Barbara Billups

Savoy Ballroom in the late 1940s and all the way up until the doors closed in 1958, was still a respected ballroom but also a ballroom gradually and over time suffering from new trends and preferences. At the same time, the ballroom was still able to collect and host talented African-American dancers and during the 1950s, Barbara Billups was no doubt one of them. In the middle of the decade, she had positioned herself as one of the top swing dancers hanging out at the Savoy, and a few years later she teamed up with Sugar Sullivan and Sonny Allen forming the Sonny and the Rockets. The troupe was to become successful presenting a mix of old-school dances, 1960-1970s trends as well as vocal numbers, touring especially in Canada and the U.S.. In recent years and in tune with the growth of the contemporary Lindy Hop community, Barbara as well as other still active old-timers, have experienced a second wind in their dance careers, now passing on the Lindy Hop and other vernacular jazz dances to a new and eager generation of international Lindy Hoppers.