Atomic Comics by Natalia Eristavi


NataliaNatalia Eristavi, 21, emigrated from the country of Georgia to Southern California with her mother and sister when she was in elementary school.

In 2010, Eristavi began Swing dancing at Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, California. In 2012, she also became a dance instructor there. Although she has been drawing since she was a small girl, her two passions, dance and art, remained separate until she was asked to create comic strips for the Atomic Ballroom website weekly blog. Eristavi has developed a charming, unique style that is both witty and whimsical. Her comics offer a humorous take on partner dancing blended with subtle insights into human nature.

She said, “The offer [to draw these comics] appealed to me. Considering the amount of cynicism that floats through my head on a daily basis, I could definitely see myself spending my afternoons in the backyard drinking tea and throwing miniature ink dancers into awkward situations. As long as feet continue to be stepped on and jaws continue to be elbowed, Atomic Comics will live on.”

We definitely want to see more. Here is a taste for now: Continue reading

The Multi-Tasking Dancer by Lisa Montagne

The Multi-Tasking Dancer by Lisa Montagne

This was originally a guest blog at

By the same author: “5 Reasons Everyone Should Learn to Dance”.

The other night, on a pleasant summer evening in Southern California, I was out social dancing at a Swing event. There was a wealth of lovely, willing leads. The band was exuberantly playing some loungey swing classics, like “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Mack the Knife,” and “Something’s Gotta Give”—then, suddenly, like an unexpected but welcome cool rain, there was a Waltz.

A male Swing lead, a long-time acquaintance of mine, looked at me and said, “What the heck is that?”

“That, kind sir, is a Waltz,” I replied with no little amount of enthusiasm. I waited expectantly, but he just looked discouraged, tinged with a trace of disgust, and he walked away. It was like when my grandmother used to shake her head in exasperation at what the world was coming to when Madonna pranced around in her steel-studded underwear. Continue reading

5 Reasons Everybody Should Learn to Dance by Lisa Montagne

This article was written for, an online arts and culture magazine. Vol. 1: We’re Doomed! An exploration of dystopia and utopia, August 2013.

Shesha Marvin

Shesha Marvin of Atomic Ballroom

There is so much to be afraid of—gun violence in the streets, impending hikes in interest rates, and rampant poisoning of the environment. If you live in Southern California, like I do, you also have to worry about earthquakes, wildfires, and—apparently—sharknadoes. According to the talking heads on television every morning, I shouldn’t even bother getting out of bed. Dystopia is here, it has been here, and it is here to stay. The nation is a big drama queen, and that is never going to change, no matter how much therapy it goes through.

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