Natalia Eristavi

Nova Star 2018

Natalia began Swing dancing in 2010 at the age of 17 at Atomic Ballroom, Irvine California. Starting with Lindy Hop and Balboa, she immediately fell in love with the music and community culture. She grew up dancing under the wings of accomplished and respected Lindy Hop and Balboa dancers such as Justin Zillman, Augie Freeman, Laura Keat, Jeremy Otth, Nick Williams and James Bianco as well as took creative inspiration from the original California Swing dancers such as Jewel McGowan, Dean Collins, Freda Angela Wyckoff, Sandy Chavez, George Christopherson, Willie Desatoff and Maxie Dorf. After a year of lot of hard work and focused practice, Natalia began assisting instructors with their lessons at Atomic Ballroom and soon took over her own classes and privates. Teaching was and still is something Natalia immensely enjoys as it allows her to share her thoughts and philosophies with her community as well as discover and experiment with new ideas and keep herself challenged. Natalia has taught workshops and events all over the world including Norway, Amsterdam, Slovenia, Germany, U.K., Spain, Poland, France, China and Hungary to name a few. As a competitor, she has received numerous awards and has placed in many All-Star level competitions in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at events such as Camp Hollywood, the International Lindy Hop Championships, Lindy Fest, Camp Jitterbug and many more. In 2016 Natalia began experimenting with different Swing dance styles such as Carolina Shag, West Coast Swing and Collegiate Shag. In 2017, she took on the responsibility of building a SoCal Carolina Shag scene with the help of James Bianco. This project is something Natalia and James put a lot of time and passion into from studying the dance extensively in order to teach it accurately and giving hundreds of hours of free time to students to ensure that the budding community would continue to grow. Natalia can both lead and follow at a high level in Lindy Hop, Balboa and Carolina Shag and is well versed in solo jazz. She places a lot of value on the honesty in dancing such as true engagement to music and the finessed dynamics of partner connection and communication. Aesthetically, these values translate to a mixture of LA and Hollywood style Lindy Hop with rhythmic texturing. Natalia constantly practices her craft to ensure consistent growth and refinement. She enjoys dancing with everyone no matter what their level or status as she believes that this encourages a healthy and inclusive dance community. This perspective is also something she believes directly contributed to her making finals in competitions as it challenged her to make social dancing comfortable and successful with anyone she was paired with. She does her best to create an atmosphere of inclusivity with her students and dance partners, be it social or competitive. Natalia places a lot of importance on maintaining historical integrity in the Swing Dances she works with even while pushing creative boundaries. She believes in learning from the generations prior to her own and absorbing as much knowledge from the old time dancers as possible so that the integrity of Swing dancing may be passed through her as well as the generations that follow. She hopes that her teaching and performing plays a small part in accomplishing this.