Swingin' At The Savoy 2016 was here, and what a great event it was! Each one of us who attended got to carry away a special gift -- a new knowledge or a new inspiration, a sense of belonging to a greater community, or to deeper history, and a feel of touching something bigger than any one person can put in words.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank:
- The amazing Norma Miller, who at 96 is still, without a doubt, the Queen of Swing!
- Chazz Young, for his love of Jazz and Tap, and for leading us into the shim-sham Frankie Manning style,
- Chester Whitmore, for skillfully bringing the madness and the best out of dancers,
- the teachers, for coming from far and near to share their knowledge with us
- Alice Meï & Nick Williams, Jo Hoffberg & Kevin St. Laurent, Naomi Uyama & Peter Strom
- the volunteers, for all of their tremendous help
- Chiara Coombs, David Gillespie, Elena Hernandez, James Oh, Jennifer Runyan, Jeremy Sugerman, Jessica Bullock, Jessica Dancisak, Jessica Wallace, Joseph McGuire, Kristi McGuire, Margaret Winters, Patricia Chan, Phil Winters, Rich Werden, Tamara Armishev
- Alex Protopopescu for conducting the Saturday interview
- Manu Smith & Rik Panganiban from Yehoodi for the Sunday history lecture
- Le Jazz Hot, The Don Neely Swingtet, and the Hot Baked Goods for inspiring live music
- all our DJs, for all the hours of incredible dancing
- Mary Freitag, Nicole Zuckerman, Allen Kerr, Augie Freeman, Conrad Friesen
- Lori Taniguchi for emceeing the evening dance parties
- Nathan Dias for emceeing the Friday late night dance party
- Amanda Marchand for emceeing the Saturday late night dance party
- Laurie Tavan and Larry Colen for their fantastic photography work
- Trevor Gattis, Rik Panganiban, and Stuart Collins, for their videography work
- but most of all — we want to thank you all for coming!
Swing on, have fun, and spread the joy of Lindy Hop!
THE SATS TEAM
Amanda, Cari, Hannah, Jeannie, Julie, Doug, Gilles, Kevin, Philippe
Swingin’ At The Savoy is an event to celebrate Lindy Hop & Jazz, the joy of the dance and the music, their heritage and history. It takes place every year in February to follow on in the foot steps of the tradition established by the Northern California Lindy Society (NCLS) with the Frankie Manning weekends. The event is open to dancers of all ages and promotes Lindy Hop & Jazz dance and music education, open-mindedness, playfulness, and creativity. Its goal is to help build and strengthen the Lindy Hop community.
LAKE MERRITT DANCE CENTER, OAKLAND CA
2017 DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Norma Miller, Queen of Swing
Chazz Young & Chester Whitmore
Alice Mei & Nick Williams
Jo Hoffberg & Kevin St. Laurent
Naomi Uyama & Peter Strom
FEBRUARY 26-28, 2016
Lake Merritt Dance Center, OAKLAND CA
Norma MillerPhoto by Lua Wagner
OUR LIVING LEGEND
NORMA MILLER – THE QUEEN OF SWING
Known to many as the Queen of Swing, Norma Miller is an author, choreographer, dancer, comedian and actor whose career spans over seven decades. Discovered at the age of twelve by the Savoy Ballroom’s legendary dancer Twist Mouth George, Ms. Miller has been in show business ever since.
Honored with a 2003 National Heritage Foundation Fellowship from the National Endowments of the Arts for her role in creating and continuing to preserve “the acrobatic style swing dance, known as the Lindy Hop,” Ms. Miller continues to be an inspiration to all who know her.
Chazz Young, a spectacular dancer with a long and successful stage career, was first inspired by his father, Lindy Hop master Frankie Manning. Today he tours worldwide, spreading the gospel of Lindy Hop and Tap. In addition to his work as a choreographer and performer, he teaches Lindy Hop in his home town of Las Vegas to the most important dancers of today: the young people who are just now learning to partner dance.
He continues to actively perform, choreograph and teach internationally. He has traveled to the famous Herräng Dance Camp, Sweden, to teach since the early 90s.
Chester Whitmore is a unique performer and stage person! He unifies talents of many kinds, starting as a Master in Karate, a highly reknowned Drummer, a Bandleader of his own Big Band, Arranger and Composer/Songwriter, a high speed and tricky breaks Tapper, a choreographer for fight scenes in the Hollywood film industry, a stuntman himself, a filmer, etc.
You give him the goal, and he will reach it! While you sleep eight hours per night, he may sleep two or three and work through the rest of the night!
Alice Meï started dancing at the very young age of 4 years old and have done numerous types of dances until she fell in love with Lindy Hop. She has now been swing dancing for 12 years and keep being fascinated by the art of improvisation. Connecting with her partner through rhythm helps her in her dance following and is the most inspiring thing to her at the moment.
She has been spreading the joy of lindy hop and authentic jazz in 30 countries through teaching, performing, competing and social dancing. She loves the diversity of movement and the freedom of expression this dance brings to the world. She hopes to keep learning things and keep on inspiring people for as long as possible.
Nick Williams has embodied the passion and spirit of swing dancing ever since his first lesson in 1998. The depth of his understanding of Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag stems from studying with the original dancers. Nick’s desire for authenticity, combined with his passion for dance evolution, leads to a style known for precision, lightness, musicality and dynamic energy.
Nick was honored to be recognized by the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. He is also an accomplished choreographer and has choreographed for the hit television show So You Think You Can Dance. As an instructor, he is known for his ability to break down movements and technique to create a fun and light-hearted learning environment. His true love of music and dancing will forever inspire him to learn, teach, and grow.
Jo Hoffberg is one fancy-pants lady in the lindy hop world today. She holds first place titles from the American Lindy Hop Championships, Canadian Swing Championships, International Lindy Hop Championships, European Swing Dance Championships, National Jitterbug Championships, Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. Since 2007, Jo has spent her life traveling the world spreading jazz culture through vintage partner dancing and has taught and performed in 25 countries across 5 continents.
She teaches vernacular jazz, lindy hop, ladies’ only workshops, run teacher training in Europe and the States, as well as a performance/choreography weekend. In 2013, she was on the cover of Swing Magasinet om Swingdans, guest starred at Yehoodi broadcast of ILHC, and was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. She is a passionate and avid dancer, instructor and competitor.
KEVIN ST. LAURENT
As an international man of lindy hop, Kevin St. Laurent has been traversing the globe since the new millennium began, spreading the gospel of the golden age of jazz. With his exquisite and provocative partner Jo Hoffberg, he has taught and performed in over 28 countries across 5 continents with an emphasize on the style and inspiration from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Together they hold titles at a number of fancy events such as the International Lindy Hop Championships, European Swing Dance Championships, American Lindy Hop Championship,Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, Camp Hollywood and Camp Jitterbug.
With clear and humorous instruction, this creative and versatile dancer will entertain you, inspire you, and help you become the best dancer you can be. Changing the world, one rock step at a time, is a formidable task, but he is definitely up for the challenge.
Kevin St. Laurent
Naomi Uyama discovered Lindy Hop in her hometown of Washington DC during the late nineties. Over the past decade she has taught workshops all around the world and performed for dance and music legends alike. She has won the champion title at such prestigious competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships.
She founded the internationally renowned dance team The Silver Shadows, and was an original organizer of “The Jam Cellar”- one of DC’s best dance venues. When she’s not traveling in the name of triple steps Naomi currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Peter Strom is one of the most dedicated and well traveled instructors on the lindy hop scene today. His humor in classes is only matched by the clarity and care he takes with his students. Since his start in 1998 he has taught at international dance camps from Australia to South Korea to Herrang, Sweden.
In addition to teaching he brings with him his skills as a sought after DJ and experienced Master of Ceremonies. He is currently a member of the renowned team the Silver Shadows and the founder of Uptown Swing in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Great Music all Weekend
We will also have hard swingin' DJ music during band breaks and late night dancing.
Friday –LE JAZZ HOT
Le Jazz Hot (The Quartet/Trio of the Hot Club of San Francisco) is an ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrating the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Hot Club de France. The ensemble borrows the all-string instrumentation of violin, bass and guitars from the original Hot Club, but breathes new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s superb lead guitarist Paul Mehling.
On Friday Evening February 26th, Le Jazz Hot will feature: Paul Mehling: solo guitar, Evan Price: violin, Jimmy Grant: rhythm guitar, Jamie Mather: string bass.
Saturday –DON NEELY SWINGTET
The Don Neely Swingtet is renowned for authentically performing the exciting sound of 1930s & 1940s Swing. Their hot tunes and driving rhythm will keep your toes tapping and feet a-flurry all night long. Playing for dancers is a special joy for the band, and they can’t wait for their music to make you swing your heart out at Swingin' at the Savoy!
On Saturday Evening February 27th, the Don Neely Swingtet will feature: Noel Weidkamp: trumpet, Eric Shifrin: piano, Marty Eggers: bass, Dix Bruce: guitar, Steve Apple: drums, Don Neely: reeds.
Sunday –THE HOT BAKED GOODS
The Hot Baked Goods are a band of young jazz musicians playing hot tunes of the 30's. Most of the band members started as swing dancers, and became so infatuated with this music that they decided to make some themselves! With our own jazz celebrity, Clint Baker, as mentor, they play at Amnesia twice a month, and at other clubs around San Francisco. We're excited to have them come down to share their passion for jazz music and dancing with us.
On Sunday Evening February 28th, the Hot Baked Goods will feature: Ryan Calloway: clarinet, Jessica King: vocals, Robert Young: cornet and sax, Nirav Sanghani: trombone, Bill Reinhart: banjo, Alex Fernandez: bass, Steve Apple: drums.
Mary Freitag, Nicole Zuckerman, Allen Kerr, Augie Freeman, Conrad Friesen