The Swingtopia Crew had the honour of performing at the 4th of July Celebrations for the Perth US Consulate!
We got to dance in the River Room at the Optus Stadium which had a magnificent view of Perth!
The theme of this 4th of July was the American Moon Landing of 1969. This meant we had to dance to space themed music from the 60's and 70's!! We kicked the proceedings off with a dynamic performance filled with air steps to one of my favourite songs, "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson. Then came all the speeches which included the US Consul General being interviewed by Ricky Grace the basketballer. You can tell the Consul General, because she's the only one in the crowd with a bright red dress!
After all the official speeches we got back on stage and closed off the proceedings with a Medley of 60's swing songs, including "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra, and of course, "Moondance" by Van Morrison. This dance was very special though because the US Consul General herself, Rachel, danced with us!
Over the past three years I've had the privilege of working with Rachel in choreographing and dancing with her in front of all her VIP's! She's a very adventurous, not to mention courageous lady! It was her idea from the beginning to get a truly American dance on stage and for her to perform with them.
Sadly, this celebration also marked the end of her posting here in Perth. She only had three days left in Perth after this. I'm glad she left on such a high!
Swing dancing is a distinctly American folk dance. Lindy Hop originated in Harlem in New York city, created by African-Americans. Swing music developed from the 'blues' which came from the deep south. Blues music was sung by African-American's to express their emotional anguish at the conditions of their slavery. It was this inhumanity which eventually led to the American Civil War, a war that emancipated a race, and gave America its identity. Swing dancing later became the dance of World War II, and spread throughout the world by American sailors. And it is this same society that gave swing dancing it's cool sense of fashion from the 30's and 40's that we love so much today.
The Consul General could not have chosen a better dance!
Well done to the Swingtopia Crew for a great performance! Thank you Evelyn, the two Matts, and Sophie. Thank you to Paul and Lisa for stepping in at the last moment. It was Paul's first dance performance!
Thank you to Keith and Sam for taking videos and photos.
And finally thank you to Rachel for making this such an enjoyable trip! Stay tuned for videos and photos of our performance.
Azza is a lifelong swing dancer, the founder of Swingtopia Dance in Perth, Western Australia, and a lover of Bubble Tea. Sign in to comment below, or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.