Trendsetters To Know: Jesse Dickson & Lannie Sullivan

Name:  Jesse Dickson and Lannie Sullivan

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Title: Tucson’s Premiere Dance Couple

Kids: Quasi and Pugsley, the two toothiest pups in the West.

City we live in: Tucson, Arizona

A typical day in our life includes…
when we’re at home the first thing we do is hit the gym. Happy, healthy bodies are a must in our line of work. Then we practice for a few hours before teaching our students. Lessons at home cover all major partner dances: ballroom, country, swing, and even a bit of ballet! But when we’re on the road our day looks very different.

When working an event, we typically wake up to teach a workshop or two, judge for a few hours, and maybe have some daytime competitions. Squeeze in some lessons. Then we perform our routine and social dance until the early morning hours. Usually around 3 in the morning we drag ourselves to bed so we can rinse and repeat the next day! It makes for long weekends, but we absolutely love every minute of it! On average, we do this twice a month.

Our favorite thing about Arizona…
is definitely the weather. We love the dry heat and mild winters. We truly live in the most beautiful place on Earth – and we’ve seen a lot of places!

We’re listening to…
this is a tough one. We swing to all genres of music, so our ‘favorite’ songs change all the time. Right now, we’re grooving to a lot of Matt DiMona. Especially Touch and Old School Turntables.

Our family…
is our constant support. They have been relentlessly supportive of us every step of the way. Their opinions, suggestions, and confidence mean everything to us.

One thing we cannot live without…
for Jesse it’s coffee. For Lannie it would be her cacti/garden. And the boys, obviously. Couldn’t imagine life without the pups!

We are inspired by…
all the dancers we’re lucky enough to cross paths with. West coast swing is such a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community. No two dances or dancers are ever the same. All our interactions with these people keep us inspired. Young and old. Experienced and novice. Truly, all walks of life. They come together to create an incredible blend that continues to keep us inspired and engaged.

The one person who motivates us is…
each other. We call one another our “accountability buddies”. We do our best to hold ourselves accountable to each other whether it’s the gym, practicing, or just generally pushing harder. It’s much easier to stay motivated and focused when your teammate is committed to your goals and believes in you.

The perfect day would be…
full of productive, engaged lessons. Or a great run of our routine! Better yet, a night filled with killer social dances. The perfect day could be anything, but it would definitely involve moving.

Our first jobs were…
dance teachers! Combined, we’ve been teaching over 30 years.

Our lives…
have been thoroughly enriched by dance. Dancing has taken us all across the world, giving us the privilege to collaborate and explore with countless other dancers. No matter the language, culture, or distance, we all share this common passion. We would love for readers to check out YouTube and see west coast swing. Or feel free to reach out to us with questions/interest in local resources. Dancing has given us so much, and we want others to experience that as well.

We’re currently working on…
our new Classic routine, and we are extra excited to share this piece with everyone. The song we’re dancing to is one we’ve been holding on to for years. We actually intended to use it for our first swing routine, and had even choreographed the whole thing, but it just wasn’t quite right. This time it is.

Always…
do it your way. Stay authentic!

Never…

pass up an opportunity to be kind.

Favorite Quote…
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

More About Jesse & Lannie…

Originally Rhythm Rising Star Champions, Jesse and Lannie followed their hearts to become West Coast Swing dancers. Together they have won events around the world, and ranked top 5 at the US Open the last two years – an event largely considered the industry’s most prestigious.  When they’re not on the road, this couple’s mission is to share the joy of dancing with their Arizona community!



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