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 Cosentino & 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: Sugar Sullivan, Barbara Billups, and 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.

Remembering Norma Miller

Photo by Erika Gerdemark

Norma Miller

The one and only Queen of Swing

Dec 2,1919 – May 5, 2019

Norma Miller is the reason why Swingin’ at the Savoy exists. The event is named after her memoir and in her honor. We have been fortunate to have Norma as our guest from the very first Swingin’ at the Savoy in 2011 and every year after that until 2019. Swingin’ at the Savoy 2019 was the last dance event Norma attended.

As the last surviving member of the original Lindy Hoppers, Norma was a legend, a pillar of our community, and our last link to the roots of the dance. She was the Queen of Swing. She will be dearly missed but she will be there with us in spirit.

Come and join us to celebrate her life and love of the dance!

Special Guests

Sugar Sullivan

Harvest Moon Ball winner 1955

Barbara Billups

Harvest Moon Ball winner 1958

Photo by Larry Colen

Chester Whitmore

Tap Dancer Extraordinaire

Learn from the masters

We are immensely lucky bring to you for the first time Sugar Sullivan & Barbara Billups, two living legends of the dance and both winners of New York’s famous Harvest Moon Ball competition. The extravagant and multi-talented Chester Whitmore will be back too.

Sugar Sullivan
Sugar Sullivan’s career spans over 70 years as a performer, choreographer, teacher and entertainer since the age of 9. A member of the Original Jazz Dancers, a distinguished group of Lindy Hoppers and Hoffers from Harlems heyday. First place winner in the Lindy Hop at New York’s Harvest Moon Ball Competition in Madison Square Garden 1955. Sugar is a huge inspiration to the dance world.

Barbara Billups
Barbara Billups won 3rd place in the Lindy Hop in New York’s Harvest Moon Ball in 1958 in Madison Square Garden. Along with Sugar Sullivan she went on to tour the United States and Canada for over a decade as two of the four young ladies of “Sonny Allen and The Rockets”, a song and dance revue, grew out of the dancing at New York’s Savoy Ballroom.

Barbara Billups left the entertainment world for other ventures in the 70s. She rejoined with Sugar in 2006. From 2006 to 2019, Barbara and Sugar have taught every year at Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden and other various dance camps in the world.

In August of 2012, Sugar Sullivan and Barbara Billups were among the first group of Inductees in the International Lindy Hop Hall of Fame along with Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, and Sonny Allen.

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

Photo by Tamara Pinco

Skye Humphries

Photo by Dakota Fine/dakotafine.com

LaTasha Barnes

Evita Arce

Nathan Bugh

Photo by Light & Shine / Mary Friesen Photography

Ramona Staffeld

Photo by Rebecca K Clark Photography

Christian Frommelt

Photo by Chloe Jackman

Ryan Calloway

Photo by Jessica Keener Photography

Lori Taniguchi

Photo by Michael Tan

Calvin Lu

Photo by Light & Shine / Mary Friesen Photography

Traci Bartlow

Photo by Edward Miller Photography

Latanya d. Tigner

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

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 Light & Shine / Mary Friesen Photography

Ramona Staffeld

Ramona Staffeld is one of the highest profile Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz dance teachers in the world, performing and teaching at all major events, including Herräng (Sweden), Swing Out New Hampshire (USA), Swingtime Ball (Beijing), Paris Jazz Roots (France), Sugarloaf Stomp (Brazil), to name a few.

She is known for her energy, presence, rhythm, and playful spirit on the dance floor. She is a champion dancer, holding first place titles from the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, American Lindy Hop Championships, The International Lindy Hop Championships, and the World Lindy Hop Championships. Ramona is at the forefront of Lindy Hop, telling her story, while preserving and passing on the legacy of the dance to the next generation.

Ramona was 14 when spotted by one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop, Frankie Manning. Still in her early teens, Manning asked Ramona to open with him at the Midsummer Night Swing series at Lincoln Center in New York City. What Ramona values and prioritizes in class, on the social dance floor, on stage, and in life, came very much from working with and being around Frankie. Ramona began studying swing dancing at the age of 11.  She has been dancing Lindy Hop, Charleston, and jazz era social dances for the past 24 years.

Photo by Rebecca K Clark Photography

Christian Frommelt

Christian Frommelt is a passionate swing dance instructor, performer, and social dancer who has dedicated his life to bringing people together through music and dancing. His unique style blends an emphasis on traditional swing movement and a highly personal character.

He specializes in St. Louis Shag and the regional dialect of swing that developed in St. Louis between the 1930s-present. He often partners with Jenny Shirar and in addition to traveling, teaching, and competing throughout the world, they have devoted a great deal of energy to building their local hometown scene. They are also the proud co-founders and directors of the St. Louis Jitterbugs and the infamous Nevermore Jazz Ball & St. Louis Swing Dance Festival.

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.

Photo by Michael Tan

Calvin Lu

Calvin will be teaching
the Newcomers Special track.

Calvin Lu, also sometimes known as "that guy who follows a lot," fell in love with Lindy Hop for its joyful expression, creative improvisation, and deep connection between partners. Since then, he has been actively involved in the community as an instructor, competitor, event organizer, and frequent up-past-3-am dancer. A lifelong student, Calvin always strives to make his classes fun and help students fall in love with learning and practice as part of the fun of being a dancer. In his teaching he also greatly values portraying dance roles as gender neutral, teaching to a wide variety of learning styles, and making good dancers who are also good community members.

In his home scene of San Francisco, Calvin helps organize The Switch Workshop, the Dancers Den, and the Bootleggers Ball. He also travels to various events and competes as a follower. At dances, he can frequently be seen drinking boba and trying to remember the names of the people he met that night.

Photo by Light & Shine / Mary Friesen Photography

Traci Bartlow

Traci will be teaching
Shim-Sham to the Motherland
with Latanya d. Tigner.

A native of Oakland, CA Traci Bartlow is a cultural worker who’s mission is to document and preserve African American dance and culture.  She is a dance educator, lecturer, curator, and choreographer who had taught and performed internationally and produced many local events. In the Bay Area she is a founding member of Eastside Cultural Center, served on the board of trustees at City Center Dance Theater, and consulted with many arts and social justice organizations in developing, maintaining, and scaling their cultural impact on their changing neighborhoods.   

http://www.iamtracibartlow.com/

Photo by Edward Miller Photography

Latanya d. Tigner

Latanya will be teaching
Shim-Sham to the Motherland
with Traci Bartlow.

Latanya d. Tigner has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986, and has studied and toured internationally, performing multidisciplinary works and conducting workshops rooted African diasporic dance forms. Latanya holds a B.A. in Physical Education/Dance, a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration, directs Dimensions’ youth company, and teaches dance at UC Berkeley and Mills College. Latanya has created commissioned works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Robert Moses’ Kin, and has presented work in SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Cuba Caribe, and Mabina Dance Festival (Congo-Brazzaville). She has also set choreography for Cal Shakes, SF Shakespeare, Ubuntu Theater, Delina Dream Productions, and Li Smith's production of Purlie Victorious. Latanya serves as co-artistic director of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Ms.Tigner’s current research and study of African dance retention in African American social dance led to the creation Dancing Cy(i)phers, an annual symposium connecting the coded languages of African rooted dance.

Locations

Our event takes place in Oakland next to the beautiful Lake Merritt.
Humanist Hall is walking distance from Lake Merritt Dance.

Title Description
Lake Merritt Dance   +
Classes & Evening Dances
  200 Grand Ave, Oakland CA
Humanist Hall   +

Classes & Late Night
  390 27th St, Oakland, CA