Originally Posted May 16th, 2016
As a not-for-profit organization, Toronto Lindy Hop is 100% run by volunteers who are dedicated to improving and enriching the swing dancing experience in Toronto; and to building a friendly, vibrant, and fun social Lindy Hop community, right here in Toronto.
We strive to provide many programs and services. Some of our programs are free to everyone, like the Dance Ambassador program, which helps to promote an inclusive atmosphere, helping new dancers to feel welcome in the Toronto Lindy Hop community. Other programs require a fee to participate – like Lindyworks, TLH’s annual Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz workshop, or Lindystock – a dance event held in a wilderness setting with the comforts of home. These fees help cover the expenses of running the events, like venue rentals, instructors’ flights and fees, decor, musicians, DJs, etc.
We aim to provide our programs at the best price possible so that the most dancers possible can enjoy them, however, we also want to pay our beloved musician, DJs, and instructors a fair and reasonable rate for their services and expertise.
The great thing about being a not-for-profit is that any extra money that is made from paid events gets invested back into the programs. That means more star instructors teaching at workshops, a stronger Dance Ambassador program, extra fun at the Stocks and Cabaret!
But, sometimes we need a little extra help to make sure that the programs we offer are of the caliber that our community deserves. That’s where TO WLHD comes in as a fundraiser. Historically, all proceeds from the previous Frankie Tribute Weekend were donated directly to the Frankie Manning Foundation, and although we still want to support this important organization, we also think it’s important for part of the funds raised in Toronto to go back into improving and enriching the Toronto dance community.
Therefore, last year, when the event transitioned from the FTW to TO WLHD, a decision was taken to split the proceeds of TO WLHD, with 25% of the total proceeds being donated to the Frankie Manning Foundation, and the rest going to fund Lindy Hop initiatives right here in Toronto (Note: 2017’s Event will have ALL Raffle money collected donated to the Foundation). TO WLHD also made several other changes from the previous FTW event, including broadening the focus to include other historically significant dancers (you may remember Mike Thibault’s excellent presentation on vintage dancers in 2015). In fact, we’re constantly tweaking the format to meet the community’s needs. Last year, we were honoured to host amazing vintage dancers Dawn Hampton, Chazz Young, and Sylvia Sykes; while this year, we’ve kept the event simpler, partnering with Lindy Hop Revolution to focus more on the amazing music in Toronto with two nights of dancing to two of Toronto’s top big bands and adding more social activities while removing workshops all together.
We work very hard to make this event one that reflects our community and we hope that you are as excited about this years’ event as we are. If you’re interested in getting involved with TLH and helping to grow Toronto’s Lindy Hop events and programs, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Frankie Manning Foundation, which works to keep Frankie’s values, and those of the Savoy Ballroom dancers alive, please don’t hesitate to visit the Foundation’s website. The fund supports projects that are grounded in unity and collaboration and strives to promote Lindy Hop and enable people of all backgrounds to participate in this joyous dance. If you would like additional funds to go direction to the Frankie Manning Foundation, we encourage you to donate directly on the FMF site.