Shawn & Debbie from LA!
Shawn Carter has been called a "walking time machine". A purest in Hollywood Style Dean Collins Swing-outs, Collegiate Shag, and Balboa. This dancer has been personally critiqued from the greats: Hal Takier – a legendary swing and balboa master for over 75 years; George Christopherson; John Mills; Maxie Dorf; Willy Desatoff; and Bart Bartola to name a few. These influential dancers where part of Shawn's core learning years.
When Collegiate Shag had a comeback in the 90’s, Shawn Carter won the first Camp Hollywood contest for shag in 1998. The following year he took home 3rd place in the Lindy-Hop Strictly at Camp Hollywood and 2nd place in Shag. The list continues: ALHC 1999: Lindy 3rd, Jitterbug Ball 2000: Shag 1st, BeBop 2000: Lindy 1st,
CH 2000 (all contests 1st) Lindy, Shag, Jack n Jill. ALHC 2000: Lindy 1st, CH 2002: Lindy 4th, Lemonfest 2003: Lindy 3rd, CH 2015: Shag 5th, Original CH Hall of Fame 2007.
Shawn spends his time spreading the dance through teaching in LA and other parts of the USA & Canada.
"I started out as a Jive dancer back in 1984. My previous passion was gymnastics, and I competed for my state between the age of 11 and 14. This activity would prove to be very useful with lindy hop aerial moves in later years. I inherited my love for the music of the 1940’s and 1950’s from my parents; so much so that I researched the genre of style and dance, and it became a passion; reading books, watching films and learning style and technique from the ‘original’ dancers.
Dancing the European ‘jive’ in my native England, I appeared in films, documentaries, music videos and books, and appeared in magazines that featured swing dancing. I co-ran a Swing Dance Club in London called “For Dancers Only”, before my job brought me to Los Angeles in April 1998.
It was there I discovered that swing had never really died in LA since the big band era – I was thrilled to meet some of the dancers from the original movies that I had watched through my teens and up. This is where I saw the dance being performed as I had seen in the old films. From that point, the natural progression was to dance Swing and Lindy Hop.
My passion for the dance was taken to a new plateau, and what started as a social activity soon progressed to a more professional hobby appearing in yet more TV, video and books on a larger scale and competing on a national level.
I started dancing with my partner, Shawn, in July 1999 and subsequently my love for the dance has increased even more. We have performed at private events and contests across the US and in the UK. We have placed in virtually every contest we have entered, the high point being the 2000 American Lindy Hop Champions. I was nominated as a Nova Star for the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2000, which was a great honour and was given the opportunity to perform at the dinner dance. This was topped in 2002 when I was once again nominated but this time was actually awarded the Nova Star honour.
Another honour was that Shawn & I were both inducted into Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame at the first ever ceremony in 2007. Camp Hollywood is the longest running swing dance event in the US, having been going since 1998.
As well as serious contests, I have also been successful in the fun ones! I was awarded first place in a local Jill ‘n’ Jill contest where I was the lead, and also in a Neo-Swing contest for East Coast Swing".