The Lindyroos

Mark Calkins and Shannon Varner

“Mark Calkins and Shannon Varner,

Specializing in lindy hop, charleston, balboa, and swing in the Ohio Region”


We are Mark Calkins and Shannon Varner, the Lindyroos! We are a passionate and enthusiastic swing dance team dedicated to bringing authentic swing era dances to you. We offer group classes, workshops, and private lessons for lindy hop, charleston, collegiate shag, balboa, and swing. Our classes are always fun and relaxed for everyone, no matter your age, fitness level, or dance experience. Our first priority is to make sure you feel welcome, relaxed, and are having fun... because that's what swing dancing is about! Contact us for event, festival, and wedding performances.

About Mark

Instructor, Choreographer, DJ

Mark Calkins is the core choreographer for Team SwingColumbus, the local performance and competition group in Columbus, OH. Utilizing his sense of musicality and breadth of swing, he has served as the lead architext for the majority of the team's routines. Together Mark and Shannon have led the team to wins across the midwest and coached the team to a Top Ten finish at the International Lindy Hop Championships.

He has also competed in numerous Lindy Hop competitions. Mark advanced into the semi-final round of the world's largest Jack & Jill contest at the Frankie95 festival and holds contest awards in Indiana, Ohio, and Massachusetts.

Mark is an influential DJ in the Columbus area and currently coordinates music for SwingColumbus events as the Music Chair. Mark is a dancer's DJ and his sets have been described as "wonderfully whimsical (or tipsy)" by an Ivy League faculty member.

About Shannon

Instructor, Choreographer

Shannon Varner discovered Lindy Hop while living in New York City in 1997. She has won numerous awards, placing in such competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, Virginia State Open, and the Jack & Jill contest at Midsummer Night Swing in NYC.

She has performed in New York and Chicago with some of her credits including: "PBS' Swingin with the Duke" with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; The Today Show; and Chicago's month long dance program, Dance Chicago.

Shannon rounds out her dance experience with a background in arts administration at The Martha Graham Dance Co and the prestigious Julliard School.


  • Dayton Swing Smackdown

    We are excited for Dayton Swing Smackdown, coming up this weekend! If you’ve never attended, you really should. It is a fantastic event, a great place that encourages and inspires all levels of dancers, and is a competition that celebrates the huge effort it takes to work on a Lindy Hop team. It’s a wonderful event for the Midwest region, showcasing what our many, varied swing scenes have to offer while allowing all levels to have a voice in the team competition.

    Josh Forbes and all the organizers, past and present have worked hard to create an event that is supportive, enjoyable, and encouraging, while still being a competition. The team competition is always lively, entertaining and bursting with creativity. It is great to watch dancers that are just discovering Lindy Hop to perform on teams along with seasoned dancers. It is such a scene-building and spirit-boosting event. We are always excited and amazed to see where Lindy Hop has taken our fellow competitors. Come out and dance with us this weekend, or just come for the show.

    This year is especially meaningful to us as we will be passing the torch and plan to no longer be captains of Team SwingColumbus once the season is over. It’s been a great 9 years. 9 years of choosing music, flailing aerials, crooked lines, picking costumes, changing partners, soldier boy dances, gangbusters, extra follows, blowing bubblegum, crafting Rube Goldberg machines, and holding that swingout line – how quickly the time has gone! We will still plan to be a part of Dayton Swing Smackdown, as we doubledown on our dancing, teaching, and competing together. Cheers!

    Here are a handful of routines that have inspired us over the years:

    2011- UD Swing Club

    2012- Miami Swing Syndicate

    2012- OSU Jitterbucks

    2013- Rhythm Cats

    2015- CTA Blue Line

    And certainly we could not forget, the year we were not able to bring the trophy home:
    2010- Hoosier Hot Shots

    Dayton Swing Smackdown and the team competitors have always motivated, challenged, and inspired us. They have constantly kept us on our toes, causing us to keep pushing our team goals and creativity. Thank you!!

    A huge Thank you to all our team members, past and present:

    • Mandy Agler
    • Cristina Amurao
    • Erwin Amurao
    • Christina Austin
    • Kat Barnes
    • Danny Beyrer
    • Binaebi Calkins
    • Gail Clendenin
    • Lee Conley
    • Robert Cooper
    • Becky Daskalova
    • Aleks Daskalov
    • Erik Hernandez
    • Jonathan Howard
    • Daniel Hoy
    • Hew Keller
    • Rachel Keller
    • Viktor Lillard
    • Cal Lin
    • Ali Lodico
    • Caitlin Martin
    • David Martin
    • Angela Jayne Michell
    • Crystal Nakatsu
    • Desiree Roffers
    • Josh Sarkar
    • Brandon Schott
    • Stanley Steers
    • Anna Young
    • Theresa Wong

    CBUS HO! See you on the dance floor!

    Shannon & Mark

  • Recap: The Original Jelly Roll Blues


    For the first 4 months of 2013, Shannon and I coached our team through two competitions and successfully completed another undefeated season!  This year brought a number of challenges along with the added pressure to match the success of our Back Bay Shuffle routine.

    Because we’ve been asked on numerous occasions on how we do choreography, we have offered some insights about this year’s process.


  • Follow the Lindyroos this Fall!

    This autumn season is getting full for the Lindyroos — check out our “tour” schedule below!

    John Vermeulen Octet @ Nyoh’s Buckeye Bar – Teaching/DJing
    Wednesday September 26th  7:30-11 pm
    2871 Olentangy River Road Columbus, Ohio 43202

    Admission: $8


  • We’re now on WordPress! on WordPress

    Our new site is up!

    Most things are in order, but there are still a few kinks we are working out especially if you are using Internet Explorer – I”d recommend using another browser like Firefox, Safari, etc for your own viewing pleasures.

    Thank You 

    A big thank you to Russell Maltempo who has hosted our old website for many years.  Thank you for your continued support and allowing the Lindyroos to be on the web for the first time!  You can visit his website here:

    Another big thanks to Binaebi Akah who has spearheaded the development of  our new website and kick-started us to update to WordPress.  You’ve done an amazing job and we truly appreciate your efforts in getting this website in order.  You can visit her website here:


Contact Us

Telephone // 614.594.9086
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