Tag: Lindy Hop

91st Anniversary of the Savoy Ballroom-Home of the Happy Feet

If you’re a Lindy hopper or a lover of the 1930’s/1940’s, you know the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. You know that it is the hallowed ground of swing dancers everywhere and the ‘Home of the Happy Feet’. All the greats played here AND danced here and anyone who was anyone passed thru it’s doors. It truly was a magical place, where your skin colour did not matter, only the music and the dance did.

The Savoy Ballroom Harlem Plaque, NYC
Savoy Plaque on the grounds where the original dance hall stood

The Savoy turned 91 years old this past March 12th and for today’s post I wanted to bring to life this legendary ballroom. Whether you know it’s story already or just discovering it for the first time, reading and watching videos about the Savoy never gets old.

Please grab your dance shoes friends because we are off to 596 Lenox Avenue, between 140th and 141st Streets to visit the famous Savoy Ballroom.

savoy ballroom colour vintage image
Source: The Savoy King

Brief History & Facts about the Savoy:

  • Owned by Moe Gale, a Jewish man, and managed by Charles Buchanan, an African-American business man, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors on March 12, 1926 right in the middle of Harlem
  • It was the first racially integrated public place in the country
  • The Savoy was modeled after Faggen’s downtown venue, Roseland Ballroom
  • 10,000 square feet in size, was on the second floor and a block long. It could hold up to 4,000 people
  • The interior was painted pink and the walls were mirrored.Colored lights danced on the sprung layered wood floor and it had 2 bandstands (which allowed continuous music all night long)
  • The spacious basement checkrooms could serve up to 5,000 patrons with swift and efficient ease
  • Approximately 700,000 patrons visited the ballroom annually; and, consequently, the floor had to be completely replaced every three years
  • Nicknames included: “Home of the Happy Feet”, and “The Track” because of the elongated dance floor
  • Over 250 name and semi-name bands were featured at the Savoy. Bands like: Chick Webb, Fess Williams, Erskin Hawkins and Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans (who were just some of the house bands), Benny Goodman Orchestra, Count Basie and Duke Ellington (were some of the guest bands)
  • Lindy Hop made its appearance in the ballroom and became its staple dance until it closed it’s doors. Purportedly named after Charles Lindbergh’s solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927 it signifies the entire historical period known as the Swing Era
  • Herbert White, a.k.a. Whitey, an ex-boxer and bouncer at the Savoy, organized and cultivated a group of the best young Lindy Hoppers (and had them appear in theaters around the world as well as in films. They were called ‘Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers‘.
  • Lindy hop legend Frankie Manning noted that patrons were only judged on their dancing skills and not on the color of their skin
  • Part of the floor where the professional Lindy dancers ruled was on the 141st street side of the room and was then referred to as “the corner”. Only Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers could dance and work routines there. Dancers today know it as the “Cat’s Corner”.
  • It is estimated that the ballroom generated $250,000 in annual profit in its peak years from the late 1920’s to the 1940’s
  • “Stompin’ at the Savoy”, a 1934 Big Band classic song and jazz standard recorded by Chick Webb, was named after the ballroom
  • The Savoy closed permanently October, 1958 and was turned into a housing complex now called the “Savoy Park”.
  • Sources: Savoy Plague.org and Wikipedia

Images of the Ballroom:

Video Link

Savoy ballroom Harlem outside
Source: The Savoy King
The Savoy exterior vintage images harlem
Source: The Savoy King

savoy-ballroom 1930s 1940s vintage image

savoy-ballroom interior postcard
Source: Flemingsbond.com

The Famous Dance Floor.

Savoy-Ballroom harlem inside dance floor view
Source: The Savoy King

The Dancing

dancers at the savoy ballroom
Source: The Savoy King
dancing at the savoy ballroom 1940s harlem
Source: The Savoy King
dancers at the savoy ballroom 1930s 1940s vintage image
Source: The Savoy King

These photos were not taken at the Savoy but here is the famous Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers dancing somewhere in NYC in their jackets.

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers jackets nyc vintage image
Source: New York Public Library

The Advertisements

1930s-1940s-savoy-ballroom-flyers
Source: Dogpossum.org
chick webb savoy poster 1937
Source: The Savoy King
savoy-ballroom-starts-regular-season-new-york-amsterdam-news-wed-oct-1-1930
Source: Sharon Davis

 

Battle of the Big Bands (this was a regular feature at the Savoy)

Two of the most famous battles involved Chick Webb & The Benny Goodman Orchestra (May 11th, 1937) and Chick Webb vs Count Basie w/ Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald (January 16th, 1938). Chick Webb won both times in the battles making him the ‘King of Swing’!

Savoy Goodman vs Webb

Video Link

Chick vs Basie the Breakdown:

Count Basie vrs Chic Webb at the Savoy Ballroom vintage poster

Battle of the Bands at the Savoy Ballroom Chick Webb vs Count Basie
Source: Swing Music.net

Truck on Down for a Battle of the Bands with not 2 but 4 Bands! Who will you pick?

Savoy Ballroom Battle of the Bands vintage poster
Source: Dogpossum.org

Super Cool Tidbit:

Did you know that in Ian Fleming’s James Bond book ‘Live and Let Die’, Bond visits Harlem and the Savoy?

By the time they left the restaurant it was ten-thirty and the Avenue was almost deserted. They took a cab to the Savoy Ballroom, had a Scotch-and-soda, and watched the dancers.
Most modern dances were invented here,’ said Leiter. ‘That’s how good it is. The Lindy Hop, Truckin’, the Susie Q, the Shag. All started on that floor. Every big American band you’ve ever heard of is proud that it once played here – Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cab Galloway, Noble Sissle, Fletcher Henderson. It’s the Mecca of jazz and jive.’
They had a table near the rail round the huge floor. Bond was spellbound. He found many of the girls very beautiful. The music hammered its way into his pulse until he almost forgot what he was there for (Source).

Before I close I will leave you with one more amazing short video about the Savoy (great interviews and images) and a photo of my husband and I recreating a famous Lindy Hop move in front of the plaque (this is tradition for all dancers).

Video Link

The Savoy Ballroom Harlem Plaque, NYC

I sure hope you enjoyed this visit to the Savoy Ballroom friends and don’t be afraid to visit again and spread the word about the greatest ballroom on the planet!

Liz

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Who is Dawn Hampton? 15 Awesome Facts about Dawn

This Weekend in NYC I am attending a celebration of life for one of the most amazing woman I have ever met, Dawn Hampton (she passed away Sept 25th, 2016). She was an awe-inspiring woman who achieved so much in her life and what she gave to the Lindy Hop world alone will never ever be forgotten.

It is also Black History month, so I think it’s important that the planet (or at least my readers) learn a bit more about the unforgettable Dawn and her accomplishments.

Dawn Hampton

Before we begin, please note that today’s post is a Repost from Toronto Lindy Hop which originally posted Aug 12, 2015 (over a year before Dawn passed away) and written by yours truly.

Dawn Hampton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Dawn was born in 1928, in Middletown Ohio and was one of 12 children in her family.

2. Her father Clark Deacon Hampton, Sr., had a family band and vaudeville act, which was part of a traveling carnival. Dawn grew up listening to the music of the family band, ‘Deacon Hampton’s Pickaninnys’.

Deacon Hampton's Pickaninnys

3. Dawn began performing at the age of 3 and two years later sang “He Takes Me to Paradise” (Source).

4. When she was very young, she wanted to be a ballet dancer then she found out that ballet does not swing (source).

5. In the mid 1950s Dawn and her sisters became the ‘Hampton Sisters’ after several of their brothers went off to study music. They had a very long career together.

Hampton-Sisters
Hampton Sisters (left)-Carmelita, Dawn, Altera, Virtue

6. 1958 Dawn joined the cast of the Off-Broadway hit show, “Greenwich Village, U.S.A.”. The show ran for a year at New York’s legendary ‘The Bon Soir’. An original cast album of the show features several solo tracks by Dawn.

Dawn Hampton
Source: Richard Skipper

7. During the early 60’s, Dawn worked as the house singer at the ‘Lion’s Den’. The Lion’s Den was also the scene of a singer’s talent competition. Barbara Streisand relates in a Vanity Fair interview that one of her first times singing on stage was at one of these competitions. She tells how she was a little unnerved, because she came on stage after Dawn, “and the lusty applause for Dawn Hampton [was] ringing in my ears.”

8. Surgery in 1964 to her vocal cords saw Dawn lose most of her vocal range BUT she never lost her eagerness or ability to perform and her optimistic spirit.

9. Dawn spent much of the next 20 years performing  as a cabaret singer in clubs around New York City. Reviewers called her a “singer’s singer” and dubbed her the “Queen of Cabaret”.

Dawn Hampton Cabaret Performer

10. Dawn is talented in writing music and lyrics: In 1989 Dawn collaborated with pianist/performer Mark Nadler, writing music and lyrics for the honky-tonk mini-opera ‘Red Light’ which was given the Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) Award in 1990. Dawn and Mark also collaborated on ‘An Evening with Dawn Hampton’, which enjoyed an extended run at ‘Don’t Tell Mama’.

Dawn also wrote the music and lyrics for the play “Madame C. J. Walker” (Madame (1867-1919) was an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in America).

Lastly, she would find time to write a book with her niece, entitled ‘Two Penny Soap Opera’.

Deacon Hampton's Pickaninnys
Source: Richard Skipper

11. 1992-Dawn appeared with Frankie Manning in the Movie ‘Malcom X’.

12.  In the late 90s and into the early 00s, Hampton took advantage of the craze for swing dance by bringing to the scene her smooth style and theatrical presence that has brought her international acclaim. She has never stopped since those early days.

Dawn Hampton and frankie Manning
Dawn Hampton with Frankie Manning (June 2007) by photographer Eli Pritykin.
Dawn Hampton
Dawn Hampton, Ryan Francois, John Dokes – Splanky at Frankie’s Centennial Savoy Ball 2014 – Photo by Jane Kratchovil

13. Dawn lives in NYC and can be found in New York City dancing and listening to some of the best swing bands around.

14. Dawn and her family are in a documentary called ‘The Unforgettable Hampton Family’ that aired in 2011 (click on image to watch doc).

The Unforgettable Hampton Family
Source: Culture Unplugged

15. Dawn has been known to answer her phone saying “God Is Good. The Light Is On!” (source).

Dawn Hampton
Source: Advanced Style Blog Post

In Conclusion: 

Watching Dawn dance heightens the experience of merely listening to jazz and reunites the relationship between music and movement. In Dawn’s own words, “The light IS on!”

Check out Dawn’s talk at TLH Sunday of TOWLHD, as well as watch her dance dance dance 🙂

Lastly, here is my husband and I with Dawn during her visit to Toronto in 2015.

Dawn Hampton Toronto Lindy Hop

Hope you enjoyed learning about Dawn and her life. If you are interested in watching the celebrations this Saturday, they will be livestreamed HERE

Liz

My Favorite Vintage Pins on Pinterest: Nov/Dec Edition

It’s been awhile since I have done my favorite “Pins on Pinterest” post, but since we are close to the end of the year there is no better time than right now to share all the vintage goodies I have found. Let’s dive right in friends!

summer-jantzen-wwii-war-workers-jantzen-43
Source: Envisioning the American Dream

This photo made me giggle and then want watermelon right after (like right after). Oh and check out those outstanding 1940’s Victory Rolls, gorgeous!

1940s-vintage-image-of-women-and-man

Life is better with good music.

1940s-black-fashion-vintage-image
Source: Glamourdaze

1930’s Fashion. “I’ve got your back”.

1930s-womens-fashion-vintage-image
Source: Pinterest

From the movie: TILL THE END OF TIME -1946. Actors Guy Madison and Jean Porter give us a kind of slow motion Lindy Hop. This video reminds me of my beginner days of learning the dance, expect I did not look as cute as Jean.

Keeping the ‘Swing Dancing’ theme going, here is an excellent article by Billboard Music on “Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary: How WWII Changed Music & Claimed the Life of a Swing Superstar“.

glenn-miller-army-1944-billboard-1548
Source: Billboard

I adore a good kitschy/novelty brooch and this one ranks with the best of them. Currently for sale on Bow & Crossbones website, this “Mystery key to my heart” vintage brooch is pretty awesome. Pull one of the keys, and the lock moves to reveal your love. So fun!

mystery-key-to-my-heart-vintage-heart-lock-brooch
Source: Bow & Crossbones

When I did my post on Galveston Texas, I didn’t get a chance to add this stunning 1930’s Art Deco “Martini Theatre” to the post.

According to the Galveston History website…

The Theatre was built in 1937 for Attilio Martini. At one time, the Martini family owned eight theaters on the island. As television caught on, the popularity of theaters diminished on the island and elsewhere. The 990-seat Martini Theatre, designed in art deco style, closed in 1975. Originally used for both vaudeville and motion pictures, the building is one of Galveston’s few examples of Art Deco architecture. Vacancy and lack of maintenance are taking their toll on the exterior of the structure. The original tall neon marquee was lost many years ago and recent storms have damaged the remaining elements. The bustling Postoffice Arts and Entertainment District could benefit from the rehabilitation of this important building, an example of the numerous theatres once located in downtown Galveston (Source).

This Building is currently on the ‘Heritage at Risk List’ on their website. Know anyone who can help save it?

MARTINI THEATRE-Galveston Texas Art Deco
Source: Galveston History

Oh my…1940’s French Fashion at it’s best!

1940s-vintage-fashion-illustration
Source: Thunder Horse Vintage

Beautiful 1940’s fashion illustration: Dutch pattern catalogue ‘Record’ July 1942.

1940s-fashion-illustration-dutch-pattern-catalogue-record-july-1942
Source: Sheep & Chick Blog

My dream 1940’s dress.

1940s-vintage-dress

Okay maybe this is my dream 40’s dress? So many gorgeous choices that are sadly NOT for sale.

1940s-vintage-dress

It’s that time of the year when we are busy planning parties and maybe thinking of parties to come. Here is a FANTASTIC resource from the 1930’s to make that job easier. Vintage Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife guide, “A Year’s Good Parties”.

30 pages of ideas and instructions for giving different themed parties throughout the year. The parties are New Year’s Eve Ice Carnival, A March of Time Party, Making Merry With The Mad March Hare, An Evening With Music, A Candle Birthday Party, A June Jamboree, A Birthday Party, A Back-to-School Party, A Football Party, A Halloween Party, Round-Up Time, and A Christmas Party.

vintage-1930s-how-to-throw-a-party-guide-a-years-good-parties
Source: Etsy

Lastly..It’s that time again..I’m off to Cuba again and possibly for the last time for awhile (insert sad face). Why? Well the restrictions are slowly being lifted off the Americans to be able to visit, and that means the prices of resorts and hotels in Cuba & my beloved Havana have gone up considerably. Our little affordable getaway is not becoming so much anymore (good for the Cuban people, bad for Canadians looking for cheaper vacation spots). BUT we are going to have a super time anyways, especially since we are going with a bunch of friends and family to celebrate my hubby’s upcoming 40th Birthday (which is Dec 22nd).

So next week there will be no Vintage Inn post as I will be on a beach BUT I will be back just in time for a holiday post. Have a great week friends!

the vintage inn blog
Happy Early Birthday Santa (aka my husband)

Liz

My favorite Vintage Online Reads & Videos for Summer 2016

The summer has gone so fast and now September is here which means that the warm days are almost gone (sad face). It’s been a wonderful summer with August ending up to be somewhat of a quiet month which has been nice. BUT it all kicks back into high gear starting this Friday. I’m off to Red Hot Blue Rockabilly Weekend right here in Ontario (Brockville), then off to a friend’s wedding outside of Quebec. We close out the fun with a mini road trip with the hubby. It’s going to be really great and I’m looking forward to it (follow the fun on Instagram).

In the mean time I have been reading some really great articles and watching some really fun videos that I would like to share with you today.

How to plan a successful underwater wedding 1954 Style by Eliza Berman

Wedding Time Magazine
Source: Time Magazine

The Vintage Girls of New York  by Harpers Bazaar. This article features a vintage friend Voon who has amazing style and I’m thrilled is featured in this article.

New Yorks Vintage Girls By Harpers Bazaar
Source: Harpers Bazaar

I’m a Vintage Clothing Dealer / Behind the Seams by Mode.com. This woman is amazing and I want to be her when I grow up (like seriously).

Toronto’s Top 10 Lost Vaudeville Theatres by Bygone Theatre

Toronto Vintage Theatre-Shea’s Hippodrome – 440 Bay St., Toronto
Source: Toronto Archives

Watch the Birdie-Scene from Hellzapoppin’ (a movie that Lindy Hoppers go wild for because of its famous dance scene). This scene features another dance legend Dean Collins dancing with Martha Raye. Band is Gene Krupa’s Orchestra with Anita O’Day singing.

Get Ready for Snoodtember! Join along with Tanith Rowan and the vintage world (including yours truly) as we celebrate snoods and a time to wear them and love them.

snoods by lilly dache 1945
From The Australian Women’s Weekly, 27 Jan 1945

While it’s not great that the world lost at MGM Musical star Gloria DeHaven at age 91, it is interesting to read what a life she lived. Thanks for the movies Gloria.

Gloria DeHaven MGM Musical Star
Source: Hollywood Reporter

And for my last share, I want everyone to see this AWESOME GIF from the recent ‘International Lindy Hop Championships’. This is so cool!

via GIPHY

Have a great remaining week and weekend friends! I’m going to be off for one week on this blog to enjoy my trip with the husband, but as stated above just follow me on social media and it’s like I was never gone.

Liz 🙂

Behind the Scenes Interview with ‘The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress’

A while back, I received a lovely email from Tam Francis of the website ‘The Girl in the Jitterbug dress’, introducing herself and her new book. After several emails back and forth we started to realize that we were clearly kindred spirits, with many of the same hobbies and likes (Lindy Hop, 1940s, Vintage Fashion, Husbands who Lindy Hop, Love of Scottie Dogs and the list goes on and on.). I have really enjoyed getting to know Tam these last few weeks and I know you will too.

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

So without further adieu lets begin my Behind the Scenes interview with Tam of the ‘The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress’.

What was your inspiration behind your latest novel the ‘The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress’? How long did it take to write?

(Liz Note about the Book: I really enjoyed reading this book and found it quite delightful, interesting and a fun read and recommend you pick up the book).

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

My husband was deployed, and I was home with two children and no family. I had been blogging my dance adventures, and a friend suggested I write a book. Sure, why not. I wanted to write about all the things I loved: swing dancing, vintage fashion, classic cocktails, retro music and lifestyle. It took about a year to write my first draft, but I didn’t really start re-writes until we moved to Texas and I joined a local writer’s group.

If you only have one sentence to describe why someone should read the book (and they really should), what would that sentence be?

If you love anything vintage, (specifically fashion and swing dance) this book is for you, and I haven’t found another that highlights all those things we love about vintage lifestyle—plus it’s an emotional roller-coaster with enough depth to carry you through, but not too heavy that you can’t read it in a weekend.

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

Beyond writing really cool books you are also a poet. Does your poetry carry a vintage theme to it as well, or do you write about other topics?

I’ve written a half-dozen poems about dancing and music which will appear in my upcoming short story collection in 2017, “Swing Shorts,” but my poetry chick phase was in my college days when I wrote about everything and anything—social issues to existential contemplation.

How long have you been blogging and what made you start (my reason was to share my love of vintage with like-minded readers)? Could you supply one piece of advice for newbie bloggers?

I started my blog years ago on MySpace. I would be so wound up from dancing, I couldn’t sleep, and I had all these wonderful feelings and ideas about the people and places—I had to write them down. It eventually morphed in a swing dance magazine, Swivel: Vintage Living Magazine.

My advice to bloggers or any writers is to read books on the craft of writing or follow other writing advice bloggers. My early blogs are embarrassing. There’s a difference between good story-telling and good writing. Those of us who gravitate to writing, whether it be novels, short story, blogs or poems, are natural story-tellers. It’s the learning the craft of writing that is hard. I am always on a quest to learn how to be a better writer.

And learn about SEO. Unless you want your blog to be an online diary that few read, you’ve got to understand some basic SEO stuff and basic marketing.

What was your journey into the vintage world like?

As a young girl, I had always had a fascination with the past, and was drawn to the fashions of the 1920s-1950s. I watched old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies and my heart filled with the beauty and glamour of the era. I started seriously buying vintage in the 9th grade from thrift shops and yard sales. I loved the hunt as much as the find. In my early days, I mostly gravitated toward either 1950s or 1920s. I hadn’t yet developed an eye for the other eras.

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress
Tam and her husband have passed on their style to their kids

I see that the 1940s is represented pretty well on your blog, is this your favorite vintage era? And why (and if not, then tell us about your fav era)?

If I had to pick only one, I would say, yes, the 1940s is my favorite. I NEVER get tired of listening to the music, and set against the backdrop of the war, there is always this heightened sense of tension and immediacy to life. But there are specific things I love about the 1920s, 30s and 50s. It’s wonderful to have the choice to dress any vintage era we like, isn’t it?

I’m a mood dresser. Fashion reflects my state of mind or daily intention. Some days I feel sassy and want to show the world I’m in charge, I don a fitted two-tone 40’s suit—like when I’m going to a Town Hall meeting or advocating for something to the school board.

Some days I feel romantic and languid and wear a flowery 1920s dress. Other days, I want the world to know I’m a capable, cute 50s-style housewife and or pert teacher. And of course, there’s the nights when I use all the tricks of late 1930s glam to imbue myself with unique style and confidence.

Does anyone else make your fashion choices this way?

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

You’re a Lindy Hopper like me, how did you fall in love with the dance that would become one of the main “characters” in your new book?

I had ALWAYS wanted to learn how to dance. Just like in the book, I was at a show when I was knocked out by this couple decked out in vintage, swinging around the floor. I’d only ever seen dancing like that in movies. I found out where they took lessons, started going, and never stopped. At first, it’s like a drug. You can’t get enough dance. I read about it, found old movies with Lindy, collected big band music and created scrapbooks of “vintage inspiration.” It become and integral part of my identity.

Lindy Hop Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

Favorite Lindy Hopper past or present?

I know it’s cliché, but I adore Frankie Manning. I was lucky to meet him and interview him for my magazine. He was always so generous and filled with love and love of dance. He was truly an inspiration.

As far as style goes, I try to emulate the 40s style of Jean Veloz and Jewel McGowan.  They’re both old-timers you can see in many of the bobby soxer movies. Jean is still alive and dancing, and that is an inspiration, too.

 bill nye the science guy
Tam with Lindy Hopper Bill Nye the Science Guy

I’m a romantic at heart, tell everyone how you met your husband?

We both worked retail in the shoe department—he in men’s, me in women’s. In the stock room,  I would glimpse this cool looking guy who was dressed in vintage suits, black and white shoes, and even a fedora when he left for the night.

After watching (okay sort of spying on him) for weeks, I got the nerve to talk to him. I asked him, “Where’d you learn to dress so cool?”

“Old movies,” he’d replied.

We went on to talk about 1930s and 40s movies, big band music, and vintage fashion. I told him I was taking swing dance lessons and did he want to check it out. He did! He was a natural. We became dancing fools in love. Our courtship consisted of vintage fashion quests, old-movie watching, and lots and lots of dance.

When he joined the Navy and went to boot camp, I thought that was it. We’d drift apart, but our feelings for each other grew. When I went to see him graduate in Chicago, he asked me to marry him. That’s a whole long story for another time! But I will say it was delightfully spontaneous, romantic, and vintage-esque!

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress
Tams homecoming with her husband

Teaching Lindy Hop with your husband, must have been a blast (and a lesson in working together and patience I’m sure). What did you love about the teaching process?

When we first moved to San Diego—Navy stationed us there—we were some of the first Lindy Hoppers in town and one of the few couples who stressed the “vintage” aspect of the dance.

We are a good match and a bit comedic. I like to think we’re a little like Gracie Allen and George Burns in our repartee. My hubby gets very focused on small details and often would stop the class to help someone who was struggling. I would keep track of how antsy the other students were getting and keep us rolling forward.

We both have our way of expressing the rhythm. My hubby is a numbers kind of man. I like to use sounds and positions to teach. It makes for a perfect match since everyone’s learning style is different, too. We cover all the bases and make sure to keep it really fun.

I love sharing the love of dance and the history of it. Plus, some days I’d be tired or crabby and think “Ah, hell, I don’t want to teach tonight.” But by the end of the night I was refreshed and the negativity drained away.

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress

Favorite vintage item in your home and why?

Non-clothing? It might have to be my vintage kitchen table. When we first moved to Texas, I was looking for a bed for my daughter at an antique store and I saw this table and totally geeked out on it. I seriously started sweating. My husband was in San Diego, getting our house ready to go on the market, and I bought it without him seeing it. But he loved it.

I love to cook and am in the kitchen a lot. Every time I look at it, I get a thrill. It is so damn vintage and in my mind, represents all the good things about the past that I love.

awesome vintage kitchen table
The awesome vintage kitchen table

Coolest vintage event you have attended to date?

Camp Hollywood, which is still ongoing and in its 19th year. Holy Smokes! I was at the first one. (yikes I feel old). Then there was also this event called Swing Camp Catalina that brought instructors from all over the world to beautiful Catalina Island (which makes an appearance in the sequel: The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress Hops the Atlantic). The island itself is magical, but the historic ballroom made you really feel like you’d time-travelled. It was enchanting to dance there.

Camp Hollywood

You live in Texas, tell everyone why Texas would be a cool vintage destination to visit?

visit texas vintage sign

I can’t speak for all of Texas, but my little town of Lockhart is adorable with a vintage square and the BBQ Capital of Texas. Plus, we have the oldest, continually working library in the state, as well as the most photographed courthouse.

But that’s all sight-seeing stuff. If you want to do dancing and vintage, you’d have to go to Austin a mere 30 miles up the road from me. They have an amazing swing scene and Austin is the live music capital of the world!

There are so many great swing band. My husband and I love to go to the Continental Club and hear, Continental Graffiti or Hot Club of Cowtown! And anywhere White Ghost Shivers are playing, we try to go. Not only are they fun to Shag, Bal and Lindy to, but they put on a hell of a show, reminiscent of 1930s vaudeville.

There are two very old (Western) dance halls, one is the Broken Spoke. We go there when they have Western Swing bands like Big Sandy or Billy Mata. It’s pretty rough and a little seedy, but has a nostalgic vintage cowboy feel. The same goes for Gruene Hall (pronounced green). It’s one of the oldest continuing operational dance halls in Texas, located in Gruene, TX.

In downtown Austin, we also like to patronize the old Driskill Hotel and have heard some great band there as well. The joint oozes vintage ambience and is supposed to haunted.

And did I mention the shopping? SoCo (South Congress), as the local’s call it, it ripe with vintage, thrift, and unique stores for a day or two of eclectic shopping.

You collect vintage patterns, do you also sew like many other vintage enthusiasts out there?

Absolutely. I’m trying to drop a little weight—Texas beer and BBQ snuck up on me—but will get back to sewing as soon as I do. I found that I couldn’t afford all the beautiful vintage I wanted, so, I started sewing it. Plus in comes in handy when you rip seams dancing.

Your bio at the very beginning says “Tam Francis is the girl in the jitterbug dress, writing vintage romantic short stories and novels with a cocktail in one hand and a pen in the other”.  Name that cocktail in your hand.

Lavender Lemon Drop! Want the recipe? I just made my own lavender bitters from my home-grown lavender, too! It’s my latest fave.

lavender lemon drop drink

Okay here is a tough question (and last one).Cary Grant or Gene Kelly?

Oh My! Are you kidding? I LOVE Gene Kelly (got to interview his brother Fred for the magazine years ago), and Gene is one hell of a dancer and that cute butt. Seriously, best butt EVER! (Is that rude of me to say?) But Cary Grant is my kind of handsome with a nice balance of humor. The way he jumped around in Indiscreet (1958) makes me think he’d be an excellent Lindy Hopper and my man has got to hop.

Thank you Tam for such a wonderful Interview, it was a pleasure getting to know more about you and I look forward to visiting Texas some day soon. And don’t forget to check out my Interview that Tam did on me, HERE.

Find Tam:

Liz

 
 

 

Happy 102nd Birthday Frankie Manning

I had a totally different blog post planned for this week and then this appeared on Google….

Frankie Manning Birthday google doodle

Frankie Manning the founding father of Lindy Hop would have celebrated his 102nd birthday today (he lived to be 94) and after years of emailing Google they finally made all Lindy Hoppers over the world happy…Frankie Gets/Got to be Google Doodlefied (not even sure that is a word lol). Isn’t it awesome??!!

Now you may think..”who cares, it’s just a Google Doodle”.  Well one of Frankie’s Missions was to spread the love of Lindy Hop around the world and he worked very hard in the later years of his life to do this. Today marks the day that Frankie’s dream became a reality in the digital world, Frankie’s dream just went viral 🙂

Another reason this is such a milestone is because of events like the one I’m part of this weekend. Toronto Lindy Hop is running a big swing weekend with 2 big bands and lots of fun activities called ‘Toronto Celebrates World Lindy Hop Day‘ and none of this would be possible if it were not for this man and the other Savoy/Whitey Lindy Hoppers that just went out on that Savoy Ballroom floor and danced the danced they loved…the Lindy Hop.

Check them out in action in the video below (featuring Frankie Manning).

Here are I am years ago at my first swing event, with the man himself..Frankie.

Frankie Manning in Toronto

Happy Birthday Frankie, I sure do hope your Swingin’out somewhere in the great beyond on your special day!

Frankie Manning

Did you see the Doodle today?

Liz 🙂

 

 

Women of the Big Band Era that Everyone Should Know

The Women of the Big Band Era

2 were singers in a Big Band

2 were Big Bands

2 were Sister Acts

And 2 were stars on the Swing Dance Floors. These are just some of the women of the Big Band Era that I wanted to highlight for today’s post.

The Girl Groups:

The Boswell Sisters

The Boswell Sisters with Bing Crosby

The Boswell Sisters were a close harmony singing group, consisting of sisters Martha Boswell, Connee Boswell, and Helvetia “Vet” Boswell, noted for intricate harmonies and rhythmic experimentation (source).

They had up 20 hits during the 1930s, including the number-one record “The Object of My Affection” (1935). They also completed two successful tours of Europe, appeared on the inaugural television broadcast of CBS, and performed on Hello, Europe, the first internationally broadcast radio program.

The Sisters were also some of the radio’s earliest stars, making them one of the first hit acts of the mass-entertainment age. In 1934, the Sisters appeared 13 times on the Bing Crosby Entertains radio show on CBS. They were featured in fan magazines, and their likenesses were used in advertisements for beauty and household products (source).

For more information please visit the official Boswell website HERE.

Andrew Sisters

Andrew Sisters

The Andrew Sisters started out as a tribute band to the sisters mentioned above “The Boswells” but quickly found their own style and their own hits turning them into America’s most popular female singing group.

The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia, soprano Maxine Angelyn “Maxene”, and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie “Patty”. After 6 years on the road with various dance bands and touring in vaudville, they had their first hit with “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön”. They followed this success with a string of best-selling records over the next two years and they became a household name by the 1940s.

The sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s), starred in 17 Hollywood movies and were established radio personalities. Their 1941 hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues (source).

During their musical career they were very active in their patriotic duty of wartime entertainment. They volunteered their free time to entertain enlisted and wounded men by singing, dancing and signing autographs (source).

For more on the Andrew Sisters please visit their official site HERE.

The Big Band Singers:

Helen Forrest

Helen Forrest 1945 in novelty blouse

Helen served as the “girl singer” for three of the most popular big bands of the Swing Era (Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and Harry James), thereby earning a reputation as “the voice of the name bands” (source) . She is regarded by some as the best female vocalist of the swing era. With James she had three million selling records and countless Top Ten hits, and for two years running was voted the most popular female vocalist in America (source).

FACT: Helen Forrest was one of the first singers in the big band era whose vocals were featured throughout a full band arrangement. Before this time, big band vocalists usually sang in the middle of a song (Source).

For more information on Helen visit HERE.

Martha Tilton 

martha-tilton
Source: Old Time Radio Catalog

Martha Tilton, who as one of Benny Goodman’s vocalists in the 1930s was billed as the “Sweetheart of Swing” and appeared on 80 of his recordings (source). She also appeared with Jimmy Dorsey and briefly with Artie Shaw later on in her career.

Fun Story:

Early in her career with the Goodman organization, Martha was singing at the SunnyBrook Ballroom in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. When it came time for Benny to introduce her, he gave her a big buildup: “Here is a pretty gal from Hollywood that’s really going places.” But Martha missed her cue. When she didn’t appear on stage, after a moment Benny ad-libbed, “She’s not going places, she’s already gone.” (source).

For more information on Martha visit HERE.

The Big Bands:

International Sweethearts of Rhythm

International Sweethearts of Rhythm

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the first integrated all women’s band in the United States.

The Sweethearts began in the rural junction of Piney Woods, Miss., in 1937. Lawrence Jones had founded a vocational school there primarily for young black children and teens and wanted to raise money by forming a student swing band (Source).  Members from different races, including Latina, Asian, Caucasian, Black, Indian and Puerto Rican, lent the band an “international” flavor, and the name International Sweethearts of Rhythm was given to the group.

Though known mostly to black audiences the band quickly rose in popularity playing in theatres like the Apollo in Harlem and the Howard Theatre in Washington when the band set a new box office record of 35,000 patrons in one week of 1941. Things though were not always wonderful for the band, especially when they traveled in the south where the Jim Crow Law was in full effect. The law forced the band to sleep and eat on their bus because of the segregation laws that prevented them from using restaurants and hotels (among many other issues brought on by this law).

In 1944 the band was named “America’s No. 1 All-Girl Orchestra” by Downbeat magazine.

For more information on the Sweethearts visit HERE.

Ivy Benson and Her All-Girl Band

Ivy-Benson-and her all girl orchestra

Ivy Benson was an English musician and bandleader, who in 1939 led an all-female swing band to prove to the world that women could be good musicians too. Benson and her band rose to fame in the 1940s, headlining variety theatres and topping the bill at the London Palladium, and became the BBC’s resident house band. Her band (in one form or another) ran from 1939 to 1982. During those years, she gave hundreds of girls and women the chance to become professional musicians.

Fun Fact: Benson’s band had a high turnover of musicians, as they frequently left to marry G.I.s they met while touring. She once commented, “I lost seven in one year to America. Only the other week a girl slipped away from the stage. I thought she was going to the lavatory but she went off with a G.I. Nobody’s seen her since” (source).

For more on Ivy visit HERE.

 

The Dancers:

Norma Miller-The Queen of Swing

Norma Miller Lindy Hopper

 

Known to many as the Queen of Swing, and the last living member of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, the group that took Lindy Hop — the original swing dance — out of Harlem’s ballrooms and across the world (she is 95).

Norma Miller was first discovered as a gifted young Lindy Hopper when she was just 12 years old.  She was found dancing on the sidewalk outside of the Savoy Ballroom (because she was too young to go in) where the music could be heard quite well (source).

Later that year, Miller entered the Savoy Lindy Hop Contest, which was held at the Apollo Theater. Miller entered with one of her high school friends. They won the contest and Norma was asked to join Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. The group rose to prominence after winning a contest at the Harvest Moon Ball. Miller and the group performed on Broadway and in several motion pictures.

Miller has written several books, appeared in six films and four television series.

In 2003, Miller was given a “National Heritage Fellowship” from the National Endowment for the Arts for creating and continuing to preserve “the acrobatic style swing dance, known as the Lindy Hop (source).

Today Norma currently tours the world, spreading the joy and history of Lindy Hop to new generations of swing dancers and interested audiences.

On a personal level I have been fortunate enough to meet Norma in person when she was visiting Toronto a couple of years ago for a Lindy Hop weekend. She is an incredible woman with so much sass and humor, you cannot help but be instantly drawn to her.

For more on Norma please visit her website HERE.

Here is her most well-known film appearance is in the swing dancing scene in the film Hellzapoppin, featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.

Jewel McCowan – One of the greatest Lindy Hop Followers that ever lived.

Jewel McGowan Lindy Hop

Jewel by the age of 19 was working as a dancer in music clubs, and doing the Southern California partnered street dance known to them as “Swing”. It was during this time in the late 1930s that a New Jersey Lindy Hop dancer going by the name Dean Collins came to town looking for a partner. He found Jewel, and out of their collaboration came what is now widely regarded as the greatest dancing partnership of the original swing dance era. They would go on to appear in dozens of Hollywood films and shorts.

Jewel did not dance a lot of variations, but instead expressed her powerful voice in her movement and attitude. Jewels swivels (you will know them when you see them) are credited as being without equal (source).

Here is a compilation of Jewel’s movies (and moves).

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed learning about SOME of the women of the Big Band Era. I plan on doing a part 2 to this post in the coming months, so stay tuned for that.

Who was your favorite?

Liz 🙂

 

Happy New Year! The Vintage Inn’s 2015 Year in Review

What a year this has been and how fast it has gone as well. I literally feel like I just started 2015 and now it’s coming to an end. Well the one thing I do know is that 2015 was a busy and fun year and I would love to share with you some of the adventures I got into with you. Here is my 2015 in review.

January: Every year I attend a big German Karneval (mardi gras) function called GAMGA in Las Vegas. It’s 2 days of costume parties, after parties and then a big Gala. It’s super fun and something I have been doing with my parents since I was a kid.

German Mardi Gras in United States

February: I was lucky to be able to attend the premier of the 1940s new Canadian TV show called ‘X Company‘. I have never been part of a premier and it was a cool experience and we even got to meet the host of the event and get our pictures taken with the cast and producers.

X Company TV Show Premier in Toronto

I attend a 1920s Speakeasy party at the famous and beautiful Palais Royale in Toronto.

1920s Speakeasy Party at Palais Royale Toronto

AND I traveled to Seattle, Washington for a long weekend to visit a good friends parents and see uber cool Seattle. I did a blog post all about it HERE.

Seattle Washington first starbucks
In front of the first Starbucks

March: I did nothing really blog post worthy. WHAT?? lol

April: VIVA Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend! I did several posts on that big adventure which can be found HERE.

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 18

May: Vintage Spectacular Dance with the GTA Swing Band. This was a super night of dancing, dressing up and great Big Band Music. The image below is some of the lovely ladies of TVS and the lead singer of the Band (she is soooo good).

vintage spectacular dance

I was very lucky to be part of a cool experience in May with a favorite Rockabilly band in Toronto called “The Millwinders“. Myself and few friends were filmed dancing in front of a green screen for use for future videos. Here are a couple of pictures from that day.

1950s vintage style
Credit: Kahlil Heslop

Lastly Toronto Lindy Hop (that I’m part of) put on a full weekend of Lindy hop, classes, history lessons and live music dances all weekend long called ‘Toronto World Lindy Hop Day’. I played host and it was such a good weekend 🙂

The images below are with 2 living legends in the Lindy Hop World. Chazz Young the son of one of the founders of Lindy Hop-Frankie Manning (and a talent as well) AND Dawn Hampton the Queen of the Cabaret and a little firecracker (her image is on the shirts we are wearing).

Dawn Hampton and Frankie Manning toronto lindy hop

Summer (June, July and August): I did a full blog post on all the events I attended (tiki party, UK Adventure, Horse race event plus much more), so check that out HERE.

hats and horseshoe event 2015 woodbine racetrack

September: Weekend visit to Havana, Cuba

This was not my first visit to Havana, but this was definitely the first time I visited areas outside of the Old part and it was fantastic. I still have to do a blog post on all the new things I saw but for now here is a collage of some of the highlights.

Havana Cuba

October: Halloween and a friend’s Wedding Reception Toga Party (yes a toga party). For Halloween the hubby and I went as Amazing Race Contestants. The outfits were big hits.

Amazing race costume idea

Toga Party!

toga party costume ideas

November: Swing Out To Victory’. Once again I helped my friend Dean with hosting duties as a third of the beautiful “Dominion Belles”.

Swing out to Victory-1940s vintage outfits
Credit: Kahlil Heslop

The throwing of the candies 🙂

Swing out to Victory-1940s vintage outfits
Credit: Kahlil Heslop

Here I am with 2 friends from the Toronto Vintage Society. Both created their outfits from scratch and Joy on the left, won the best dressed because she recreated the “Swing Time” outfit from the movie with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Toronto Vintage Society Swing out To Victory

Opening of Toronto’s first ‘Shameful Tiki Room‘ (literally around the corner from my apartment). Now one of my local hangouts.

Opening of Shameful Tiki Room Toronto

The official Tiki mug for Shameful. Very Canadian with the Beaver 🙂

Shameful Tiki Room Toronto

I dj’d my first Rock N Roll social dance night for my friends 50s dance studio ‘Soda Pop Hop‘. Such a fun night!

Soda Pop Hop Social Dance Night. Rock N Roll dancing

December: Toronto Vintage Society annual Kitschmas Party. I played host once again at the party and it was another huge success. Here are the winners of the title of Kitschmas King and Queen. Make sure you check out the blog called “Flipsville” because she made these outfits!

Toronto Vintage Society Kitschmas Party

And that my friends is a general overview of my 2015 year. I hope you had a wonderful year and I wish all of you a Happy 2016! Thank you so much for reading my blog and commenting and just being wonderful readers, I love and appreciate each and everyone of you.

Liz 🙂

 

 

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans: The Memories

I don’t blog that much about my favorite dance “The Lindy Hop“, but for today’s post I want to share with you an event that is close to my heart-ULHS…The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans. And why today? Well this weekend marks the very last time this event will run, as the organizer is hanging up her hat (after 14 years) and letting it become a slightly different event called the New Orleans Swing Dance Festival.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte

What was ULHS? Well simply, it was a weekend in New Orleans (birthplace of Jazz) that featured Lindy Hop Dance competitions, Live New Orleans music, jazz club dance crawls, Second Line Parades, cool vintage buildings for dance venues and so much dancing! It was pure magic and one of the best events I have every attended.

Check out this AMAZING Video created for its 10th Anniversary that features outstanding Lindy Hop and takes you from its original start in Minneapolis to its final stop in New Orleans (seriously..watch this video).

Now for today’s blog I wanted to fill it up with pictures and some videos of the weekends I attended (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) to create one big I LOVE ULHS post.

Let’s Begin…

New Orleans

New Orleans Street Sign
Photo: Dean Villafuerte

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Outside of Anne Rices Old House (I think it was lol)

We ate at so many yummy restaurants, like our favorite Coop’s.

Coop's New Orleans

And another favorite of ours “Yo Mama’s” even at one point had a very interestingly placed pole in their dining room (it sadly is behind a wall now).

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

Yo Mama's New Orleans

The Music and Second Line Parades

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans

The Competitions & the Dancing

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: Dean Villafuerte
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: d.tom
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: d.tom
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: d.tom
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
Photo: d.tom
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Some Toronto dancer friends
Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Photo: d.tom

In 2009 at my first ULHS I was able to dance in the WW2 museum in the city. Simply..Amazing.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans

The Fun-Ohhh the fun! I was lucky that every time I went to this event, many of my Swing Dancing friends were attending as well so it always turned into a good party. Here a collection of some of those images.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

New Orleans is always a party and you just never know who might grab you to dance.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

New Orleans

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans
At Yo Mama’s (after the pole was put behind the wall)

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

We even were able to dance on a historic Paddlewheeler-The Creole Queen one year.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orelans

New Orleans
Drinking out of a Fishbowl is a must in NOLA

My husband always manages to get in all the photos with the pretty ladies haha 🙂

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Photo: d.tom

My turn with all the handsome men…man…and ummm…..

New Orleans
Never a dull moment in New Orleans

Love this photo. Taking a break at a super outdoor market on Frenchmen street with a dear friend.

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown New Orleans
Big Canadian Photo of us all at ULHS

I’m going to end my post with a video from one of the late night dances on Bourbon Street in 2009. The band is the fantastic Loose Marbles at the bar Fritzels.

Thanks for the fun Amy Johnson and Team!

Question Time: Have you been to New Orleans? Or maybe you attended ULHS yourself and if so how was your experience?

Liz 🙂

 

 

May 26th, Suit Up Swing Style – #THELINDYLOOK

I’m a Lindy Hopper (the original swing dance of the 1930s/40s and beyond) and I have been for a long time, I’m also a lover of 1940s fashion (if you read my blog this is a no brainer), so it was with a squeal and glee that I saw that the Frankie Manning Foundation was running a fun challenge on the day of Frankie Manning’s Birthday (one of the original creators of Lindy Hop) and I hope you can all join along.

Frankie Manning
Frankie Manning

The Challenge:

On May 26th they are encouraging everyone to wear something from the 1930s thru to the 1950s to peak a conversation at work or at the coffee shop about the dance we love, The Lindy Hop. Then take that picture and post it on social media with the hashtag #THELINDYLOOK.

1945 Swing Style
Source: Flickr: Julie Alicea

 

WAIT! You don’t have to be a dancer to participate….

Now I got to thinking that maybe you don’t have to be a dancer to get involved (because I know some of my lovely readers have mentioned that you have 2 left feet). You could join along by doing the following:

  • Put on your best vintage like you were going to a dance
  • Post your picture on Social Media with the Hashtag #THELINDYLOOK
  • Or you can share it with me (email: thevintageinnblog@gmail.com, twitter, my FB invite) and I will collect everyones images and post collectively on my blog.

I know for many of you all you need is an excuse to dress up and this is a pretty good excuse (at least I think so). And if asked why are you dressed up so nice? “Because Frankie Manning said I should”.

Speaking of Frankie Manning…..

These were the depression years (which didn’t make that much difference to my family since we were poor anyway) and dancing was an outlet for people because there wasn’t much else they could do. We all stayed in Harlem, but you could find someplace to step out every night of the week. Going to a ballroom became our social life.

Even though we were poor, we always dressed up. People in Harlem felt that they’d get more respect if they dressed well. Guys felt that the better they looked, the more likely a young lady would be to dance with them. I only owned two suits, but I always wore them with a shirt and tie and nice shoes, not two-tones, just black or brown ones. This was the fashion, and everybody dressed that way.”

-Frankie Manning-

Inspiration for #THELINDYLOOK

1940s Swing Style Woman

1940s Men Style

Over my time as Blogger I have written many posts on 40s Style, Swing Style etc. So here is a roundup of many of those posts that you can use for your own inspiration on May 26th.

EXTRA CHALLENGE! 

I’m actually going to be taking the FULL MONTH Challenge and dressing up everyday to work and posting on my Instagram my looks. You can follow my progress to the right of this post or on Instagram.

If you are doing the extra challenge please let me know so I can follow your progress as well.

Happy May 26th Planning!

Liz