Hop to the Beat's blog

Gordon Webster's Indiegogo Campaign

Gordon Webster at Beantown Camp 2016

Gordon Webster has two new albums in the works and an Indiegogo Campaign to help make them happen!

Many of us in the Boston area have known Gordon for a long time and watched him grow into one of the most in demand musicians on the worldwide Lindy scene. Not only is he a superb musician and bandleader, he’s a super nice guy. We are fortunate to have him play in our area multiple times a year. He’s been a long time Beantown regular, and this year for the first time he’s on the instructor lineup, teaching some musicality classes. In more recent years, his band has been closing out the week with two fabulous nights of music. You always want to go out on a high note, and with Gordon, you know it will be magical!

Now is our chance to show Gordon some Lindy love and support! He has an Indiegogo campaign to raise the much needed funds to complete the production of his albums. Plus there are perks! Be sure to check it out, and if you would like to contribute, there are only 10 days left!

Last Discount Prices through May 31

Beantown CampMay 31 is the last day to get the last Discount prices for camp registration! There is still time to pay by the 2 month installment plan if you register by May 25.

Everything is coming together for an amazing week of classes, socializing, entertainment and fun! If you would like to have a vacation immersed in dancing and good times, Beantown is for you!

Register Now

View the website for more information!

Join the Beantown Camp 2015 Facebook event.

Leaders are still needed! Please help follows get off the wait list. If you are already registered and know of leads you can encourage to sign up, we would very much appreciate your help!

Tickets on Sale for the Ctrl+Alt+Dance Movie Premiere Event on March 12

Ctrl+Alt+Dance MovieThis film was made by Swing dancers for Swing dancers and features acting and dancing by Lindy champions Dax Hock and Sarah Breck, choreography by Kevin St. Laurent and Jo Hoffberg, and killer tracks by Carsie Blanton, the Low Down Sires, and Caravan Palace!

Find out more about the film and check out the trailer.

There is a one-night-only premiere event planned around the world to be held on Thursday, March 12. This may be our only chance to see the film in theaters. To be sure we get a Boston showing, we must purchase enough tickets by February 15. In addition, a percentage of ticket sales will go towards supporting Swing dancing right here in Boston!

Let’s be sure we get a Boston showing! Plus support our local scene! Any funds raised for Hop to the Beat will go to the Beantown Scholarship Donation to help past Frankie Ambassadors return to camp this year.

Beantown Scholarship Donation information.

Buy Tickets Now

Frankie 100

Frankie 100Frankie 100 in NYC was truly spectacular from start to finish! The organizers did an amazing job with every little detail and extra. One of the major highlights was the countdown to Frankie’s birthday and the big balloon drop. Just incredible as all those people from 47 countries, spread out over 3 floors, joined together to celebrate this extraordinary man. Frankie was definitely smiling down on us at that moment!

Savoy Ballroom PlaqueAnother very special highlight was the gathering at the sight of the Savoy Ballroom, the inauguration of World Lindy Hop Day, and the parade through Harlem. We just wanted to soak it all in, walking the neighborhood where both Frankie and Norma grew up. It is mind boggling to think how what happened there has had such an impact on our lives today.

For us as Lindy Hoppers for just over 20 years now, it was so special to reunite with so many people from around the world that we have met and become friends with. It was a wonderful reminder of our early days and all the excitement that came with that and the amazing opportunities we had traveling to Sweden and England and other parts of the U.S. Frankie and Lindy Hop changed our lives and has given us so much. We are incredibly grateful to be a part of this worldwide community and to Frankie for teaching us how to dance and how to live!

Frankie 100 Registration this Thursday!

Frankie 100Frankie 100 is a huge celebration honoring the joy, spirit and vision of the one and only Frankie Manning. This very special event will be held in NYC over Memorial Day weekend in 2014 and will be attended by Lindy Hoppers from all over the world. Check out the information today!

Frankie 100

Registration is organized in 3 waves depending on geographic location. Wave 1 covering Asia and Australia has sold out!

The Boston area is in Wave 3, which opens at 5:00pm this Thursday, September 19. It will close at 1:00am or sooner if it sells out. (Count on it selling out!) If you want to attend this incredible event, be ready to register this Thursday! Do it!

Frankie 100 Registration

Beantown Camp Highlights & Thanks

Time has flown by since Beantown and we are still working on our follow-up and going through a ton of photos. The spirit of Lindy Hop was alive and well at camp this year! What a fantastic week with so many wonderful moments.

Beantown Highlights

Here is a selection of just some of the many highlights:

Michael and EvitaFriday Night Instructor Demo

Seeing all of the instructors together filling the floor was truly amazing. So much talent all in one place! Seeing it on paper is one thing. Experiencing it in person is another! A great start to the week to come.

Camp Social on the Winthrop LawnCamp Social on the Winthrop Lawn

The cool breezes, the beautiful view, a chance to relax and just enjoy time with other campers.

Beantown BounceBeantown Bounce

Awesome from start to finish. Listening to Norma rave for a good 15 minutes afterwards was the icing on the cake. She kept mentioning how her spirit had been renewed. What better compliment could there be? Kudos to Evita and Michael and all the performers and crew who contributed to such a spectacular show!

Bobby's Presentation with NormaBobby’s Presentation with Norma

I may have seen all the dance clips before, but never with Norma’s off the cuff comments full of interesting information and a participant’s point of view. Priceless!

Taryn's Performance in Beantown's Got TalentTaryn’s Performance in Beantown’s Got Talent

When we added Maduka and Taryn Chidebelu-Eze to our camp staff, we had no idea we were getting such an amazing talent on campus. Taryn treated us to several wonderful performances during the week. My favorite was during Beantown’s Got Talent. Watching her young son singing along with a huge smile and much pride in his face was truly special.

Class PerformancesClass Performances

The class performances at the end of the week are always a camp highlight, although this year’s were extra wonderful. Rose provided an excellent setting and the audience was the best ever giving a rousing standing ovation after each group.

Special Award PresentationSpecial Award Presentation

This year we added two special awards, Top Student to Jonathan Chen and Spirit of Lindy Hop to Cynthia Simonds. My favorite part was when Cynthia ran down from the back of the room to hug Jonathan, not knowing that she was soon to be called up for her own award. If that didn’t confirm we made the right choices, I don’t know what would. Thanks to Dave Lasagna for the insight to pass the mic to these two wonderful recipients. If there was anything that brought us all together, it was this moment. This one gets added to the all-time best Beantown moments EVER!

Wednesday Night Last DanceWednesday Night Last Dance

Closing out our last dance with Gordon Webster is a guaranteed fun night! The last 20-25 minute version of “I Like Pie, I like Cake” included a sing along, a jam, some unique improvising from Gordon, and even some crowd surfing from Josh Mclean. You couldn’t plan this stuff if you wanted to!

Happy CampersHappy Campers

Seeing everyone at camp, catching up with friends, meeting new campers, watching everything enfold, seeing the happy faces, feeling the positive collective spirit, having that sense of community. The pure joy is what brought us to Lindy Hop and why we still do it!

Beantown Thanks

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at Beantown this year, everyone who supported us and encouraged others to attend, our amazing staff and awesome crew and every single person who chipped in one way or another. We appreciate every one of you and could not do Beantown without you! In addition, we must send a huge thank you to Patrick and the entire Endicott College staff for providing us such an amazing environment and helping us to have the best camp possible.

Beantown Campers, you have once again exceeded expectations! We wish you all the best and hope to see you back in 2014!

Hop to the Beat Year End Message

  Uptown Swing Dance Beantown Camp
Beantown Camp Beantown Camp
Beantown Camp Skye & Naomi Workshops 2012
Beantown Camp Uptown Swing Dance
Beantown Camp Uptown Swing Dance
Beantown Camp Skye & Naomi Workshops 2012

Hard to believe another year is drawing to a close. Time really does fly. We did have some really outstanding moments this year and also some really rough ones.

Losing my Mom this August was especially difficult coming only 15 months after my Dad, although it was a blessing as she had Alzheimer’s. Losing parents is truly life changing. Dealing with so much over the last couple of years has brought me and all my brothers and sisters closer together, something that is wonderful. I am sure my parents would be proud of us. I am also very grateful to everyone who reached out to me during this difficult time. It touched me deeply and helped me to deal with my sadness.

These days we still have the families of Newtown, CT very much on our minds. My brother and his family live in that town. Thankfully his 3 young children go to a school on the opposite end from Sandy Hook, although their school did go into lockdown that awful day. We visited Newtown on the way to my sister’s house on Christmas and the whole town is currently one big memorial to the victims. There is an unbelievable amount of stuffed animals, ornaments, flowers, banners, messages and other objects from all over the country. It is all so incredibly sad. Christmas was noticeably subdued this year and my brother told us about what it has been like and what’s been going on in Newtown. My brother-in-law told us about his friends who were among the first responders. We’ve been thinking about the numerous families directly effected by this tragedy and can’t imagine how they’ve been managing through the holidays.

Year-end is a time of reflection as we are reminded of the ups and downs of the past year. It is also a time of renewal and we look to 2013 with great optimism and thanks for the many wonderful positives. Dance is something that has brought so much to our lives (including each other), and one of our greatest hopes is that we can pass it forward. It moves our bodies, frees our minds and brings joy to our souls.

We want to send out a big thank you to all of the students who joined us in class this year from those who came to their very first classes to those who have been with us for a very long time. Classes are still the heart and soul of what we do. We love teaching and if we can be a little part of someone’s journey, it means the world to us.

Uptown Swing moved to a new venue this year. We enjoyed our time at Brookline Tai Chi and weren’t looking to move, but sometimes these situations we are thrown into turn out for the best. We are loving our new beautiful venue at KI. We’re still getting used to how large it is and hope to meet the challenge of filling it each month! So far it has been awesome and we’re looking forward to some wonderful nights in the new year.

People often ask why we do Beantown Camp each year as it can be quite an endeavor! We do have our moments of questioning our sanity, although it is our week actually at camp that renews our energy and our spirit. This year’s camp was just incredible from start to finish. It was a week full of smiles, passion, friendship, and pure joy! As we are currently in the midst of lots of planning, we’re already excited for what’s coming together for 2013!

As we close out 2012, we want to thank all of the wonderful people we have met and the friends we have made from near and far who have enriched our lives. We wish you all a very happy new year!

Happy dancing,
Aurelie & Tony

Year-End Message

Ready or not, another year has come to an end. It is not possible for me (Aurelie) to reflect on it without the one overriding feature of losing my Dad in May. I and the rest of my family miss him very much. He was the focal point, so there is a big gap to fill. We are learning to find our way as we move forward. Thankfully I come from a large family and we have each other.

2011 did bring many wonderful moments and here are a few of our biggest highlights:

  • Not only did we hold our 15thBeantown Camp, we received many comments of “best ever” and we think we agree. A gathering of many wonderful people for a week full of joy, tons of positive energy and just so much fun!
  • Hop to the Beat had its 16th anniversary this September, something we find pretty amazing.smiley
  • Passing our 1 year mark in our Monday night Boston location. It is always a big challenge to start something new and we have really enjoyed our classes and the people we have gotten to know from them.
  • Skye Humphries and Naomi Uyama performing at Uptown Swing Dance with the Gordon Webster BandA truly phenomenal Uptown Swing dance with Gordon Webster during the Skye and Naomi weekend. The house was absolutely packed, however, what made it exceptional was how the room was on fire! Gordon surpassed himself, Naomi was incredible, she and Skye entertained and inspired us, and everyone present contributed to such an awesome, happy night. We couldn’t have ended our HTTB year any better.
  • Izzy and LunaA non-dance highlight was adopting our two rescue kitties, Izzy and Luna, in August. They have brought much cuteness to our home.smiley

Something that continues to be a major force are all the fabulous people who have touched our lives through our classes, dances, camp and other activities. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your life and there is nothing that makes us happier than seeing new friendships made, smiling faces and everyone having a good time. We caught the Lindy Hop bug back in our early days and are thrilled if we can help pass that on to someone else. Neither of us could ever have imagined back when we each started dancing what it would become in our lives. It has brought us each other and so much more.

So here’s to a new year which we hope will give you all much joy, happiness and of course plenty of excellent moments dancing!

Our best to you,
Aurelie & Tony

Holiday Gifts of Dance

Ryan Francois & Jenny Thomas DVDsThere’s still time to get a gift of dance this holiday season! Here’s what you will find in the Hop to the Beat Shop:

  • Ryan and Jenny’s series of teaching DVDs. Ryan and Jenny are two of the best Lindy Hop teachers and performers in the world. These DVDs are jam packed with information with very clear presentation and tons of demonstration.
  • Beantown Camp 2011 DVDsBeantown Camp DVDs, including the 3 DVD set for 2011 covering class recaps, competitions, evening and class performances and Beantown Bounce (the awesome show)!
  • Beantown Camp and Hop to the Beat T-Shirts.
  • Gift Certificates which are customized to any amount.

Purchase at the Hop to the Beat shop.

New IP Address

Our websites have a new IP address. The change appears to have propagated but if you are having difficulties accessing our sites please try flushing your browser’s cache and reloading the page. Thanks, -Tony


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