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Actors’ Equity Association has declared Jan. 13 “National Swing Day” in an attempt to “honor the unsung heroes of theatre.” As mentioned on Broadway Black, swings have one of the toughest jobs on Broadway and in theatre in general. Different from an understudy or standby, who go on as one character, the swing essentially must learn ALL parts of the show.

As Actors Equity puts it, “swings are those members of the company who cover all the other chorus members. Often the most important to cast because of the nature of the job, a Swing must have a wide vocal range, be able to dance and be able to step into a role from young child to an older character, male or female. A Swing also must know the smallest detail of every ‘track.’ Essentially, the Swing must be able to do it all and must be ready to go on at a moment’s notice.”

So in honor of #NationalSwingDay here’s a few of our favorite swing testimonials from some Broadway Black stars!

Rachel Oneika Phillips

Yesterday was declared #NationalSwingDay by the Actors Equity Association. My Broadway debut was a dream come true…and that dream in reality was some of the hardest and most rewarding artistic experiences of my life. Brought on as a Swing and Understudy I rehearsed relentlessly to learn 8 female tracks and 2 lead roles in FELA! The Musical. Trust me, it is not for the faint of heart. One of my proudest accomplishments. Big respect to those who dare, can and do! As Equity puts it, “Swings are those members of the company who cover all the other chorus members. Often the most important to cast because of the nature of the job, a Swing must have a wide vocal range, be able to dance and be able to step into a role from young child to an older character, male or female. A Swing also must know the smallest detail of every ‘track.’ Essentially, the Swing must be able to do it all and must be ready to go on at a moment’s notice.” #EquityTeamSwing #TBT #FELA! #Kikelomo #bereadyatamomentsnotice #swingnation #blocstars

A photo posted by Rachel Oneika Phillips (@dragonpassionfruit) on

Phoenix Best

Trisha Jeffery

Tracie Thoms

Jaquez Rudolpho

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