Mike Topel Bio

Mike Topel began country line dancing in 1992, and he quickly turned to couples social dance when he found dance partners who liked to be tossed in the air. He started teaching regular dance classes in 1994 and eventually quit an office job in 1998 to teach dance and perform full-time.

Mike’s teaching style was developed from his martial arts background (where, as a second-degree black belt, he taught for five years).

Mike prefers to compete in dance events that test his leading, following, and improvisational skills. He utilizes the balance and physical control of the martial arts in competition and social dancing, and found that improvisation and musicality were his greatest strengths.

Mike continues to perform, compete, judge, MC, DJ, and teach. He’s performed this last decade of the US Open Swing Dance Championships, UCWDC Country Worlds, and everywhere in the country in the NASDE and WSDC swing circuits. He judges at just about every event, and is the Chief Judge for several events. When he’s not judging or performing, he’s MCing.

With students all over the continent, Mike gives special attention to his social dancing, which keeps him up until 4 AM on weekends he’s on the road. During the week he teaches regular classes at Austin City Dance Club, and DJs a weekly (Tuesday) swing dance.