I have over 20 years of dance background in a variety of styles. Over the last 15 years, I have dedicated my talents and passion to West Coast Swing. I currently teach, compete, judge, choreograph and perform at the highest level in this genre of dance. Pictures and videos can be found on the “Media” page.
Demetre Souliotes’ love of dance first manifested itself at a young age in the form of Hip-Hop and Break Dancing. By age 13, he was competing, battling and winning in three different styles of Hip Hop. Since those early years, dance has remained a constant and integral part of his life. It wasn’t till a couple years later that his journey of life and dance would change forever. Demetre found West Coast Swing, a dance that introduced him to the unique joys of partner dancing while still touting the same freedoms of individual creativity, self-expression and musicality that he so enjoyed with Hip Hop.
Dance, and West Coast Swing in particular, quickly became an all-encompassing passion. 3 months after learning the basics of WCS, Demetre won his first competition. Within 2 years and a quick accent through the competition circuit, he was asked to partner by one of the top champion dancers of the day, Beata Howe. Demetre and Beata traveled the USA full time on the WCS professional circuit competing, performing, teaching and then capping the year with a 6th place finish at the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Following that explosive start as a WCS Dance Professional, Demetre traveled the world competing, performing, teaching, judging and choreographing. He has won, finaled and placed in countless Champion and Invitational West Coast Swing competitions.
Demetre has had the privilege to teach and judge at some of the most revered conventions in the West Coast Swing community such as Liberty Swing, The After Party, Swingtacular, Swingin’ New England, Summer Hummer, Boston Tea Party, South Bay Fling, Palm Springs Summer Swing Dance Classic, Dallas Dance, MadJam, Wild Wild Westie and Swing Thing. In addition to weekend events, Demetre had the honor and privilege of being invited to New York to teach at the famed dance studio Dance Manhattan. There he spent two months teaching alongside some of the best dancers in the world.
Back home in Southern California, Demetre has taught dance at the University of Southern California (USC) as well as Cal Tech University in Pasadena. Additionally, he spent 4 years teaching all over Asia and started the WCS community in China. When not traveling on the circuit, Demetre teaches and hosts classes and dances all over Southern California. In 2014, Demetre and his new partner, Kristen Humphrey, placed top 12 in the Classic Division at the US Open Swing Dance Championships.
Over the years, many great dancers in the WCS community have influenced and mentored Demetre, such as Robert Royston, Mario Robau Jr., Beata Howe, Mary Ann Nunez and Kyle Redd along with many others. When asked, Demetre describes his style of WCS as focused on a base of micro connection, clear lead and silent conversation to create the framework in which free body movement and expression can take place – along with a touch of Hip Hop for good measure. Through the last decade, his style has evolved from the inspiration of his Hip Hop roots, his friends in Lindy Hop, his amazing peers in the WCS community and the natural evolution of this amazing street dance called West Coast Swing.
Demetre was recently nominated for the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame.