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About

Shannon Butler is a 3rd-generation swing dancer. As a small child, her mother began teaching her dances of the 1950s-60s, she had formal dance instruction with her great-aunt who owned a dance school. Her grand parents were Collegiate Shag and Lindy Hop dancers Family gatherings were filled with sounds of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Bunny Berigan and many more. She spent these gatherings dancing among loved ones. Shannon credits this experience of learning from family, growing up dancing in a patient, supportive, inclusive and non-competitive environment for shaping her approach to dance instruction, and her role as event coordinator and host of weekly and monthly live music dance nights in her local community.
By 1997 she was competing in, teaching, and performing vernacular dances. Around 1997 she joined dance historian Lance Benishek's performance group and was his teaching partner across the US and in Europe until his passing in 2020. She studied with original-era mentors including Betty Wood, Frankie Manning, Chester Whitmore and performed in stage productions with dance legends including Norma Miller and The Nicholas Brothers.

 

Bill Butler learned to swing dance in 1998. Since marrying in 2002, they've become dance partners have taught nationally and overseas, and are recognized for their vintage styling, straight-forward approach, and knowledge of 1930s and uncommon social dances. They’ve danced shag in a national TV commercial, vintage dance in a Hollywood movie, performed with dance legend Norma Miller, and host Swing Dance Wednesday Night Twin Cities - The Twin Cities longest running weekly swing dance featuring live music.

 

The Butlers are grateful to the dance community for friendship, joy, inspiration, and for Shannon, hope - having returned to teaching after battling cancer. They strive to give back to the community though their teaching and work with nonprofit organizations.

 

Shannon and Bill believe dance is for everyone, with the power to restore and bring people together.

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