Teachers & Class Descriptions


Photo by Rose Room Photography

Natalia Eristavi

Natalia (she/her) is a visual artist and a jazz dancer, teacher and performer based in San Diego, California. Her swing and jazz adventures began in late 2010 although she had been dancing since the age of 4 and considers movement to music akin to breathing. Since her first steps into the professional swing dance circuit around 2012, she has taught, competed and performed at many notable national and international dance events, acquiring numerous awards along the way.

While performing and teaching are a great source of passion for her, Natalia feels the most fulfilled when creating meaningful connections with her students and colleagues on the social dance floor.

Photo by Martell Stepney

Christian Frommelt

Hello, I’m Christian Frommelt (he/him/his), a swing dancer and musician from St. Louis, Missouri. As a teacher, organizer, and social dancer, I’ve dedicated much of my life to bringing people together through music and dance. The African-American vernacular dance values of spontaneity, rhythmic propulsion, and communal improvisation captivated me as a teenager, and I’ve been bent on learning jazz-based artforms ever since. It has become a privilege to also share the stories, sounds, and skills I’ve gained along the way as a teacher, writer, and performer. 

I’m proud to have been recognized with competitive accolades at the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown and the International Lindy Hop Championships, which include awards for choreography with Jenny Shirar. For nine years I served as co-organizer of the renowned Nevermore Jazz Ball & St. Louis Swing Dance Festival and Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl in the effort of collective expression. I’ve played piano for the Gaslight Squares jazz band since 2019.

Photo by Jerry Almonte

Irina Amzashvili

Dancing in all forms has been a lifelong passion for Irina (she/her). In 2009, at the age of 15, she stumbled upon Swing dancing and it took only one night of social dancing for her to fall head over heels in love with it. Though Lindy Hop was her gateway into the world of Swing, Irina's passion quickly expanded to include Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and solo jazz. She is proud to have spent her formative years of dancing in Southern California, home to some of the best Swing dancers, teachers, and music in the world. 

Irina has since received numerous accolades from events such as Camp Hollywood, The International Lindy Hop Championships, and Lindy Focus and has taught these dances all across the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Australia. Additionally, she is honored to have been inducted into the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame in 2019 and the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2022.

Irina's teaching style can best be described as patient and encouraging. Her goal is to guide her students through building solid foundations while inspiring individuality in personal movement, as well as helping build confidence through dance.

Photo provided by Jacob Wigger

Jacob Wigger

Jacob started swing dancing in 2003 and has been hooked ever since.

Jacob discovered his love of Balboa in 2005 and began traveling to various events and competitions not much later. His first love is social dancing but he also enjoys competing as a way to set goals and push himself. As a teacher he enjoys using a mix of humorous analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.

Jacob has been teaching at national and international events for the last 15 years. He has honed his ability to break down and analyze the dance to make complex and dynamic movement happen with ease and comfort. He is known for his intricate, yet traditionally based, Pure Bal, as well as his unique shapes and movement in Bal Swing. He is also known for his continuous flow and effortless way of floating across the dance floor, while maintaining a highly rhythmic feel.

Jacob’s primary goal in all his partnerships has been to connect in a way that works for both him and his partner to find what they can create together. This has resulted in numerous placements and wins at all levels of competition, but more importantly, having ever-evolving social dances.

Photo by Jerry Almonte

Thalia Dimitirou

Thalia (she/her) has always been an avid dancer–from tap and jazz to Hellenic folk dancing, she hasn’t stood still since the age of 4! Her passion for music and dancing found a new home in the swing dance community back in 2015, and it was love at first sight. As she went from social dancer, to organizer, and eventually teacher, Thalia continues to find joy in the creativity and unique forms of expression that swing dancing offers on and off the floor. Every dance presents an opportunity to learn, adapt, and have the most fun non-verbal conversation with friends old and new. 

You can find Thalia dancing the night away right here in St. Louis, Missouri. And if she happens to sing along to songs while you’re dancing together, she apologizes–she just can’t help it! 

Photo by Veronica Whittemore

Xander Benziger

Xander (he/him) started his swing dance journey in 2018 by taking some local classes but quickly began traveling to events across the country to learn more and share that knowledge with local dancers. He has dedicated lots of time to cultivating a caring and friendly balboa scene in St. Louis and brings that friendly nature with him wherever he goes. Xander is very playful, musical, and creative in his dancing. Xander also has a passion for teaching, and always puts his best effort into making material as fun and understandable as possible. He excels at encouraging his students to try new and challenging concepts while providing the support and knowledge to help them succeed. 

Class Descriptions


Taught by Xander & Thalia



Welcome to Balboa! - Let’s get those feet shuffling and start building the foundation you’ll need to kick start your Balboa journey. 


TBD by mid-late summer



Morning - Taught by Irina & Jacob

TBD by mid-late summer

Afternoon - Taught by Natalia & Christian

TBD by mid-late summer



Morning - Taught by Natalia & Christian


Afternoon - Taught by Irina & Jacob


All Level

All Dance MO Bal participants will be split into two all level groups. Everyone will have the chance to take both classes - just not at the same time due to capacity. You will take one class in the morning and the other in the afternoon.


Natalia & Christian 

TBD by mid-late summer

Irina & Jacob

TBD by mid-late summer