Enjoy this Portrait Conversation, Episode 2, with featured special guest Ryan Francois, dancer, choreographer and performer. Ryan, a world renowned master Lindy Hop Swing Dance Choreographer and Performer, 2 time winner of the U.S. Open and American Swing Dance Championships. Ryan is originally from my home town of London. He joined us live for this Portrait Conversation from Saint Petersburg, Russia, on April 17th and 24th, 2020.
This photo and the background of the banner at the top of this page are by photographer Stephanie O’Conner (www.rhinoceros.co.nz and www.stephanieoconnor.co.nz)
Part 1: Improvisation, Dreams, Jazz & Roots
Part 1 Overtime: Reading, Singing, Fighting & Dancing
Part 2: Motivation, Education & Touring
Part 2 Overtime: Film, Stage, TV & Music
Popularly known for his choreography on Strictly Come Dancing especially the Charleston routine that earned Chris Hollins & Ola Jordan Five 10’s and the win in the Strictly finals, Ryan Francois is an authority on dances connected and related to the Jazz & Swing era – including, The Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Jive, Charleston, Tap, Be Bop and Blues. Ryan is the the founder and Artistic director of the dance Company Swing X – Treme a fusion based group specializing in Ryan’s favorite dance style, The Lindy Hop.
Ryan’s works include the Broadway Musical “Swing!”nominated for 7 Tony Awards – including best choreography; The Disney Motion Picture “Swing Kids” Starring Christian Bale & Robert Sean Leonard; and “Do You Come Here Often” winner of the Olivier Award for best entertainment. Other credits include:
Strictly Dance Fever Seasons 1 & 2 _ BBC Television Featured Performer & Choreographer
Dancing With The Stars _ ABC Network – Guest Artist
Britain’s Got Talent _ITV – Choreographer ‘Candyman’ _ Swing X-Treme and The Irresistible’s
The Tony Awards _ The cast of “Swing” at Radio City Music Hall – Choreographer and Performer.
In a career that has spanned over 20 years, notable moments include:
“Idlewild” with OutKast for it’s innovation of fusing Hip Hop with Swing.
“Dudley Moore A Man For All Seasons” at Carnegie Hall especially meeting and working with Hollywood Legend Lauren Bacall.
“The Polar Express” Robert Zemeckis for the simple pleasure of being a dancing Elf.
The 2000 Tony Awards.
& His Guest performances with Jenny Thomas for “Dancing With The Stars” and Elton John’s 60th Birthday.
Click on this banner to learn more about Ryan’s online teaching
Here are some video clips showing Ryan performing on stage, TV and film, in music videos, and at festivals and dance camps, over the years, as well as examples of his choreography performed by his own dance troupes and other dancers he has worked with and trained.
Winter Black Swing Festival, Spain, 2018
Policoro in Swing, Italy, 2016
Lana Williams and Ryan, Festival Jazz aux Sources, Chatel-Guyon, France, 2016
Strictly Come Dancing – Intro with Lindy Hoppers, 2016
Frankie Award Messages For Ryan, Italy, 2016
Jitterbug Stroll, Rock That Swing Festival (RTSF), Munich, Germany, 2016
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani Charleston to Dr Jazz – Strictly Come Dancing, 2015
‘Entry of the Gladiators’, Jake Wood & Janette Charleston, Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One, 2014
The Jump Session Show, Rhythm Routine, 2013
The Jump Session Show, Mr. Zoots, 2013
‘Bang Bang’, Natalie Gumede & Artem dance the Charleston, Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One, 2013
TEDx Albertopolis, The real Harlem Globetrotters, Presentation by Ryan, 2013
Ryan and Remy, Camp Savoy, 2012
Slow Club – Two Cousins, with Remy Kouame, 2011
Matt & Charlotte Lindy Hop Routine, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), 2011
Helzapoppin’ Dance Routine Recreation, Frankie 95, New York City, 2009
‘Mack The Knife’, Ryan & Jenny perform at the Hellzapoppin’s 20th Anniversary Dance, Irish Center, Camden, London, 2009
‘Rooster’s Anthem’, Outkast, from film Ildewild, 2006
Swing!, Broadway Musical, Tony Award Nominee, Ryan dancing with Jenny Thomas at Tony Award Gala, New York City, 2000
Swing!, Broadway Musical, Montage showing Macys parade, Rosie O’Donnell Show, 2000
Swing Kids, 1993, Ballroom group dance scene
Swing Kids, 1993, Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard dancing
American Swing Dance Championships, with Sing Lim, New York City, 1993
Malcolm X, 1992
Ridin High, Robert Palmer, Zoots and Spangles performing, 1992
‘Make It With You’, The Pasadenas, 1992
The Children’s Royal Variety Performance, Zoots and Spangles, 1991
‘Why Can’t We Live Together’, Timmy Thomas (wrote song in 1972), 1990 MTV music video remix, Ryan’s dance partner is Julie Oram
Broadway Musical‘Black and Blue’, Wednesday Night Hop scene, 1990
‘Woman To Man’, Harriet (Roberts), 1990
‘This is the Right Time’, Lisa Stansfield, 1989
‘Dr! Dr!’, Shatakak, 1988
Please click on these wingtips to tip! Thank you for supporting the creation and sharing of art, entertainment and inspiration on this site. Besides donation, another way to support is by joining PaintboxTV.com which gives you access to hundreds of tutorial videos, custom digital art extras and participation in member-only online courses. The shoes shown in this photo were amongst my first dance shoes when I started Lindy Hop swing dancing and were signed by two of my dance inspirational heroes: Frankie Manning and Norma Miller.