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Showing posts from May, 2017

Beginnings: Uptown HARLEM and Downtown Dance History Connections! With Sandra Cameron and Larry Schulz - Part 1

While visiting Queen of Swing Ms. Norma Miller months back she stated: “You should talk to Larry – if it wasn’t for him this thing wouldn’t have happened”...
She is right: This Lindy Hop/Swing thing wouldn’t be where it is – at least in NYC.  But the beginnings are a little more “complicated” than that.  Why? Because there are all different sides and opinions out there…  in print and articles written up… some partial and some accurate to the T.  And its obvious certain people are not talking to each other and/or are trying to leave key people out of the history just enough to let them “fade away”… _________________________
Choppin’ it Up
We have talked to Larry Schulz before numerous times but now we want to get to some nitty gritty and yet fun aspects that folks need to know about.  So lets start at the beginning…  because they are the beginning of the DOWNTOWN revival.
Who is they?  Larry Schulz and Sandra Cameron. This time with the both of them chatting together was quite a treat! San…

Frankie 100: Then and Now Part 1

On May 26th 2014 World Lindy Hop Day was declared by The Frankie Manning Foundation.  This was part of the four day celebration held in New York and part of Harlem called Frankie 100.

Much of Harlem wasn’t at this event: No cut against them but in actuality they were “clueless” as to much of the festivities that were going on...
Here is the schedule  http://frankie100.com/festival-a-z/event-schedule/.   Perhaps around April and May they may have seen something in a newspaper about the event…  on a Harlem website or on Facebook , depending who their  friends were (or perhaps an ad)….  But alas there are a few reasons for this lack of Harlem “support”.

One major one is that the event was advertised primarily and seemingly for the greater Lindy Hop (Land) community.  It was advertised so much so amongst Lindy Hoppers that tickets for the event - IN SEPTEMBER 2016 for MAY 2017 – were  sold out in waves – and  in minutes.

Original plans I was told was for the whole event to be in Harlem, but b…

Chopping it Up: Having Fun and Reminiscing with Lindy Hop Great George Sullivan

George Who?


Step Back; Kick, Double Kick….
That little ditty and cutey of a song was popularized in Harlem years ago for a Charleston “stop” routine, which later came to be known as “First Stops”.  Its song author is George Sullivan.

George Sullivan has outlived many of his male legendary and famous peers of the late 1940’s/1950’s era of the Savoy Ballroom, but we are grateful he can tell so many of the missing links that greater Lindy Hop Land seems to neglect. 
He got into Lindy Hop by accident – literally.  His wife had a bad fall with her then partner Delma “Big Nick” Nicholson.  Big Nick went on and got someone else for the upcoming Harvest Moon Ball, and George (a Non Lindy Hopper) volunteered to step in.  Sugar Sullivan laughed heartily at that notion, but low and behold they were on the stage at Madison Square Garden a few weeks later!  With more time, practice and determination (and a few years) they won the 1955 Harvest Moon Ball as Champions - WOW!



They are the only Harvest Moo…

Did Lindy Hop Really Die? I mean REALLY..... What the Fudge! "Alive and Kicking" - Part 3

Lindy Hop Died?  Find the tombstone please...
Don't get me wrong here - I love the film Alive and Kicking and what it offers as a glimpse of whats happening now.  Do I like everything in there as far as whats stated?  Nope but that doesn't take away from the film. For me this is still a lively, exciting telling film that is riveting!  Its a scene that all can learn from.  How someone could say it "fell flat" is beyond me!

This was a statement made to me after the Harlem Q & A Talkback.  I was supposed to "take a more forceful position"....be stronger in "my stand" - stronger or forceful about what?  That was my second time seeing the film and I learned a bit more (despite the enthusiasm/noise of the audience).  As stated in Part One of this series sound bites can be tricky.... but nothing I said in the film was twisted or slanted.

(Though at one point I thought it was but that was cleared up - I must have blinked and missed something while vie…

Its never too late: Life Lesson and Remembering Malikia

Malikia Gabay (nee Rosemary Jones) sadly  left us almost two weeks ago and she will be surely missed as a friend to The Harlem Swing Dance Society. She leaves behind her beloved son Kwabena Gabay.
Malikia was the only daughter of Frances “Mickey” Jones, one of Harlem's famed dance group Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers from the Savoy Ballroom.  Mickey is notable in a few classic Lindy Hop shorts including “Cotton Tale” with Duke Ellington and Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers and the classic performance clip from "Hellzapoppin’" that has thankfully been preserved on Youtube and other places to view.




Malikia believed the turban one was her Mom...
A Daughter's late Love  for her Mom's Dance Legacy
Malikia had a voice like a little girl and was a sincere giving Lady.  We would periodically meetup when she was in NYC, and of course keep in touch thru Facebook... sharing items we both found to help her in her quest for knowledge and artifacts.
See, as Malikia grew up she was aware of her mother…