Ben Morris

Nova Star 2008

Rising Star 2018

Born in Kirkland, Washington, Ben Morris began swing dancing at the age of 12 after moving to Denver, Colorado.  He started with East Coast Swing, but quickly developed an interest in Lindy Hop – and by the time he was 13 Ben was going out dancing two to three nights a week.  In 2001 Ben began to travel for Lindy Hop camps and competitions, mainly on the East Coast.  At the 2001/2002 New Years Dance Extravaganza in Danvers, Massachusetts, Ben became interested in, and subsequently began to compete in, West Coast Swing in addition to Lindy Hop. Ben teamed up with Melina Ramirez in 2003 for the US Open.  He received the Spirit of Lindy Hop award during this same period.  Ben and Melina kicked off their partnership by winning the Young Adult division, 2003 and 2005, and continued as partners to the Adult Classic Divisions, traveling and winning. During this time, Ben was also a full-time student at University of Denver High School, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA and went through the process of applying to college.  After turning down Cornell, Columbia, and MIT, Ben decided to attend UCLA and in 2007 he graduated with a degree in Business Economics and Accounting. Ben won the Showcase division at the 2006 US Open Swing Dance Championships with Carla Heiney – the first time a vintage style swing routine has won that division since the early 80’s. Together they achieved much in the short year they partnered including a part in the movie, Love-n-Dancing. Ben has achieved success with many partnerships; Melissa Rutz, Jennifer DeLuca, and current partner, Victoria Henk. Ben was featured in a Leann Rhimes video, “Swingin,” and performed on stage with her at the CMT Awards. Ben has dabbled in many dances, including Balboa, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Mambo, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom, and Country – but his love for swing dancing is still the strongest. He continues to work on his dancing in both Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing while still maintaining the separate spirits and styles of the two dances. His current goals are to improve the Southern California swing dance community. Ben runs Swingin the Blues and Jack and Jill O’Rama in Orange County.