Local Instructors

Private Lessons

We are incredibly lucky to have so many of the top West Coast Swing talent living here in Denver, Colorado and teaching the lessons at each event. We know many of you would like to take your dancing to the next level and get individualized attention and instructions. Private lessons are a great way to hone your craft! With one-on-one time with an instructor, attention can be focused on the elements and aspects that are most important for your own dancing and help you achieve your goals much faster.

Below is a list of those instructors that provide private lessons and information to contact them:

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Alyx McCarthey

404-547-4923 (text or whatsapp only)

Alyx is a current All Star on the WCS circuit with a passion for competitive mindset, footwork, body mechanics, and musical play. She competes around the country, most recently on the Rising Star tour. 

Her background in movement and artistic disciplines is extensive - Alyx has been dancing WCS for 12 years, seven competitively, plus instructing for four years. Additionally, her artistic expression is guided by her 23 years in competitive figure skating and 4 years of professional K-Pop training and performance. 

She approaches teaching from a mentorship perspective, investing in each student’s long term growth and goal development. Alyx splits time between Denver in the Summer/Fall months and Boston in the Winter/Spring.


Aris DeMarco

720-663-1105 • Website

With an extensive background in strength training and athletic coaching, Aris sees West Coast Swing through the lens of human movement as a whole.

As a teacher, his goal is to make the best information for each student easily accessible for them. Aris strives to adjust both to each student's individual learning style, and their current understanding of the dance. He enjoys coaching everyone from casual social dancers, to serious competitors.

As a dancer, Aris is purposeful, adaptable, and heavily focused on physical connection to communicate.

As a student, he is proud to have learned from, and been mentored by, many of the greatest champions of the prior generation.

Reach out on social media or via email to schedule a private or semi private lesson, small group intensive, or video critique!

Derek Newman

Derek Newman has been dancing for over 20 years and teaching at the Mercury Cafe for 10 years. He began his dancing career in East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop, but has spent the past decade focused on West Coast Swing. He has competed across the country in West Coast Swing routine divisions and enjoys traveling to national dance events.

Find Derek at Mondays and Wednesdays teaching group classes and keeping Denver Westies running smoothly!

Gabi Wasserman


Gabi started dancing in college after watching Silver Linings Playbook and realizing his only chance to impress Jennifer Lawrence was to learn how to dance. He did not end up with Jennifer Lawrence but did embark on a highly successful endeavor into West Coast Swing. Gabi currently dances at the All Star competitive level and specializes in teaching musicality and advanced connection. You can catch Gabi teaching and dancing at any of the weekly Denver West Coast Swing social dances. 


Jonathan Prichard


Jonathan wishes that his first name was Alf so he could be at the very top of this instructor list. He started his WCS journey 12 1/2 years ago after spending several decades performing professionally on stage in plays, musicals, and doing long form comedic improv. Jonathan competes in the All-star division on the national WSC circuit and he's known for his white shoes, fancy footwork, and looking like the Temu version of Kyle Redd. For 2 years, he was the owner and event director of Swingtime but passed the torch so he could stay married. He's also insanely good at writings bios in the third person and convincing the reader that someone else wrote it for me... I mean him. 

Jonathan is an expert at making YOU not suck at WCS. How? Because he used to reaaaaaaally suck. Dance never came naturally to him. In fact, he dropped out of the musical theater program in college and ended up majoring only in acting because he was terrible at any form of dance. He was also almost fired from an off-broadway national tour when the director and choreographer learned that he couldn't dance. 

When Jonathan discovered WCS, it took him 5 years of taking group classes and private lessons before he had the courage to go out social dancing. It's taken him over a decade to both master and learn how to teach the science based techniques, skills, and drills to create the "illusion of always" being able to do WCS. If you're ready to take your dancing to the next level, give me... I mean him... a call today. Note: He's only available during the day when his 3 kiddos are in school (before 3pm) or when they're in bed (after 9pm).


Katie Montgomery


Katie Montgomery started dancing 30 years ago, learning how to partner dance with her dad at age 5. Katie explored many types of social and solo dancing styles, including waltz, lindy hop, blues, Argentine tango, salsa, zydeco, contra, country two step, Irish step, modern, ballet, and others, before discovering and falling in love with west coast swing in college. 

Partner dancing has always been about connecting with community and the joy of the social dance for Katie, and she loves sharing that enthusiasm for dance with those around her. In 2010, she started teaching west coast swing at Lesley University as a brand new class at the school. The Swing program at Lesley quickly grew to be one of the most popular electives offered and helped foster a resurgence of young dancers in the Boston west coast swing community that is still going strong today. She has since taught around the world including in Sydney, Australia, where she lived for 7 years, and now in the Greater Denver/Boulder Area. 

Katie excels at breaking down the dance and finding ways to communicate concepts that resonate with the learner. Come to Katie’s classes for a strong focus on technique and connection, and expect lots of energy and excitement!


Kira Stein

Having found her love for social dance at the University of Texas, Kira hasn't stopped dancing for more than 10 years. 

Experienced in country, latin, ballroom, and swing, and having most recently taught salsa and country in community and studio settings, moving to Denver provided an opportunity to dive into West Coast, start competing, and find those who share her love for the style through the thriving community here. 

Kira is overjoyed to now give time to community building efforts and west coast swing conventions at home and across the country, and gains much joy from helping beginners and beyond take their dancing to the next level. 


Lizzy Spann


For more than 13 years, immersed in the captivating rhythms of West Coast Swing, she’s soared through national competitions, currently ascending as an All-Star. Her dual passion for dance and music intertwines seamlessly — whether competing or enhancing dance events as a DJ — yet it’s the connection of social dancing that truly ignites her soul, a passion she wholeheartedly shares as she teaches, fostering joy and connection within the West Coast Swing community. 


Olga Khvan


Olga started her dance training when she was only 6 years old. Beginning with the ballroom dancing, she moved to individual dances, like hip hop and contemporary dance. She discovered West Coast Swing in 2012 and quickly fell in love with the dance. She trained in Russia and Europe with the greatest dancers, and is now competing at an All Stars division. 

Alongside dance, Olga is a yoga instructor, helping her to understand the biomechanics of human body and thereby achieve better alignment, balance, and body awareness, essential for performing dance movements. Beyond the competitions and performances, Olga is a dedicated teacher, sharing her love and knowledge of dance with others. 


Steve Penny


Steve has danced West Coast Swing socially since first starting at MADjam in 2009, and since then has danced WCS all over the world, from all parts of the U.S. to Paris and Tokyo. As a professional dance instructor for nearly 20 years, Steve is well-versed in all kinds of dance styles. Steve was a member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, taught for the University of Maryland ballroom Dance Team, and danced Ballroom Standard and Latin competitively at the Championship level.


Tashina Beckmann-King


Tashina King is an Internationally recognized top WCS instructor, coach and judge since 2014. She started dancing at the age of 2 1/2 and has trained, competed and performed in multiple solo dance styles (including hip hop, jazz, ballet, tap & more), all 8 styles of Country Ballroom and now specializes in West Coast Swing.

Tashina offers her students a unique and powerful blend of dance technique & skillsets paired with potent mindset coaching, strategies and structure. 

Her joy is assisting others in discovering the freedom and expansiveness that comes from dancing and empowering the dancer from a holistic perspective, so they can be their best selves, on and off the dance floor.


Terra Summers


Terra Summers has been dancing for over 20 years, with her experience starting in theater and musicals as a young girl, followed by cheer and poms in her teens, her passion for music grew throughout the years. As a teenager, her love for music & dance evolved into partner dancing starting in the country scene. She began teaching line dancing which led her to expand her horizons of partner dancing. Terra quickly became involved in West Coast Swing throughout Colorado and then soon throughout the country. 

Terra currently competes at the All-Star level on the WSDC circuit. She has won numerous titles for the National Association of Swing Dance Events, and other sanctioned World Swing Dance Council events across the country. She has ran and judged many events over the years and continues to work, teaching and sharing the love of dance with her community. Her passion and enthusiasm for teaching is contagious and loved by her students, while her friendly and outgoing personality makes learning from her fun and achievable. 

Terra has been teaching WCS for over 12 years and is currently training in ballroom Latin and Smooth dances. Planning to be certified by September 2024, Terra is excited for this next chapter of dance and teaching!

In addition, Terra runs an adaptive dance program called Inclusion Dance, formally “Dancing With Friends”, teaching young adults and children with disabilities to move in any way they can and enjoy the magic of dance. See here to learn more and get involved! 

When Terra isn’t teaching dance she is running her event planning business “Valora Events”. She specializes in Weddings, Fundraisers, and Dance Events. She truly enjoys helping people create magical moments and memories by bringing their ideas to life.