Friday, June 03, 2011

friday dance - Happy Birthday Dawn Hampton!!!

years and years and years ago... in the early days (late 90s) of my lindyhop studies... i found myself in new york for work. after design/production meetings (at DKNY) and dinner with my coworkers, i rushed to find any and all swing music venues i could. the first place i ended up was close to my hotel. it was a small dance floor, but there was a great band and jackie mason asked me to dance... seriously! :) but, i was so new, and a little freaked out that i declined his invite - i know, i've regretted it ever since... :)

dancers at that club told me about another venue and a cab ride later, i arrived. i walked in and the first person i saw was dawn hampton. i didn't know she was dawn hampton until years later. but she was unforgettable. she was/is mesmerizing. i honestly don't remember much about the dances i had that night - i mostly remember dawn. first of all, she was grooving by herself amongst all the other dancers. and i mean GROOooOOOOoovin' it.

her solo dance had more musicality and joy in it that most of the dancers out there.... and while many new dancers around her were offbeat entirely or way ahead... she was hanging on the beat, syncopating - just blowing my mind... i knew that i wanted to really learn how to lindyhop. i wanted to throw it down like dawn hampton.... i'm still working on it.... :)

here's one of my FAVORITE clips (of all time) of dawn hampton dancing with one of my favorite teachers/leads/friends - steven mitchell:

and another fave of dawn dancing with the yummy john dokes:

like frankie manning, dawn inspires me to grow more and more youthful everyday... happy happy happy birthday (weekend) dawn hampton!!!!

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