockies and became hooked to the versatile nature of West Coast Swing. She began competing in West Coast Swing in 2010 and now competes in the Champion division on the WSDC circuit. She also won the US Open Swing Dance Championships in 2019 in the Rising Star division and now currently competes in NASDE Classic routine division with her partner Conor McClure. She’s best known for her technique and patience as a follower and has placed top 5 in numerous JnJ, Strictly, and Classic routine divisions.

Contact: Call or text: 310-938-7331

Available for Private lessons, group lessons, group classes, choreography, video review


Melissa Rutz

Melissa Rutz began her training at a young age with the San Francisco Ballet School. She has a B.A. in Dance and has an extensive background in classical ballet, ballroom, theater arts, Lindy Hop & West Coast Swing. Currently, Melissa teaches, competes, judges, choreographs, and performs across the globe. She is ranked among the top west coast swing dancers in the world and has won numerous champion level competitions including Showcase, Classic, Strictly Swing, Team, and Jack & Jill’s. Melissa is known for her dance versatility, soulful musicality and expressiveness.

Studios Dance Headquarters, Starlight Dance Studio

Call or Text: (415) 944-0404

Available for private lessons, choreography, workshops

Parker Dearborn

Parker Dearborn began swing dancing at age 14 and was an active competitor, achieving notoriety early on, soon becoming a west coast swing dance champion. He is a US Open Showcase division champion and has won numerous Champion Strictly Swing & Jack & Jill competitions. Parker is a passionate teacher, judge, emcee, and promoter. Today he is partnered with Melissa Rutz and together they are a spark of energy, creating dynamic action and reaction while maintaining a strong connection to their swing roots. 

Call or Text: (415) 994-6698

Studios: Dance Headquarters, Starlight Dance Studio
Available for private lessons, choreography, workshops