Women in Lindy Hop

I’m usually one of the last people to get vocal about sexism on social media but can we PLEASE start to properly acknowledge women in Lindy Hop? I just read a comment that completely ignored the woman in a video of only two people dancing and she was frigging killing it, some of the best dancing I’ve seen, but people were only commenting about the man. My mind is blown. What is wrong with us that so many of us do that, even if it’s unconscious… Especially if it’s unconscious. BE conscious! This is a dance that gives and takes in the partnership more than any other dance I know of. If we can go on a huge campaign to change the name of the Jack n’ Jill, we can certainly start to open our eyes and give women proper acknowledgment. It needs to start NOW.

At the risk of missing people, I’d like to acknowledge some of the incredible women who have made an impact on my dancing and who are friggin’ AWESOME. It’s impossible to make a complete list and I don’t want to slight anyone. This is just a personal list and it includes people who have been important to me at various times, both from my local scene and the bigger Lindy Hop landscape:

Åsa Heedman
Alana Hock
Alexandra Alhimovich
Alexis Davila
Alice Meï
Andrea Gordon
Angela Andrew
Ann Johnson
Annie Trudeau
Barbara Billups
Bärbl Kaufer
Caitlin Wellman
Catrine Ljunggren
Cynthia Millman
Dawn Hampton
Devon Winn
Diane van Haaren
Eleonora Bogdanova
Emelie DecaVita
Erin Nazario
Erin Stevens
Erin Winn
Eva Lagerqvist Jansson
Evita Arce
Ewa “W” Burak
Fatima Teffahi
Frida Segerdahl
Gabriella Rosati
Hanna Lundmark
Heather Ballew
Helena Norbelie
Isabella Gregorio
Jana Jedlovsky
Janice Wilson
Jean Veloz
Jenia Salakhutdinova
Jenny Deurell
Jenny Thomas
Jessica Lennartsson
Jewel McGowan
Jo Hoffberg
Joanna Stillman
Jodi Fleischman
Johanna Müller
Josephine Baker
Josie Say
Judy Pritchett
Kelly Arsenault
Kelly Freeman
Kristan Jackson
Lana Turner
LaTasha Barnes
Laura Glaess
Laura Jeffers
Laura Keat
Lindy Greer
Lisa Jacobs
Lucy Falkner
Mable Lee
Malou Meyenhofer
Marie N’diaye
Marie Nahnfeldt Mattsson
Mia Goldsmith
Mickey Davidson
Mikaela Hellsten
Mimmi Gunnarsson
Naomi Uyama
Nina Gilkenson
Norma Miller
Olga Moiseeva
Ramona Staffeld
Rebecka DecaVita
Rory Lindo
Rusty Frank
Sandra Gibson
Sara Deckard
Shannon Moschenross
Shannon Refvik
Sharon Davis
Sing Lim
Sugar Sullivan
Susan Wolff
Sylvia Skylar
Sylvia Sykes
Ulrika Ericsson
Ulrika Thulin
Valerie Salstrom
Violetta Lebedeva
Virginie Jensen
Zoey Gould

Thank you to all of these women for the inspiration that they’ve given me!

Swing Era Movement at its Best

I’ve been inspired by Åsa Heedman, previously Åsa Palm, since I first saw her dancing in 1999. I had been dancing for over a year but had never seen a follower bring such ownership of her own musicality and personality to the dance before. Seeing her changed my view of the dance completely.

A couple of months after seeing her dancing, I had the chance to take my first classes from her at the Herrang Dance Camp. That’s when I met Daniel Heedman. He was in my class and was also experiencing Herrang and her classes for the first time. He went on to become an incredible dancer in his own right, and eventually Åsa dance partner and husband.

These two have one of the most beautiful dance partnerships in the world, and they’re my favourite dancers in the world. They just keep getting better and better. The soul that they bring to this new clip epitomizes everything that I love about Lindy Hop and jazz dance culture. (Yes, it’s mainly solo dancing, but it’s an important part of our partnered culture too.)