Our Teachers

Since 1997, Big City Swing has been Chicago’s destination for Swing and Lindy Hop instruction and performance. Our staff members study extensively with their peers and highly revered national and international instructors. In addition to completing the Big City Swing Teacher Training Program, Julee screens each staff member for patience, mastery of the material, and of course, a wicked sense of humor. We hope you get to meet each of our fabulous teachers.



Audra Lawlor

Audra Lawlor has been an instructor at Big City Swing since 2007.  She teaches swing, balboa, lindy hop and wedding dance.  She is known for enthusiasm and patience while teaching.  Students have remarked on her ability to assess their movement and break complex dance concepts into smaller understandable steps, all while making the classroom environment fun.


Andrew Twiss – Senior instructor

Andrew has been teaching and performing with Big City Swing since it was founded in 1997. Andrew’s keen sense of connection and incredible creativity has awarded him an international reputation as a fantastic dancer. Andrew is also a performance team coach.

Bob Bednarz

Bob began dancing in 2004. In referencing is his own swing dancing education, Bob is most focused on perfecting basic fundamentals that have a strong impact on your dancing. He balances that perfectly with a relaxed and encouraging teaching style that ensures students progress with confidence. In addition, he is one of Chicago’s premier jazz DJs. Nicknamed “DJ Thor,” he always “brings the thunder”.


Jackie George

Jackie took her first lindy class back in 2000 at Northwestern University and was immediately hooked. Since then, she has studied several different dances, from ballroom to “Britney”, but Lindy will always be her first love. Jackie is known for her patience and enthusiasm in class, and those performance faces.


Jenna Stworzyjanek – Senior Instructor (1/1/14)

Jenna began her teaching at the University of Chicago and joined Big City Swing’s team in 2005. She specializes in Swing, Lindy, Balboa and Wedding Dance. Her teaching is concise and powerful and her supportive nature instills confidence in all of her students.


John Holmstrom

John began dancing in 2005 in Chicagoland and joined the Swing Society at the University of Illinois in 2006, where he grew as a dancer, organizer, DJ, and instructor. In 2009, he began traveling nationally to further his dancing through classes and competition, both individually and as a member of the Hoosier Hot Shots. Now that he is returning to Chicago, he is excited to share what a happy dance Lindy Hop is with all of you!


Jon Dyer

Jonathan started and fell in love with Lindy Hop in 2007 while attending school at University of Northern Colorado. His dancing flourished through his residency in Denver and dance travels around the country. He now calls the Windy City home and is excited to share his love of creative vintage Jazz Movement with us.


Louis Parks

Lou is one of the incredible Swing I instructors. He has a wonderful rapport with the students and a great ability to break the movements down into understandable and doable chunks of information. And he dances with all the ladies on graduation night.


Luke Holladay

Luke has been dancing swing for over seven years and is very happy to have found his dance home at Big City Swing. He enjoys the many challenges of teaching and performing, and plans to be a lindyhopper for the rest of his life.


Melissa Rutherfoord

Melissa was introduced to lindy hop in 1997 in her hometown of Phoenix, AZ. She moved to Tucson in 2001 and briefly joined the University of Arizona’s swing dance club, the SwingCats. She took a hiatus from dancing and moved to Chicago to establish her career as a theatrical scenic artist. She rediscovered her love for lindy in 2010 through Big City Swing and has danced nonstop ever since. Instructing since 2012, she is grateful to have the opportunity to share her love of lindy hop with those discovering it for the first time, as well as those finding their way back.


Nora McMahon

Nora started swing dancing in 1997 in Philly, where she soon started teaching Lindy Hop. She moved to San Francisco’s eclectic dance scene in 1999, where she trained and performed for 7 years with Loose Change Dance Company, under the direction of the world renowned Eric Fenn. Nora looks forward to bringing her teaching experience to BCS.


Renaudo Christiansen-Robinson – Assistant Director of Operations

Renaudo moved to Chicago in 2010, upon graduating from the University of Michigan, where he began his ballroom training. Renaudo continues to practice ballroom, while exploring the world of Swing, Lindy, and other genres of dance. After spending a year as the Studio Manager for Big City Swing’s sister studio, Dance Center Chicago, Renaudo has join the team full time and overseas operations for both studios. Renaudo is also a classically trained violinist, and preforms regularly throughout the Chicago area.


Stephen Cavill

Stephen has been living in Chicago since 2010 but has been dancing regularly since 2007. Stephen enjoys moving to music that has good, strong beats – the kind of music that makes him want to dance! He likes learning and teaching new moves, refining his and others technique and making dancing feel fun.


Teresa Borowski

Teresa Borowski has been dancing, teaching, and competing since 2009, starting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since then, she has traveled nationally, challenging herself and bettering herself as a dancer, successfully competing both individually and as part of a team. Now that she resides in Chicago, she is excited to share the joy of dance with you!