I am joined on this episode by Naomi Uyama, who is not only an accomplished international Lindy Hop instructor and competitor, but also a singer and bandleader. Since discovering Lindy Hop in the late 90s at age 16, Naomi has won titles at such prestigious competitions as the American Lindy Hop Championships, the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, International Lindy Hop Championships, and the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships. She has performed with her band, Naomi & Her Handsome Devils, at dance events all over the world, including Snowball in Stockholm, the London Swing Festival, and events across the US.
Finding a break between classes at LindyFest in Houston TX, we talk about her time in New York City starting down the path as a singer and band leader, and about Lindy Hop as a living art form, tracing the thread that connects Count Basie’s "Jumpin’ at the Woodside" & Usher's club hit "Yeah!"
We dove right into our conversation, quickly getting into a little controversy around teacher's pay rates and how they relate to the greater picture of having a career as a traveling swing dance instructor.
Note: We had a small sound issue just as we got started, so please bear with it as it clears up after the first few minutes.