Staff

Paul Loschak
Artistic Direction, Finances, Operations, Music, Team Lead

Paul Loschak took his first blues dancing classes in Boston on the weekends of a summer internship in 2008. Two years later he moved back to Boston for grad school (but really for more blues dancing), and a little while after that he began teaching locally and DJing anywhere people were willing to spell "DJ Loveschak" correctly. Paul leapt head-first into dance organizing when he joined the 2016 SweetMo team as Sarah Elise's finance director and right-hand person. Or, as illustrated so eloquently in The Awkward Yeti, the bespectacled Brain to Sarah Elise's hopeful Heart.

Paul learned how to organize stuff through 15 years of work with nonprofits and service projects (including but not limited to community murals, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Campus Kitchens, and Planned Parenthood). In his spare time he builds robots that are used in surgery, does behind the scenes work for progressive political campaigns, and bakes noodle kugel.

Paul is excited to lead the SweetMo team and show off all the awesome things we have in store for 2018.


Sarah Elise
Artistic Direction, Comps, Workshops, Publicity

Sarah Elise started dancing more than 6 years ago now (eep!), and shortly thereafter was roped into doing housing for some random Boston event. She’s been involved with the running of Sweet Molasses Blues since 2013, and it hasn’t blown up yet. She absolutely could not make Sweet Mo happen without her amazing team, because she is as flighty and excited as Heart from the Awkward Yeti comics.

When she’s not planning Sweet Molasses, Sarah Elise organizes Shades San Francisco, takes all the dance classes she possibly can, hangs from metal hoops, and picks out the most extra outfits and costumes for her friends.


Derrick Rice
Website and Information

Derrick Rice started dancing four years ago as a personal challenge to try something outside of his comfort zone. It seems to have stuck. He's strongly rooted in Boston - he has been here for 14 years and recently expanded his family with his dog Quinn. Derrick enjoys organizing and teaching as a way to give back to the dance community. His strengths include spreadsheets, color coordination, and whisky.

Look for Derrick right next to the band, where the music is most infectious. Outside of dancing, you can find Derrick scoping out Cambridge and Somerville coffee shops, walking the neighborhood with Quinn, or at the gym and on the field.


Faye Adnak
Volunteer Coordinator, Operations, Communications, Boston Liaison

Faye has been dancing in and around Boston for the past five years and is happy to be on board this year as our Volunteer Coordinator, Boston Liaison (helping out of towners get where they need to go), and general core team member. Faye's background includes operations, investigations, peacebuilding, mediation, and sustainable technology. In her spare time, Faye enjoys kickboxing, video games, Vine (RIP), trap music, and kickin it with her many brothers. The way to her heart is good coffee, grilled cheese, rye whiskey, and anything involving the greatest nation on earth (Wakanda, of course). For Sweet Mo’2018, look for the lady with the bomb ass lipstick by the band stage- you're sure to find her there. 😘


Gwen Bone
Promoting positive community through tasty food, Publicizing awesome dance and volunteer opportunities

Gwen is an explosive professional and dancer. She’s been blues dancing for five years. You might even call her dancing… dope. She danced in Boston for three years, and for the past two years has been based in San Francisco. This year at Sweet Mo' she’s bringing you delicious late-night fuel and getting the word out about some sweet volunteer opportunities. When she’s not flying around the country she adores rock climbing, delicious food, and tiny dogs.


Julie Brown
Curriculum

Julie loves champagne, Star Wars, and smooth R&B. And, of course, blues music & dancing! She first started developing her love of blues dancing in 2004, and has since grown into a blues dance teacher, DJ, sometimes-organizer, and amateur researcher. At Sweet Mo' this year, Julie has worked with Sarah on instructor selection, developing the curriculum for the weekend, and making sure those things fit with the vision for the event.


Danna Solomon
Housing Coordinator

Danna Solomon has been working in the arts and culture sector in Boston for ten years. She has been blues dancing for four of those, and absolutely adores immersing herself in blues music and its culture alongside Boston's incredible dance community. Danna is excited to join the Sweet Mo team as Housing Coordinator this year, since she believes art is for everyone, and wants to help increase access to dance events in any way possible! She is also a strong advocate for Making New Best Friends™ through dance housing experiences. In addition to dancing, Danna enjoys theatre, literary fiction, talking to strangers and perusing Alan Cumming's Instagram.


Kal Anderson
Safer Spaces Coordinator

Kal has been dancing as long as he can remember and blues dancing since college.  He is certified in Mediation and Facilitation and has 5 years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, and safe space advisor operating out of an ombuds office. When not dancing, he spends his time painting and biking around Boston like it's a death-defying obstacle course.


Aries Reyes
Emcee

As an emcee, Aries has hosted, instigated, and enabled countless parties and celebrations. They’re often found on top of a chair; toasting births and successes, introducing notable humans, and celebrating life. They are justifiably proud of their Caesar Flickerman, Lumpy Space Princess, and Nigel Thornberry impressions, as well as their extensive knowledge of Steven Universe songs.

(Photo credit Devon Rowland)


Ben Hejkal
Photographer

Based in Minneapolis, Ben has been dancing and photographing dance for 11 years. Easy-going and unobtrusive, he loves capturing candid moments full of movement and expression. Sweet Molasses Blues is one of his favorite events, and he can't wait to party with all of you in Boston!


Anna Read
Rockstar Volunteer

Anna has loved to dance since before she could stand! She has been blues dancing since college, and recently joined the (local) circus! These days you can find her hanging from or climbing atop various people, or running around with her 10 month old labradoodle, Risley!


Charlene Chow
Rockstar Volunteer

Charlene collects dance styles and shoes, has taught Blues and Lindy Hop from Boston to Beijing, and worked over 50 events in various continents. Will sing a song about anything. Her favorite food groups are ice cream, coffee, tea, and geeky cocktails. Slytherpuff.


Kelsey Chase
Rockstar Volunteer

Kelsey is a Boston-based blues dancer who has been dancing in one form or another since she was 7 years old. She got her blues dancing start at UConn, where she was a competitive ballroom dancer for 3 years before being lured away by the freedom of the social floor. One of those creative types, she spends her non-dancing time making music, writing, and mixing up new cocktails. The quickest way to get her attention is to mention Harry Potter.


Amelia O'Leary
Rockstar Volunteer

Amelia uses her Chaotic Good energy to find joy in her dancing. Since falling in love with Blues in 2014, she finds herself often a super minion of sorts and gladly accepts the role. She has no idea what else to write, so let’s dance when we meet instead. Emily McNaughton (SCBF organizer) has approved this message.