SPECIAL GUESTS

THESE FOLKS WILL BRING a LITTLE SOMETHING SPECIAL TO THE UPTOWN SWINGOUT

NORMA MILLER
 

Known to many as the Queen of Swing, Norma Miller is an author, choreographer, dancer, comedian and actor whose career spans over seven decades. Discovered at the age of twelve by the Savoy Ballroom’s legendary dancer Twist Mouth George, Ms. Miller has been in show business ever since. 

Ms. Miller’s biography, Swingin’ at the Savoy: A Memoir of a Jazz Dancer, recollects her youthful encounters with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Ethel Waters and other jazz legends.

Ms. Miller has also been the subject of many documentaries including National Geographic’s Jitterbug (1991) and the Smithsonian Jazz series on NPR. In Ken Burn’s documentary Jazz (2001), her recollections provide a first hand account of the Harlem music and dance scene in the 1930s and 40s. Ms. Miller’s film credits include the Marx Brother’s A Day at the Races (1937) and Hellzapoppin (1941); Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992); Debbie Allen’s Stompin’ at the Savoy (1992) and John Biffar’s Captiva (1995.) In the sixties, she began working with Redd Foxx at his comedy club and later joined him on the 1970’s television series, Sanford and Son, serving as a stand up comic, actor and choreographer. 

A 72 minute documentary, Queen of Swing, by Florida filmmaker John Biffar, takes an inside look at Norma Miller’s influence in the globalization of America’s jazz culture and her and her fellow artist’s role in racial integration and features interviews with some of her famous friends.

 
RAMIRO GONZALEZ

A nationally renowned champion dancer, Ramiro Gonzalez grew up dancing in a West Texas town called Kermit. At the age of 16, he began teaching ballroom dance. Today he travels, performs and teaches many styles of dance, focusing especially on Swing, Swing-Out and Salsa. In addition, he operates his own hair styling business. Currently he resides and teaches in Dallas, Texas.

Ramiro was inducted into both the WSDC National Swing Dance Hall of Fame at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in Nov. 2013 and the National Living Legends of Dance in 2000.

He received the Feather Award three consecutive years for most outstanding swing dance teacher and has won the Entertainer of the Year award several times. He is especially known for his ability to dance and teach both the "lead" and the "follow" parts in dance.