July 26 - July 29, 2018 - La Grande Motte, France

Radio WCS
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Parker Dearborn & Melissa Rutz

Parker Dearborn began his dance career seventeen years ago in Ballroom, Latin, and West Coast Swing. He quickly discovered his passion for West Coast Swing and became a professional dancer and instructor in his hometown of San Diego, California at the young age of seventeen.

Parker’s exceptional talent, distinct style, and irresistibly charming showmanship have earned him the most prestigious awards in the world of West Coast Swing. Parker holds the title to every major championship in the nation, including three time US Open Swing Dance Champion and two time Grand National Swing Dance Champion. In 2009, he was inducted into the Dallas D.A.N.C.E. Hall of Fame for his repetitive wins at this national contest.

Parker’s success received recognition off the dance floor as well. He appeared in the off-Broadway production of Swango and the Hollywood movie, Love and Dancing. He also demonstrated his creativity and innovation as a choreographer for the hit television series, So You Think You Can Dance.

Although Parker continues to travel and teach around the globe, his most recent endeavors have lead him to own and direct the largest, most successful international West Coast Swing event in the world, Swing Diego Dance Championships. In addition to this substantial undertaking, Parker also directs a new event in Las Vegas called Sin City Swing as well as Endless Summer Swing Camp.

Perhaps, one of Parker’s most significant contributions to the dance community may be his creation of Project Swing. Project Swing offers dancers of all levels the opportunity to participate in formation teams coached by professionals. But most importantly, it provides free classes to beginners in hopes of expanding the community and sharing the love for West Coast Swing.

Melissa Rutz began her training at age four. Three years later, she found herself at the prestigious San Francisco Ballet School for seven years under the direction of Lola DeAvila. While at San Francisco Ballet School, Melissa studied classical ballet, and performed in various performances with San Francisco Ballet.

From there, Melissa desired to expand her dance education and soon found herself at the Metronome Ballroom studying two of her favorite types of dance, swing, with champion Lindy Hop instructor Sharon Ashe, and Theater Arts Adagio with coach, and World Champion adagio cabaret dancer, Tom Slater. Under Tom’s wing, she won the 1998 title of United States Pro-Am Theatre Arts Adagio Champion. Thanks Tom!

Melissa teach, compete, and judge all over the world. She is ranked among the top West Coast Swing dancers in the world. Melissa has won numerous champion level competitions including Showcase Swing, Classic Swing, Strictly Swing, Team, and Jack & Jill Competitions.

Melissa is known for her versatility as a dancer. She has performed in a variety of solo works on stage as well as on the industrial scene. Melissa had the pleasure of working as Christina Aguilera’s dance double in her music video, Candyman. You can also watch Melissa & Arjay dance on the big screen in the movie, Love N’ Dancing.

Besides Melissa’s dance background, she has also trained in New York City and San Francisco as a singer (classical, musical theater, jazz, pop, country) and actress. Melissa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College with her B.A. in Dance!