Savoy Ballroom, The By Crease, Robert P.
The Savoy Ballroom, Harlem’s largest and most famous ballroom during the Swing Era, was nicknamed ‘The Home of Happy Feet’. After it opened in 1926, it became one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, artistically speaking, where intersecting popular music genres, and racial and class divides, opened a space for personal creativity. Unlike most other ballrooms in Harlem and throughout the country, it had an open admission policy from the beginning and, as a result, its clientele was integrated—mixing classes, ethnicities, and races. It pioneered the ‘battle of the bands’ format, in which two orchestras would alternate sets, competing for the audience’s favour.