Samantha Nguyen & Blake Thiesen dancing

Samantha Nguyen & Blake Thiessen

DIR#9: 8.2. – 8.4.2020:

We are very excited to have these two amazing dancers come to Vienna from February until April 2020 to share their knowledge and passion of swing dancing!

Both Samantha and Blake are upcoming dancers from the USA, who have already proven individually on various occasions that they bring a very interesting and fresh quality to the contemporary swing dance world. For this residency, we are thrilled that it was possible to invite those two together to co-create and develop their artistic vision further and to share their take on dancing with the local scene in Vienna!

Sam’s favorite aspect of swing dancing is social dancing. She loves to incorporate silly playfulness, “psychic” partnership and great musicality in her dancing. She is also a huge advocate for gender-neutral dancing, consent through dance, and follower empowerment, and she includes aspects of these values in every lesson she teaches.

To describe Samantha in other words, here are two quotes – one by the well known international swing dance instructor Peter Kertz and the other by international dance event organizer Lori Taniguchi:


“Samantha Nguyen is a phenomenal dancer and follower from the United States with elegant style and a contagiously fun personality. This can be seen the instant she begins dancing and teaching. Her passion for the dance is inspiring and her care for the students and dancers around her is encouraging to say the least. It’s beautiful to see how she is evolving the Lindy Hop scene in the United States, and it’s also exciting to see what she will be bringing to Europe!”

Peter Kertz

“Sam is consistently one of our highest rated teachers by student evaluation and is often praised for her clarity, fun, and easy-to-learn style. She is a teacher who is more leader than lecturer: she guides even large classes unerringly toward improvement utilizing a wide range of teaching techniques such as rhythm games, mnemonics, activating student inquiry, and tiered levels of understanding. Any student in the class feels accomplished and inspired after her lessons. She makes herself available at all times for student interaction and thereby creates dancers invested in their own improvement and creative vision. Truly one of the best teachers in the SF Bay Area, hands-down.”

Lori Taniguchi

Blake is a new and rising star in the Californian Lindy Hop and Balboa dance scene. Recommended to us by Nathan Bugh as not just a great dancer but also as a teacher with a very deep and profound understanding of the dance, we look very forward to finally having the chance to have him here in Vienna.

As a native Southern California dancer, Blake was formatively inspired by the old timers and the original dancers. He’s spent many hours repeatedly analyzing vintage dance clips and stealing esoteric moves from lesser known couples in the background. But most significantly, he’s a big proponent of developing “beautiful basics” and making the simple things look mesmerizing. While it can be great fun to pull out tricks to awe the crowd, he finds it’s even more enticing to share a simple, musical, deeply connected dance with a like-minded partner.


He placed a phenomenal amount of dance competitions on big international dance events in the last years. This list of his placements speaks for itself (2019 only, with more to be expected in the next two month;)):


  • 1st Place – San Diego Balboa & Lindy Exchange 2019 Competition
  • 1st Place – All Balboa Weekend 2019 ​Division 1 Mix & Match
  • 2nd Place – Camp Jitterbug 2019 ​Showcase
  • 1st Place – Camp Jitterbug 2019 ​Balboa Couples Jam
  • 2nd Place – Lindyfest 2019 ​Adv/All-Star Draw
  • 1st Place – Lindyfest 2019 ​Open Swing Dance Battle
  • 1st Place – Lindyfest 2019 ​Open Balboa Draw
  • 2nd Place – Inspiration Weekend 2019 ​Lindy Hop Tournament
  • 1st Place – Inspiration Weekend 2019 ​30 Second Showcase
  • 2nd Place – Hot Rhythm Holiday ​Triple Threat
  • 1st Place – Hot Rhythm Holiday ​Balboa Strictly
  • 1st Place – California Balboa Classic 2019 ​Open Mixed Couples


We worked out 7 different classes focussing on different key topics.


All these curricula are exciting and tempting but have different requirements. As always, not every class is for everyone. Please read the “About” and “Requirements” text carefully and sign up for the courses that fit.

The maximum of participants is limited

Therefore we ask to register only if you are committed to coming to the classes and you have a deep interest in dancing with Sam & Blake.


Monday, 25th of November till 6th of January 2020.

The Early-Bird-Price per 8-week-class is € 145,-. After Monday, 6th of January (Lazy Bird) the price per 8-week-class is € 180,-


We recommend the “Double DIR# me!” and the “Triple DIR# me!!” Packages with a discount of the regular course price. Second added class only 125,-. Third added class just 105,-.

Join the DIR#9-Facebook group

For regular updates, news, activities, exchange about class-related things, etc., please join the DIR#9-Facebook group.

DIR#9 Facebook Group
Sams & Blake's Classes
Specials & Events
Party for Samantha and Blake

DIR#9 Welcome Party

Save the date:

Saturday, 8. Februar 2020

More about our DIR Program