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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:
Have a read of this article about the 16 biggest Dragon’s Den success stories. We’ve been listed as number 14!
“Swing When You’re Winning” interview with Scott Cupit, Dance Today Magazine, June 2015
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!
“Dancer gets Dragon Deborah hopping with expansion for swing school”, London Evening Standard, Monday 21 July 2014
What will happen for us after being successful on Dragons’ Den? Scott recorded this video about our next adventures. Share this
Swing Patrol and Dragons’ Den in the Mirror, 20 July 2014
Scott recorded his reflections on Frankie Manning for the Frankie 100 celebrations. Have a listen here.
Westfield Stratford joined Swing Patrol’s Scott Cupit for this edition of East London Uncovered. Watch Scott’s easy-to-follow Charleston demonstration here!
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…
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.