Dance Festival to celebrate Lindy Hop & Jazz

Learn from fantastic instructors. Dance to incredible music.
Come dance with us.

Frankie Manning
Ambassador of Lindy Hop

About the Event

© Art by Ryan Calloway

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.

At A Glance

Three Evening Dances

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Lake Merritt Dance with live music.

Two Late Night Dances

Friday and Saturday with DJ music until the wee hours.

2 Full Days of Classes

Saturday and Sunday workshop classes with our world renowned instructors.

New Track: The Music and You

A novel track for intermediate/advanced and advanced dancers

Meet & Greet VIPs

Come and meet our VIPs. Listen to their stories and ask them your questions.

Classes with our VIPs

Saturday & Sunday morning classes with our VIPs. Learn from the masters.

Schedule Highlights

Live Swing Music & Dancing

Friday / Saturday / Sunday
9:00 - 11:45pm
@ Lake Merritt Dance


Paul Consentino & Friends
Clint Baker's Golden Gate Swing Band

VIP Meet & Greet

Saturday
8:00 - 9pm
@ Lake Merritt Dance

This event is free

Legends of African American vernacular dance including Chester Whitmore.

Solo Jazz & VIP Classes

Saturday / Sunday
10:30am - 12noon
@ Lake Merritt Dance & Humanist Hall


For all levels and style of dancer wishing to explore solo movement and/or take classes from our VIPs.

Special Guests

Photo by Erika Gerdemark

Norma Miller

The one and only Queen of Swing

Photo by Larry Colen

Chazz Young

Dancer Spectacular

Photo by Larry Colen

Chester Whitmore

Tap Dancer Extraordinaire

Learn from the masters

We are immensely lucky to host again three living legends of the dance this year.

Norma Miller
If Frankie Manning was the king of Lindy Hop, Norma Miller is no doubt the reigning queen. Her position today is at an elevated throne, her background and career is without comparison. She’s the last of the classic Savoy Lindy Hoppers of the swing era, she’s a dynamite story-teller and lecturer.

Chazz Young
A spectacular dancer with a long and successful stage career, son of Lindy Hop master Frankie Manning, Chazz Young tours worldwide, spreading the gospel of Lindy Hop and Tap.

Chester Whitmore
Chester Whitmore is a man of many talents: tapper extraordinaire, master in karate, renowned drummer, bandleader, arranger, composer, songwriter, choreographer, stuntman.

Meet Our Teachers

Sylvia Sykes

Sylvia Skyes is an internationally recognized authority on most types of Swing Dance and has been teaching for more than 25 years throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Sylvia studied with the great dancer Dean Collins and was a member of his last dance troupe. She studied the Balboa with Maxie Dorf and Willie Desatoff, and spent years learning from the greatest Southern California Balboa dancers.

Sylvia is an inductee into the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame as well as the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. She won the US Open twice, was the NASDE top point winner, earned third place in the National Carolina Shag Dance Championships, won many Strictly Swing contests in Lindy Hop, Balboa, and West Coast Swing through the US.

Photo by Tamara Pinco

Skye Humphries

Skye Humphries is an internationally renowned swing dancer and instructor. Originally pressured into taking Lindy Hop classes by his mother at the tender age of 12, Skye soon found that social dancing really is the best thing in life. He emphasizes fun, energetic social dancing with strong partner connection, solid technique, innovative moves, and musicality.

Photo by Dakota Fine/dakotafine.com

Latasha Barnes

LaTasha "Tasha" Barnes is an internationally acclaimed and awarded dancer, educator, coach and ambassador of culture from Richmond, VA. Globally celebrated for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout the cultural traditions she bears, which include: House, Hip-Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Her expansive artistic, competitive and performative skills have made her a frequent collaborator to Dorrance Dance, Singapore based Timbre Arts Group, Caleb Teicher & Co., Ephrat Asherie Dance and many international Urban Arts and Jazz/ Lindy Hop festivals like Summer Dance Forever and Paris Jazz Roots Festival. Accolades and accomplishments aside, Tasha’s forever purpose is to inspire fellow artists and art enthusiasts to cultivate an authentic sense of self in their creative expressions and daily lives.

Evita Arce

Evita Arce is a Swing dance phenom, known internationally for her endless energy, inspiring performances, and elegant, feminine movement. Whether she's on stage or leading a class, her vibrant persona inspires on-lookers to dance and live in the moment. Evita is most recognized right now for her featured role in the swing documentary "Alive and Kicking" which released publicly this spring 2017. Her Lindy Hop career, which started in 1998, has taken her all over the world teaching internationally since 2005.

As a teacher, Evita's patience and bright, friendly classroom manor belies the extraordinary depth of her technical knowledge. She is adamant about understanding anatomy and efficiency of movement. Her open, enthusiastic connection with students lends to her entertaining communication in the classroom.

As a performer, Evita has commercial, film and television appearances. Most noted was with partner, Michael Jagger, on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2007, and later, following in the footsteps of their mentors, Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas, Michael and Evita danced the feature Lindy Hop role in multiple tours of the Broadway musical "SWING!" (2008 - 2009)

Evita has choreographed and danced for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Evita also choreographed "Sleigh Bells Swing," a 2 week show in Time Square with George Gee's Orchestra at the Edison Ballroom. At the landmark "Frankie 95", Evita was among the hand full of dancers to appear before 2,000 Swing dancers from around the globe. Evita has also directed several productions for the Lindy Hop community including the Beantown Bounce show and the Lindy Focus New Years Eve show.

Evita was a member of Ryan Francois's company, Swing X-treme and a member of The Killer Dillers who won the team division at ILHC in 2009. Evita has also danced with other companies in New York City which has helped to round out her skills in tap, modern and tango.

With partner Michael Jagger, and collaboration from Nathan Bugh, Evita co-directed Syncopated City Dance Company in New York City for 4 years winning recognition from the New York Foundation of the Arts. The company had multiple performances on concert stages such as Ulster County Performaning Arts Center, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, NYC Choreographers Ball, and Jacob's Pillow.

Evita has a complete online swing school curriculum and invites everyone to enjoy that material and stay in touch via the website: www.michaelandevita.com

Photo by Light & Shine / Mary Frietag Photography

Ramona Staffeld

Ramona Staffeld is one of the highest profile Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz dance teachers in the world. She is known for her wildly graceful style and playful spirit on the dance floor. Ramona is at the forefront of the Lindy Hop, telling her story, while preserving and passing on the legacy of the dance to the next generation.

Ramona's classes are both fun and challenging. She is extremely professional, while at the same time, warm and welcoming. Her classes challenge students to participate and become self aware, taking ownership over the process of learning. Ramona's joy is infectious and genuine.

Nathan Bugh

Nathan Bugh is known worldwide for his intimate and rhythmic movement. He "rocked the stage" at Carnegie Hall, dancing Lindy Hop with the New York Pops Orchestra; he performed in Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater in Swingin' Frankie's Way; and he danced in the CT&Co's More Forever, at Jacob's Pillow. His on-film appearances include: "My Fair Wedding" S.3 E.3 Great Gatsby Bride, Fox and Friends ChristmasRebel In The Rye, and The Weepies - Be My Honey Pie. As a national competitor, Nathan has taken 1st place in Lindy, Slow Dancing, Solo Charleston, Team, Jill&Jack, and Cabaret divisions. He is one of the most eminent solo-jazz contestants in the world, having won both the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown (2012) and International Lindy Hop Championships (2014), as well as achieving 3rd place in the ILHC invitational (2018). He is also the director and choreographer of “Yeah Man,” the 2015 ILHC Team champions. Nathan is based in New York City, where he performs regularly and teaches social-dance classes.

Photo by Byron Hon

Ann Mony

Ann Mony strives to make every dance a unique and memorable one. Known for her playful style and the joy that she exudes while dancing, she travels as often as she can to share her love of Lindy Hop through classes, competitions, performances, and social dances. She is committed to preserving the improvisational link between Lindy Hop and jazz, empowering followers, and celebrating the cultural wealth of vernacular jazz dances.

Ann fell madly in love with swing dancing in 2002. Over the next few years in Montreal she honed her skills as a dancer, competitor, and teacher. She holds titles from such events as the International Lindy Hop Championships, American Lindy Hop Championships, Canadian Lindy Hop Championships, Camp Jitterbug, and Lindy Focus. Through her classes and performances she hopes to add to the legacy of unique and powerful dancers in Lindy Hop.

Ann is also an active organizer and scene-builder in San Francisco. She runs Shimmytown and helps organize The Bootleggers Ball.

Photo by Chloe Jackman

Ryan Calloway

Ryan Calloway shines on the dance floor. His enthusiasm, buoyant rhythm and boundless creativity make him one of San Francisco’s best known Lindy Hop leaders. Most nights you’ll find him pounding the floor at one of the city’s local jazz and swing clubs.

Ryan’s goal as a teacher is to inspire his students to find their own creativity. With an open and warm style, he welcomes individuals to not only learn the traditions of Vintage Jazz Dance, but to add to it as well. Having worked for seven years as a Visual Effects Artist for ILM, you might have caught some of his work on the silver screen. It’s this type of artistry that is so apparent in his dancing. It’s not just his technique that shines, it’s his attention to the aesthetic quality as well. For more on Ryan’s art, check out his site at ryancallowayart.com or on Instagram @ryancallowayart.

Ryan is also passionate about carrying on the tradition of Hot Jazz music. He is the clarinetist and bandleader of the San Francisco based band, The Hot Baked Goods.

Lindy Hop has taken Ryan Calloway around the world, having taught in Singapore and throughout the US. But you’ll only need to look as far as his smile to see how much he truly loves the dance.

Photo by Jessica Keener Photography

Lori Taniguchi

Lori will be teaching
the Newcomers Special track.

Lori Taniguchi is a well-established instructor, dancer, and scene leader within the San Francisco Bay Area who has ushered hundreds of new dancers towards their passion. Known for her extemporaneous humor and loud voice, she prides herself on inspiring dancers to explore their best selves and to bring those values to their dance floor and community.

Lori especially enjoys working with dancers with two-left feet, friends and coworkers of a lindy addict who have been dragged out on a week night, empowered women striving for personal expression, anyone with a disability or part of a disenfranchised minority, and students who know that practice makes progress. Her teaching focuses on de-gendering dance roles, personal creativity grounded in historical and cultural context, and creating a bigger, better social dance experience.

All the Music

Naomi &
Her Handsome Devils
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Lake Merritt Dance - 9 to 11:45pm

Naomi & Her Handsome Devils are striving for the sound of that swing era sweet spot.
Listen
Clint Baker's Golden Gate
Swing Band
SUNDAY
Lake Merritt Dance - 9 to 11:45pm

Clint Baker’s Golden Gate Swing Band combines the best elements of traditional New Orleans Jazz with the spirit of hard-driving Kansas City swing.
Listen
DJ Music
FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Lake Merritt Dance - Early evening & band breaks

FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Just Dance Ballroom - Late night

We are delighted to have three very talented DJs:
• Alex Fernandez
• Vicky Chan
• Gary Sharpe

Locations

Our event takes place in Oakland next to the beautiful Lake Merritt.
Humanist Hall is walking distance from Lake Merritt Dance.
Our late night venue is about 15min away.

Title Description
Lake Merritt Dance   +

Classes & Evening Dances
  200 Grand Ave, Oakland CA

Humanist Hall  

Classes
  390 27th St, Oakland, CA

Just Dance Ballroom  

Late Night Dances
  2500 Embarcadero, Oakland CA

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SPECIAL TOPICS CLASSES OPTIONS
(Solo Jazz & VIP Classes)

One of 4 Special Topics classes to choose from on the selected day(s). You do not have to sign up for a particular option.

Saturday – 10:30am to 12noon
Option 1: Norma’s Trickeration with Adam B. and Norma Miller – LMD, Grand Ballroom
Option 2: Sylvia & Kevin Old School West Coast for Lindy Hoppers – LMD, Dance Lounge
Option 3: Chester’s Performance routine (part 1) – LMD, Hall 1
Option 4: Alice & Jo Solo Jazz – Humanist Hall

Sunday – 10:30am to 12noon
Option 1: Rémy & Skye Solo Jazz – LMD, Grand Ballroom
Option 2: Solo Chazz with Chazz Young and Adam B. – LMD, Dance Lounge
Option 3: Chester’s Performance routine (part 2) – LMD, Hall 1
Option 4: Josh’s Intro to Solo Jazz – Humanist Hall

LEADER WAITLISTING

At this time, we have a number of leaders on wait list and it is unsure that we will be able to find you a spot. An alternative would be for you to sign up for a weekend dance pass and the à la carte morning classes. It’s a great opportunity to learn from the same teachers you would get in the track classes. Another option could be to sign up as a follower in our Newcomers track if you wanted to start learning the other role.

You can still email us to ask to be waitlisted.

FOLLOWER WAITLISTING

At this time, we have a lot of followers on wait list and it is unlikely that we will be able to find you a spot. We would suggest that you sign up for a weekend dance pass and the à la carte morning classes. It’s a great opportunity to learn from the same teachers you would get in the track classes. Another option could be to sign up as a leader in our Newcomers track if you wanted to start learning the other role.

You can still email us to ask to be waitlisted.

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WHY IS THE CLASS SCHEDULE THE WAY IT IS?

Leaving aside the Newcomers Special track, we have 5 full weekend tracks, four teaching couples, and four large spaces (the multi-purpose room [MPR] is a small room). This means we cannot have all tracks in classes at the same time, and each track will have an empty slot in their schedule.

We do our best to:

FULL WEEKEND = Leveled Tracks + The Music and You

All non-newcomer track groups are folded into a single pool for registration called Full Weekend. Once registered, you have to fill out our Level Check Questionnaire.

Track group descriptions are available here.

As a non-beginner dancer, you should have a good idea what the dance roles are. You can decide to take the workshop in either role, to get better in that role in your dancing or start learning a new role. Make sure you fill out the level check questionnaire based on the role you pick.

NEWCOMERS SPECIAL

This track is for you if…

You are new to Swing dancing and Lindy Hop, or have only taken a handful of classes. You’re looking to learn a lot and have a lot of fun. This track will provide just the right amount of classes.

It is a more affordable track perfect for new dancers. The track will be taught by instructors Lori Taniguchi & Calvin Lu.

PARTNERED SWING DANCING ROLES

Partnered dancing takes two people with two different roles, commonly referred to as leader and follower. Both partners contribute equally to the dance, but in different ways. The leader is the one usually initiating movement and thinking about the dance in terms of shapes. The follower interprets the lead and moves accordingly, adding their own contributions to the dance. The dancers send each other cues about their movements and intentions through their connection as well as visually. The dance becomes an unspoken conversation between the dancers.