Photo Of The Day

1969

Portraits of Teenage dancers

The Uncertainty of Youth in the Swingin’ Sixties

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (1)

Revelle Jackson, 96, worked as a commercial photographer in Upper Hutt, near Wellington, New Zealand, after emigrating from England in 1952.  Here Jackson has photographed the Upper Hutt Youth Club dances, held three times per week on Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons.

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (5)

This set of pictures captures the awkward hesitancy not foreign to young people. Unlike typical representations of the “Swinging ’60s,” these young people appear uncertain — unsure whether they look attractive, whether they are dancing right, skeptical of the futures on which they are embarking.

Have they made themselves attractive? Have they got it right? Are they going to be laughed at?

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (2)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (3)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (4)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (6)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (7)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (8)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (9)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (10)

Teenage Dancers at Upper Hutt Youth Club in New Zealand, 1969 (11)

Only the young men lining the wall possess the swagger of confidence, though even they protect themselves from the risky dance floor by folding their arms against the crowd.

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