Dawn Hampton and What She Meant to Us

As we reported earlier, sometime between September 24 and 25, musician, singer, dancer, performer and all around ham, Miss Dawn Hampton passed away. (You can read about Dawn’s life and achievements on Wikipedia and DawnsBday.com.)

We can not overemphasize what a huge influence Dawn had on all of us at Yehoodi.com, along with thousands of others around the world. She helped us to truly listen to the music, to see the “swing” in a variety of musical styles (Bhangra!), to dance to the beat, to express ourselves through the dance. She showed us that even the tiniest of motions -- the twist of the wrist, the pivot of the heel, the raising of an eyebrow -- could communicate so much. She taught us the art of constant re-invention, no matter what life threw at you.

Born in Middletown, Ohio in 1928, New York City has been Dawn’s home since the late 1950s. For New York lindy hoppers, Dawn was a constant fixture in the scene, particularly at the Swing46 Supper Club and Yehoodi’s weekly dance the Frim Fram Jam. She was simultaneously a legend and just one of us dancers -- dancing when the mood struck her, sharing her honest opinion about whatever song was playing, cracking jokes, offering advice.

She spoke softly, but her words carried weight and wisdom. She had a simple message to share: “God is good. The light is on.” The world seems a little darker without her. But her light lives on in all of us.