Stephen White & Tara Trafzer
I’m Stephen. You may recognize me from such things as Shenanigans, or the Stephen White Fan Club. I’m not a fan of the traditional Bio. Always seemed a little odd to me, writing things about myself.
So instead, I’d like to just pretend we’re having a conversation!
Nice to meet you, random person reading this.
Why yes, I am a international dance professional. I teach, judge, choreograph, and coach mostly in West Coast Swing (WCS), but I’m trained in American and International styles of ballroom dancing, Hustle, some Country Western and various other partner dances. I actually got my start as a Ballroom instructor and Competitor in American Rhythm before transitioning over to WCS.
I compete in the Champions and Classic Divisions on the swing circuit at the moment. I’ve won a few things, and I’ve done well in others, but I don’t put much stock in that. Mostly people like to work with me for my focus on their personalized education in dance! I’m all about authenticity, and finding the right tools for the individual.
So please, save me a dance, or a drink, or a conversation! For the most part, I am contractually obligated not to bite.
Tara Trafzer began dancing when she was two years old in tap and ballet classes. Throughout the nine years she was at this studio, she trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, hula, tap, and hip-hop and did numerous shows at a variety of places each year. When she was eleven, she did a short internship at Ballet Pacifica, at the time one of the most prestigious Ballet academies in the nation, furthering her Ballet and Pointe training.
When she was ten, she began dancing at Buddy Schwimmer’s dance studio, 5678, in Redlands, California. She soon earned a spot on two competition teams, one for a jazz team and the other for a West Coast Swing (WCS) formation team. She also began a partnership for a junior’s west coast swing routine. Buddy, Laurie, Benji and Lacey Schwimmer all helped to expand her training in Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop and added in WCS, Contemporary, the five Latin dances (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, and Jive), some Ballroom dances (Waltz and Tango), and Salsa. By the age of fourteen, Tara had narrowed her focus to Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, and WCS.
Since 2003, Tara has been competing with Jazz teams, Swing Formation teams, and partner routines in the young adult and showcase divisions. She also regularly competes in Jack & Jill and Strictly Swing competitions for WCS around the United States. Tara has taught a plethora of dance styles internationally as well as across the United States. Within the last year, Tara has begun MC’ing for swing events including: Sin City, Swingtacular, Dance N’ Play, Swingin New England, and City of Angels.
In 2009, Tara furthered her education by attending the University of California Berkeley. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in history focusing on British Fascism and the life of Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the Fascist movement in Britain in the pre-war period. After getting her degree, Tara returned to Southern California to continue her career as a professional dance instructor.
Locally in Southern California, Tara works out of Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, California and at Buddy Schwimmer’s studio, The Dance Center in Redlands, California.
Tara is excited to be creating a new partnership with Stephen White, a dance professional trained in styles including Latin, Ballroom, Hustle, Salsa, Country Western, and WCS.