Kenny Nelson started swing dancing in 1997 when the swing revival hit. Riding this wave, he discovered lindy hop and other related vintage swing dances. His curiosity, desire to learn and perform has kept him hooked ever since. His classes are known for being fun, detailed, and technique based whether he’s teaching Lindy Hop, Balboa, air-steps, West Coast Swing or Blues. Kenny’s competitive side has found him winning at numerous events including Camp Hollywood, International Lindy Hop Championships, Ultimate Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Jitterbug and others. When he’s not dancing, you can typically find him working hard for Swingin’ Denver, pursuing great local restaurants and drinks, brainstorming crazy new moves, or hanging out with his wonderful wife and cute dog.
Kenny Nelson hails from Denver, Colorado, but his home is where he’s teaching. He specializes in long-term teaching stays whether he’s helping start a new swing school or invigorate a current one. When he’s not starting new schools in Melbourne and Madrid, he travels to small and large scenes tailoring fun workshops to the organizer’s needs whether in Wichita, Porto, Zurich, London, Atlanta, or Zagreb.
Since wearing out Monsters of Swing VHS tapes, he has enjoyed teaching and studying swing dancing. His classes are known for being fun, detailed, and technique based whether he’s teaching Lindy Hop, Balboa, air-steps, Blues, or West Coast Swing. As a teacher, Kenny strives to engage students through visual examples, exercises, and good energy. He believes that classes should be fun, rewarding, and incorporate much dancing and music. Learn through dancing.
He has performed and competed with Denver’s champion Swing troupe, 23 Skidoo, and has helped coach and choreograph for Ballyhoo, a Colorado balboa dance troupe, and performed with the Balboa Justice League. Kenny’s competitive side has found him winning at numerous events including Camp Hollywood, Lindy on the Rocks, Ultimate Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Jitterbug, Fallin’ in Blues, and others.
When he’s not dancing, you can typically find him Crossfit training and practicing parkour, reading sci-fi and fantasy books, pursuing local cuisine, or planking random objects around the world. His crossfit and parkour training lend him a unique perspective into making movement more efficient whether you’re dancing lindy hop or throwing airsteps. He believes that anyone can dance, even if you do have two left feet. It’s about finding the teaching style and the basics that work for you. See you on the dance floor!
Kenny Nelson, international swing dance aerial instructor, has been learning lifts and aerials since 1996. Under Louis Bar’s tutelage in Kansas City, he became a voracious swing dace aerial student, studying Monsters of Swing tapes. Eventually his desire to learn more and improve his lindy hop skills, led him to Denver in 2005, home of the reknowned lindy hop team, 23 Skidoo. They were known for their high-energy, quality dancers and flying aerials.
Through much hard effort and study, he was asked to join their team in late 2005. In 2006 and 2007, Kenny and 23 Skidoo won consecutive first place championships at Camp Hollywood’s and ULHS’ team divisions. 23 Skidoo also performed in Dallas in front of the America’s Got Talent judges in 2008.
Kenny began teaching regular aerial classes and workshops with Tiffiny Wine in 2008 through Denver Swing Dance. This aerial teaching path led him to Galway, Ireland and further. As a sought after international swing dance aerial instructor, he has taught swing dance aerials in the following locations:
Denver, Colorado (since 2008)
Galway, Ireland (2009)
Ft. Smith, Arkansas (2009)
Porto, Portugal (2011, 2012)
Lisbon, Portugal (2011)
Madrid, Spain (2011, 2012, 2013)
Melbourne, Australia (2011)
Adelaide, Australia (2011)
London, England (2012, 2013)
Barcelona, Spain (2012, 2013)
Valencia, Spain (2012, 2013)
Beantown Camp (2012, 2013)
Zaragoza, Spain (2012)
Berlin, Germany (2012)
Sofia, Bulgaria (2013)
Zagreb, Croatia (2013)
Wichita, Kansas (2013)
Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2013)
Rochester, New York (2013, 2014)
He has trained and coached members of the Truman State University Swingers, CU Jitterbuffs, Woodside Jumpers, Roc City Hoppers, Swing Sesh, and 23 Skidoo.
He has performed with the Swingsters, 23 Skidoo, Roc City Hoppers, Big City Swing, the Balboa Justice League and other small ensemble swing dance teams.
Noticeable wins and placements include:
1st Place (tied) – Underground Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood
2nd Place – Pro Lindy Division at Camp Hollywood
2nd Place – Strictly Division at Fallin’ in Blues
3rd Place – Open Strictly at Best of the Best
1st Place – Underground Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood
5th Place – Pro Strictly at Camp Hollywood
1st Place – Fast Finals Division at Lindy on the Rocks
2nd Place – Jitterbug Contest at Camp Hollywood
5th Place – Jitterbug Contest at Camp Hollywood
3rd Place – Pro/Am Division at Camp Jitterbug
3rd Place – Open Division Jack & Jill at ULHS