Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Director
Mr. Koerner, a practicing attorney, started dancing while at the University of Virginia in 1976. Mr. Koerner teaches swing dance with Debra Sternberg, is heavily involved in the swing music and dance community, and has a deep appreciation for swing music and dance.
Debra Sternberg has been teaching Jitterbug and Lindy Hop with Tom Koerner since 1987. Their style is based on the Lindy danced at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, with a strong emphasis on Charleston. Their instruction combines both socially useable lead-and-follow materials with flashier showstoppers. Tom and Debra are dedicated to keeping alive both the music and dance of the swing era with an emphasis on the history and background that makes it so unique.
Tom and Debra are the 1994 United Kingdom Lindy Hop–Air Steps Division champions, and 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2003 Virginia State Open Lindy Hop champions, as well as Jitterbug champs for many of those same years.
Tom and Debra were honored to have been chosen by the Smithsonian Institute as their swing dance instructors and performers at the National World War II Memorial Celebration on the National Mall in Washington, DC, May 2004.
Wendy Wenck Craighill joined the swing dance revival following the GAP commercials in 2001. Within a year of taking her first lesson, Wendy taught a workshop. She has a passion for the Swing Era of the 1940s—a love of the music, vintage styles, and the powerful and innovative style of Lindy Hop. Although she has had experience with performance, Wendy’s passion is for social dancing. As the founder of Lindy 101 in Williamsburg, Virginia, who's mission is to share the artistry and joy of dance through instruction, performance and community involvement, Wendy is dedicated to making the world a happier place through swing dance.
Mr. Cairnie is an attorney with the law firm of Baker Hostettler, specializing in government funded projects and transactions. He has served on the Board of Directors of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Fairfax, a nonprofit corporation that provides advocacy services to at risk youths and children. He was also a director of the Donaldson Run Civic Association. He was awarded the Outstanding Advocate Award of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit corporation that provides legal services for struggling artists of the Washington metropolitan area.
Mr. Cairnie is a swing dance enthusiast and regularly participates in local and regional competitions and has performed at various events hosted by local charities and nonprofit groups and associations. Mr. Cairnie's interest in and enthusiasm for swing dancing and period music is of great benefit to American Swing in helping it to accomplish its goals and objectives.
Jean Phelps Veloz, the icon of the Hollywood-Style Lindy to new generations of swing dancers, provides a living bridge from the Los Angeles dance scene of the 1940’s to the present-day Lindy Hop revival that has swept the United States and the rest of the world since the late 1990’s.
Jean’s career began in 1943 when she entered a contest at American Legion Stadium in Hollywood, where the prize was a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the movie Swing Fever starring Kay Kyser and Marilyn Maxwell. Jean won the contest and her SAG card, which opened the door to many other opportunities. In 1944 Jean made the well-known MGM film short Groovie Moviewith Arthur Walsh. Groovie Movie has become a favorite of swing dancers all over the world as they study this piece of history for the delicious look of this style of Lindy.
Jean was very busy during the swing era, dancing in movies by 20th Century Fox and MGM studios. She began working with internationally-known ballroom dance star Frank Veloz in 1950; they did exhibitions of tango, waltz, rhumba, samba, swing and foxtrot, along with teaching these dances on live TV, and also teaching and coaching many famous movie stars for both film and TV. Jean and Frank married in 1963; Frank passed away from cancer in 1981, at which time Jean went into retirement from dancing.
When Jean came out of retirement and started dancing again, the world took notice. In 1996, she was invited to perform and teach at an annual swing dance event in Munich, Germany, exposing her to a whole new generation of swing dancers who quickly fell in love with her. Jean became involved in the world of Lindy again: she was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.
The world-wide Lindy community continues to seek Jean’s participation.