Swing Discussion Boards > How to recognize Lindy Hop

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by d nice, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. d nice

    d nice New Member

    For whatever reason there have been a number of people that are trying to pass off a number of swing dances as lindy hop. Among the lindy hop community itself this is not a problem. Every community in every major city has enough talented, skilled, experienced instructors to ensure that every dancer who seeks it can find the real thing in most clubs.

    The place these derivitive dances are being passed off as lindy hop most often are among those who have never really been exposed to the dance, namely other swing dance clubs, conventions and on various non-lindy specific internet forums.

    The easiest way to tell authentic lindy hop from other swing dances is the use of an eight count basic refered to as the swing-out or whip. Frankie Manning, one of the finest lindy hoppers from depression era Harlem, and captain of the world famous Whitey's Lindy Hoppers at the Savoy Ballroom of Harlem, New York, is still teaching Lindy hop the way he did it in Films Mannhattan Merry-Go-Round (1937), Jittering Jitterbugs (1938), Hellzapoppin' (1941) , Hot Chocolates (1941), Radio City Revels (193?), Killer Diller (1948), Malcolm X (1992), Stomping at the Savoy (1993).

    Frankie, was my first instructor in this dance, and someone I am lucky enough to call a friend. The first move taught in his workshops is the swing out and he makes sure everyone understands that while there are numerous moves and variations of moves the eight count swing out is the foundation of lindy hop. Your dance flows from this move and back.

    Norma Miller, one of Frankie's contemporaries is a bit more out spoken as is Steven Mitchell, Frankie's first protege and the man responsible for Frankie passing on his knowledge to people around the globe. Norma said, "It doesn't matter what else you do if you can't swing out you CAN'T do the Lindy!" (emphasis hers). steven said, "No matter how skilled you get or what direction or flavor of lindy hop you do, you can't get away from the basics of the swing-out. You can't lose your roots, the swing out IS the dance." (empahsis his).

    If you do WCS you can recognize the swing out as being similar in shape and timing to your own whip (which it evolved out of).

    Lindy hop was either the originating dance or inspiration for nearly all forms of Swing Dance done today, from Street Swing, East Coast Swing and /Jitterbug, to Jive, Boogie Woogie, Rock n Roll, to West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, Hand Dancing, Chicago Stepping, Push, Whip, Bugg, and Double Bugg.

    To get a better idea of what Lindy Hop was like in Harlem check out Savoy Style. Harlem, particuclarly the Savoy Ballroom's role in the development and popularization of the Lindy hop can not be stated strong enough. I'll post another article detainling more information about lindy hop's roots and development.

    If you want to get a good look at what Lindy Hop looks like there are numerous events across the country.

    South West Camp Hollywood & Natl Jitterbug Championships in Los Angeles, CA. A combination mini-camp and competition is July 31 to August 3, 2003 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.

    North West San Francisco Lindy Exchange in San Francisco, CA. A weekend long party where dancers from all over the US and Canada will descend on SF to share their passion for lindy hop. All social dancing and social activities. Held October 3-5, various venues, details will be announced on the website soon.

    Mid West Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in Twin Cities, MN. A lindy hop comepetition in the old sense, no rules, no restrictions. Held August 15-17, at Touchstone Energy Place.

    South East Summer Swing Jam in Atlanta, GA. A combined event of Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, and Carolina Shag, will be held September 11-14, 2003 at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel.

    North East New York Open in New York City, NY september 26-28, 2003, at the Hotel Pennsylvania.[/b]
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Great post d nice! :D

    I first learned Savoy style lindy from Angie and Roddy from New York in 1998. Lindy Hop was was pretty much unknown here in Atlanta until they came to town and then it spread like a wild fire. They definitely emphasized the swing out as the foundation. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I learned the whip from Hollywood style from Marcus and Barbrl at the Natural Ball here in Atlanta. I've only had one class from Frankie Manning but I'll always remember it. What a terrific person he is! I've always found the Savoy style to be more exciting and allowing for more freedom to create. It would be interesting to compare the characteristics of the two styles, but I'm not enough of an expert myself.
  3. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Roddy is a friend of mine. He and Angie are great dancers and instructors (the two have nothing to do with each other).

    Both styles are actually equally expressive and equally musical... however Hollywood Style Lindy Hop was based predominately on video footage as a result a large amount of it's dancers early on did not understand that jazz improvisation is an integral part of lindy hop. The change as I remember it happening was that LCJO was on their "Four Dancer's Only" Tourand numerous members showed up at Memories to jam... The music was at such a high level, swinging so easy and free, that the dancers, by osmosis, finally were able to let go of this "need" to look just like Dancer X in Film Clip Y and while still dancing within the same style exhibited their own personalities, syncopating the moves and creating variations on the moves they knew. Of course the best dancers in this style already were doing this, but it was for th emost part the first time I had seen the more intermediate dancers understanding what the other styled dancer's meant in the Great Style Wars of 1998. :lol:

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