Mike's true loves in life are teaching, dancing, following, and music. There's no order, because for her, these things are intrinsically linked. In addition to national events like Lindy Focus and Enter the Blues, Mike has taught at countless regional events in Lindy, Blues, and Balboa, as well as traveling all over the country to teach and perform. She performed in an all-girls Charleston troupe at Camp Jitterbug's Jump Session Show in 2007, and in the all-girl blues troupe, the Hoodoo Ladies, at events from DC to BluesShout in St. Louis. Additionally, she has taught at events ranging from one-month artists residencies to international training camps.
Mike combines an intuitive understanding of connection with an analytical speaking style to give her students technique, but also strives to challenge and inspire her students to push themselves further into the music. She aims to help leaders create artistic compositions that are clearly led; she wants follows to have the ability to be a completely literal follow, and the inspiration and freedom to be an imaginative and dynamic contributor. In the classroom or on the social floor, she seeks a connection that involves active communication from both partners, to make a dance together.
Mike's love of blues and jazz has been obsessive for some time, and once she started running a weekly blues dance out of her home in Atlanta in 2008, she committed herself to the art of DJing. She has since gone on to DJ sets around the country, from Austin to San Fransisco to Boston. She prides herself on providing a variety of styles and eras in each of her sets, and strives to create a sound that is both unique and inspiring; she also aspires to expose people to new music, and to challenge their dancing.
Some of Mike's favorite artists:
Roy Eldridge/Artie Shaw
The Firehouse Five Plus Two
Nathan James and Ben Hernandez
Chris Thomas King
Preservation Hall Jazz Band