All Traffic Jam! classes, events, and workshops cancelled through April.

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Meet The Team

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Melissa Rutherfoord

Melissa Rutherfoord

Executive Director

Melissa Rutherfoord

Melissa Rutherfoord

Executive Director

Melissa (She/Her) discovered swing dancing in 1997 while living in Arizona. She quickly became enamored with the music, high-energy footwork, and community of dancers. She ended taking hiatus due to school and work, but finally came back in 2010 when she found the Chicago Lindy Hop community. Since then, she has taught locally in Chicago and has traveled both nationally and internationally for workshops. She is always looking to improve, and is always happy to introduce people to the dance she feels so passionately about. She is also one of the founding members of Traffic Jam!

Arturo Salazar

Arturo Salazar

Board President

Arturo Salazar

Arturo Salazar

Board President

Arturo was introducted to swing dancing in 2017 and has been dancing at every opportunity since then. Growing up in a very musical household, he has experience dancing in a variety of styles including Mexican Folkloric, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Bhangra, Garba, Musical Theater, and Bollywood Dancing. While building his skills as a dancer and traveling to swing dance events around the world, he became interested in working to build the scene in Chicago. Since 2018 he has been involved with Traffic Jam helping with just about anything under the sun. When he's not swing dancing, he can be found behind a computer trying to figure out why his code isn't compiling...again.

Maegan Washington

Maegan Washington

Board Secretary

Maegan Washington

Maegan Washington

Board Secretary

Maegan (she/her) is an Aurora, Illinois native who describes dance as “My spiritual outlet. My voice without words.” Maegan’s love of dance and movement is embedded in her identity. Most of Maegan’s dance career has been in competition hip-hop, but she has enjoyed experiences of ballet, afro-jazz, tap, break-dancing and vogueing. Maegan fell into the Chicago Lindy Hop scene in 2016 after a night of social dancing at the late great Fizz Bar & Grill. Maegan went on to take just about every class at a local swing studio and develop a love for the dance.

As a board member, you can see Maegan occasionally teaching intro lessons, MC-ing, and breakin' it down during the soul set at our monthly events. Maegan is also a licensed professional counselor and brings her therapeutic skill to the dance floor as the Safe Space officer for all Traffic Jam! Swing’s events. So do not hesitate to approach her if you have any concerns. Or just want to dance!

Roman Huwel

Roman Huwel

Board Treasurer

Roman Huwel

Roman Huwel

Board Treasurer

Roman (he/him) started dancing when he was 4 years when his mom enrolled him in the Ukrainian School of Dance in Chicago. With regular performances and joining the Ukrainian dance company, Hromovytsia, Roman really grew to love dancing and even went on tour in Europe. Through regular events in the Ukrainian community Roman got exposed to the Ukrainian versions of a “Jam Circle,” a Kolomeyka, and also to his first social dance, the Polka (Polka Never Dies!). In college, Roman was first exposed to Swing Dancing. After graduating and trying to find a new hobby, Roman found swing dancing and fell in love. Now swing dancing for over 7 years, Roman helped co-found Traffic Jam focusing on developing the business model and ensuring its financial success. He’s a bit shy but always happy to dance if you ask!

John Holmstrom

John Holmstrom

Director of Programming

John Holmstrom

John Holmstrom

Director of Programming

John discovered swing dancing in Chicago back in 2005; it was love at first step. He's since become an integral leader in the Chicago Lindy Hop community by teaching, DJing, choreographing and coaching, and founding Traffic Jam Swing. John has taught and competed at events around the country. He continues to work on his dancing so he can share his inspiration with you.

Kristi-Lynn Jacovino

Kristi-Lynn Jacovino

Board Member

Kristi-Lynn Jacovino

Kristi-Lynn Jacovino

Board Member

Kristi-Lynn (she/her) has been swinging out since 2013 and has danced all around the world! She's our resident website, tech, and design guru and is a proud founding member of Traffic Jam! Swing. Though she lives (and dances) in Connecticut now, her heart is obviously always with the Chicago Lindy Hop community, and she's known to pop into town at random to get in some top-notch Chicago dancing with old friends and new ones!

Jon Klein

Jon Klein

Board Member

Jon Klein

Jon Klein

Board Member

Jon (he/his) first learned to dance as a theater techie in high school and college, a bit before the Lindy Hop revival. His wife signed them up for their first swing dance class in 2012, and they have been active in the Chicago dance community ever since. Jon loves to work on and talk about connection and technique. He travels to national and international workshops, and has started to teach locally this past year. Jon was a board member of Swing for Kids, and currently serves on the board for Porchlight Theater. In his day job he is an adolescent medicine doctor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lindsay Longstreth

Lindsay Longstreth

Dance Instructor

Lindsay Longstreth

Lindsay Longstreth

Dance Instructor

Lindsay (she/her) discovered swing dancing in 2002 in her hometown of Knoxville, TN. A Southeast dancer at heart, she has since then traveled the country for workshops, competitions, teaching, and performing. While in Atlanta (2008-2013) she taught local classes, DJ’d regularly, and helped organize various annual events. Currently, Lindsay lives in Chicago where she continues to be involved in the community through teaching, coaching, performing, DJing and event organizing. She is one of the founding board members of Traffic Jam Swing.

Not only has Lindsay taught for over a decade, she has competed and placed at a number of events in solo, partnered, and team divisions. One of Lindsay’s favorite things about vintage jazz dance is the depth and breadth of the art form, so she regularly travels and takes classes from internationally renowned teachers to stay challenged and inspired.

In her own classes Lindsay focuses on quality of movement, technique, self-expression, and most of all, fun! Her teaching is reflective of her passion for the conversation between the dancer and the music. Although Lindy Hop is the love of her feet, Charleston, Solo Jazz, and Balboa show up for the party too.

Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith

Dance Instructor

Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith

Dance Instructor

Bradley has been enjoying swing dancing for twenty years. He strives to continuously grow as a dancer learning from old clips and modern masters alike. There is a joy and a comedy in Lindy Hop, and he inspires his students to discover the wonderful journey of jazz dancing.

Meg Ebersole

Meg Ebersole

Dance Instructor

Meg Ebersole

Meg Ebersole

Dance Instructor

Dancing has been an integral part of Meg's life since the age of four. After moving to the Windy City, Meg "hopped" into the Chicago Lindy Hop scene and immediately knew that she had found her dancing home. Meg enjoys performing, teaching, competing, and supporting the local dance community. Meg will always consider herself a student of dance and loves to travel around the country to learn and work on her skills. Meg is always looking to acquire new techniques to share with her students in order to spread the joy of Lindy Hop. She is looking forward to dancing with you!

Bob Bednarz

Bob Bednarz

Dance Instructor

Bob Bednarz

Bob Bednarz

Dance Instructor

Bob has always had a passion for music and started dancing when he saw a sign that said "free swing dance lesson." Bob has been teaching people how to swing dance since 2005. As a teacher, Bob is most focused on perfecting fundamentals that have a strong impact on your dancing. You can find him around DJ'ing, running sound, or mixing latest live recordings. Nicknamed "DJ Thor," Bob is known to always brings the thunder...and a lot of jokes...that he's used for a long time.

Jenna Stworzyjanek

Jenna Stworzyjanek

Dance Instructor

Jenna Stworzyjanek

Jenna Stworzyjanek

Dance Instructor

Andrew Twiss

Andrew Twiss

Dance Instructor

Andrew Twiss

Andrew Twiss

Dance Instructor

Devon Katheder

Devon Katheder

Admin

Devon Katheder

Devon Katheder

Admin

Devon has been dancing for about 5 years and is happy to be a part of such a fantastic community of weirdos. She likes helping people, pigtails and hot sauce. She dislikes people who are rude to customer service employees and the last season of Game of Thrones. Researchers say that her anxiety over public speaking has broken all known measurements. She's bad at high fives but great at hugs.

David O'Brien

David O'Brien

Photographer

David O'Brien

David O'Brien

Photographer

David is a landscape and event photographer based out of Chicago. He was introduced to swing dancing in high school and only took a break in college. He combines his love for swing dancing and dance photography through capturing the same joy and beauty of swing dancing and swing music in others. When he's not dancing, David enjoys backpacking, soccer, and board games.

All classes and dances cancelled through April

In light of the current situation, we've effectively cancelled all Traffic Jam! classes and events through April. We are hoping to continue our regular programming in May, but we will follow the recommendations of the doctors and scientists who are researching Covid-19 and will keep you updated here, on our website, and via our newsletter.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.

If you would like to make a donation to help us support the artists and instructors who have lost work during these shutdowns, we welcome donations!

Make a Donation

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement, it is not going unnoticed. We are so proud to be part of this community and we hope to see you out dancing again soon!

—The Traffic Jam! Team