About Us

Find out who we are and why we do what we do.

The Heartland Team

The hardest working Hepcats in the Heartland.
Mikey Brafford
Mikey Brafford
Executive Director
Rae Mullica
Managing Director
Larry Mullica
Larry Mullica
Production Manager/DJ Coordinator
Travis Belgarde
Registration Coordinator
Jill Belgarde
Marketing Director
Lara Roy
Housing Coordinator
Tailyn Kaster
Volunteer Coordinator
Emily Meyer
Emily Baker
Liaison Coordinator
Joe Baker
Joe Baker
Building Services Director
Taylor Telford
Food Coordinator
Deb Huffman
Food Coordinator
Amanda Young
Marketing Assistant
Tony Le
Marketing Assistant
Joel Bader
Marketing Assistant
Mark Pixler
Marketing Assistant

The Heartland Swing Festival preserves vintage Swing dance by providing a venue for dancers to share their passion for the Swing culture through classes, dances and competitions, thus inspiring a new generation of Swing dancers in the Iowa community.


To be the definitive destination in Iowa where swing dancers can learn, grow, and share their passion for the swing culture that spawns a ripple effect of swing dance education and preservation.

  • Infectious Exuberance
    The dances and classes at the Heartland Swing Festival should spread the joy and spirit of lindy hop
  • All-Inclusive
    Heartland cultivates a community that welcomes people of all ages and ability levels and treats all dancers and competitors with respect and sportsmanship.
  • Self-Expression
    Heartland encourages all dancers to push themselves to innovate, create, and to inspire others to push the boundaries of movement.
  • Educational Excellence
    Heartland offers avenues of learning in the classroom, on the social floor and in contests that cultivate an atmosphere for dancers to excel and inspires the next generation of swing dancers.

Story About US

The Heartland Swing Festival featuring the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships has become one of the largest and most well-attended Swing events in the region and has proven to be the best opportunity to expose Iowans to the Swing culture.  Our swing dance weekend features some of the world’s finest instructors and the region’s most exciting swing bands!

Through classes, dances, and competitions we hope to continue to promote the swing dance scene in Iowa and throughout the Midwest. Please join us in April and experience the joy of swing dancing in central Iowa.

We are excited to welcome dancers back to Des Moines and we’re excited to share our love of lindy hop with the national swing dance community.


Jazz Music
Swing Dancing

Thank you to the Heartland Sponsors!

The Heartland Swing Festival would like to thank all the sponsors who made generous donations to this year’s event. It is your continued support that makes this event so memorable and exciting.