One of the few Lindy Hop teachers in the Metro Detroit area, is keeping the legendary dance alive!
Most of Paulette’s dance roots started in modern dance and ballet, but in the midst of her west coast swing competing days, her heart was still set on lindy hop. “I felt like ‘lindy’ was undeserved,” she states. Paulette studied under the late Frankie Manning, who, at that time, was Chief Choreographer at the Savoy Ballroom in New York City and the most popularized dancer in the 1930’s. Since 1993 until his passing in 2014, Frankie Manning mentored Paulette on the various rhythms of swing dance.
In 1996, Paulette introduced West Coast swing, Chicago stepping and lindy hop to locals in metro Detroit. Based on a series of workshops she taught around the country at several events, she noticed people were coming in from out of town just to train with her. At this point, she decided to organize her own workshops, and in 1997, she did JUST THAT! Soon enough, people began recognizing her as the ‘Lindy Hop Lady’.
In 1998, she started a Lindy Hop competition in New Jersey and it was worldly noted as the first worldwide Lindy Hop Championship. The event received quite the notoriety, such that networks like HBO attended and did a feature on the event. In addition, the event was featured in Life Magazine, in the year end picture section.
In 2018, the Lindy Hop Championship celebrated their 20th anniversary in Harlem, New York (which is the birthplace of Lindy), where nearly 600 people were in attendance. “We tried the event in Detroit, but they didn’t receive well. So, we took it to Stanford, Connecticut for 14 years”.
People began recognizing her as the ‘Lindy Hop Lady’.
Want to learn Lindy Hop? Paulette teaches every week in Detroit at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary art on Thursdays. You can visit her website for more workshop dates and Lindy events happening around the world at Artspectrum.org/PauletteBrockington or visit her on Facebook.