Vincenzo Fesi

Clip footage courtesy of SCOTT HALPERN.
Special mention to Jen Pringle, thank you so much for filming!

This Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest was to honor the memory of Frankie Manning who was one of the founding fathers of lindy hop. 2500 dancers from 47 countries recently held a centennial celebration for him in the city and worldwide – headed by Mandi Gould and Judy Pritchett and the Frankie Manning Foundation. (

In the finals included the dynamic and inspiring duo of Bernard Dove (74!) and Etta (81! AMAAAAZING), Danica Chan with Asi Lang; and in the foreground are Vincenzo Fesi and Voon Chew (with a new joking portmanteau VOONCENZO lol after coming in First Place).

This fun contest portion was part of the main event of the night main attraction which was also the finale night of an incredible season of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.

The event featured the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra: 10th Annual Tribute to Illinois Jacquet with special guest hard-hitting Detroit sax man and critics’ darling James Carter. The orchestra wowed the crowd and kept them hot-trotting on the dance floor with Classic Swing and Jump Blues.

The evening also featured Dance Instructor: Margaret Batiuchok who taught a delightful Lindy Hop lesson with her team. An inspiration, even with two arms on cast (from a recent fall) it did not deter her from still pushing through and powering through! INCREDIBLE! WHAT A SUPERWOMAN!

During band breaks and the contest, the illustrious and dynamic DJ Ryan Swift (SWIFTY) provided the incredible music.

For more information please check back here…

Before you know it, it will be the next Midsummer Night Swing season for more fun outdoors dancing.

Also for some amazing archival photography footage, checkout the resident photographer for Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing – Kevin Yatarola’s photography here –

Excerpted from a comment by Yvonne Conybeare: Now, for a second thrill, watch the video again, keeping your focus on the 2nd place couple, Bernard Dove (red & white stripes) and Etta (red dress.) See the turns & dips & soul from those two? Tough competitors, and mind you, that gal Etta, with the turns and dips is 80 years old! She is my HERO!!!!!t –

In response by Bernard Dove: “Competing against dancers where I could be their Father, and Etta could be their Grandmother was amazing. We are proud and honored to get as far as we did. My hat is off to the winners. To me, and Etta, this was fun and we will remember this for a long time, that we almost won this Contest. We did not expect to win against young dancers that were really HOT. After all, Etta and I are SENIORS, and we did this for the Love Of Dance!!!!!!!!!! We hope that when the Dancers get to 74 and 80 years old, that they will be doing what we are doing!!!!!!!!!

Could not have said it any better!


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