HELLZAPOPPIN PIONEER

AL MINNS

Al Minns was a prominent American Lindy Hop and jazz dancer. Most famous for his film and stage performances in the 1930s and 1940s with the Harlem-based Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in movies such as Hellzapoppin’ & ‘Day at The Races’. In 1938, Al Minns and Sandra Gibson (see Mildred Pollard) won the Harvest Moon Ball competition.  Minns worked throughout his life to promote the dances that he and his cohorts helped to pioneer at New York’s Savoy Ballroom, appearing on TV in the 50’s & 60’s to share his passion for Lindy Hop & Authentic Jazz.  

Minns also played a part in the revival of Lindy Hop in the 1980s, when he was invited to Stockholm in 1984 by The Rhythm Hot Shots dance company to teach the dance the way he knew it. Al Minns passed away on 24th April 1985 and it was then that Frankie Manning took the baton to support the revival of the Lindy Hop.

Along with Leon James they choreographed the famous Al & Leon Shim Sham which was danced in the Savoy ballroom and still danced by jazz dancers around the world today.

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