- DANCERS -
Chester A. WHITMORE
Dancing since 1974 and a protege of Fayard Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers) Chester has been dancing his way around the world. These days he is a dancer, teacher, performer, choreographer, director, stunt man and entertainer. His choreographies can be seen in music videos for Boys II Men, Sugar Ray, Teena Marie as well as working with artists such as Savion Glover, MC Hammer, Prince and many more. Also a highly renowned drummer and band leader, he has worked with some of the best in the entertainment industry. He has performed with his dance company Black Ballet Jazz, with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra and the great Miles Davis. Chester shines with boundless positive energy and passion for dance and is a born entertainer. HIs contributions have been far too many to name them all. He can only be seen to be believed.
© Video: Swingin' at the Savoy
© Photo: Karen Ludwig
Jenny trained at The Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts.
As a young student, having several All England Championship titles in Tap, Ballet & Modern dance under her belt, she went on to win *The US Open, the American Swing Dance Championships & the UK Open Lindy Hop Championships.
Starting her West End Debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance with Wayne Sleep she continued to partner Wayne for the next 5 years in various shows, royal galas and guest appearances.
Jenny was introduced to Authentic Jazz Dances such as The Charleston, Blues & Lindy Hop back in 1992 for Anthony Van Laast’s European tour ‘Souls in Motion’, during which she was invited to join ‘Zoots and Spangles’ Authentic Jazz Dance Company.
Specialising in these niche dance forms has seen Jenny choreograph and perform all over the world including prestigious venues such as St James Theatre, BROADWAY, The London Palladium, the Royal Opera House, the Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, London’s West End.
Other credits include The Tony Awards, the Macy’s Day Parade, and the blockbuster movie The Polar Express with Tom Hanks ; Soloist and Assistant Choreographer for the Original cast of The Broadway Musical: SWING.
Recent accompishmets – Musical Dance Consultant for the upcoming ‘Back To The Future’ The Musical.
Choreography and Assistant to Paul Robinson for upcoming music video ‘In These Shoes’ by ex -Bond-Girl: Susie Vanner.
Since 2006 she has coached, choreographed and performed on many of the top Prime Time TV shows of today:
Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly Christmas Special, The Peoples Strictly for Comic Relief, Strictly Dance Fever, So You Think You Can Dance, USA’s Dancing With The Stars, Jazz/Tap coach on ITV’s Dancing On Ice.
In 2019 Jenny had the honour of choreographing the D-Day 75th anniversary celebrations for BBC in Southsea for the veterans, 14 Heads of States and Her Majesty The Queen.
As well as choreographing 13 routines during this last season of Strictly Come Dancing, she was also interviewed on BBC2’s It Takes Two for her choreographic contributions to the show for the past 13 years. Copy and paste this link to view the interview.
She has been choreographing Charleston, Salsa and Pro Group routines on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing since 2006. Many of the memorable routines have been created by Jenny, such as Ed Balls ‘Gangnam Style’ Salsa, Danny & Oti’s ‘Puttin On The Ritz’ Charleston & ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ for Giovanni & Faye, to literally name but a few...
She was also choreographer for two prestigious TV Award nominations.
-BAFTA nominated ‘Virgin Must See Moment 2016’ – Gangnam Style with Ed Balls & Katya Jones, Salsa Routine.
-NRTA Winner Best Performance in a Reality Show 2018 – Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice Salsa Routine.
Jenny was principal choreographer for Stephen Poliakoff’s BBC2 six-part period drama Close To The Enemy starring Alfred Molina & Angela Bassett and Stephen’s 2019’s new BBC drama Summer Of Rockets starring Keeley Hawes & Toby Stephens.
Keeping in the Strictly family, she has also guest choreographed for AJ Pritchard’s UK Tour Get On The Floor and ‘The Ballroom Boys for Ian Waite & Vincent Simone and ‘Dance To The Music’ Tour for Kristina Rianoff & Robin Windsor.
In past years she has been lead dancer for the filming of How to for Lindy Hop, Charleston, Boogie Woogie and Rock and Roll for BBC’s Strictly Dance Fever.
Jenny also made history by bringing Swing Dance to The Houses of Parliament with Strictly star Robin Windsor. Launching UK’s Dance Manifesto 2015 for the All Party Parliamentary Dance Group.
Between choreographic work, Jenny still continues to teach and inspire swing dancers across the globe at several International Swing Dance Events and also runs weekly Lindy Hop classes in Guildford.
© Text and photo from: https://www.jennytapsthomas.com
© Video: The Snowball event
JB grew up in Haute Savoie (France). At the age of 17, he discovers the world of dance, and in particular, the Lindy Hop. He begins to dance swing with Andy Spitz in Lyon and, a year later, he meets Thomas Blacharz, founder of the SwingJammerz. This meeting changed his life, and he decides to move to Montpellier to learn Lindy Hop, and its àteaching. Trained by the Ninjammerz -among others, he builds himself a dynamic and lively style that allows him to win several competitions and gain international recognition.
© Video: Rock That Swing Festival
© Photo: cf. JB Mino