At Shag Pile we like to mix things up, with a changing roster of teachers drawn from the best shagsters London has to offer.
Each of our teachers have developed individual styles of shag over the years, and all have valuable insights into the dance.
Peter took up dance lessons 9 years ago after gatecrashing a party and finding himself unable to dance to fantastic music.
Founder of 'Shag Pile' and co-founder of monthly club night 'Kings X Swing', his love of Shag is infectious. and has taken him around the UK, and Europe, teaching in London, Oxford, Newcastle, Gothenburg, Paris and more. He has performed at festivals around the UK with the Mudflappers, at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Swing Cats, and at Secret Cinema's 'Watchmen' and 'Back to the Future' events.
Together with Janet, he taught the lead actors to dance and choreographed 30 extras for the lovely Austrian film ‘Where I Belong’. He can be seen dancing in the unfunny Cameron Diaz vehicle ‘Gambit’, the much better ‘Me and Orson Welles’, and the megasequel ‘Avengers 2: Age of Ultron’, although you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for that one.
Aila first developed a passion for swing dancing over 10 years ago in London, where she continues to dance and teach.
As well as reigning supreme in shag, winning first place with Peter at 'Rock That Swing' 2015, Aila is a Lindy Hop champ, winning with dance partner Richard Pucci at the 'European Swing Dance Championships' 2013. She has featured in music videos for George Michael and KT Tunstall. (editor's note - really? Well I never!)
As choreographer and director of internationally renowned flapper troupe, 'The Bee’s Knees', she has performed all over the world including appearances at the Venice carnival. The troupe has featured on TV shows including ‘Paul O’Grady’(C4), ‘Endeavour’ (ITV) and ‘Nina Conti’s VaVaVariety show’(BBC).
As a young irish lad growing up in Austria's greaser scene, Patrick found he was able to combine his twin loves of Rock'n'Roll and Riverdance in the form of Collegiate Shag. A passionate shagster, Patrick has been a stalwart at Shag Pile from the beginning, and performed with the Euroshag team at Rock that Swing festival in Munich.
His two words of advice for anyone considering dancing shag in Lederhosen: Talcum Powder.
And yes, this bio was made up by Peter after a couple of beers.
Gosia moved to London in 2014 and quickly made a name for herself, both as a graceful dancer and as a friendly teacher. She originally found Swing Dancing whilst looking for a way to express her love of swing music and vintage style.
Starting with Tap and Authentic Jazz, she came to learn Lindy hop, Balboa and Shag. From these early days she has continuously trained and social danced, and sought for inspiration by travelling around the world to teach, dance and perform.
When teaching, Gosia focuses on connection, a strong foundation from which the character of each partner can find expression in individual style.
Gosia is a core member of London's ‘Shag Pile’, teaching weekly classes, at special events, and performing. She is also a part of the Euro Shag team, and can be seen shagging up a storm on dance floors across London, Europe, and the world!
Janet is a queen of London's vintage scene, and a regular teacher at Shag Pile. Taking inspiration from original jitterbugs such as Jean Veloz and Jewel McGowan, Janet has a classic 40s style in both dance and fashion that is hard to beat.
Other regular teachers include Jonny, Helen, and Anthony.
Once in a while we are joined by guest teachers, both to teach at our regular night and at weekend workshops. Visiting teachers include Stephen Sayer - Chandrae Roettig - Fancy Dougherty - Moe Sakan - Christian Frommelt - Jenny Shirar - Paul Crook - Sara Planas - Mariangela Salichou - Edu Rodriguez and Silvia Riera.