Sugar Sullivan grew up in New York’s Harlem and started to visit the famous Savoy Ballroom during a period in the late 1940s when swing as well as be-bop and Latin rhythms influenced dancers all over the U.S.. Her talent and ambition soon lead her in the direction of professional dancing and during the decade to come, she was featured in the Mura Dehn documentary Spirit Moves, won the Harvest Moon Ball in 1955 and became a member of touring dance company Sonny Allen and the Rockets.
During the 1960s and 1970s, when vernacular American jazz dancing suffered a severe decline, the company was one of very few that still kept the Lindy Hop and Harlem dancing in general alive. In the early 1980s, Sugar teamed up with legendary Savoy Ballroom dancer Albert Minns and started to perform again. After Albert’s passing in 1985 and the foundation of the New York Swing Dance Society, she gradually experienced an interest from the embryonal but slowly growing Lindy Hop community, and soon she found herself on and off involved with a new generation of Lindy Hoppers. Sugar is today one of very few dancers from the old-school generation still out and about, passing on the Harlem dance traditions to new dancers all over the planet.