From your hosts – Rob & Diane van Haaren
We’re excited you’ve ventured this far into our site because it exhibits your healthy level of interest. It would further delight us to meet you in person at one of our venues or events and better welcome you to the music, passion and sheer joy of our incredible dance styles.
We invite you to the greatest opportunity of learning any, or all, aspects of: East Coast Swing, Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa Swing, Lindy Hop, Rock & Roll, Line Dancing, Country Two-step, County Swing and Vernacular Jazz originally called Boogie Woogie. We have amazing teachers and no matter if you come by yourself or if it is your first time or you are a seasoned dancer, they will inspire you! And did we tell you that we have one of the friendliest communities around as you will be welcomed as an instant member of our dance family!
Check out some of the pictures from around the world in this slide show. Description of people and places are written below when hovering over the picture.
Rob & Diane van Haaren
What sets Rob & Diane apart from other dance instructors
Rob & Diane are known as trendsetters and have been instrumental in the resurgence of Swing in the US and abroad. They have been dancing Lindy Hop since 1984 (Rob) and 1995 (Diane) consecutively and were invited and have professionally taught in over 20 countries worldwide from Europe to Russia, South Africa and Korea to Australia and New Zealand and in the US. They introduced Balboa, Vernacular Jazz, Collegiate Shag and helped reintroduced the Lindy Hop in many of these places.
Rob connected with others interested in Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz - first with Chester Whitmore and Steven Mitchell in the 1980’s - and in the early 1990’s with Lennart Westerlund of the Rhythm Hot Shots, Marcus and Barbl and Ryan Francois. Rob met Diane, his perfect match in 1995 at a dance contest she won and they’ve been inseparable, practically within arms-length, ever since. Diane started with East Coast Swing and Rob started with Dean Collins Style Lindy with Jonathan and Sylvia in 1984. Their partnership developed into teaching, building swing communities and traveling the world extensively including the Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden for 18 years.
Some people call them trendsetters and others call them old timers. They were there from the very beginnings of the revival of Swing. Their knowledge and their teaching methods have helped rekindle the new Swing Movement and inspired a whole new generation of dancers and teachers around the world. They share some of the styling and historic perspective of the dance and are known for their own unique smooth style of dancing.
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 want to see what sparks your excitement and makes you smile, so experience the joy of dance with Rob & Diane.
Call Rob directly on his dedicated US mobile number (+1) 512 393 1622 to discuss any questions, confirm dates and venues and/or make one-on-one appointments. Because they may be teaching, if you’re directed to voice mail, please clearly leave your name and number – and Rob or Diane will gladly return your call.
Or, email Rob & Diane at: firstname.lastname@example.org