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Joel Plys


JOEL PLYS began his swing dance career in the summer of 1998 on a date in Chicago.  He learned very quickly from countless workshops and non-stop dancing and brought his skills to Cleveland, OH.


Joel taught swing full-time out in Cleveland, OH for 4 years (1999-2002) and started Get Hep Swing, LTD.  He co-created the very first All Balboa Weekend with Valerie Salstrom (June 2001).  He moved to San Diego in 2002, started 2PlySwing Productions and taught all over the world with Alison Scola.  As of 2012, Joel began Swing Dancing San Diego in his home town, building a community of social dancers, students, performers and teachers whom he trains.

Joel has had the honor and privilege to learn

directly from the original masters of Lindy Hop

and Balboa:  Frankie Manning, Maxie Dorf and 

Willie Desatoff.


Joel has a high quality, energetic approach to

the dance that makes every lesson with him and

any partner a blast!  As a regular teacher at major

events all over the world, his down to earth,

enthusiastic attitude is contagious.  He has taught in

33 US states (and counting) and 12 countries including: Australia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden.  

In 2011, Joel was inducted into the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame and then in 2014, inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.


He has a full knowledge of various styles from years of study that he shares in his instruction of Balboa, Lindy, Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Jazz Movement, and Pre-Swing dances (Texas Tommy, One Step, etc)


To 'preserve' a dance, you must understand the technique and characteristic fundamentals of that dance.  For a dance to 'evolve', you must be open to everyone adding creative elements to that dance.  Joel encourages students to study and be open to “differences” so that they can make the dance their own.


He embodies these qualities in his instruction and dancing while remembering the true reason we dance - for FUN!





  • NBC television show appearance "Forever Young" with Jean Veloz - 2017

  • California Swing Dance Hall of Fame Inductee - 2014

  • Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame Inductee - 2011

  • VIEJAS $10K Swing Dance Challenge 2010 - 3rd place

  • VIEJAS $10K Swing Dance Challenge 2009 - 3rd place

  • Camp Hollywood 2007 - Pro Balboa - 3rd place 

  • US Open 2005 - Lindy Showcase - 4th place

  • US Open Swing Dance Challenge - Aug, 2005 (TV Pilot Competition) - 4th place overall, 1st place for Lindy

  • Camp Hollywood 2005 - Collegiate Shag - 2nd place

  • Camp Hollywood 2005 - Showcase - 5th place

  • Camp Hollywood 2005 - Pro Balboa - 5th place

  • Camp Hollywood 2005 - Pro Lindy - 5th place

  • All Balboa Weekend (Cleveland) 2005 - American Classic Balboa Championship - 3rd place

  • Rhythmic Arts Festival 2004 - CAKEWALK CHAMPIONS

  • Rhythmic Arts Festival 2004 - Charleston Challenge Finalists

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2003 - Fast Dance Division - 1st place

  • All Balboa Weekend (Cleveland) 2003 - American Classic Balboa Championship - 3rd place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2002 - American Showcase Division 5th place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2002 - Fast Dance Division - 3rd place (crazy fast and fun!)

  • NADC 2002 - Pro Lindy 4th place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2002 qualifier in Detroit - 1st place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2001 - American Showcase Division 2nd place

  • National Jitterbug Championships 2001 - Balboa 2nd place

  • National Jitterbug Championships 2001 - Collegiate Shag 2nd place

  • National Jitterbug Championships 2001 - Pro Lindy 3rd place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2001 qualifier in Detroit - 2nd place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 2000 qualifier in Detroit - 3rd place

  • Spring Fling Swing Thing 2000 Couples Division 2nd place

  • American Lindy Hop Championships 1999 qualifier in Chicago – 3rd place 

  • Midwest Swingfest 1999 - 1st place Lindy Hop division

Jackie Plys


JACKIE PLYS took her first swing dance lessons her senior year of high school. After learning she wasn't able to dance much until moving to San Diego in 2006, where she would get involved in the swing dance community there and it would change her entire life! 

Jackie immersed herself into the social dance scene...going out Lindy Hopping almost every night. She also started to DJ for all of the local swing dance events as well as out of town events like Lindy Groove and the Catalina Swing Dance Festival.

In 2012, Jackie partnered up with Joel Plys and began assisting him with classes. They would end up forming Swing Dancing San Diego which offered group classes, private lessons, social dances, teacher training, and a performance group called The Hang Ten Hoppers.

Jackie choreographed multiple routines for the Hang Ten Hoppers, one of which would send them home with a trophy their very first year of competing at Camp Hollywood (one of the largest and longest running swing dance events in the world).


She does all of the graphics and web design for every Swing Dance company, event & class that Joel decides to start, which keeps her busy in addition to taking care of their 2 children!

Her "old soul", passion for swing music, friendliness, patience and big hugs has made her a fast favorite as a teacher of all the swing era dances!

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