Swingin' At The Savoy 2017 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:
Swing on, have fun, and spread the joy of Lindy Hop!
Swingin' at the Savoy Team
Amanda, Cari, Hannah, Gilles, Kevin, Stuart
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.
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!
Professional swing dancer, international instructor, and choreographer, Moe has had professional training in many types of dance, including jazz, ballet, tap and contemporary dance. In 1999 Moe fell in love with the world of swing dance, and since then this has been her dance of choice.
A pearl of the Orient, Moe moved to London in 2000, bringing a sparkle to the local swing dancing scene, and soon became the UK’s top female swing dancer. An active social and competition dancer, she is proud to have won several UK and US competition titles. include winning the world’s biggest Jack ‘n Jill competition with Marcus Koch at Frankie 95 is one of the most special titles Moe has been proud to win.
A multi swing dancer, she covers major dances with great knowledge and experience, such as Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag and St. Louis Shag. Moe travels the world extensively both for social dancing and teaching Lindy Hop. Well known as vintage enthusiast, Moe is passionate about the music and fashion or the Swing era. Her dedication to the culture is also reflected in her attitude towards the dance, as she constantly endeavors to recreate an authentic style, and her passion certainly reflects the sprit of the dance as it was back in the day.
Vincenzo is a worldwide recognized dancer, teacher and choreographer. He was born at Lake Como, but Roma adopted him three years ago. Inspired by the incomparable Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Frankie Manning, Vincenzo dances the Lindy Hop, the Balboa, the tap dance and many other jazz styles. With his dark eyes and skin and his contagious smile, Vincenzo looks like a 1940’s movie star and brings enthusiasm on stage all over the world. Being more famous abroad than in the Bel Paese, Vincenzo is the Italian star that shines in the lively international swing dance scene.
Vincenzo organizes intensive workshops for beginners and professional dancers alike both in Como and in Roma. He has a specific teaching method that he developed throughout his years of experience in the fields. When he teaches and when he performs, Vincenzo gives off a contagious energy that drives his audience crazy. Since 2006 he organizes one of the most popular events in the world: Swing Crash Festival alongside Isabella Gregorio. The event takes place every June in Como. Inspired by old movies and newspapers of the golden age of jazz music, they organize an event with several live orchestras and hundreds of dancers that turn the city of Como into a magic place.
Laura Keat began her swing dance career in Denver when she joined the award-winning Lindy Hop performance team, 23 Skidoo! She immediately developed a passion for the art of swing dancing. Ever the disciplined student and skilled competitor, Laura began winning national titles and gaining recognition as a championship Lindy Hop follow with an independent style and point of view. She loves dancing with a wide variety of leads with diverse styles and ideas to challenge and broaden her own abilities as a follow.
As an instructor, she brings a fresh perspective towards developing each student’s technical foundation and individual style. For Laura, every dance is a chance to put smiles on peoples’ faces with an entertaining performance which shares and inspires the joy and excitement for swing dancing.
Since 1998, Mikey Pedroza has been dedicated to the understanding and preservation of classical American Jazz dances such as, Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Slow Dancing (Blues) and Solo Jazz. Hailing from Orange County, California, he passionately developed his own perfect blend of powerful movement and classic grace with a hard edged and playful style which is evident each time he steps onto the floor. Such dedication and originality has earned him numerous awards at national dance competitions as well as opened avenues for teaching and performing.
The same passion and energy Mikey exudes on the floor, he brings to students around the world. And as an instructor, he encourages his students to be self-expressive and creative while establishing a strong understanding of connection, lead/follow technique, frame, body awareness and mechanics. By building a good technical base, students are then free to develop their own personalized style with confidence. Mikey hopes that by sharing his love and knowledge of these dances with others, that they too will find joy in this classical American art form.
Anaïs Sékiné is one of the most influential figures of the Montréal Lindy Hop scene. Her uncompromising focus on improvisation, authentic self-expression and artistry has earned her the respect and recognition of the Lindy Hop community. Watching the old classic musicals and moved by swing music from an early age, she found her true "jam" in the study of the jazz language, tradition and cultural history, both as a dancer and as a scholar.
Some of her proudest accomplishments include winning the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans, and advising and participating in the Montréal Swing Riot invitational battles with extraordinarily talented and charismatic jazz and urban dancers. She was privileged to be part of the Montréal Tap Festival “Rhythm Lives” show featuring Arthur Duncan, Ethel Bruneau and some of the best Canadian tap dancers of the contemporary scene. She has danced in several chorus lines including at the Frankie Manning Centennial Show at Harlem’s legendary Apollo theater and in the Herräng Dance Camp Daily Meeting Chorus line; she also leads her own chorus line group in Montréal. She is a member of Lindy hop team the Northern Lights and co-founded an influential and innovative jazz dance team, the W Project.
Beyond her home scene, Anaïs has taught at Lindy Bout, RCMA, Slow Dance Soirée, ULHS, Lindy Works, CSC, and overseas. For her, learning and teaching jazz dance is a way to develop important skills for the world we live in. In the classroom, she takes the experience of the dance to a deeper dimension, connecting it to its cultural context and legacy.
Since his first contact with jazz culture, Aleix Prats has been fascinated by it. He started by dancing Lindy Hop, solo and partnered Charleston, Balboa, tap dance and other vernacular dances in Barcelona, and continued studying tap dance in Paris. After learning guitar and electric bass, he took up upright bass in Montréal, and co-founded a band that has played at local jazz clubs and at Cat's Corner, where he has also taught Lindy Hop, solo jazz and tap. A member of the dance troupe The Northern Lights, Aleix's style is smooth, rhythmic and deeply connected to the music. This is reflected in his teaching, which is both detailed and intuitive, and always rooted in the music.
Irina Amzashvili began Lindy Hopping at the age of fifteen. It only took one night of social dancing for her to develop an addiction to it. As the years have passed since then, her passion for Swing dancing expanded to include solo Jazz, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag. Her rapid growth as a dancer can be attributed, in part, to the fact that her hometown scene (Orange County, California) is home to some of the best Swing dancers and instructors in the world.
Irina's greatest joy as a teacher is to see her students progress with their dancing, no matter the increment. She likes to focus on clean, efficient technique and natural styling that results from being comfortable with one's basics.
Todd Yannacone is one of the most recognizable names on the swing dancing circuit today. He has won countless championship titles from the most prestigious competitions around - The American Lindy Hop Championships, The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, The U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships, The National Jitterbug Championships, The Rhythmic Arts Festival, Lone Star Championships, The International Lindy Hop Championships, Lindy Focus - to name just a few. Todd has been inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame, and has been interviewed for Swing Dancer Magazine, "The Track" podcast, and various other publications.
Todd has taught vernacular jazz, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Charleston, and other jazz era dances both locally and internationally since he was 16 years old. His demand as an instructor, performer, and judge has taken him to 31 countries and five continents. He specializes in connection and musicality, which is apparent every time he steps on the dance floor. He has worked with dance and music legends alike, and is a member of the acclaimed dance troupe, the Silver Shadows.
Amanda Collins has been dancing Lindy Hop since 1993. She has traveled, taught and competed at a variety of events around California, the US, and the world. As a dancer and an instructor, Amanda focuses on adding athleticism, technique, connectedness and grace to the practice of Lindy Hop. Amanda teaches whenever possible at venues around the bay area, and offers private lessons out of her home in Hayes Valley. In her other life, Amanda is a middle school teacher librarian in Palo Alto.
Adam Brozowski is an internationally known instructor, performer and choreographer of Lindy Hop, authentic jazz, tap and Balboa. Holding championship titles for his dancing from events like The International Lindy Hop Championships, European Swing Dance Championships and Camp Jitterbug, Adam is also a 2015 inductee into the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame.
From Seattle, Adam grew up in Southern California's vibrant dance community in the 90s. Besides Lindy Hop, Adam has worked extensively in theatre and film as both and actor and dancer. Adam has had the honor of working along side some of our dance legends most recently assisting Norma Miller in workshops in Australia and New Zealand.
Manu Smith is a native New Yorker who now lives in San Francisco, California with his family. He has been dancing the Lindy Hop for 20 years and has taught Lindy for 16 years. He started the swing dance community website Yehoodi back before the days of Facebook and YouTube. Manu is an advisor for the weekly San Francisco Lindy Hop dance The 9:20 Special and sometimes they let him teach and DJ there! Manu has been involved at a high level in many Lindy based events including the broadcast of Frankie 100 and the International Lindy Hop Championships, The Count Basie Centennial, numerous live music events and many panel discussions and seminars. Manu also loves to play pinball because that's what you do when you get old.
Adam Lee started down his swing path in the 2nd grade when he started playing clarinet, and his grandmother bought him his very first record, which happened to be a Benny Goodman record. Growing up as a jazz musician, the addition of Lindy Hop to his life was a natural one. Adam started dancing in 1997 just a few months before the infamous GAP ad, and was dancing five nights a week. In 2001 he moved to Beijing, China where he started the Lindy Hop scene and led a 17 piece big band. In 2010 he returned to the USA to do a Master’s degree in Music Education at NYU, and a few years later moved back to his home state of California, where he now teaches high school band and is the bandleader and music director for the LA Swing Barons.
His passion is for the music of the swing era, specifically that of the Kansas City sound from the 30s. As a devotee of historical accuracy and cultural legacy, he teaches classes on music history and theory at every Lindy Hop and jazz dance event he can.
We love live music and are delighted to bring not two but two fantastic swing bands for your ears and dancing feet. We will also have hard swingin' DJ music during band breaks and late night dancing.
The Candy Jacket Jazz Band is a nod to the past while also pressing forward with fresh, original compositions. Los Angeles based drummer, Josh Collazo, has been playing in "traditional" jazz and swing bands since he was 18 years old. Over the last 17 years of performing with various bands like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Jonathan Stout & his Campus Five, the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, and Dave Stuckey & the Hot House Gang - a chord struck inside him to begin composing new, original "classic" jazz and swing music. The group is comprised of some of the finest traditional jazz musicians in the Los Angeles area.
On Friday & Saturday Evening February 23-24th, the Candy Jacket Jazz Band will feature:
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, creating an ensemble sound that's tight and loose all at the same time. With a solid swinging rhythm section driving the music and talented soloists spinning melodies, it's no wonder dancers connect easily to the band's tunes.
On Sunday Evening February 25th, the Clint Baker's Golden Gate Swing Band will bid our dance weekend farewell and keep us on our feet all evening long. Band line-up to be announced.