Author Archives: authenticjazzdance

About authenticjazzdance

The author of the site is Harri Heinila, Doctor of Social Sciences, political history, and the former Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political and Economic Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is interested in Authentic Jazz Dance: all jazz dances from different eras of jazz. E.g. Cakewalk, the Charleston, Black Bottom, The Lindy Hop, Mambo, Rhythm Tap. Heinila researches jazz dance, in particular, in the context of Harlem, New York. His doctoral dissertation, An Endeavor by Harlem Dancers to Achieve Equality - The Recognition of the Harlem-Based African-American Jazz Dance Between 1921 and 1943 is a groundbreaking study in the field of jazz dance and Harlem. His ORCID iD is 0000-0002-7783-9010 .

Ruby Reeves 1936-2020

Written and copyright by Harri Heinila Very sad news from New York. Ruby Reeves sadly passed away in May. She was a Lindy Hopper and a Harlem Jazz Dancer, who frequented Harlem places of entertainment since the 1950s and demonstrated … Continue reading

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Sugar Sullivan – The Savoy Lindy Hopper and Jazz Dancer

Copyright and written by Harri Heinila I owe a debt of gratitude to Sugar and George Sullivan, Barbara Billups, and Sonny Allen for numerous discussions about their career. I want to thank Barbara A. Jones from The Harlem Swing Dance … Continue reading

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AL MINNS: The Incorrigible Lindy Hopper, 1920-1985 by Terry Monaghan

I am thankful to the late jazz dance historian Terry Monaghan for this article. He sent it to me for corrections in 2009, but it was never published on his http://www.savoyballroom.com . The site has not been working for years … Continue reading

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The Footage That Did Not Exist: Two Couples in the Harlem Dance Marathon on Their Way to the Municipal Building

Written and copyright by Harri Heinila It was June 2011 when fellow researcher Judy Pritchett suggested that we should go to the New York Public Library to search articles and pictures of George Snowden in the Daily News, in particular, … Continue reading

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African American Jazz Dancers in Africa until the 1970s

Written and copyright by Harri Heinila African American jazz dancers have visited Africa since the Jazz Age between 1917 and 1930. The first jazz dancer in Africa was probably Louis Douglas who toured in Egypt for a month in 1927 … Continue reading

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From the Pepsi-Cola Junior Club of Harlem to the Harlem World Disco

Written and copyright by Harri Heinila Between May 1945 and June 1947, the Pepsi-Cola Junior Club at 121 Lenox Avenue in Harlem nurtured the future Third Generation Savoy Lindy Hoppers like Sugar and George Sullivan, and it could be considered … Continue reading

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Who Introduced the Lindy Hop in Europe?

Written and copyright by Harri Heinila Usually it is explained that GIs brought the Lindy Hop and Jitterbug-related dances from the U.S. to London and elsewhere in Europe during WWII starting from 1942[1]. Because it is clear that the British … Continue reading

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