Lennart Westerland


Lennart started out dancing a Swedish form of American Jitterbug in
the early 80s. In 1983 he came across the Lindy Hop through books and
old film clips, and in May the following year he travelled to New York
on the look-out for the roots of the dance form. He soon met, studied
and started to spend time with old-timers including Al Minns, Frankie
Manning and Norma Miller. In 1985 he formed the semi-professional
Swedish dance company The Rhythm Hot Shots (now Harlem Hot Shots) and
started to seriously study also tap and vernacular jazz dancing in
general. A few years later the company was in the forefront of the
first steps of the revival of the Lindy Hop, and in 1989 they took
over the complete administration of the Herräng Dance Camp, and
introduced legendary swing dancer Frankie Manning to Swedish and
European dancers for the very first time.

When The Rhythm Hot Shots started to receive some serious
international recognition during the early 90s, Lennart was one of the
key dancers. The company travelled extensively throughout the decade,
and was among a handful of other dancers seriously leading the way to
put the Lindy Hop back on the map again. At the time Lennart also
established himself as an international instructor, as well as an
administrator and background worker at especially the Herräng Dance
Camp. In 2004 he opened Chicago swing dance studio in Stockholm, and
in 2010, after 25 years, he left the professional performance aspect
of the dance, now focusing more on teaching, giving lectures and
perform dance demonstrations.

Lennart is today still a most active dancer, instructor, lecturer,
judge and administrator. He divides his time between the Herräng Dance
Camp, the Chicago swing dance studio, and traveling around teaching
and giving lectures. After some 35 revival and renaissance years of
the Lindy Hop, Lennart is one of very few of the pioneers that are
still active in the scene. His background and dedicated interest in
the Harlem roots of vernacular jazz dancing has positioned him as an
important link between the past and the present.”