If you want to get your facts straight, you go to the source. Well, in this episode, we spoke with living swing legend Sylvia Sykes to learn more about her experience, her perspective, and the history of swing. She chatted with us about how she got into swing dancing as a teenager, how she ended up on the television show Shebang, and how she met famous lindy hopper Dean Collins. She shared what if felt like to dance with Dean, what he taught her about swing and following, and what he was like as a person. We asked her about Balboa, SoCal Swing, and how West Coast Swing fits into the family of swing dances (or doesn’t). We discussed her partnership with Ramiro Gonzalez, their famous win at the US Open, and of course, we asked Sylvia what makes swing “swing.” There’s a lot to learn in this rich and informative discussion.
Dean Collins – Let’s Make Music (1941)
Maxie Dorf & Sylvia Sykes – Balboa
Willie Desatoff & Ann Mills – Balboa
Shirley Fietsem & Tom Boots
Ramiro Gonzalez & Sylvia Sykes – US Open 1995