In the Mood
Swing dance devotees frocked up Chinese-style and flocked to the Midland Town Hall for Perth Swing Dance Society's One Night in Shanghai Hullabaloo Ball. There was Collegiate Shagging and Lindy Hopping aplenty as the energetic crowd danced the night away to nostalgic tunes.
Alissa Claessens and David Raudam; Scott Dassira and Michelle Turner; Maryse Lebeau and Ricky Lloyd; Dabelyn Ng and Dean Scott;
Carlie Leggett and Vanessa Burgess; Edwina Hollander and Daniel Ischia; Kelly Arsenault and Ben Holness;
Cindy Allanson; Melanie Hackett and Mark Turner; Kate Hackett and Paul Stone; Roger Schmidlin and Jennifer Majia; Annaleisa van Diemen and Matt Yeung; Kylie Welsh and Trevor Hutchison;
Markus Leone and Helen Major; Jarrad Marshall, Lexi Rollins and Shannon Brown;
Bethany Weldon and Helen McCausland; Kristy Hibbitt and Lauren Sim;
Michael Stone and Tamara Ratnayake; Eva Svanberg, Scott Quartermain and Karen Miller; Lauren Pyke and Jaymee Lee; Sarah Jones and Aaron Greenfield;
The West Australian, 30th April 2008
The highlight of last week's annual five-day swing dance celebration was Hullabaloo's Midland Masquerade Ball,Midland Town Hall.
Dance camp and Lindy Hop devotees put on their dancin' shoes and best clobber for a night of collective improvisation, pulsating rhythms and fun with music by the Windy City Jazzmen.
MIDLAND TOWN HALL: Jess Faggian & Xavier Shay
Mia Goldsmith & Peter Loggins
Ellen Stantschew & Robbie Hockley
Isabella Gregorio & Vincenzo Fesi
David Cheng & Patricia Falzon
Pictures: Cheyne Tiller-Daly
The West Australian, 19th January 2006
Sweden has exported tennis players, pop stars, modular furniture and family cars so why not a world-beating African-American jazz dance troupe?
The eight Swedes who go by the incongruous name Harlem Hot Shots bring to life African-American vernacular jazz dances from the 1920s jazz speakeasies to the frenzied jitterbugging of the 1940s teenagers.
Formed in 1985 as the Rhythm Hot Shots, they have been kicking up a storm around the globe and are on the way to Perth soon for a one-night stand.
Among other dances, the Harlem Hot Shots specialise in the Lindy hop, a fusion of American dances that emerged in the 1920s. Lindy hop was revived when the group travelled to Harlem in New York in search of any original Lindy hoppers.
They found Al Minns, an original Lindy hopper and, within a year, the Swedish group and an American group sparked a Lindy hop revival that continues today. Al Minns, Frankie Manning and Norma Miller came out of retirement and toured the world teaching Lindy hop.
The Harlem Hot Shots, who will present Harlem Heat in Perth, have been brought here by Perth couple Glenn and Debra Moore. They run the Swing Junction dance studio in Victoria Park and Fremantle where they teach swing dance to a big following.
From the cake walk to blackbottom (early 1900s) the charleston of the 20s, the Lindy hop and the jitterbug - later the jive and rock'n'roll - as well as incorporating acrobatics, singing and comedy, the dancers present a faithful re-creation of jazz dance history.
The Swedes have faithfully re-created the swing era with their costumes, dance and music, using authentic material from old film clips, as well as honing their skills from meetings with dancers and musicians active in the United States in the 1930s and 40s.
"Various dancers have visited Perth previously to hold workshops but this is the first time the Harlem Hot Shots has performed here," Debra Moore said.
"Each July in Sweden the Harlem Hot Shots hold a big dance camp in Herrang for four weeks. It's a Mecca for Lindy hoppers around the world and goes for 24 hours with lots of dance parties."
Caption: Harlem Hot Shots strut their stuff.
Swan Song Poster
A short film made by the Fremantle Film Institute starring some of our very own local Lindy Hoppers.
Poster featuring Trevor Hutchison and Sharon Davis
The West Australian, 3rd May 2006
The swing event of the year, the annual Hullabaloo Ball, came with all its usual trappings as guests frocked to the nines in vintage, military and formal wear danced up a storm on the huge wooden floor in the Midland Town Hall to the live sounds of James Flynn and his Swingin' Lovers. The Hullaballoo Hoppers and guest dancers also performed on the night, which is also an ANZAC Day tribute.
MIDLAND: Jonathon Face & Michelle Turner
Lexi Rollins, Jarrad Marshall, Elly Squire & Peter Mizza
Sharon Davis & Trevor Hutchison
Francine Collier & Darren Witt
Rachel McColl & Sarah Walker
Monica Osuchowski, Todd Huscuft, Eleanor Raine & Cassandra Davey
Times, 4th December 2005
Subi Comes Alive
Every Year residents, families and friends join to "reclaim
the streets" during the popular Subiaco Street Party.
And this year was no exception. Shops opened their doors for
trading and the crowd, young and old, enjoyed street performances,
fashion parades and tastings from many cafes.
Caption: David Yeates and Sharon Davis
Vita Magazine, Spring 2005
Spring into Fitness
In the past few years, swing dancing has been undergoing
a phenomenal worldwide revival. From the energetic, aerial
stepping Gndy Hop to the fast
and furious kicks and jumps of the Collegiate Shag, swing
dancing is one of the most glamorous ways to tone those thighs
and calves. Devotees can be found jitterbugging all over town
from the Mustang Bar to Burswood.
All you need to join them is a can-do attitude, some sexy
threads, a lashing of luscious lippie and a pair of dancing
shoes. Swing dance etiquette demands that dancers - amateur
or not - accept a dance when it is offered, so you don't even
need a partner to get started. Kick up those heels, get swinging
and make some friends in the process!
Cindy Allanson, swing dancer
With her seamed stockings, fuchsia lips. bowling shoes and
dainty floral dress, 19-year-old Cindy Allanson is a vamp
straight out of the 1940s.
Get this girl on the dance floor and she'll be kicking up
her heels in no time - a devotee of the Lindy Hop for the
past two years, she can be found practising her fancy footwork
at the Mustang Bar in Northbridge every Friday night.
"I do classes once a week at Swing Junction, I come
to Mustang every Friday and then I have a social dance with
other swing dancers about once a month called Club Splanky,"
"There's a huge subculture going on it's really good:'
Cindy learnt the basic steps at swing dancing classes - but
says the emphasis has always been on moving to the music and
having a good time.
"With swing dancing, it's all about expressing yourself
and being smooth - and there's definitely a lot of footwork
"You'll be dancing for about four hours a time - you'll
come away covered in sweat but it's amazing fun - I love it:'
Caption: Nineteen-year-old Cindy Allanson says swing dancing
is part of a huge subculture in Perth.
17th October 2005
You may remember Crossfire featured on last year's Artrage
program at the Midland Railway Workshops. This year it takes
the battle to the streets of Northbridge.
"Over 100 dancers performing 21 different styles of
dance from break-dance to ballet to pole-dance to African
to contemporary Noongar and everything in between across seven
stages you round in the street,"Canning says "It's
one of the highlights of the night, and it's been put together
by Cossfire Associate Producer Claudia Alessi who has been
working with all the groups strutting their stuff on the night'
"It's a dance spectacle that's reflective of the status
of Australia now, a kind of ordered diversity;"Alessi
says."The dancers wage battle a frivolous way, it's so
upbeat, it, got the cheerleaders and the break and the salsa,
so many uplifting styles. It has that competitive edge as
well as that carnivalesque element that's about bringing life
back into the streets of Northbridge for everyone to enjoy..."
West Australian, 17th October 2005
Dancers step out in Northbridge
The Northbridge Festival will open next weekend with a spectacular
introduction to the world of international dance before a
packed program of varied cultural activities.
The festival, which is this year being run in association
with Artrage, literally kicks, leaps and swings into action
on its central stage on Saturday night with Crossfire, a dance
The dancing will begin at 6pm with LINK dance company from
the WA Academy of Performing Arts and the Chung Wah Chinese
LINK will perform Sue Peacock's new choreography Pith, with
the Chinese orchestra accompanying the traditional lion dance.The
events will lead into the Crossfire dance spectacle, in which
more than 100 young dancers from schools, clubs and community
groups will be pitted against each other in a contest of dance
There will be line dancing, swing dancers,
Nyoongar dancers, aerobics dancers and even good time rock'n'roll
and the Lindy hop...
... The Northbridge Festival is free over the weekend.
Caption: Flying Lindy Bombers
Roleystone Courier, September 2005
Roleystone Theatre held a very special VE Day celebration
at its theatre recently. Members were encouraged to dress
for the occasion with military uniforms being the norm. They
were treated to various acts such as singing, dancing, old
movies, as well as the set being blown up.
Everybody rose to the occasion by joining in with the spirit
of the time.There were some great acts such as the swing dancers
that amazed the audience with their energetic performance.
The supper, despite rationing, was very authentic.
The community singing to all of the old songs at
the time was inspiring. A great time was had by
all who attended. Zyg
West Australian, 27th April 2005
By Di Bauwens
PICTURES: JEFF ATKINSON
Perth’s swing dancers frocked up in vintage style, tropical
and military attire and formal wear for the swing event of
the year, the annual Hullabaloo Ball, held
in the nostalgic surrounds of the Midland Town Hall.
The South Pacific-themes-do featured the Fremantle Jazz Orchestra,
performances by the Hullabaloo Hoppers and dancing until 2am.
Suburbs Weekly, 26th April 2005
The Midland Town Hall was decked out like a wartime South Pacific
beach set for the Perth Swing Dance Society's annual Hullabaloo
ball. Dressed in costumes befetting the era, guests hit the
floor for a night of Lindy Hopping, Jitterbugging and Collegiate
Shagging to the big band sounds of the '40s.
Courier, 11th March 2005
Jazz at sunset goes down
EARLY rain last Saturday and a four-hour power cut
in the middle of the day had Lions Sunset Jazz Festival organisers
worried but the event went off without a hitch in perfect
The annual event attracted a big crowd and featured the All
for One Big Band with Birdland, the Harry DeLuxe Band, The
Swing Zing Dancers, Kolbe College Band and the Warnbro-Safety
Bay High Schools Band.
Lions event organiser Steve Blackman said he was
pleased with the crowd and could not have asked for a better
evening. Neil Mulligan was there to catch highlights on camera.
Echo, 15th January 2005
Concert series set to bring
some Kulcha to the Swan region
The Guildford Hotel will kick off the cultural season in style
tomorrow when it hosts the first in a series of Kulcha on
...The opening concert on tomorrow, January 16, will feature
Latin Big Band, Latin Fusion, and swing act, Harry Deluxe
and the Hullabaloo Hoppers.
Harry Deluxe is an eightpiece swing band who will play tunes
from the 1930's to 90's, and will be accompanied by a performance
from members of the Perth Swing Dance Society.
The concert series will continue to run across each Sunday
until March 13...
Caption: Perth Swing Dance Society performance
troupe, The Hullabaloo Hoppers, outside
the Midland Town Hall
In The Swing
Text: Sarah Szabo, Images:
Emma van Dordrecht
Drag out the Mary Janes, put on your zoot suit, fashion that
Victory roll and fly just like Lindy. Welcome to the home
of the happy feet, where everything old is new again.
Michelle Turner applies her red lipstick emphasising the
cupid's bow of the upper lip in a style they call the Joan
Crawford smear. Her eyebrows have been plucked into thin Garboesque
arches. It had been difficult sleeping with her hair pinned
and wet-set with pomade overnight, art the effect is worth
it. Her "Victory roll" hairdo will last the night's
dancing with all curls intact. Swing dancers do it with style
- 1940s style that is.
I actually have mine cut in a '40s shape so that I can get
the hair to stay;' says 35-year-old Michelle. "At the
time they would pin their hair all over in flat curls and
hairdressers would arrange it in different ways. I have no
idea how people could do this every day of their lives."
Friday night at the Mustang Bar in Northbridge is a regular
gig for the Perth Swing Dance Society. Eight piece band Harry
Deluxe belts out jazz and LA-style
swing originals and the dancers do what they do best - specifically
the Lindy hop, sometimes the balboa and, on occasion, the
The Lindy hop originates from a 1927 newspaper headline announcing
Charles Lindbergh's 33-hour flight to France as "Lindy
hops the Atlantic" This prompted a dancer to describe
his moves as "flyin’ - just like Lindy." After
its heyday in the '30s and '40s, the Lindy hop became better
known as the jitterbug but no-one at the Mustang calls it
by that name. When you do something with passion, the romance
is in the details.
Swing dancing was born in 1927 at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem
- the only non-segregated dance arena in town. It was known
as "the home of happy feet" where approximately
4000 pairs, many of them black, created a cultural phenomenon
that swept America, providing a release from the dark days
of the Depression and World War II.
The sound was Big Band and the moves were exuberant, raucous,
improvised and with a direct lineage to tribal African music
and dance, transported to America by black slaves. Whites
had stiff backs, stiff legs and the waltz and went gaga over
the spontaneous, bent-kneed, angulated bodies of swing dancers.
In a racist era, it made stars of the black singers and dancers
who developed the moves and sounds into an art form, creating
the only style of jazz to be widely embraced by the masses.
White musicians and dancers added European influences and
extended its appeal. Luminaries include Ella Fitzgerald, Louis
Armstrong, Count Basis, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Artie
Shaw, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington.
“IT'S A DANCE
THAT ALLOWS UNLIMITED INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION... IF YOU DO SOMETHING
STRANGE, WELL, YOU'VE JUST INVENTED SOMETHING NEW.”
There is an African Congo proverb that says, "dance with
bended knees, lest you be taken for a corpse" and at
the Mustang Bar in 2004, there's nary a straight limb in sight.
Lindy hoppers don't hop, but they do close dancing, breakaways,
swing-outs and aerials with elbows and knees kicking out in
sync with each other and the music. It's eccentric, joyful,
quirky and bears absolutely no resemblance to the courtly
propriety of ballroom dance.
Jennifer Mejia, 32-year-old member of swing dance performance
team The Hullabaloo Hoppers, says: "If you don't look
as if you are sleeping with your partner, then you aren't
doing it right." The Hullabaloo Hoppers have a core of
about 10 members and regularly performs at festivals and corporate
Michelle Turner identifies a common phenomenon among new swing
dancers. "When people start swing dancing they either
get into it or they don't - and the people who do would go
to classes every night of the week if they could. It's like
a drug:" She has been dancing for about six years but
says her obsession with all things '30s and '40s started when
she was a young girl intrigued by the movies from the era.
She now lives in an art deco house, surrounded by vintage
clothes, furniture, movie memorabilia and jewellery. Her hair
is styled with original bobby pins, curling tools and setting
lotion, and the nylon stockings she wears are more than 60
years old - with the odd ladder in them. "To think that
I was a 10-year-old kid feeling the same way as I do now and
when I saw the dancing I thought, 'my god, the jigsaw is complete';'
Ben Zuvela, 34, calls his addiction "a natural high"
and says, "You find it takes over. You go to extremes.
People will normally go through it and then they will burn
out because they will dance 13 nights out of a fortnight."
He is over the first flush of compulsive Lindy hopping but
still believes there is nothing quite like it. "It is
such a satisfying dance that it tends to put a huge smile
on your face;" he says. "We had an open day once
and I asked this guy 'so what do you think; and he said 'you
are all religious aren't you?' because we all looked so happy.'
The swing resurgence is a global phenomenon, reappearing in
the US about 15 years ago and spreading wherever good people
like to kick up their heels - preferably wing-tipped or Mary
Jane style. International artists such as Michael Buble, Harry
Connick Jr and Jamie Callum are the crowd-pleasing faces of
the nostalgia boom, nudging the merry-go round of style toward
Sinatra and beyond.
The Perth Swing Dance Society (PSDS) was formed in 2002 by
husband and wife rock'n'roll dancers Glenn and Deb Moore,
who fell in love with the Lindy hop and wanted to share their
retro renaissance in a social environment. "It is a dance
that allows unlimited individual expression and once you know
the basics, you can do anything with it;' says Glenn. "If
you do something strange, well, you have just invented something
new:" Glenn and Deb, both in their 30s, run dance school
Swing Junction, which offers five classes a week in vintage
Membership of PSDS hovers around the 200 strong mark with
the weekly head count at the Mustang usually exceeding 50
dancers. The demographic is broad but skews young to a 25-35
group. The society hosts an active program of events with
regular gigs at local hotspots, monthly dances at the Como
Primary School Hall and occasional balls. This year also saw
the inauguration of Hullabaloo,
an annual extravaganza over the Anzac weekend, which drew
Lindy hoppers from all points of the compass in a celebration
of swing culture.
Popular jazz diva Libby Hammer is the muse and wherever Libby
and band Hip Mo Toast play, expect spontaneous outbreaks of
swing dancing to occur. Other local favorites include Adam
Hall and the Velvet Playboys, Harry Deluxe, Bassline Benny
and the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band.
The well-kitted-out swing dancer has a couple of decades in
which to mine their particular style. Guides detailing the
minutiae of "the look" are available to interested
parties. It is all part of the fun but certainly not a prerequisite.
Original vintage wear is highly prized but vintage patterns
are a shortcut to trawling the secondhand stores.
Styles did change over the swing era but the war years had
a lasting effect, creating an aesthetic dictated by shortages
and sombreness. Materials were scarce, so hemlines rose and
skirts were only as wide as was needed to walk and sit. Padded
military style shoulders were worn to symbolise support for
the boys on the frontline. Men's fashions ranged from the
relatively conservative high-waisted trouser with braces to
the outrageously coloured and oversized zoot suits. PSDS members
will usually go all out for the big events and adopt a more
comfortable approach for their weekly outings. (It isn't difficult
to spot them when they are out en masse.)
President Cheryl Glasgow, 32, believes the appeal lies in
the romance of the era and a dance style that emphasises connection
rather than the individual. Jennifer Mejia agrees: "Dance
partners have to be so in tune with each other because the
lead and the follow is so important in this dance. People
also love that you can muck around, improvise and make mistakes
and laugh about it." All agree that the scene is not
a meat market. "Those who come in looking for romance
don't last long;" says Jennifer. "You really have
to love the music and dancing to stay."
For further information on the Perth Swing Dance Society check
out perthswing.com For information
on swing classes contact Swing Junction on (08) 9361 4910.
Get the look
Slim-fitted, knee-length dresses and suits with padded square
shoulders and an emphasised waist. Wide-legged sailor-style
pants with high waistband. As natural fabrics were commandeered
by the military, rayon was widely used.
Two-tone wingtips shoes, pumps with a buckled ankle strap,
and highheeled lace-ups. Wood or cork soles were common as
leather became harder to find. For dressier occasions, "peep"
toes and sling-backs were often worn.
Silk stockings with seams running down the back. One of the
first restrictions of the war, however, was a ban on Japanese
silk. Stockings were then made of nylon for a few years until
that, too, was restricted. After that, women either went without
and wore bobby socks during the day or stained their legs
brown and drew a seam with eyeliner. It gradually became acceptable
to go bare-legged.
Long glamorous hair with curls. Popular styles included the
pageboy, the Victory roll and the Veronica Lake look. Turbans,
snoods, or scarves were used by factory workers to keep hair
out of harm's way and soon became a style taken up for general
Suits without vests and pocket flaps, and trousers with minimum
pleats and no cuffs. The War Production Board dictated that
it was a designer's patriotic duty to design fashions that
would remain stylish through many seasons and use a minimum
The zoot suit. It was thought of as illicit during the war
because it defied me directive to ration materials. An exaggerated
look comprised an oversized jacket, wide lapels and shoulders,
with baggy low-crotched trousers that narrowed dramatically
at the ankle.
Two-toned wingtips shoes and brogues.
Hair parted in or near the centre and slicked back with brilliantine.
Hawaiian shirts. One of the most extreme changes in postwar
men's fashion was the adoption of the casual shirt. Hawaiian
shirts were first worn -- beaches in California and Florida
(click for more swing fashion info)
Article: Scoop Magazine.