Rafal Pustelny is a vibrant young dancer who has a true Jitterbug spirit as well as a classically trained background hailing from his Polish Folk Dancing roots. He is equally accomplished and passionate about both historical cultural dance forms; American Vernacular Jazz dance styles and all things swing dance related – from dance to culture to fashion – yet he has the ability to perfectly blend the class and elegance of his Polish Folk Dance training with the fun improvisational dance styles found in American Swing Dancing.
He began his dance career studying the Boogie Woogie – the European cousin of America’s historical original social swing dance, the Lindy Hop. After relocating to the United States in 2010, Rafal expanded his repertoire to include many of the original authentic American Jazz dance forms – the Lindy Hop, Charleston and Balboa, and quickly established himself in NYC, regionally, and in the international dance community as an up-and-coming talent and “one to watch” in competitions.
As an ambassador for excellence in the swing dance youth community, one of his recent achievements was receiving the prestigious Frankie Manning Scholarship, awarding him international dance exposure to the well-established summer swing dance intensive program “Herräng Dance Camp” based in Sweden and home of the internationally renowned “Rhythm Hot Shots” professional performance dance company.
Among his other international ventures Rafal is also an accomplished Polish Folk Dancer who toured with the “Polish-American Folk Dance Company” this past summer. As part of the company he performed in Rzeszow where, besides Polish Folk Dancing, he had the opportunity to present his own original Lindy Hop choreography as part of a regional cultural exchange.
Rafal’s wide knowledge of various styles of dancing has opened opportunities to work with several regional performance groups throughout his career including “Roddy Caravella’s Canarsie Wobblers,” entertaining dapper patrons at Governors Island’s semi-annual & New York Times ‘hot-listed’ “Jazz Age Lawn Party,” as well as dancing with the “Ground Grippers Dance Company,” the “Big Apple Lindy Hoppers,” and the “Lindy Hop All-Stars.”
Rafal together with his dance partner, Adrienne Weidert, perform in various locations in New York City like Lincoln Center’s Annual ‘Midsummer Night Swing’ event, B.B. Kings Blues Club, Swing 46, the iconic Rainbow Room and many more.
Currently Rafal is most excited about sharing Lindy Hop with others. He and Adrienne can be found in NYC teaching at “You Should Be Dancing” studios and for the “Harlem Swings Youth Program” at A. Philip Randolph High School, working to bring swing dance back to where it all began – Harlem, NY – and to the next generation of dancers!
Rafal Pustelny & Adrienne Weidert dancing Lindy Hop in a Abbott Ziegler Films and JohnAbbottPhoto at the Irvington Town Hall Theater directed, photographed & edited by John Abbott & Matthew Ziegler. (Feb, 2016)