West Coast Swing and Hustle Dance Community in Connecticut
Susan Chen is best known to many as Erik Novoa’s original “business manager” during the first two years he began teaching classes in Connecticut. Her friendly smile and her encouraging words made many newcomers feel welcome, and helped in establishing the Hustle and West Coast Swing dance community in southwestern Connecticut.
Having admired the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a youngster, Susan was finally able to begin taking regular dance lessons after her 40th birthday, to introduce some fun exercise into her low-key lifestyle. Although at the time she thought that was “old” to take up dancing, her love for those early east coast swing and lindy hop classes made her feel young at heart. She found that her asthma eventually went away and her overall muscle tone improved.
Within two years, Susan had joined the Rhythm Rousers, Connecticut’s premiere Savoy swing performance group, and subsequently joined with others to form the Stardust Dancers, a ballroom performance group. Susan continues to take dance lessons and workshops with some of the nation's top talent, refining her skills and enjoying the challenge of mastering something new.
With well over a decade of dancing, Susan enjoys entertaining audiences of all ages, and she has graced stages from New York City to the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. During her day job, Susan is an economic development agent for State of Connecticut. She also enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening, practicing the Feldenkrais Method, and volunteering for the Hartford Youth Dance Initiative, Dance Gourmet events, and other not-for-profit organizations, and traveling.