John Festa was born into a New York family where dancing was vital, he was taught the Lindy Hop at an early age. After pursuing a career in ballet, John rediscovered Lindy Hop in a burgeoning swing scene of NYC in the mid-80's. It was at his first swing weekend that John was introduced to West Coast Swing. What was most attractive was the diversity of music. John quickly became a pivotal figure in both the national and local West Coast Swing worlds. He not only competes, judges and teaches, but is also one of the top DJ's, playing music for many of the top swing events throughout the country.
Aside from West Coast Swing, John has been blessed to have traveled the country through the various dance circuits since 1988. Traveling allowed him to study all forms of swing dance with many of the legends within their perspective styles including Lindy, East Coast, Swing, Whip, Push, Jitterbug, Tulsa Swing, St. Louis Imperial, and Shag.
John was part of "Dancin...The Company", a jazz and tap group out of Houston for seven years. His coach and choreographer, Glen Hunsucker, John describes as "the single biggest influence I have had in my dance career...he was ruthless when it came to perfection and lightning quick when it came to choreography and learning. I once saw him choreograph the "Shaft" theme song (9 minutes) for the entire company of 16 people in 30 minutes, and it was PERFECT! Not a single nuance was missed in the song. It was at that moment that I began to truly appreciate his immense talent."
Well, it must've worked. John is one of the few pros in West Coast Swing who comes to the dance with a professional ballet background, and it shows. Reknown for their footwork, if you ever have the pleasure to see Festa dance swing with sometimes partner Blake Hobby Dowling, you are in for a major treat.
John Festa and Blake Hobby 2008 BBB
Blake Hobby & John Festa West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing lessons with Blake Hobby
jeannie Tucker & John festa Memoirs
John Festa & Blake Hobby