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About Our Board

Our board meets monthly, on the first Wednesday at 8pm. Members are welcome to observe. If you would like the meeting link, please email rebelsmember@gmail.com prior to the meeting.

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Kenneth Gauen, President

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Jon Plotkin, Vice President

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Kerry Dickey, Secretary

Kerry began dancing with the STL Rebels in late 2017. She enjoys helping wherever she can to support the STL Rebels and has served on the club's board as a member at large (2020-2021), vice president (2022) and currently as the club's secretary.

 

Kerry enjoys learning and dancing a variety of dance styles including west coast and Imperial east coast swing, cha cha and nightclub two-step to name a few. She also spreads her love of dance by inviting others to come to the STL Rebels' dances and learn to dance west coast swing.

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Karin Gauen, Membership Director

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Crystal Auclair, Dance Director

Crystal began swing dancing in 1999 with Suzy Nyemchek as her first instructor. Dance came naturally to her, due to her background in gymnastics. At 15 Crystal traveled nationally and internationally teaching workshops and private lessons, judging and competing for the next 15 years. She partnered with several professionals competing in the Classic and Showcase divisions, working events around the world. During this time, she also helped foster and teach the St. Louis junior dancers group, in which her daughter, Lily was also raised.  Lily now competes at a national level. Crystal has been around since the Rebels inception, and has event directed Meet Me in St. Louis with Katie Hicks in interim years past and they are now back and running it together. Crystal looks forward to working more closely with the Rebles in the coming year.

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Cory Johnson, Communications Director

Cory was introduced to swing dancing when she met some dancers who introduced her to the Juniors program at South Side Imperial in 1991.  Her 2 sons danced competitively with the Juniors for 5 years. The Juniors program introduced her to West Coast Swing when they traveled to the US Open and Grand Nationals (to name a few). West Coast Swing is her favorite dance by far.  Ballroom runs a close second thanks to David Nyemchek Sr. who began teaching her in 1986, and ultimately coached a lot of the Juniors, including her sons!

 

She has served on multiple Swing Dance Club Boards over the years in various roles. Her experience with the Rebels began as a DJ for Mike and Dawn at Sports Cafe and continued at the Stratford Inn. She’s a Founding Member of the Rebels and was on the first Rebels Board serving as Event Director for Meet Me in St. Louis, Workshop Coordinator, then later as President. One of her proudest achievements was as the Event Director for Meet Me in St. Louis Swing Dance Championships for the first 3 years of the Event. 

 

When asked to rejoin the Rebels Board, the positive energy, multi-generational membership, and the rejuvenated Juniors program were all irresistible. She can’t wait to see where we can take the club now! 

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Katie Hicks, Marketing Director
Katie’s love for West Coast Swing is deeply rooted in St. Louis, but her love of dance began at age 4. She was a very successful competitive studio dancer, when at the age of 16 she was introduced to country dancing.  At a country dance, she was introducted to West Coast and a new spark was found. Katie has been competing in WCS since 2005. As a founding member and past President of the St. Louis Rebels, she is thrilled to be a part of the board once again. Katie is a long time competitor and lover of the social dance.  Her favorite music to dance to is blues, with great covers of classics coming in a close second.  

 

Katie lives in Defiance, MO with her husband Ron and two sons. Please connect with Katie on Facebook at facebook.com/ktslater and follow the MMISL event at https://www.facebook.com/MMISTL.

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Sarah Truglio

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Mitch Gegg

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Kate Verner
Kate started dancing in the Latin & Ballroom Dance Club and Salsa Dance Club at Purdue University in 2012. She taught Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cha-cha, and choreography throughout her seven years in Indiana. In 2021, Kate started training with All-stars Byron & Tammy Bellew in the art of West Coast Swing. Sheven Kekoolani, Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mollman have also been influential coaches. One day she hopes to teach WCS regularly at a studio. In the meantime, she is helping to grow the WCS community in St. Louis by serving The Rebels dance club!

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Michael Newman

Michael has been an active member of the St. Louis West Coast Swing community since early 2017. He loves sharing his passion for West Coast Swing with others - not only on the social floor, but in teaching group classes with Sarah Truglio and DJing from time to time.
 

Having done board service for 501c(7) and 501c(3) nonprofit organizations, Michael is excited to bring his experience to the St. Louis Rebels to bring both stability and scale to the club.

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