Austin, Texas is lucky to have access to creative and analytical instructors from all different backgrounds.  If you want to take your swing to the next level, feel free to reach out to one of these instructors! You can also check out these local studios to find instructors: Austin Uptown Dance and Go Dance.


Felipa Mendez

Felipa is a dance instructor with over 21 years of dance experience. The first dances she learned were ballet, tap, and jazz, along with 11 years of hip hop dancing experience. 

Felipa took ballroom and country dancing lessons in the college club, Texas Ballroom, where she learned International Ballroom, American Ballroom, and Country dancing. It was through Texas Ballroom, and her first West Coast Swing teacher, Sherry Reynolds, that she learned how to dance West Coast Swing. In the following years she was taken under the wing of Jake Greene and pursued her passions for Country and West Coast Swing dancing. She has 6 years of West Coast Swing dance experience, and has been teaching for over 4 years. 

She is a 3 time UCWDC World champion in line dance, ProPro, and couples divisions, where she danced solo, and as a leader and a follower. She is also a 3 time national champion of country dance, and dances in the Superstar line dance and couples divisions in the nationals circuit. 

In 2022, Felipa competed at the Open Swing Dance Championships and finished 6th place in the Rising Star division with her partner, Chris Brown. In 2023, Felipa qualified for the WSDC All Star division as a follower. 

Felipa loves teaching competitive students, and students that just love to social dance at Austin Uptown Dance. Her favorite things to work on with her students are connection, technique, and musicality. 


Kirsten Hird


Kirsten has been teaching movement arts for almost 20 years and dancing for almost 40. Over the years she has been a professional instructor of circus arts and fire spinning, West Coast Swing, and a certified instructor of American ballroom. She is also a certified personal trainer. 

As a competitor in ballroom she is an Open Professional Smooth finalist and has placed 2nd in Rising Star Professional Smooth. In West Coast Swing she is an All-Star and a first place Rising Star routine champion. She has also placed first as a lead in American Smooth. Notably as an instructor she holds many ballroom top teacher awards and has helped coach West Coast Swing US Open Classic finalists. 

She is known for being a technical and concise instructor who is clear, adaptable, and focused on health, ergonomics, and logic while keeping sessions engaging and fun. Specialities include: coaching of performance and competitive routines of any kind, competitive training and cross training, navigating injuries and unique body needs in dance, and solo drills. 

Currently she teaches in-person private lessons at Austin Uptown Dance Studio and virtual lessons through many different video platforms for leads, follows, and couples. For scheduling and payments contact Kirsten directly through email, text, phone, or Facebook. All are welcome! 


David Miller

David Miller is inarguably a Texan, through and through! Born and raised in Houston, David led the exciting life of an amateur bull-rider-turned-deputy-sheriff, and is now a full-time dance instructor.

He is a 5 time UCWDC Couples Country Dance World Champion and an Allstar in WSDC.

David teaches all forms of couples dancing independently in Austin, Texas.


Rachel Shook

Rachel is a WSDC All Star West Coast Swing Dancer based in Austin, TX. Rachel discovered West Coast Swing 7 years ago and instantly fell in love with the dance because of the wide variety of music, its collaborative nature, and individual expression of movement. Rachel regularly trains with the top west coast swing professionals on the circuit to improve her own dance and to inform her teaching. She also practices and works diligently through training solo movement, video analysis, and partnered practice to improve her dance. Rachel has multiple placements in the all star division and continues to train to one day compete in the Champion division and is working to put a routine on the floor this year. Rachel teaches private lessons, workshops, and especially enjoys teaching solo swing workshops to help dancers incorporate isolations, footwork, and other individual movement into their West Coast Swing. 


Joshu Creel

Joshu was so hyperfixated on west coast swing when he found it that he skipped his own college graduation to go to a dance event. Since discovering the conversational and improvisational beauty of the dance, Joshu has obsessively traveled to events and cities in the pursuit of better WCS and now competes at the WSDC AllStar level. 

In his time on the circuit as a dancer, instructor, and judge, Joshu has become known for an intensely analytical approach to competition and an organic approach to improv and cocreation, much like in his other work as a D&D game master, and proudly is always working to combine those two worlds. 

He is most passionate about helping students find their most joyous path in the dance and achieve the competitive growth, social dance adaptability, and emotional catharsis they are seeking. Joshu offers private lessons online and in Austin, group classes, competitive video review from a trained judge’s eye, and more. 

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