Home of Happy Feet

USA. New York City. Harlem. 1939. Savoy Ballroom. © Cornell Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

The Savoy was a popular dance venue from the late 1920s to the 1950s and many dances such as Lindy Hop became famous here. It was known downtown as the “Home of Happy Feet” but uptown, in Harlem, as “the Track”. Unlike the ‘whites only’ policy of the Cotton Club, the Savoy Ballroom was integrated where white and black Americans danced together. Virtuosic dancers, however, excluded others from the northeast corner of the dance floor, now referred to as the “Cat’s Corner,” a term not used at the time. This is just one glimpse into one of New York City’s most written about, filmed and photographed neighborhoods – Harlem. For decades, photographers, writers, poets and musicians have been inspired by the rich history, strong culture, beauty and grit of Harlem.

Copyright © 2010 Magnum Photos. All rights reserved.

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