There was a time that swing dancing was at danger of being lost forever. In the late 70’s, the newest partner dance, the Hustle, took over the scene. Well before there was any interest in swing, New York’s own Margaret Batiuchok was winning dance contests and organizing a club.
In 1983, Margaret won the Harvest Moon Ball at Madison Square Garden with a legendary local lindy hopper named George Lloyd – just 6 months after meeting him. In 1985, Margaret organized the New York Swing Dance Society. The NYSDS created a strong, vibrant scene and amassed scores of addicted swing dancers. NYSDS ruled the world. Also, notable is Margaret received her Masters degree from NYU, writing her thesis, all 104 pages of it, on the Lindy Hop.
Margaret was also the first to bring other types of swing to the New York scene. She was the first to attend the US Open in Anaheim and bring West Coast Swing back home. In the mid-80’s, Margaret attended the SOS Shag weeks in N. Myrtle Beach, SC, again bringing home another swing dance.
No one is more deserving than Margaret for the Gotham Lifetime Achievement Award, as truly, no one has done more. So many people’s lives are made better because of dance. It is the open hearts of leaders like Margaret who help bring forth such a glorious gift.