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The Full Story

Values, History and Mission of Studio 88 Swing

Change your life, learn to dance!

From passion to international expertise: Our history since 1998

Studio 88 Swing is above all a story of passion and international expertise which began with the founding of the Swinging Air Force troupe in 1998. This troupe, the first Canadian troupe to distinguish itself in competition at the international level in 2001, is at the origin of the founding of Studio 88 Swing. For more than 15 years Didier Jean-François and Annie Trudeau formed the two pillars of this studio and contributed to its recognition at the global level and its success in competition, becoming the most decorated team in the Americas. In 2015 Philippe Berne and Flore Merlier, international champions in Ballroom and West-Coast Swing moved to Montreal and joined the Studio. Now married, these vice world champions in West-Coast Swing have joined Didier as new co-owners of Studio 88 SWING.

The Canadian reference in Swing Dance

With experience ranging from local classrooms to international arenas, from high-level competition to event planning, Studio 88 Swing and the Swinging Air Force have positioned themselves as THE REFERENCE for swing dance in Canada. We've even trained Cirque du Soleil dancers and Star Académie performers, as well as appearing on Canadian and American television.

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Our mission: accessibility and excellence

“Together, spreading the roots of our passion!” We believe that swing dance and culture should be accessible to everyone. Wanting to be together means being open and inclusive towards our team members and our clients, even the newest ones! This is why we make it a point of honor to maintain a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in all our courses. But don’t think that means compromising quality! We maintain the highest standards for our artists, performers and teachers. The roots of dance and swing culture find their origins in African and vernacular culture resulting from the forced and voluntary migrations lasting hundreds of years. The quest for freedom is one of the foundations of swing culture! We want to respect those roots while remaining active as creators in the present moment and therefore live a real passion today and tomorrow with you!

Try before you commit

Still not convinced? We invite you to come and discover for yourself what makes Studio 88 Swing so special. Every week, at the start of our dance evenings, we offer FREE introductory classes. Come and have a drink, meet new people and try out swing dancing in a welcoming atmosphere.


A Montreal company known throughout the world!

In 1998, a group of swing enthusiasts came together to form a team. During a practice while talking of crowd pleasing acrobatics, we were inspired by a poster from the Second World War saying "Keep 'em Flying - is our Battle Cry ", Stéphane Gilbert affirms loud and clear “We keep them flying... we are the Swinging Air Force”! The name was immediately adopted! In a very short time, the young dance team became recognized both on the national and international scene, notably becoming the first Canadian Swing team to distinguish itself internationally by winning third place at the 2001 American Championships (ALHC). Because of the situation of the swing scene in Montreal at that time, the team decided to found Studio 88-SWING in order to spread the passion they had for dance!


Through the quality of its services, by winning numerous titles around the world, by constantly innovating and having more than one troupe in operation since 2003, the SAF has contributed very significantly to making the Montreal swing community the one of the most important and influential in the world. To date, the Swinging Air Force is the most decorated swing dance team in North America and is home to one of the most successful swing dance studios in the world!


Join us and be part of this great adventure! 🕺💃

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