About Swing Sistah Productions:

Swing Sistah is all about putting together authentic jazz dance events. etc.

So who is Dawn Hampton?  For those who have been on the swing dance scene for some time, Dawn is known as an inspirational figure. Although she claims not to be a dancer, her wise words have helped many that are. So if not a dancer, what's her story?

Dawn was born in 1928, in Middletown, Ohio. Her father, Clark Deacon Hampton, Sr., had a family band and vaudeville act which was part of a travelling carnival. Dawn, one of twelve children, began performing at the tender age of three. (Slide Hampton, the well-known jazz trombonist, is the youngest.)  After the war, the family band reunited for several years. There were fourteen pieces and nine Hamptons; Dawn played alto and tenor sax. They travelled under the leadership of her brother Duke, and played throughout the Mid-West and South. Finally, in 1950, the band achieved its dream of performing at Carnegie Hall (along with another well-known, although unrelated Hampton, Lionel). Once the Big Apple got a taste of the Hampton Family, they were featured at the Apollo Theatre and the Savoy Ballroom. The Hamptons became the House Band at the then-famous Sunset Terrace in Indianapolis, and then moved on to the Cincinatti Cotton Club.

In 1958, Dawn moved to New York City, where she enjoyed her budding career until 1964. Surgery that year was complicated by injury to her vocal cords, and Dawn's doctors informed her that she might loose her voice permanently. During a long year of rehabilitation, Dawn retained her optimistic spirit, and regained her voice, and although she lost much of her vocal range she never lost her eagerness or her ability to perform. Dawn commemorated her recovery by writing one of her signature tunes and the title song of her CD, "Life Is What You Make It." Dawn spent much of the following 20 years performing as a cabaret singer in clubs around New York City and reviewers dubbed her the "Queen of Cabaret". Dawn received the "Lifetime Achievement in Cabaret" award from New York's Private Lives, and in 1988 was nominated for the "Distinguished Achievement" Director and Composer awards by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets.

More recently, Dawn has pointed her golden slippers toward the Swing Dance world where her smooth style and theatrical presence have brought her international acclaim. Dawn appeared with Frankie Manning as a dancer in Spike Lee's Film, "Malcolm X."  These days, when not an honoured guest at swing and Lindy Hop events around the world, Dawn can be found in New York City dancing and listening to some of the best swing bands around. To watch Dawn dancing heightens the experience of merely listening to jazz and reunites the relationship between music and dance.

(Adapted from her biography)