The Team

Cristina Ciobanu

Originating in one of the villages in Suceava, a part of Romania deeply rooted in tradition, Cristina has always been surrounded by communities and the values they shared. 

In these communities, she has always been connected to music and dancing, although not always aware of their significance or impact on those practicing them, thus becoming, at some point, uprooted. 

Later, when she moved to other cities, she incessantly kept looking for that community feeling she remembered from childhood. So she became a community builder. 

Since 2017, she constantly worked to create that space she knew she wanted. That space where people felt safe, supported and inspired by those around them. Where people shared time, values and growth processes. Where they could make mistakes and learn from them. Where they could voice their personal missions and find resources within those around them. 

On an individual level, she found that feeling in lindy hop and knew what she had to do was create the community around the dance.

Since 2017, she constantly worked on both ends - improving herself as a dancer and sharing her knowledge with others. As a dancer, she learned continuously - while exploring lindy hop, she started discovering different needs in her growth, from working more freely with the body to incorporating the individual creation in a dance with its own existing rules. 

Over the years, that led to learning from contemporary dance instructors, hip hop dance instructors and always keeping herself open to how other dances and cultures intersect with that of lindy hop and that of her own.

Mihaela Mocanu

If we were to define a dancer as a person who loves to move their body on pieces of music, Mihaela has definitely been one since forever. 

With a huge curiosity for all genres, she explored moving freestyle at parties or imitating what she saw in video clips until discovering lindy hop in 2015. 

Although drawn in by the fun energy and being kept by the love for dancing, Mihaela realized that what she was actually looking for was belonging to a community that shares similar values and views with her. Only when she started feeling like she belonged to the right community, where she felt safe, encouraged and protected, she started to discover her identity as a dancer from a whole new point of view - that of a relationship with those around you, not just individual progress. 

Right now, she is keen on learning about music across ages, about culture, about community building, understanding how it all comes together, what drives people to create, co-create and what makes them want to go on separate ways.

Luciana Baicea

Being raised in the slum part of Bucharest, Luciana’s first interactions with music and dancing have been represented by those of the Roma community in the ghetto neighborhoods. She was raised to feel like she shouldn’t belong there, so she always participated in the festivities and celebrations from the sideline, watching, feeling, but unable to move or mix in with the others. 

She has been taught that there is shame in freely moving your body and there is shame in associating yourself with people who do so. As a consequence, she both dissociated from herself and from others. When she started being aware of the dynamics between the minority and the majority culture in Romania, trying to understand, accept and integrate multiple cultures into her understanding of the world has become one of the most important missions for her. 

When beginning her journey with lindy hop in 2019, Luciana started, step by step, understanding how she wanted to belong and contribute to that community, not being able or willing to be on the sideline anymore. So, after 1 year of pandemics, she started working with Cristina to build something they both wanted - a safe space for all to express themselves in dancing.

Teodora Raicu

For Teodora, jazz music and the culture around it were present way before lindy hop ever set foot in her life. She was brought up listening to the music, only letting herself be one with it without awareness. Later in life, she enjoyed almost exclusively contemporary jazz, experiencing music in a way that is both visceral and intellectual.

Once she joined the Jazz Roots Bucharest community, she also took the time to discover the roots of jazz, this way putting things altogether and starting to understand what it all meant to her, starting with the keyword “freedom”. She brought a kind and loving energy to the community and is discovering herself in the process, with every step we take to better integrate what the lindy hop and jazz culture represent for her own path.

Denis Vișan

Before becoming a dancer, Denis was a musician. So his understanding of lindy hop first came from a technical perspective. An avid fan of structure and theory before getting to apply things, Denis brings a deep layer of understanding to the dance. 

He is a very open person, keen on learning and, as everyone in the team, curious about discovering new styles, new cultures, new stories of all the people around him.

Dragoș Simion

Dragoș does everything he does out of pure love. He is an extremely energetic, extremely passionate individual, who will learn everything that comes in his way with the utmost excitement. 

Prior to dancing, he discovered his passion for theater, which he has been practicing for 5 years now. When he started dancing, in 2021, he brought a lot of the freedom and self expression learned in theater to his lindy hop practice. 

That allows him to never take himself or the others too seriously and allows him to improvise and adapt to his partner and always pays more attention to the connection than to his own person or planning ahead for the next move of the dance. 

Diving deeper and deeper in lindy hop and its story, he discovered he wants to understand better what this dance is all about, why are the people around the world dancing, why did they start in the first place and how do all of these fit in in his own story with the lindy hop.