scott cupit deborah meaden

The back story

Scott’s story starts in the western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Born to Baptist missionaries, he was schooled by radio and spoke Pidgin English, before moving to Australia at the age of seven. He spent his time in church youth groups and sporting clubs; save for a few church square dances and the awkwardness of school dances, dancing just wasn’t on his radar.

Scott studied politics and sociology before completing a postgraduate degree in banking and finance. Working in property management and at a major bank, he gained experience in human resources, recruitment and training, and commercial banking.

The life changer

In 1997, Scott travelled to the USA to spend Christmas with his parents. A 24-hour layover seemed like a perfect excuse for a trip to Disneyland: this is where he saw Lindy Hop for the first time. The dancers moved to the music he had grown up loving – Scott had played the saxophone in church jazz bands and spent years in a Glenn Miller tribute Big Band – and he found it intoxicating. He watched them for hours.

Three days later, his sister took him to the Glen Echo Ballroom in Maryland. It was New Year’s Eve and it was magical. The ballroom was packed with Lindy Hoppers and Scott stood on the sidelines, dazzled by the joy, the music and dance for the second time in three days. It was a sign; sometimes, life takes you in the direction you were least expecting.

Armed with a New Year’s resolution, Scott started lessons at the venue that is now the Jam Cellar in Washington. Back home in Melbourne, he was disappointed to find no one knew about this dance, save a small core of passionate dancers who were dabbling in it. Together, they set about growing Melbourne’s Lindy Hop scene; many of them are still his dear friends.

Find out more

You can read more about Scott:

Scott Cupit on BBC Breakfast

On Saturday 1st November Scott Cupit featured on BBC Breakfast, chatting about swing dancing, Swing Patrol, and the legacy of Lindy Hop legend Frankie Manning. Catch up on all the action here!

Clive Anderson Interviews Scott Cupit

In 2009 Scott Cupit took to Trafalgar Square’s famous Fourth Plinth as part of Antony Gormley’s One And Other arts project, stopping hundreds of rush hour commuters in their tracks as he gave an impromptu swing dance class. About 100 students from Swing Patrol came along to perform with Scott. More than 14,000 people applied…

Scott Cupit on the Plinth

A highlight of our first year in London was the hour Scott Cupit spent on the Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Named as one of the top 10 out of 2400 hours.