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Our Story - A Journey with Rob and Diane van Haaren

What sets Rob & Diane apart from other dance instructors

ROB & DIANE - YOUR HOSTS & TEACHERS

Rob & Diane have been instrumental in the resurgence of Swing in the US and abroad. They have extensively taught in over 20 countries worldwide from Europe to Russia, South Africa and Korea to Australia and New Zealand and in the US for over 25 years.

 

Known as Trend Setters in the resurgence of Swing in the mid 1990's, they created a huge following in San Francisco Bay area filling night clubs with 300 students a night followed by live music. They appeared on TV and toured with the likes of Winton Marsalis and performed at a presidential function where they met the President of the the USA in person.

 

Their popularity is based on their knowledge, passion, their contagious enthusiasm and also their fun approach on teaching beginners and improving dancers and skillfully pass on the material they have personally learned from the original masters of the Swing Era, all with a smile.

 

Nine years ago, together with their two kids, they moved to New Braunfels where they have committed themselves to building a fun and welcoming community, being Voted Best of New Braunfels multiple years in a row. Rob was awarded the Citizen of the Year award in 2022-23 where he together with Diane was "Thanked for the joy and enthusiasm that you bring to our community ... encouraging all to share your commitment to living life fully.

 

Experience the fun and excitement and try a "Learn to Dance in a Day" Swing and Country Two Step Workshop or join their 3 month Progressive Series in Swing, Lindy Hop, Country Two Step and also Line Dancing together with other great teachers and see how it will change your life! Come dancing with the great, welcoming and inclusive community at Swing Junction!

New Classes start on September 5th and 6th. They are moving to a new location in September, so make sure you sign up on their newsletter at the bottom of any page.

Here is Rob & Diane dancing socially, Swing Dancing at the informal teacher introduction at "Rock that Swing" festival in Munich Germany in 2021 with over 3000 participants when all 53 teachers were intoroduced. 

Rob and Diane social dancing at the teachers introduction of Rock that Swing Festival Munich Germany February 2020. Biggest Swing and Boogie Woogie event in the world with over 3000 participants in just over 4 days.

Over the 20+ years Rob and Diane developed a special relationship working side by side with Frankie Manning, Norma Miller and many of the original dance masters from Los Angeles and they became like family. In the early 1990’s Rob created one of the first US based International Swing Festivals focused on Lindy Hop, Shag, Tap and Vernacular Jazz:  The Santa Barbara International Swing Dance Festival in California brought teachers and special guest from around the world like the Rhythm Hot Shots from Sweden, Chester Whitmore, Ryan Francois from London, Fayard Nicholas of the famous Nicholas Brothers, and of course the legend himself Frankie Manning.

 

They developed a large Swing Club and dance scene in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1996 to 2003 in various venues from the Broadway Studios to Swing Central with weekly live Swing Bands. They provided entertainment to large and small corporations, produced events and workshops while running their own performance group "The Swing Cats Rhythm Revue”

Their popularity was grown organically without the assistance of youtube or competitions, and is based on their extensive knowledge on all the original dances like Lindy Hop, Shag, Balboa and the Original Boogie Woogie (Jazz) - learned directly from the original legends. Their fun approach, passion and contagious enthusiasm earned them the hearts of many they taught, skillfully passing on the material with an ice breaking joke and smile. 

 

Away from the commercial entertainment spotlight, Rob & Diane choreographed and taught for various universities, including Stanford and Riverside. One of Diane’s highlights was performing with the Rhythm Hot Shots in their US tour of their Show “What is this thing called Swing”. Frankie Manning named "Diane one of the best followers in the world" and "Rob and Diane one of the top teachers in the world". Wow - what a compliment from a legend!

 

While being totally dedicated parents to two teenagers, there’s absolutely no hint of their energy and enthusiasm waning. But they will tell you that their best accomplishment has been that they have had a chance to meet, work and play with many inspiring dancers and share their passion to students around the globe, and now locally to those in San Antonio and in their hometown of New Braunfels Texas - and call them all family

 

They look forward to meet you and see your excitement and what makes you smile!

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 Rob & Diane van Haaren 
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Here Social Dancing at Krauses in New Braunfels TX

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