Swing On In Dancer Profile – Miss Karis

 Racial prejudice is a pigment of the imagination.

Name, Rank, Serial Number

Karis Hill-Milnes aka. Jaffa.  27 yo

Karis literally arrived to us like a gentle breeze the precedes that intense and exciting impending cyclone…  You could not ignore her in any capacity through her tininess, her mane of red hair or her cool style but that’s just all judging a book by it’s cover, within one rotation around the beginner dance circle she had won the hearts of all, shocked more than a few with her colourful language and cemented herself forevermore into the Swing On In Dance Community and Culture.  Rising through the ranks on pure hard work, practice and passion,  Miss Karis stepped up and in 100% when I got cancer, Karis (and a few other key people) totally stepped up and helped Ray teach and grow Swing On In in my absence.   Karis is now one of our permanent dance teachers and performers and how blessed we are to have her!   ..Read On and learn some things you didn’t know about this pocket rocket…


How did you find us and get into Swing Dancing?
Many moons ago, I was slingin’ bean juice (coffee) in a cafe in Broadbeach, working alongside none other than the amazing Miss Georgia Harvey. My partner and I had been entertaining the idea of joining a swing class for a while, when Georgia invited us along to a class with her. BAM! One lesson with Miss Chrissy and Swingabilly Ray and we were hooked. You will often find my main dance man and I telling people how we “struck it lucky” with such amazing dance teachers!

Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do/ business/ hobbies etc?
I am first and foremost, a proud Gamilaroi and Dhungutti woman.
I work at a local high school where I have 2 roles. I am an English/ History Teacher, but I am also the school’s Indigenous Education Worker. I have worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in many formats and forums over the past 10 years, and it is truly my passion. My job is primarily designed to support and monitor the attendance, behaviour and academic achievement of our Indigenous cohort. But for me, the work goes far beyond walls of data. My work is emotional, intense, stressful, and arduous but it’s more rewarding than I could ever hope to articulate. Historically speaking, society has held fairly low expectations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but I get to witness these deadly young Murri’s grow, thrive, flourish and succeed!

Tell us something random about you!
I have a crippling phobia of spiders.
I have a Led Zeppelin tattoo

If you were a swing move what would it be?
Any aerial move. Light, a little freaky and usually unexpected!

How would you describe your style of swing?
My style of swing I believe, is a marriage of sassy and enthusiastic Miss Chrissy has always strived to teach me and nurture swing styling that accentuates my sassiness and attitude!

What’s your favourite movie?
Ponyo. If you don’t know who Ponyo is, you should be ashamed of yourself.

What’s your favourite swing tune?

Anything that exceeds 200bpm!

What is/ are your fashion influences/ eras/ icons?
At the risk of sounding like more of a weirdo than I actually am, my greatest fashion influence would (however indirectly) be my dad. My dad is a legend, and one of the most valuable lessons he’s taught me is the value of good music. I grew up on a very steady diet of Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Warumpi Band. So I have always idolised people who dressed in that amazing quintessential 70’s silhouette. My style is an eclectic mix of ripped denim short-shorts with band shirts, 70’s wide leg pants with hoop earrings, school prep (aka. Work drag). And slowly yet surely, with the influence and support of our illustrious style guru Miss Chrissy, I am now loving any chance to dress like a 1920’s flapper, dirty 30’s Charleston dancer or a 40’s lindy hopper.

Who would you nominate to be profiled next?

Georgia Harvey and/ or James Harvey!

What’s your favourite quote on life?
The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42. – Douglas Adams.




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