I am thrilled to be joined by one of my most requested guests, Tena Morales-Armstrong. Tena is a renowned dancer, instructor, judge, choreographer, and organizer. She has been a guiding figure for the global swing scene for over twenty years - from winning the inaugural American Lindy Hop Championships with her partner Carnell Pipkin in 1998, to her roles as co-founder of the International Lindy Hop Championships, co-organizer of Lindyfest and Lone Star Championships, and architect of the International Swing Dance Championships and Houston Jazz Dance Festival.
Tena and I sat down in Rochester, NY during Stompology 2018 and talked about teaching hip-hop as a single mom, how a glimpse of tandem Charleston at the Glen Echo Ballroom inspired her to instantly dive headlong into the world of Lindy Hop, and how her eye for talent helped develop of some of today’s most recognized dancers.
We also discussed what it means to her to work with kids on and off the dance floor, her role in the Frankie Manning Foundation, the importance of black history and culture in Lindy Hop, and building a bridge between African-American partner dances like DFW Swingout and Chicago Stepping and the modern Lindy Hop scene.
Thanks to Alletta Cooper for her production assistance on this month's episode!