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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards

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Paulette Brockington and Terri Houlton
2014 master artist and apprentice
Highland Park (Wayne County) and Warren (Macomb County)
partnered swing dance

Accomplished dancer, choreographer, stage director, teacher, and performing artist Paulette Brockington was honored with a 2012 Michigan Heritage Award for her dedication to the Lindy Hop as a traditional American art form. Born and raised in Detroit, Paulette studied at Detroit City Dance Company in the 1980s and later studied art and dance at University of Michigan. Paulette learned the Lindy Hop from its chief orchestrator, Frankie Manning, a National Heritage Fellowship awardee, in private lessons in 1992 and 1993. She later partnered with him on workshops held from the Great Lakes region to Washington, D.C. Her first Detroit area workshops introduced to the community the Lindy Hop as well as the West Coast Swing and Chicago Stepping.

In 1998, inspired by Manning and the Lindy Hop, Paulette produced the first American Lindy Hop Championships, which continues to this day. As the driving force behind the Lindy Hop, Paulette spearheads and produces Lindy Hop and swing dance events and competitions in Michigan and throughout the U.S. She is a much sought-after swing dance history scholar, consults with production companies, choreographs for Dance Detroit and her own “A Company of Dancers,” and has served on the faculty of Wayne County Community College, Marygrove College, and University of Michigan. Through artist residencies and her tireless devotion to teaching and promoting the Lindy Hop and swing dance on national and international levels, Paulette is a fixture on the Great Lakes swing scene. She was also honored with the ArtServe Michigan Arts Educator of the Year Award in 2008.

Terri Houlton has been Swing dancing for sixteen years. She met Paulette about one year into her dance career, and has taken every group class with her that she could find. She has attended the American Lindy Hop Championships and Camp Hollywood, and dances nearly every day. Terri currently receives lessons from Paulette a few times per week, and is thrilled to be able to continue to develop her passion and perfect her form through this apprenticeship.

-Mary Worrall and Micah Ling

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