Black history month

From February 1 to March 1, the United States, the UK, and some other countries observe Black History Month and the swing dance community cannot stay aside because the history of jazz music and swing dances are closely connected with the history of slavery, segregation, minstrel shows, the Great Migration, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Swing dance was born in clubs of Harlem and most of the creators were people from the black community. In some clubs (like in the famous Cotton club), black entertainers performed on the stage but were not allowed to be a part of the audience. The Savoy Ballroom was one of the few ballrooms open to people of any color (so-called integrated ballroom). Thanks to spectacular lindy hop numbers, black dancers appeared in movies (although only as supporting actors). Thus swing dance promoted African rhythms, black community creativity, freedom of expression, and interaction between the cultures.

Let’s not forget about it and be thankful to black jazz musicians, singers, dancers, promoters for the gift of jazz music and dance!

If you want to know more about the Savoy ballroom, watch a short video Why was the Savoy Ballroom important?