Karin Kakun and Rolf Eirik Hegrand announce an official professional partnership.
She is the first Israeli westie to have WSDC Champion points. Furthermore, she’s a world champion in Salsa, a professional Hip-Hop teacher, a Salsa and Bachata choreographer, and event director of TLV Swingfest.
He is the only Norwegian leader who dances in the WSDC All-Star division.
They have already established a partnership off the dance floor over a year ago, but now we’ll get to see them teach together on a regular basis.
In September at Citadel Swing 2019, they got to be on staff at a big European event for the first time. They taught group classes and danced on the pro show next to some world-class champions: Maxime & Torri, Maxence & Virginie, John & Alyssa, Jakub & Emeline, and Paul & Coleen.
Let’s hear it from Karin and Rolf
On a scale of one to ten, how stressful was it to dance on the pro show next to some of the top champions?
First of all, these dancers are really good. In addition, it was our first time teaching at a WSDC event together, which made it very special. Rolf has not danced in a while leading up to the event because of work, so with all this in mind – yes, it was a very exciting experience.
Shout-out to Andrei and Lumi for having us!
Is being champions one of your goals?
Firstly, we would like to teach more weekends together here in Europe. Then, as of the summer next year, we are moving together and we will focus more on dancing.
Do you plan on having a US Open routine?
We would have loved to go this year, but Rolf just could not make it fit with his work schedule.
Tell us a bit about your background: How did each of you come across West Coast Swing?
In October 2015 I started dancing “Norwegian Folk Swing”, and I got completely hooked. I have always been like that: When I find something I like, I go all in. Moreover, at one point I was dancing folk swing 20 hours a week.
A few months later I came across some West Coast Swing videos on YouTube. I especially remember this video of Jordan and Virginie at Budafest, dancing to “Rebound Chick”, which I thought looked really cool. It led me to take my first WCS Class in January 2016, and the rest is history.
After that, it took me a few months to learn that the dance from Budafest actually included many Zouk elements.
Norwegian Folk Swing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGshpwMb-5A
Jordan and Virginie, Budafest 2015– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sEmP7ef_zM
My friends tried to convince me to dance West Coast Swing for a long time. At the time I was in the middle of a successful Salsa career, therefore I was hesitant to start a different dance.
Eventually, my friends managed to talk me into attending Budafest in 2014. Honestly, I just went with them for shopping. Little did I know that my friends had bought me a full pass. Hence I took my first ever WCS class at this event. Seeing the dance at its highest level made me want to try it. In addition, I competed at the event and made 1st place in Newcomer JnJ, which motivated me even more.
Karin and Rolf, how did the relationship between the two of you start? Who hit on who?
Let us just say it all started with a body roll.
So to all you WCS dancers out there who do not know how to body roll yet – you know what you need to do.
You’re going to be on staff at Westie Spring Thing 2020 as well. Do you have any other events planned for 2020?
Coming up we will be teaching in Freiburg, Germany on the 2nd weekend of January. In addition, we will be judging and competing at quite a few events this winter as well.
Good luck, Karin and Rolf
I am sure we are all curious and looking forward to seeing this partnership grow and evolve. Likewise, it will definitely have an interesting impact on the international West Coast Swing community and on the dance itself. Above all, I wish Rolf & Karin good luck and many years of common creation.