28.02.2018 Black History Month Special at Helinä Rautavaara Museum

Welcome to celebrate Black History Month with dancers Clyde and Malin Wilder at Helinä Rautavaaran Museum, 28.02.2018 at 6 PM!

In the United States and other countries, February is dedicated to celebrating the cultures of the African diaspora and approaching history from a black perspective. Dancer Clyde Wilder (USA) and dancer-researcher Malin Grahn-Wilder (Fin) perform and discuss African American dance tradition from the point of views of language, communication and freedom. Their interactive lecture-demonstration highlights movements and rhythms as forms of self-expression, building communities and generating hope. The audience is invited to participate in the dance celebration!

Venue: Helinä Rautavaara Museum, Ahertajankuja 4 in Tapiola, Espoo


Tervetuloa mustan historian ilta tanssijoiden Clyde ja Malin Wilder seurassa Helinä Rautavaaran Museolla 28.02.2018 klo 18 alkaen!

Yhdysvalloissa ja muissa maissa, helmikuu on omistettu afrikkalaisessa diasporassa kehittyneille kulttuureille sekä historian käsittelemiselle mustasta näkökulmasta. Tanssija Clyde Wilderin (USA) ja tanssija-tutkija Malin Grahn-Wilderin (Suomi) esitys ja luento syventyvät afrikkalais-amerikkalaiseen tanssiperinteeseen kielen, kommunikaation ja vapauden näkökulmasta. He osoittavat, kuinka liikkeet ja rytmit voivat muodostaa yhteisöjä, luoda toivoa ja toimia itseilmaisun välineinä. Myös yleisö on tervetullut osallistumaan tanssiin!

Paikka: Helinä Rautavaaran museo, Ahertajankuja 4, Tapiola, Espoo

Lisää tietoa tapahtumasta:




You can also celebrate Black Dance History by learning the Lindy Hop and Blues dance with us! Check out our classes starting February 11th:


Voit juhlia mustaa tanssihistoriaa myös opettelemalla lindy hopia ja blues-tanssia! Katso lisätietoa 11.2. alkavasta kurssista ylläolevan linkin alta.


Photo (c): Jirina Alanko


Learn the Lindy Hop and Blues starting February 11th!

Tervetuloa opettelemaan swingin kulta-ajan suosittuja paritansseja lindy hopia ja bluesia Kääntöpaikalle viitenä sunnuntaina alkaen 11.2.! Kurssilla perehdytään iloiseen ja energiseen, swing-musiikkiin tanssittavaan lindy hopiin sekä tunnelmalliseen ja hitaaseen blues-tanssiin. Alkeistasoisen kurssin pääpaino on tanssin perusteissa: rentoudessa, musiikin rytmissä ja tanssimisen ilossa. Omaa paria tai edeltävää tanssitaustaa ei tarvita.

Jazztanssien perinteen kansainväliset ammattilaiset Clyde ja Malin Wilder opettavat Savoy-tyylin lindyhopia, eli perinteisiä 1930–50 -lukujen tanssityylejä, joiden juuret löytyvät New Yorkin Harlemin legendaarisesta tanssisalista Savoy Ballroomista – aikakautensa muotitanssien tyyssijasta. Heitä innostaa tanssin luova, positiivinen energia ja sen mahdollistama kommunikaatio ja yhteys tanssijoiden välillä.

Aikataulu: su 11.2, su 18.2., su 25.2., su 4.3. klo 14-16 sekä su 11.3. klo 13:30-15:30

Paikka: Kääntöpaikka / Arabian Asukastalot, Intiankatu 1, 00560 Helsinki

1,5 tunnin tanssinopetuksen jälkeen on varattu 30 minuutta vapaalle sosiaaliselle tanssille ja harjoittelulle, tai kahvittelulle kurssikavereiden kanssa.


5 viikkoa: 80 € / 140 € pari

1 päivä: 20 € / 35 € pari

(10€ alennus Kääntöpaikan kevään 2018 autenttisen jazztanssin kurssilaisille sekä Helsinki Traditional Jazz Dance Society ry:n jäsenille 5 viikon kurssista)

Lisätiedot ja ilmoittautuminen:

helsinki.traditionaljazzdance [at] gmail.com


Lindy hop was the dance craze of the 1930’s–1950’s: an energetic and fun partner dance done to uplifting swing music. Blues dance lets the dancers enjoy and express themselves to the slow groove of blues songs.

This five-week workshop teaches the fundaments of lindy hop and blues: rhythm, musicality and communication with the partner. The focus is on establishing strong foundations in both dances, and finding the fun and relaxation of dancing. The dancers will learn both basic steps and patterns, and different variations.  No previous dance experience is needed for this beginner-level class, and you can register with or without a partner.

Clyde and Malin Wilder are international experts in jazz dance tradition and will be teaching the Savoy-style lindy hop, based on the social dance styles of the legendary Savoy Ballroom that flourished in New York’s Harlem in 1926–1959 and is known as the home of the swing dance crazes of its time. In the workshop, we will dance to the grooviest swing, RnB and blues music of the earlier half of the 20th century.

Classes will be held on five Sundays at Kääntöpaikka / Arabia Community Houses in Intiankatu 1, 00560 Helsinki.


February 11th,  2–4 PM

February 18th 2–4 PM

February 25th 2–4 PM

March 4th 2–4 PM

March 11th 1:30–3:30 PM

Each class is 1,5 hours, followed by 30 minutes for free social dancing, or socializing over a cup of coffee and tea (will be provided).


5 weeks: 80 € / 140 € for a couple.

One day: 20 € / 35 € for a couple.

(A discount of 10 € is available for members of Helsinki Traditional Jazz Dance Society ry, or current students from the Kääntöpaikka dance class, and applies for the 5-week class only.)

More information and registrations: helsinki.traditionaljazzdance [at] gmail.com

annalehti (2 of 10)

Photo (c): Jirina Alanko




Celebrating the lives and legacies of dancers Frankie Manning and Chuck Davis

Last week we celebrated the lifework and legacy of two legendary dancers, Frankie Manning and Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis.

Frankie Manning (26.5.1914–27.4.2009) was a pioneer of lindy hop, a Tony award winning choreographer and a celebrated teacher, who spread the joy of swing to new generations of dancers all over the world. The movie “Hellzapoppin’” (1941) includes one of his most iconic performances:


You can find more information on Frankie’s life and legacy here:



Check also the brief documentary on the history of swing on our Youtube channel, featuring dancers Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Clyde Wilder, Mickey Davidson, George Lloyd, Chazz Young, among others:



We recently received the sad news of the passing of Baba Chuck Davis (01.01.1937–14.05.2017). Both as a dancer, choreographer and producer, Chuck Davis was instrumental in introducing dance traditions of the African diaspora in the United States. You can read his obituary in New York Times here:

Chuck Davis was the founding artistic director of the Dance Africa festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He started the festival in 1977 after which it has become one of the most remarkable annual events celebrating African dance in the U.S. This year’s festival 25.–29.05. was dedicated to Mr. Davis’ lifework:



The co-artistic director of Helsinki Traditional Jazz Dance Company, Clyde Wilder, had the privilege to work and perform with both Frankie Manning and Chuck Davis.


“I want to thank them for their inspiration, energy, and the motivation that I received from them for my own work. I feel proud that I have know them, worked with them and experienced their love for their work and level of artistry,” Clyde Wilder says.


The both of us were happy to celebrate Frankie Manning with our New York swing dance community, dancing to George Gee Swing Orchestra at Swing 46 on May 26th, and Chuck Davis with the U.S. African dance community at the Dance Africa festival on May 27th.

Thank you, Frankie and Chuck, and may your legacy live on. And to borrow Mr. Davis’ slogan:

Peace, love and respect for everybody!


(c) Malin Grahn-Wilder



BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) celebrated the 40th year of the Dance Africa festival, founded by dancer and choreographer Chuck Davis in 1977. In the picture, a performance by International Afrikan American Ballet at the Dance Africa festival in 1983.

April in the Archipelago!

Dear friends!

We are excited to announce our upcoming tour in the Finnish archipelago!

On April 4th, Clyde Wilder and Malin Grahn-Wilder invite the audience at Åland Islands on a historical journey through the development of jazz from West Africa to the U.S., through plantations to juke joints and ballrooms. The journey continues all the way to the Nordic countries, where during the glory days of Charleston and other jazz crazes, people created their own variations of movements that have a long history in the African diaspora.

At the end of the show, the audience will get the change to learn some fun and rhythmical jazz dance steps with the performers in an introductory workshop.

The show is hosted by Nordens Institute på Åland, and performed together with the Åland-based jazz band Red Beans & Rice.

Join the rhythmical and dancing journey at NIPÅ’s Kulturklubben on April 4th 2016, starting at 7 PM at Alandica Kultur & Kongress, Strandgatan 33, 22100 Mariehamn.

More info:



On April 8th, we welcome you to the Saari residence in the beautiful Turku Archipelago. Malin Grahn-Wilder and Clyde Wilder’s lecture-demonstration “Freedom Movement” explores emotions and movement in the African American dance tradition.

Jazz is often called ‘freedom music’ because of the space it opens for the musician’s own freedom of expression. The same holds for the traditional jazz dance, which is at the same time individual and connecting, enabling an immediate communication between the dancers. The lecture-demonstration shows how still today, the language of jazz unites people over cultural and racial differences.

Freedom Movement at Saari residence, Saaren rantatie 21, 23140 Hietamäki, on April 8th, 6-7 PM.

We look forward to swinging in the archipelago!