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!
Swingin' at the Savoy is excited to welcome the distinctively smooth, incomparably exciting Sonny Allen in 2017! Sonny Allen was one of the last of the Savoy Lindy Hoppers, as well as a Harvest Moon Ball Lindy Hop champion. He has made multiple international appearances, and was a technical advisor for choreography on Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" movie.
DANCE LEGEND from the Savoy and the Palladium ballroom era, Sonny Allen is one of the remaining interpreters of the Savoy style of Swing alongside Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. A consummate dancer and performer that exudes smoothness, pizzazz and owns suave, Sonny is a gracious gentleman who, when observed, has the utmost respect for the women that he dances and performs with, and is always willing to share his knowledge of dance.
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.
Rémy Kouakou Kouamé fell into the Swing pot at an early age. As an established competitor, he earned many awards such as the French and the World Championships of Boogie Woogie. He has also been an established teacher for many years now, traveling around many international camps and festivals, sharing his passion and knowledge. His approach to Swing dances is special because it combines the authenticity and the respect of the dances – thanks to the education he has learnt from his elders – with an originality and creativity inspired by his experience of many styles of dance, with the addition of some spicy madness that characterizes Rémy!
What he likes to share the most is the joy that dancing provides. Rémy is fighting against intellectualization of the dance and argues for fun and feelings. For him, dancing is… to live… to express!
Nina Gilkenson. Lindy Hopper. Belly dancer. Hair-removal Laser Technician. The mysterious figure that is known only as "Nina" (and sometimes "Naomi") has many titles from prestigious dance competitions. But that's only a small part of her accomplishments. For instance, she can swivel in midair. She can simultaneously create vintage-style dresses and then destroy them while dancing. She can make 12-minute biscuits in 10 minutes. She writes upbeat musical theatre involving funeral homes.
And last, but not least, she is a part of the award-winning Lindy Hop team the Silver Shadows, which sounds like it's a group of super heroes. And that's what she is. A Super Hero – one whose main super power is doing swivels in midair. And one day, they might save the world. Until then, she lives in Baltimore and falls down a lot.
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.
Jean & Bromley Palamountain first teamed up in August of 2004. Jean only wanted to take a free dance lesson when she saw the flier for a dance troupe, The Movement, back in 2001. She never expected swing dancing to take over her life. In mid-2004, Jean began social dancing and met her dance and life partner, Bromley Palamountain. Since then they have been teaching classes all around the Bay Area.
Don't be fooled by her 5’0 stature or “ballerina” dance move, when it comes to teaching, Jean means serious business… sometimes. Jean strongly believes in pushing a class to the limit and making lessons challenging, yet keeping the element of fun in every one of them. Jean hopes that her students will be able take the concepts from her classes and build them into their dancing to make it their own.
Before taking up swing dancing, Bromley was a gymnast on the UC Berkeley Men's Gymnastics team. Bromley started swing dancing in 2004 when he was invited to take a free swing dance lesson that was taught by none other than his partner, Jean Ma. When teaching, Bromley strives to make tough concepts easy to understand by boiling them down into simple ideas that will help enhance the look and feel of his students' dancing.
Together they are known for their explosive aerials, high energy, and passion for the dance. Jean and Bromley love to showcase their talents in competitions, jam circles, and on the social dance floor. Jean and Bromley ardently spread the coolness of Lindy Hop wherever they go, enjoying teaching and the many friends they have met within the dance community.
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 L.A. Swing Barons are a Los Angeles based big band paying tribute to the greatest bands of the swing era. We specialize in recreating the famous Kansas City sound of the late 30s and 40s, such as the great Count Basie Orchestra. This style of music was famous for being the very best dance music out there in a time when everyone who was anyone knew how to dance. We also have a close affinity for the Duke Ellington repertoire, as well as music from many other great bands of the swing era. Check out our music and you'll find that you can't help but want to get on your feet and move to that swingin' beat.
On Friday & Saturday Evening February 24-25th, the L.A. Swing Barons will feature:
Clint Baker's New Orleans Jazz Band was founded in 1990 and began playing at Café Borrone in Menlo Park in October 1990. Although continuing to play there as the Café Borrone All-Stars, the New Orleans Jazz Band became inactive in 2000 when the birth of Baker’s twins exacted extensive parenting duties from Clint. In 2006 the band regrouped due to many requests from the Bay Area swing dance community. Since then the band has been very active playing swing venues around the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.
On Sunday Evening February 26th, the Clint Baker's New Orleans Jazz Band will feature: Clint Baker - trumpet, Ryan Calloway - clarinet, Jim Klippert - trombone, Riley Baker - drums, Katie Cavera - bass, Bill Reinhart - banjo, Jeff Hamilton - piano.