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About Monterey Swing Fest

The Dreamchild of John Wheaton

Founding Event Director John Wheaton created a revolutionary event in 1994, merging both Southern and Northern California swing dance communities in its pristine Central Coast hub of Monterey. He changed the landscape of the modern swing dance event in both its aesthetic, educational structure and social dance environment. 

For 29 years, John directed MSF with a goal in bringing our 'Dance Fam' together for a fun, learning and safe space for ALL to dance, learn, compete and party the night away.
We mourn the loss of such a visionary pillar to our WCS community but know his Legacy will live on for the years that follow as Monterey Swing Fest's torch has been passed on to admittedly nervous yet willing and eager hands.

In honoring John's wishes, I have been asked to be MSF's new event and creative director. It would be impossible to fill his shoes, but luckily I know of someone with rather big feet ;). I have asked Tara Trafzer to continue her impeccable work with MSF as co-Event Director with me as she has done for the past several years being John's cohort. Swing Dance is nothing without a wonderful dance partner and I'm excited with what the two of us have envisioned for MSF for the years to come.

I often look back at all the private conversations John and I shared about life, art and even MSF itself. One of the last things John said before he passed after being assured his legacy would continue in perpetuity was "Thank you." . I think the Swing Dance Community would agree with the sentiment "Right back at ya, John." .

Come celebrate with us at Monterey's 32nd Anniversary!

-Benji Schwimmer

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