Thank you from organizer Mandi Gould:

It feels strange to write the usual thank you note about what we just did in New York City.

When we lost Norma Miller, everything changed.

All of the other stuff that happened the last few days was very nice but I would rather keep the emphasis on Norma and her legacy.

10 years ago we lost Frankie Manning and now we’ve buried Norma Miller just a short distance away. The parallels are uncanny. Now the “World Lindy Hop Day” title that we established 5 years ago on Frankie Manning’s birthday takes on new meaning.

Norma was an amazing woman and a part of our history. We will never forget her.

But it’s important to say some thank yous so here they are on a high level:

Mickey Davidson, John Biffar, Cynthia BrownLisa JacobsDaphna HarelKrister ShalmBarbara Bronx & The Harlem Swing Dance SocietyPaolo Pasta Lanna & Spencer Weisbond & Swing ReMixJulia LovingRonald Jones and swingwithusnyc.comChris LeeJennifer HempelChachi,Jocelyn Hassenfeld & family, Cynthia MillmanLana TurnerBuddy StevesElliott DonnelleyJeff Liu-LeycoAmy WinnJudy Pritchett, Daniel Heedman, Lennart Westerlund, Ewa BurakÅsa HeedmanMimmi Gunnarsson BringlövFredrik DahlbergDenise Minns-HarrisSandra SchulzCameron & Larry Schulz, Paul Grecki, Margaret Batiuchok, Zita Allen, Sing Yuen LimChazz Young & Michellene Young, Olivia and Jill at Lincoln Center…

…and most importantly Norma, Al Minns, and Frankie for giving us all purpose.

 

 

Event summary and acknowledgements from Cynthia Millman:

 

BIG THANK YOU FOR NYC SWING DANCE EVENT, MAY 2019

I had an absolute ball connecting to dancers from near and far, on the dance floor and off, during the extraordinary happenings that took place in New York City from Thursday, May 23rd through Sunday, May 26th. It was a big apple pie of inspiring classes, wonderful performances, fabulous music, illuminating panels and speeches, and great conversations.

I’ve been super busy catching up on stuff, but feel it’s never too late to acknowledge the people who threw this bash. In addition to the marvelous teachers, musicians, speakers, dancers, MC’s, and DJs, I especially want to acknowledge the producers of the numerous functions that collectively made up this giant festival in honor of Norma Miller, Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and the Lindy hop.

If event producers didn’t produce events, swing dancers and musicians wouldn’t have places to gather. I’m always grateful to the organizers who take on these projects and create experiences for all of us to enjoy. And the cooperation between individuals and organizations to ensure that the week was inclusive and ran smoothly was superlative.

Huge thanks and warm appreciation to everyone who worked so hard to bring so many people together:

Thursday, May 23rd-Sunday, May 26th
SWEDES IN NEW YORK CITY
Venue: TW Studios, Chelsea
Teachers/Performers: Lennart Westerlund, Ewa Burak
(Staremo-Burak), Åsa Heedman, Daniel Heedman, Mimmi
Gunnarson, Fredrik Dahlberg
Photographers: Eileen O’Donnell Photography, Jeff Liu-Leyco
Volunteers: Lisa Jacobs, Daphna HarelCynthia Brown, Krister
Shalm, Chachi SopornoAmy Winn, and others
Event Producer: Mandi Gould

Thursday, May 23rd
THE PIVOTAL ROLE OF AL MINNS IN MODERN DAY LINDY HOP
Venue: The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center
Panel Leader: Zita Allen
Panelists: Denise Minns-Harris, Sandra Cameron & Larry
Schulz, Paul Grecki, Lennart Westerlund
Event Producers: Jill Sternheimer (Director of Public
Programming), Olivia Fortunato (Associate Producer of
Public Programming) for Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln
Center; Mandi Gould

Friday, May 24th
NORMA MILLER’S CELEBRATION OF LIFE
Venue: St. James Presbyterian Church
Speakers: John Biffar, Jackie Harris, Elliott Donnelley,
Shirley Duncan, Lennart Westerlund, Darlene Askew Gist,
Adam Brozowski, Aurelie and Tony TyeJulia Loving (who
read an original poem at Norma’s graveside)
Musicians: Frank Owens, Melba Joyce, Tina Fabrique
Prayers: Reverend Derek McQueen, Dr. Jacqueline Sawyer
Buses to/from Woodlawn: organized by Cynthia Brown & Mandi
Gould; Support from Frankie Manning Foundation
Event Organizer: Mickey Davidson, with assistance from
Lana Turner

Friday, May 24th
TOUR OF WOODLAWN CEMETERY
Venue: Woodlawn Cemetery
Tour Leaders: Susan Olsen & Nestor Daniluk, Cemetery
Historians
Special Guest Speaker: Mercedes Ellington
Event Organizer: Cynthia Brown

Friday, May 24th
GROUP DINNER
Venue: Sylvia’s Restaurant
Event Organizer: Cynthia Brown

Friday, May 24th
SUGAR HILL SWINGS: HONORING HARLEM’S QUEEN OF SWING: THE NORMA MILLER LEGACY
Venue: Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling
Panel #1: “Harlem’s Lindy Hop Heritage: From the Savoy to
Smalls’ Paradise and Beyond”
Panel Leader: Barbara Jones
Panelists: Barbara Ann BillupsSonny Allen, Crystal Johnson,
Maxine Simmons, Darlene Askew Gist, Alan Mark Rocoff
Short Film: “Norma’s Harvest Moon Ball History” by
Bobby White
Panel #2: “The Norma Miller Legacy”
Panel Leader: Lennart Westerlund
Panelists: Margaret Batiuchok, Chris Lee, Adam Brozowski
Performances:
–Cat’s Corner Reenactment with Akemi Kinukawa, Lalaina
Rakotomalala, Jessica White, Rafał Pustelny, Merika Jones,
Andre Jackson, Etta Dixon, Bernard Dove
Band: Patience Higgins & the Sugar Hill Quartet
DJ: Paulette Brockington
MC: Barbara Jones, Mandi Gould
Event Producers: The Harlem Swing Dance Society, Barbara
Jones

Saturday, May 25th
SWING REMIX
Venue: Marlene Myerson JCC Manhattan
Panel: “The Swedish Perspective”
Panel Leader: Lennart Westerlund
Panelists: eWa Staremo-Burak, Asa Heedman, Fredric
Dahlberg
Workshops:
Patterns of Norma Miller with Sing Yuen Lim & Adam
Brozowski
Performances/Demos:
–Trickeration class led by Sing Lim &
Adam Brozowski, also featuring Adrienne Weidert &
Paolo Pasta Lanna, Katie Piselli & Samuel Coleman, Sharon
M. Chin & Lalaina Rakotomalala, Shana Maria Weaver &
Brandon Barker
–The Lindy Hop by The Swedes
–Madison Time featuring Simon Selmon & Paolo Lanna
Special Guest Instructors: Sing Lim & Adam Brozowski
Tribute Speakers: Sing Lim, Simon Selmon, Adam Brozowski
Band: Anna Cecilia & the Big Time
DJ: Bobby White
MC: Spencer Weisbond
Staff: Paolo Lanna, Joy Grad, Spencer Weisbond,
Santorini Rivera, Alana Morgenstern
Event Producer: Swing Remix & Jumpin’ Entertainment, LLC

Sunday, May 26th
NORMA MILLER & FRANKIE MANNING TRIBUTE DANCE
Venue: Alhambra Ballroom
Performances:
–Jason Samuels Smith of Divine Rhythm
Productions
–Big Apple Lindy Hoppers (Bernadette Cumento, Chester
Freeman, Devon Lawler, Galit Weinfeld, Greg Golod, Lalaina
Rakotomalala, Laura Chieko, Samuel Coleman, Skyler Barr,
Stanislas Lauly, Tawni Huber)
(Director, Laura Jeffers)
(Assistant Director, Chester Freeman)
–Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies featuring Shana Maria
Weaver & Carmen Carriker
(Director, Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards)
–The Swedes
Shim Sham: Led by Our Elder Chazz Young & Ryan Francois
Legacy/Elders Presentation & Jitterbug Stroll: Ryan Francois
Speaker: Nancy Qin on behalf of the Chinese translation team
for “Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop”
Proclamation: Presented by Manhattan Borough President
Gayle Brewer honoring Norma Miller, Al Minns, Frankie
Manning, and Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, and officially
declaring May 26th as Harlem Lindy Hop Day.
Band: Charles Turner III and Uptown Swing
DJ: Ronald Jones
MCs: Julia Loving & Ronald Jones
Photography: Lindsey Floyd
Sound Equipment: DJ Chris X Walker of Waxx Productions
Volunteers: From the Harlem Community, Delta Sigma Theta
Sorority, Inc.
Event Producers: Julia Loving & Ronald Jones of Swing with Us
NYC

Other events that dancers enjoyed:

Tuesday, May 21st: Harlem’s Swinging Lindy Hop and Jazz Tour, with The Harlem Swing Dance Society and Barbara Jones

Tuesday, May 21st: George Gee Big Band Dance Party at Swing 46

Thursday, May 23rd: Group tour of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, organized by Mandi Gould

Thursday, May 23rd: Frim Fram Jam at You Should Be Dancing. Event producers: Ryan Swift, DJ and Music Coordinator; Heather Flock, Head Instructor

Hugs and swing outs to special guest CHAZZ YOUNG for being our elder states person and for keeping on truckin’, and to his daughter Michellene Young and friend Mari Nightingale for their loving care.

A special thank you to Mandi Gould for serving as coordinator between all of the terrific people and organizations that comprised this special occasion.

Additional thanks to: Jennifer HempelJocelyn Hassenfeld,
Jeffrey Fine, and Ella FineBuddy Steves, Elliott Donnelley; Tena Morales-Armstrong; Judy Pritchett.

For photos, videos, and memories, visit the Facebook pages and websites of the people, events, and organizations mentioned above.

My hope is that this post will serve as a record of these events. To this end, I aimed for accuracy. I contacted event organizers and other participants for information, and fact-checked as best I could. If you notice any errors or omissions, please message me so I can revise accordingly.

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