Ramona loves to dance. She has been dancing the lindy hop since the age of 11, and after all these years, her enthusiasm is infectious and genuine. Having grown up in Ithaca, New York, Ramona was only 14 when spotted by one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop, Frank Manning. Still in her early teens, Manning asked Ramona to open with him at the Midsummer Night Swing series at Lincoln Center in New York City. What Ramona values and prioritizes in class, on the social dance floor, on stage, and in life, came very much from working with and being around Frankie. Ramona is interested in the present moment, giving her full attention to her partner, the music, and herself.
As a competitor, Ramona has won numerous titles including, World Lindy Hop Champion in 2002, Authentic Jazz and Slow dancing Champion at the 2009 Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and most recently, 2014 Pro Classic Champion at the International Lindy Hop Championships. She has studied, and in some cases, continues to practice Ballet, Clogging, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, and West African. For many years, she danced with The Vanaver Caravan Music and Dance Company, and shared the stage with such greats as Arlo Guthrie, Natalie Merchant, and Pete Seeger. Ramona has worked as a teaching artist in schools from Long Island to Udaipur, India. Ramona is co founder and dance director of the Melbourne Rhythm Project along with Leigh Barker and the New Sheiks. Ramona currently resides in Melbourne, Australia and teaches locally as well as continuing to teach all over Australia and around the World.
In the end, it’s community and a shared collective joy that keeps Ramona coming back for more. http://ramonastaffeld.com/