Staff

Photo by: Eric Santoro at Summer Swing Fest 2023

MC and Live Stream

Paul has been dancing in Southern California since 2004 and is passionate about sharing the joy of dance through social dancing, teaching, content creation, competing, and DJing. He has been awarded Inspiration Weekend’s “Inspiration Award,” Camp Hollywood’s “Golden Budgie” and Camp Jitterbug’s “Spirit of Lindy Hop” award for his commitment to serving the dance community. He recently moved to Sacramento where he teaches regularly at Midtown Stomp.

Photographer

Jesse Frome is an avid PNW mountain climber who began his photography career in 2020 by capturing late-evening landscape shots from high places with an old phone. 

A former rock drummer in his youth, he uses his skills as a percussionist to predict the rhythm between dancers in the ballroom

His best are lit like a sunset, framed like a landscape, and timed to the beat.

Lights, camera, action!

Videographer

Eric Santoro has been passionate about video production and film since his childhood.

It's been a privelege to turn his lifelong passion into his profession, as he works as a photographer and videographer in Arizona.

Eric is also an enthusiastic swing dancer, with 8 years of experience in Lindy Hop and Balboa.

Combining his love for videography and dance, he is thrilled to capture the dynamic and joyful moments of any event! Feel free to ask him for a dance if you see him around!

April Hornbuckle (AZ)

Fast Feet and Late Night DJ

Phoenix's favorite Georgia transplant, DJ Peach, fell in love with swing dance after being thrown into a class while in college. It became a way to connect movement to the music she had been introduced to and admired from an early age. In the last 6 years, she has organized and DJed multiple events on either ends of the country. She loves deep diving into jazz collections and finding jewels to share with fellow dancers.

Morgan Day (CA)

House DJ

Morgan Day has been swing dancing since 1997, and DJing swing music for dancers since 2003.  He's DJ'd at major international swing events, such as Camp Hollywood/National Jitterbug Championships, the Herräng Swing Dance Camp (Sweden), and Lindy On The Rocks (Denver, CO). Morgan is constantly researching and finding historic jazz music as well as new bands for dancers to enjoy, and leads The Mad Hat Hucksters, a swing band based out of San Diego, CA.

Photo by Jesse Frome

Sydney and Thomas Abel (AZ)

Contest Coordinators

Meet Sydney & Thomas Abel - your dynamic duo of contest coordination. Trained in relative placement and known for precision, the Abels are excited to bring their expertise to Summer Swing Fest 2024! Past events they’ve worked with include (but are not limited to) Lindy on the Rocks, Stormy Weather, Great Lakes Balboa Escape, California Balboa Classic, Hot Rhythm Holiday, Hot Jazz Jamboree, Intercollegiate Swing Battle, For Follows Sake & more! 


They don’t accept bribes, but I hear if you pick up your number early and are on-time for prelims, the competition gods play in your favor.

Nick Whorley (AZ)

Event Support Master

Nick Whorley, non-discriminant lover of shag dances, and unquestionable socializer is excited to support one of the hottest events, in the hottest of states. He will be prepared to meet the heat with enthusiasm, dancing prowess, and more than a fair number of spare shirts throughout each evening.

Getting off to a fashionably late start, Nick found his way into swing dancing at the almost youthful age of 31. He fell in love with swing at the Mercury Café in Denver, CO under the string lighting and began dancing lindy hop and balboa for a number of years. Lately, shag has nudged its way back into his every waking thought. He’s performed on a handful of teams, from the Mercury Retros, Quicksilvers, Phoenix Bomb Squad, and a number of one-off routines. 

Local to Phoenix, AZ these days, he complains about the heat (which he is begrudgingly adjusting to), and then sings praises about the community members he has found in the desert. In the valley area, you’ll catch him teaching Carolina Shag (yes, Ashley won the war), lindy hop, jazz routines, and pretty much anything he might find interesting in the world of dance. He is an aerial enthusiast who loves to send his flyer partners through the sky. He takes particular care to bring them back to the ground, feet first. 

Looking to support great dances, great dancers, and the community at large, Nick is along to support the event across a wide variety of event needs coming from his background as a venue operator and event manager. Need help, just flag Nick down any time. He’ll be happy to oblige, so don’t sweat it (he’ll do that for you too). 

Photo by Jerry Almonte

Organizer and Soul Night DJ

Ashley Cohen Conner, the driving force behind Summer Swing Fest, is excited to bring back one of the hottest events of the year. Following last year's success, Ashley is determined to enhance the local dance and music scenes in Swing Fest's second year!

Ashley's journey into dance began at the age of 5, evolving into social dancing at 15. Specializing in Lindy Hop, Carolina Shag, Collegiate Shag, Balboa, and Charleston, she brings a wealth of expertise to the festival. In addition to DJing all across the southwest, she has also been a part of multiple regional and national events.

Locally, she has worked as the Volunteer and DJ Coordinator for BadAZ Balboa, SWINGdepenDANCE, and Phoenix Lindy Exchange, as well as the Logistics Coordinator and Marketing for Jazz Jam '23, Swing Dance for a Cause, and Tucson Swing Festival. She has also acted as the Ballroom Manager for The Great Southwest Lindyfest in Houston.

With a commitment to community building, she aims to make this year's Summer Swing Fest a celebration where attendees leave with a renewed dedication to their local dance and music scenes.