In this episode, I am joined by dancer, organizer, and educator Julia Loving. Julia has been a Teacher of Africana History and School Media Specialist in the New York City public schools for the past 27 years, and began Lindy Hopping in 2013. In addition to being a mainstay at social dances in her native New York City, she organizes dance events in Harlem as co-founder of SwingWithUsNYC.com, and is the creator of LuckyLindysNYC undergarments for dancers. Julia currently serves on the Boards of the Frankie Manning Foundation and the Black Lindy Hoppers Fund.
Julia joined me by video from her Bronx home to talk about growing up in the Bronx during the birth of Hip Hop, memories of watching elders dance Lindy Hop at Harlem community events in the 80s, and her observation that she and other Black women do not get asked to dance on the social dance floor.
We also talked about her close relationship with Norma Miller, her clothing brand Lucky Lindys, and how the events of the past 10 months give her hope for the future of Lindy Hop.
Otros episodios de "The Track with Ryan Swift"
The Track - 054 - Helena Martins
1:47:52In Episode 54, I am joined by dancer & DJ Helena Martins. Helena has danced, competed, performed, and DJed across the US, South America, and Europe - including DJing at events like Lindy Shock, ILHC, Lindy Focus, and at Herräng dance camp, where she has been a staff and Head DJ. Helena joined me by video from her home in Madrid to talk about growing up in Brazil, her involvement in the electronic music scene, and how she discovered big band jazz through playing video games. We also talked about what led her to DJing, what characteristics make a DJ great, finding a silver lining during the pandemic through online events, and why she prefers playing classic swing artists over modern bands for dancers.
The Track - E053 - Julia Loving
1:41:25In this episode, I am joined by dancer, organizer, and educator Julia Loving. Julia has been a Teacher of Africana History and School Media Specialist in the New York City public schools for the past 27 years, and began Lindy Hopping in 2013. In addition to being a mainstay at social dances in her native New York City, she organizes dance events in Harlem as co-founder of SwingWithUsNYC.com, and is the creator of LuckyLindysNYC undergarments for dancers. Julia currently serves on the Boards of the Frankie Manning Foundation and the Black Lindy Hoppers Fund. Julia joined me by video from her Bronx home to talk about growing up in the Bronx during the birth of Hip Hop, memories of watching elders dance Lindy Hop at Harlem community events in the 80s, and her observation that she and other Black women do not get asked to dance on the social dance floor. We also talked about her close relationship with Norma Miller, her clothing brand Lucky Lindys, and how the events of the past 10 months give her hope for the future of Lindy Hop.
The Track - E052 - Giselle Anguizola
1:56:40In this episode, I am joined by dancer, instructor, and musician, Giselle Anguizola. Giselle has been swing dancing for over 20 years, and is founder of Girl Jam, an organization honoring women in swing music and dance through weekend festivals around the globe. Widely renowned for her creativity and individuality as a performer and instructor, Giselle spends most of her days singing and dancing with her band in New Orleans and San Diego. Giselle joined me by video chat from her home in San Diego to talk about finding swing dancing thanks to a middle school music teacher, the importance of recognizing followers in their own right, and what it means when she says she hears music in shapes. We also discussed her 10 years working as a performer in New Orleans, how both Amy Winehouse and Cab Calloway influence her performances, and how the pandemic is affecting her dancing and her mental health.
The Track - E051 - Gordon Au
1:51:46In this episode, I am joined by trumpeter and bandleader Gordon Au. Gordon leads the Grand St. Stompers, a traditional jazz band who the New York Times has called “a pillar of New York’s hot jazz scene,” and regularly plays with numerous groups in New York City. He is a frequent guest artist at music festivals around the country, including the Redwood Coast Music Festival and Monterey Jazz Bash By the Bay, as well as at swing dance events such as Lindy Focus, and DCLX. Gordon is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, and teaches for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WeBop program. His latest albums, Swing in Place, recorded remotely in quarantine, and Tribute to Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars / Live at Lindy Focus, are now available on Bandcamp. Gordon joined me on a video chat from across Brooklyn to talk about how he went from scientist to professional musician , what it’s like to play a gig with a musical idol, his opinion on cultural appropriation and historical context in jazz, and the importance of the arts in the time of a global pandemic. We also discussed what is special about playing for dancers, how learning to Lindy Hop has influenced his playing, and the level of research and preparation that he puts into each song in an effort to find the right balance between recreation and innovation.
The Track - E050 - For Frankie
58:12This month's episode is a little different than our usual extended interviews. In a case of perfectly serendipitous timing, this milestone 50th episode coincides with what would have been Frankie Manning's 106th birthday, now widely recognized as World Lindy Hop Day. So, to celebrate both the Ambassador of Lindy Hop and this milestone episode, we've curated a collection of stories about Frankie the dancer, and Frankie the man, as told by previous guests on The Track. It is hard to overstate the significance of Frankie Manning's contributions to our cultural history, and his part in cultivating a truly worldwide community of people united by their love of this African-American art form he helped define. As a teenager, Frankie danced at Harlem's legendary Savoy Ballroom, later bringing his talents to Whitey's Lindy Hoppers as a lead dancer and chief choreographer. In the 1930's and 1940's he performed the Lindy Hop with jazz greats, on stage and screen, and toured internationally. In the 1980's, Frankie answered the call of those with a renewed interest in the Lindy Hop and became its Ambassador - winning a Tony award for choreography, returning to performances on screen, and teaching dance workshops to a new generation of dancers around the world. The community Frankie helped create through his knowledge, generosity, and character has never been stronger than we are seeing now in the midst of the global pandemic. Dancers across the globe are finding new ways to connect, support artists, and spread the love of Lindy Hop despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and in doing so, continue to honor and spread the spirit of its Ambassador.
The Track - E049 - Evita Arce
1:54:42In this episode, I am joined by dancer and instructor, Evita Arce. Evita began her dance career as the youngest performer in Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklórico de Texas in Austin, TX and discovered Lindy Hop in college. She has since become a renowned dancer & instructor - she performed the lead role in Broadway's "SWING!" on its 2008 Japan tour, on television's "So You Think You Can Dance," and in Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Let Freedom Swing" at the Kennedy Center. She now teaches Lindy Hop all around the world (and online at Syncopated City) and recently performed in Regina Spektor's Broadway residency alongside Caleb Teicher. Evita joined me on an Easter Sunday video chat to talk about making her professional dance debut at age 7, why improvisation is a vital part of her Lindy Hop experience, and how she established dance as her full-time occupation. We also discussed her vision for the upcoming production Swing 2020, the current and future challenges she and the Lindy Hop community face in this time of COVID-19, and why she believes Jazz is the greatest living American art form.
The Track - E048 - Caleb Teicher
2:01:36In this episode, I am joined by dancer and choreographer, Caleb Teicher. Caleb began his dance career as a founding member of Michelle Dorrance's critically acclaimed tap dance company, Dorrance Dance, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including two Bessie Awards. Caleb discovered Lindy Hop through a chance encounter with swing dancers in a tap class in 2010 and has since performed in collaboration with Nathan Bugh and as part of Syncopated City Dance Company. His work has been performed at The Joyce Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, Jacob's Pillow, and on Broadway as part of Regina Spektor's residency. Caleb joined me in New York City last month to talk about learning the drums and tap dance at an early age, his rapid and unplanned trajectory in the world of professional dance, what makes the tap and Lindy Hop communities unique, and the critical role that social swing dance has played in his life and sense of community. We also discuss how his preferred role in partner dance has evolved over time, the magic of how dancing Lindy Hop simultaneously expresses its history and the present, and how his newest project, Swing 2020, aims to bring the best and brightest of modern Lindy Hop to a new audience. This episode is produced & edited by Alletta Cooper.
The Track - E047 - Dr. Christi Jay Wells
2:10:31In this episode, I am joined by swing dancer and musicologist, Dr. Christi Jay Wells. Christi Jay started dancing in 2003 and earned a PhD in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. They conduct research on a range of jazz music and dance history topics, regularly present their work at national & international conferences and major universities, and has received multiple prestigious national academic awards. Christi Jay is a member of the musicology faculty at Arizona State University, where they teach a range of courses on music, dance, and how issues of race impact practices of sound and movement. Christi Jay is also a dance teacher and competitor, having taught at events including Korea Blues Camp and BluesShout! We sat down at Lindy Focus 2019, where Christi Jay presented on Duke Ellington’s “Jump for Joy,” exploring the layers of political and social meaning found in the groundbreaking revue show and its title song. In our conversation we not only talk about that presentation, but also how their passion for swing music & dancing evolved into an academic career, writing their dissertation on Chick Webb and his relationship with his audience, and what they learned in class and in conversation with Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. We also discuss their close relationship with Dawn Hampton, gender & heteronormativity in the Lindy Hop scene, what drew them to the Blues and Fusion communities, and their experiences coming out as transgender in those communities.
The Track - E046 - Marie N'diaye
1:35:30In this episode, I am joined by instructor, performer, and choreographer, Marie N'diaye. Marie has been dancing almost as long as she has been walking, but she fell in love with Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz in 2007. Since that time, Marie has taught in her home scenes of Montréal & Stockholm and at workshops & camps around the globe. She has won competitions at ILHC and Snowball, is choreographer and director of the Herräng Dance Camp daily meeting chorus line, and leads her own dance troupe, HotCha Chorus Line. Marie joined me at ILHC 2019 to talk about her experience growing up in France in an Afro-Caribbean family where music and dance were a part of life, finding her Lindy Hop home at Cat’s Corner while studying biochemistry in Montréal, and how her PhD studies led her to Sweden and the creation of the Herräng Chorus Line. We also discuss the importance of understanding rhythm instead of simply focusing on patterns, the legacy of colonialism and slavery in the evolution of dance, and the significance that videos of other black dancers played in discovering her connection with Lindy Hop and swing music.
The Track - E045 - Felix Berghäll
1:51:15In this episode, I am joined by instructor, performer, and choreographer, Felix Berghäll. Like many Swedish dancers, Felix started dancing Bugg in the national competition scene at a young age. He fell in love with Lindy Hop, Jazz, and tap after his first visit to Herräng dance camp in 2009. He has since gone on to teach and perform around the world, earning titles at events such as Snowball, the Savoy Cup, and the International Lindy Hop Championships. Felix joined me at ILHC 2019 to talk about his experience in competitive Swedish dance culture starting as a 9-year-old, feeling freed by Lindy Hop when he discovered it in his teens, and his experiences at Herräng -- including dancing, teaching and spending time in the infamous DJ office. We also discuss his time performing with The Hot Shots, his hope that greater education about the roots and history of the dance can help prevent offensive and insensitive incidents in the global Lindy Hop scene, and the subtle differences between “performing” and “putting on a performance.”