About Us

Our Mission

Jazz Dance Film Fest is dedicated to spreading the love and joy of vintage jazz music and dancing to a wider audience, through the medium of film.

Our goals are:

To increase visibility of jazz music and dancing.
By facilitating the creation of short films, Jazz Dance Film Fest attempts to improve the general public's awareness of jazz music and dancing.
To update the representation of jazz music and dancing.
Videos submitted to this contest provide viewers with a current look at what jazz music and dancing is today, which may be in counterpoint to what is (or has been) presented in popular media.
To build connections between dancers, musicians, and filmmakers.
Jazz Dance Film Fest hopes to forge connections between vintage jazz dancers, jazz musicians, and filmmakers. We feel that these connections foster an exchange of ideas and creativity, while providing an opportunity for establishing meaningful interpersonal relationships.
To foster community.
It is our hope that the act of creating jazz dance films will encourage communities to work together, whether in the form of participation or support.
To create an alternate contest in the swing dancing community.
Dance contests are a great and vibrant part of the swing dancing community, and videos of these contests supply a wonderful source of inspiration to dancers. Jazz Dance Film Fest aims to augment the existing supply of media with videos of a different form: jazz dancing music videos. It is our hope that the videos submitted to our contest will add to the current repertoire of dancing videos available to the general public, while also giving dancers an alternate form of expression and creation.

We value:

We want to create excitement, both within the global dance community and among the general public, for both jazz music and dancing. The exciting nature of jazz music served as inspiration for the creation of vintage jazz dances, and we want to preserve that sense of excitement.
We wish to honor and pay tribute to those who came before us, with regards to both music and dance. While we are not against the evolution of this music and dance, we hope to evolve it from the base that has been given to us by those who created it, rather than invent a new art form. We feel that the music we use as official contest music pays tribute to vintage jazz in a way that is authentic in both style and attitude, even if it is not from that era.
We value creativity inherent in dancing, storytelling, and filmmaking. Through this contest, we hope to provide participants an opportunity to express various levels of creativity at every step of the filmmaking process.
We want to provide a framework for creating jazz dance films in accordance with the legal strictures around music and film production rights.

Who We Are

We are a small group of swing dancers (Lindy Hoppers) constructing the necessary framework (technical, legal, and organizational) for dancers and musicians to express their ideas about jazz music and dancing through film.

Alex Yan, President
Alex started Jazz Dance Film Fest in 2009 with the hopes of encouraging more non-dancers to see Lindy Hop. Besides running Jazz Dance Film Fest, he has also helped run various swing dance fundraisers, and DJ's at local dances. Upon occasion, Alex enjoys DJ'ing using video clips (Soundies and other swing jazz music videos). Alex hopes that this contest will encourage people to listen to more swinging jazz, and encourage non-dancers to try out swing dancing!
Madeline Yan, Vice President
Madeline is Alex's invaluable and indispensable aide in running Jazz Dance Film Fest. A seasoned dancer, Madeline loves social dancing, and exploring the creativity that is found in dancing with partners of all levels. This contest is a source of much enjoyment for her, as it provides participants a chance to express themselves (and their talents) in non-traditional ways.


HepCat Productions (SeattleSwing.com)
Every year, HepCat Productions has supported us by donating dance tickets for the winners. During the early days of this contest, the screening was held at the weekly HepCat dance. Thanks to HepCat Productions for their support!
Century Ballroom (CenturyBallroom.com)
Each year, the Century Ballroom has been supportive of our contest, from giving us space to run the screening, to allowing us to borrow their projector screen every year. We appreciate their help and assistance in this project!
Seattle Lindy Exchange (SeattleLindyExchange.org)
The Seattle Lindy Exchange has been kind enough to provide us with the space to hold our screening. We are grateful for their support and would like to encourage everyone to sign up for the Exchange!


Ally Stoneham (AllyStoneham.com)
Ally was the designer behind our first major rebranding of the Jazz Dance Film Fest (website and print promotions), including the creation of our logo. She has also contributed her design skills to other dance events, including the Seattle Lindy Exchange and the International Lindy Hop Championships. We appreciate her willingness to help us and her enthusiasm and support for the project.
Jesse Phillips (JessePhillipsDesigns.com)
Jesse has always been a dancer inspired to contribute to Seattle's swing and jazz dancing community. She was the prime mover for the Balboa Speakeasy dances at the Belltown Billiards in Seattle. She has helped us out by updating the look and feel of our promotional materials, and her timeliness in doing so has helped us tremendously.
Emily Howlett (Sound Legal Advocacy)
Emily has done a stellar job with assisting us in crafting the appropriate legal agreements we needed to work with bands and contest entrants. Her knowledge and experience in the field of intellectual property has been invaluable to our work.

Special Thanks

Thanks to all the musicians and bands who have helped us by letting us use their music for the contest. This contest would not exist without their help!
Thanks to everyone who has helped us in past and current contests, including designers, judges, setup and cleanup crews, emcees, and all those who have helped us promote and spread the word!
A big thank you to all the performers who have helped make our screenings an exciting event, and a huge success each year!