Norma Miller Interview: Growing Up Next To The Savoy

A few years ago I did a “clip interview” with Norma Miller at Beantown camp (which you can find here) where we went through her great film footage while she talked about it. For this year I thought it’d be great to do a clip interview without any of the performance dancing — no Day at the Races, no Hellzapoppin — and talk instead about her every day swing dancing world in New York, where the dance was born and raised.

In this interview we use film footage to discuss 1930s Harlem, the Savoy ballroom, and rent parties. The result was, in my opinion, a fantastic companion piece to that first interview.

Also, some of the audio content is not safe for work. Love you, Norma. :)

7 responses to “Norma Miller Interview: Growing Up Next To The Savoy”

  1. This is great. I love the old footage of Harlem. The fashion is so inspiring, as is Norma. I reviewed her novel as while ago. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Nothing like a live interview.

    I’m working on vintage fiction short stories and this really gave me some ideas. Thank you!

    Tam Francis

  2. A superb interview Bobby, thank you for sharing this. Very interesting; especially the revelation that Shim Sham was never ever danced at The Savoy, only in cabaret. As the clip at The Savoy shows, the Foxtrot was very evident too, sharing the floor at the same time. As the late-Savoy historian, Terry Monaghan, said, Foxtrot, Waltz and other social dances were also danced at The Savoy on these nights, but this is rarely spoken of. Frankie Manning, himself, clarified this (and, as we know, he was a great Foxtrot and Waltzer, taught by his Mother). It would be lovely to see a transcription of this interview.

  3. I attended the interview at Beantown and Norma’s candidness made me laugh so much I had to watch the whole thing again on YouTube last night. It was a great presentation and hopefully we get to hear her again next year.

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