About This Site
Hello, welcome to my website. My name is Daniel Newsome, I`m a dancer
from Seattle Washington (formerly Denver Colorado). I started dancing
in 1996 when my friends took
me (slighly against my will) to a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert, I got
to see and experience swing music and swing dancing for the first time
in my life. |
I began taking lessons, and I wasn't any good at first. But I was very determined to get better. This determinations turned into a life-long journey of personal discovery and growth that has given me some beautiful gifts. I`ve met people all over the world, traveled many places, heard inspiring stories from the inventors and innovators in swing dance. I`ve collected jazz music for 10 years, and feel connected to a world-wide community of jazz dancers, musicians, and people from all over.
Over the course of my dancing career,I've been lucky to learn from many of the greats like Paul and Sharron, The Harlem Hot Shots, Frankie Manning, Rob and Dianne, Sylvia Sykes, Steven and Virginie and more. I fell in love with the music, and I began collecting
Now I have thousands and thousands of jazz and swing albums that I catalog and play for dances here in Seattle, and for camps and events around the country. Part of my mission is to discover, catalog, and educate myself about the Jazz era, the music and the culture of this bygone era. I now have one of the best collections of jazz music in the world, and I`ve put thousands of hours into cataloging, learning, and playing this music for people.
One of the greatest moments in my dance career was attending Century Masters. One unique aspects of this event is the chance to sit down and hear stories from the original innovators and dancers of swing in the 1930s. They spoke to us about how we, the modern generation of swing dancers are responsible to keep the dance alive, because no one else will. They told us how the steps were invented, what they fell in love with about the dance and the music. They told us of their travels, of their trials with racism, World War II, and how swing came to die out, and how it came to be rediscovered again. This came to be my inspiration to learn about the history and read books, interview people, and retell the stories of Swing`s creation, revival, and the stories about our history and how Jazz became both a reflection and a guiding force in who we are today.
In 2008, I came to visit Seattle again, and realized that it was home to so many people who inspired me, and shared my values about dancing. This became a place I could both contribute to, and grow from. I now use this as my home base, and travel as much as possible, sometimes 3 weeks out of each month to dance with people, collect music and to learn and grow as a dancer.
Although this path has led me to become a professional dancer, dj and historian, I`ve never forgotten how exciting, and how frustrating it can be to learn how to dance, and how hungry I was for information on how to improve. I collected endless notes, videos from teachers, videos from competitions, creative ideas scrawled on receipts and napkins, and inspiration from old movies and interviews. Right now I`m living in Seattle Washington, and I get to dance with some of the best dancers in the world, and practice alongside them every week. I realize that not everyone can travel to the Lincoln Center Library to pull footage from the archives, not everyone can travel to competitions and camps, and that many people never got a chance to learn from some of the teachers that I got to learn from. I also realize that I`m not the best dancer in the world, but I have pieced together a lot of information, and I`ve always been an advocate for beginning students. I enjoy bringing people into dancing, and I enjoy showing the basic movements over and over. I realized there wasn`t enough time to travel everywhere and show everything I`ve acquired without doing something fancy... so I decided to combine my computer skills, teaching skills, and dance skills to make an affordable online archive that people all over could use, and so this website was born.
This website is my effort to organize the information I`ve gathered in a way that makes sense for those to whom dance does not come naturally, and to share my travels, ideas and insights with people around the world. I also welcome any feedback that may make this site a better resource for you, as a student. I also welcome your testimonials, stories, and questions, as my devotion to passing along this art form and joy to as many people as possible.