Katja Završnik started dancing at the age of 5 and through the years studied various forms of dance such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Ballroom, Gymnastics and Acrobatic Rock and Roll for 9 years.
Since 2005 she has focused on early American dances from the Jazz age and Swing era, such as the Lindy Hop, Swing, Balboa, Charleston, St. Louis Shag and Authentic jazz. Her knowledge of (almost) all swing dances allows Katja to adapt her dance to any type of dancer. Which places her on the market among one of the best followers understanding connection and reactivity.
She is an elegant dancer. At first, you’ll be seduced by her style based by subtlety and finesse. But if you look a little closer you’ll be surprised by her musicality and footwork. Her focus on musicality and connection makes her one of the most sought after followers in the scene.
Her shyness – as probably her Slovenian origin as well – gives at first a „cold“ feeling. But don’t make any mistake : she loves to laugh, to party and simply have fun. During a dance, she is one of the few followers to never refuse a dance and also often the last to leave the dance floor.
Currently living in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Katja travels doing special weekend workshops and festivals. In the past 10 years she has taught and performed all over Europe, Asia and USA.
Thanks to his parents, Smiltys had been familiar with jazz music since the day he was born! At the age of just 4 years old, he started acting in theatre, several years later playing saxophone
and dancing contemporary dance became his hobbies as well.
After graduating, Smiltys found out about Swing dances and since then, there was no turning back! Smiltys started his path as an instructor by teaching Jazz dances and improving himself locally. He organized and taught in some Summer camps, workshops, intensives. He started teaching abroad by doing residency in Italy for 6 months, later on in Madrid, at Swing Maniacs dance studio and afterwards was invited to comeback to Italy for another 6 months . He already taught in various festivals like „The Chase“, „Smokey feet“, „The Swing train“ among others and workshops in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Scotland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, and other countries. Many classes, various competitions and international festivals later, he discovered that dynamics between the thrill of the competitions and the chill of the social dancing, is what motivates him to dance. Known for his technique, variety of uncommon move combinations and attention to the music.
Smiltys tries to inspire and enrich his students with the history, musicality and small details that
matters the most!
The Coquette Jazz Band
The music of the swing era is enjoying a resurgence amongst hip city bars and clubs – especially the exhilarating period of the 1930’s, 40’s, often referred to as the ’Golden Age of Jazz’. With its pumping rhythms and stomps, it never fails to get people on their feet dancing.
The Coquette Jazz Band was formed in 2016 by trombonist Matyas Papp and pianist Matyas Bartha. Finding a common language in the musical style they love most, the two quickly decided to expand, and sought out the best musicians to round out their ensemble. The result is a fabulous group of international young talent from Hungary, Latvia, Serbia and the Ukraine, all dedicated to bringing swing era classics back to new life with verve and passion.
For her teaching of Basic Dance Techniques and Dancer’s Body Workout, Katharina believes in thinking outside of the box and encouraging people to discover their own way of learning. She likes to cross (apparent) stylistic borders, to break things down in order to reveal structures and technical concepts and to transfer them to new contexts. Benefitting from her knowledge of different dance styles and teaching approaches, she aims to offer ideas and inspiration.
Katharina lives and teaches in Hamburg and dances everywhere she travels.