The event is spearheaded by Lennart Westerlund and Daniel Heedman and will include three generations of instructors who have closely followed the tradition of the teachings from Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and others.
Lennart started out dancing a Swedish form of American Jitterbug in the very early 1980s. In 1983 he came across the Lindy Hop through books and old film clips, and in May the following year he travelled to New York on the look-out for the roots of the dance form. He soon met, studied and started to spend time with old-timers including Al Minns, Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. In 1985 he co-formed the semi-professional and later on highly recognized Swedish dance company The Rhythm Hot Shots (now Harlem Hot Shots), and started to seriously study also tap and vernacular jazz dancing in general. A few years, later the company was in the forefront of the first steps of the revival of the Lindy Hop, and in 1989 they took over the complete administration of the Herräng Dance Camp, and invited legendary swing dancer Frankie Manning to visit his first major international swing dance camp.
When The Rhythm Hot Shots started to receive some serious international recognition during the early 90s, Lennart was one of the key dancers. The company travelled extensively throughout the decade, and was among a handful of other dancers seriously leading the way to put the Lindy Hop back on the map again. At the time, Lennart also established himself as an international instructor, as well as an administrator and background worker at especially the Herräng Dance Camp. In 2004 he opened Chicago swing dance studio in Stockholm, and in 2010, after 25 years, he left the professional performance aspect of the dance, now focusing more on teaching, giving lectures and perform dance demonstrations.
Lennart is today still a most active dancer, instructor, lecturer, judge and administrator. He divides his time between the Herräng Dance Camp, the Chicago swing dance studio, and traveling around teaching and giving lectures. After some 35 revival and renaissance years of the Lindy Hop, Lennart is one of very few of the pioneers that are still active in the scene. His background and dedicated interest in the Harlem roots of vernacular jazz dancing has positioned him as an important link between the past and the present.
EWA “W” BURAK
eWa started dancing the Lindy hop in the fall of 1986, after successfully auditioning for the Swedish dance company The Rhythm Hot Shots (now Harlem Hot Shots). At the time, she did not have any experience with African-American dancing, but her background as a gymnast helped her quickly to become a most skillful acrobatic Lindy hop performer. Her repertoire gradually grew during the latter part of the 1980s and early 1990s, to include vernacular jazz, Charleston, tap and other elements of the Harlem jazz dance tradition. In 1989, she teamed up with Lennart Westerlund and they soon positioned themselves as one of the top performance couples, specializing in fast acrobatic Lindy hop. When eWa decided to step back from performing professionally in the late 1990s, she continued to teach, passing on the Lindy hop and other traditional jazz dances to a new generation.
During the 1990s, eWa was one of the most recognized and celebrated Lindy hoppers out there. She was a key member of The Rhythm Hot Shots, she frequently partnered Frankie Manning, and she was often on the road teaching and performing in the constantly growing Lindy hop community. Her style of Lindy hopping and vernacular jazz dancing is characterized by a pure and powerful quality based on Harlem traditions and extensive experience. Modern influences have never been a part of her dancing, and today she belongs to an exclusive minority of Lindy dancers who are clearly rooted in the history of the dance form.
eWa splits her time between Virginia (USA) and Knivsta (Sweden). She teaches Lindy hop locally as well as internationally, performs occasionally and gives demos. Her background and knowhow position her as an important link between the traditions of the dance form and the contemporary dance communities.
Before the joining The Rhythm Hot Shots in 1997, Åsa Heedman was an enthusiast of Afro-Cuban dance. She bring tremendous movement from this style to her lindy hop and solo jazz dance. Through her near decade long involvement with the most famous swing performance troupe in the world, Åsa has not only an authentic style of jazz movement but also an adept, clear and attentive teaching approach that is appreciated worldwide. She is rightly celebrated for her performance dancing, but it is in her social dancing, when she can simply enjoy the music, her partner and what they can do together, that she is truly mesmerizing.
Was a member of Harlem Hot Shots between 2002 and 2006, partnered up with Åsa in 2004. Has travelled all over world teaching and performing. Additional to this he is one of the organizers of the world famous Herräng Dance Camp. As a dancer of tap, jazz, charleston and the lindy hop, Daniel’s precision and subtlety are exquisite, and every bit as inspiring as the energy and raw, unharnessed joy that shows through in his performance and social dancing.
Mimmi Gunnarsson has been dancing Lindy Hop since 2006. She soon found a passion for related swing dances such as authentic jazz and charleston as well. She started off as a social dancer and a couple of years later she started to perform – since 2012 as a member of the Harlem Hot Shots.
Besides teaching regularly at Chicago Swing Dance Studio, Mimmi has travelled to teach and perform in Australia, US, Singapore, Mozambique and around Europe. Mimmi finds her inspiration in the old movies – She loves the playful and raw style of the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers and the amazing dancing in The Spirit Moves.
Fredrik Dahlberg was born and raised in the upper class neighbourhoods of Eastern Stockholm. Never had he a thought of becoming a dancer. Instead he spent his days with listening to Hip-Hop and playing basketball. As a true rebel of his safe upbringing he moved to the south side and started to show interest in vintage jazz music. One of his friends took him to a lindy hop class and at first he didn’t show much of talent, struggling with what was left and right and up and down. Soon after he joined the famous swing dance company Harlem Hot Shots. How is this even possible? With a mind set on nothing else (that is not entirely true) and some luck some might say.
With a big portion of individual style and new ideas he brings something refreshing to the scene. He tried tap (and is still trying), but on the other hand he masters dances like the lindy hop, the charleston and of course the eccentric authentic jazz which has entitled him several big awards in only a short period of time. With the Harlem Hot Shots he travels the world regularly and together with the Carling Big Band he tours Sweden one month a year. Fredrik wants his floors slippery and the music swingin’ like Basie. People often say – “I wonder, does this man have any bones in his body?”
He has been teaching in several international events such as Frankie 100, Herräng Dance Camp, Camp Jitterbug and traveled to perform around the globe in such places as Singapore, Greece, Lithuania, Australia and Mozambique. He is also an important part of the puzzle Chicago Swing Dance Studio where he has been teaching, djing, cleaning, providing guests with a smile and dancing at every opportunity he gets. Fredrik is true to authentic ideals and as back in the days he comes up with his own moves. Who doesn’t know about the ass breaker and the back breaker? Moves never before executed but now widely familiar for any dancer with a common knowledge of lindy hop. He also claims to have invented the double socks – but we all know this is not true.
Fredrik also plays the trumpet like a boss. He plays with local small band The Hornsgatan Ramblers (formerly known as the Sidewalk Serenaders) where he acts as band leader. He is also a part of Morgan Berglund’s Quartet. He sometimes answers to the name Handsome Fred – a name he came up with himself obsessed with his own looks. Everything he does is in connection to music and dance and before he used to work as a post man like Mr Frankie himself. Fredrik is a time optimist and an optimist in general. In his free time, which is almost non-existent, he writes poetry, quotes the Godfather trilogy and watches the NBA. Besides his mother tounge Swedish he also speaks fluent English and practices Portugues. You can contact him through the record store ‘runtrunt’ where he claims to be working. If he works or not is a good question but at least we know that’s where he practices his footworks and crazy ideas.