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Norma Miller

Norma Miller

American dancer
Norma Miller
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American dancer
Is Dancer
From United States of America
Type Dancing
Gender female
Birth 2 December 1919, Harlem
Norma Miller
The details

Biography

Norma Miller (born December 2, 1919) is a Lindy Hop swing dancer and the Queen of Swing.

Biography

Jitterbugging at a juke joint, 1939

Norma Miller was born in Harlem, New York, in 1919. When the Great Depression began in 1929, Miller and her family moved to a new apartment that faced the Savoy Ballroom. Miller got her first job at the Apollo and soon began thereafter began her career at The Savoy as a professional Lindy hopper.

One day when Miller was 12, she was dancing outside the Savoy and approached by Twist Mouth George, “the greatest dancer at the Savoy” as Miller put it. Twist asked Miller to dance with him at the Savoy.

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. Winning gave Miller recognition and prompted Herbert "Whitey" White to ask her to join his group, 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.

Books

Miller has written several books, including Me & John Biffar: A Love Story, which chronicles her friendship with filmmaker John Biffar. Another work, Swing, Baby Swing! follows the evolution of swing dance in the 21st century. Swingin at the Savoy: A Memoir of a Jazz Dancer, Miller's autobiography, describes her early life and meetings with the well-known jazz musicians and swing dancers of that time, including Frankie Manning, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.

Awards

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”.

Filmography

Hellzapoppin

Miller appeared in six films and four television series. Her most well-known film appearance is in the swing dancing scene in the film Hellzapoppin', featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.

Films

Year Film Role
1937 A Day at the Races Black Singer
1941 Hellzapoppin' Dancer (Cook)
1976 Sparkle Doreen
1977 The Richard Pryor Special Bar Patron
1992 Malcolm X Roseland Dancer
1995 Captiva Island Clara

TV Show Appearances

Year Show Role
1973-1974 Sanford and Son Dolly/Roxie/Jackie
1976 Grady Go-go dancer
1977 Sanford Arms Dolly Wilson
1979 Vega$ Maid

Documentary Appearances

Year Documentary
1989 Call of the Jitterbug
1993 Mo'Funny: Black Comedy in America
1996 E! True Hollywood Story
1999 American Masters
2000 Jazz
2006 Queen of Swing
2012 The Savoy King: Chick Webb & the Music That Changed America
2013 Moms Mabley: I Got somethin' to Tell You
2016 Unsung Hollywood: Eartha Kitt

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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