Swing Discussion Boards > Lanza Six Count Lindy

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Black Sheep, Aug 11, 2003.

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  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    History Buffs,
    'The Lanza Six Count Lindy' is NOT a dance; I have often stated it is a
    unique 'Teaching Method' I developed while coaching Tennis for 12 years. I will 'once again' explain how it works and give you a demonstration on how effective a teaching tool it is by describing my original move called the, 'Savoy Slide' at the end of this Commentary.
    When I used the word, Magic Pill' I was using a metaphor of sorts to
    indicate its potent effectiveness. I prefer to call my Magic Pill, 'The
    Lanza Six Count Lindy, a Teaching Method' because that is what it is, and if anyone thinks I was trying to invent a new dance, it is only because they have not bothered to read my Commentary on the thread, 'The Magic Pill Flyer' with due scrutiny, but merely perused the Commentary with a lack of comprehension.
    And if I attach my name to this teaching method, it is to differentiate it from anyone else's 'teaching method', so that its integrity is not corrupted by any adulterations which would diminish the effectiveness of the Method.
    Incidentally this exact teaching method is detailed in my Books, 'Strictly Swing' published in 1999 and 'Lindy by Lanza' published in 2000.
    When I use the count, '1 &2, 3 &4, 5-6. I do so as to designate every cipher to a specific Lindy move. Forgive me if I get too detailed, but perhaps it will dispel confusions caused by careless critics.
    The '1 &2' will always represent the 1st Triple, with the man always
    starting on his left foot; the '3 &4' will always stand for the 2nd Triple
    with the man starting on his right foot; and the 5-6 will always stand for
    the Rock Step with the man starting on his left foot.
    The Six Count method can be used to quickly and clearly analyze another dancer's complex moves at a glance because you can separate his moves into the segments, '1 &2, 3 &4, 5-6'.
    To further demonstrate how to use this method effectively, I will copy from my book a movement I originated called the 'Savoy Slide' which is described on page 133, and I describe it without any illustrations, but simply using my six counts.
    The move begins on the Rock Step (5-6) with the lady in the drag position, behind the man both facing forward: Both start on 5-6 with lady doing her Back Rock and she will continue as normally traveling forward toward the other end of the Slot while the Man does the following moves by the numbers which I call, 'The Savoy Slide':

    on 5 step forward on left foot with Lady still behind; do not pull Lady'
    on 6 kick forward with right foot, start pulling Lady forward;;
    on 1 pull right foot back and wide to his right side and behind lady,
    on &2 crosses left foot in front of right foot,
    on 3 slides both feet wide apart with weight on right foot,
    on & shift weight onto left foot,
    on 4 shift weight on right foot
    on 5 Man's left foot is free to Rock in any direction,
    on 6 steps on right foot in place.

    This is one of my most complicated Lindy moves and it is simplified by
    using, 'The Lanza Six Count Lindy', a teaching method'. And now you know why I call it Magic! ...The Magic Pill, that is!
    Incidentally, 'The Six Count Lindy' is described in detail on pages 130 to
    132 in my book published in 2000, 'Lindy By Lanza'.

    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  2. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    hello! Forgive me, I'm new here but I have done some reading in these threads. You seem very proud about your contributions. How is this different than the very basic east coast swing and how does this method of movement analysis apply to any 8 count move that is the basis of basic Lindy?

    I have something to say about creativity vs. originality. First of all, I do not now or ever have claimed to be a fabulous dancer. I have formed my thoughts on the subject through my work in puppetry... a field which has greatly influenced my life and my approach to the arts as a whole. I also believe in the benefits of being a well rounded, or multi-fauceted artist so I believe that knowledge gained in one medium may be directly applicable to another. (for example, Tia Chi has done wonders for my puppet manipulation skills... but I degress)

    Creativity (even in its purest form) often exists without originality. I remember a stand-up comedian saying it best, 'Archeologists have found proof that mankind has been creative for over three million [or was it billion?] years.... .... and I'm supposed to come up with new material!' No matter the creation, chances are it has been done before, sometimes documented, sometimes not. I have found that I have become significantly happier with my art when I strive for creativity instead of originality. I could go on with this idea but I think the concept is clear so I'll stop.

    My point is that you seem very connected and prossessive of your ideas while sharing them at the same time... this perception is most likely due to the frequent references to copywrite and the gaurd against "adulteration" to your work in which you seem to have great pride-- that's pretty heavy language there-- perhaps that is merely my personal connotations. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories. While a truely creative process may have lead your teaching methodologies the more I read the less original they seem as a whole. Of course, in my mind, originality is never a goal nor something to aspire to-- I mean no offense. And since I can only speak from my point of view, I'll do just that. The fact that you do seem to only accept your own ideas and that in your commentaries I've read thus far you have seemed to 'glorify' yourself and not acknowledge valid points and contributions of others. This makes it difficult for me to trust what you say (I have a natural tendancy to question absolutes in any form).

    Why not benefit from the format of a discussion forum?
  3. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Originality & creativity

    Swing Kitten,
    East Coast Swing, as I occasionally have seen it, is the closest to the New York Savoy Lindy that my teenage friends danced in the 1930's. Some of the characteristics, and I know the danger of 'Judging the many by the few', but the Lindy as I recall it in the 1930's in New York stressed smoothness of execution and was more spatial as apposed to a bunching up in the open positions and there were no eight count moves thrown into the Lindy (excepting for a short period when the Big Apple novelties was the craze) which they were assidously careful to stay on beat throughout the dance, which was one continuous rhythm, but aside from these dubious differences which I observed from a few ECS dancers, the Savoy Lindy is ECS!
    As to originality, of course statistically we have to assume after three million or three billion years of mankind's existence, nothing is new.
    As for taking 'Pride', that's not my favorite definition of my attitude, but I do take 'Credit', for devising a unique method of teaching the Lindy.
    In my 12 years of teaching dance in Hollywood in the 1950's, and observing almost every teacher in Southern California teach groups for the past four years since 1999, I have never observed any of them using my Six Count Method as it was described in my publication which was sold at the Second Annual event of 'Camp Hollywood' at the Palladium in November 1999.
    I can assure you, Swing Kitten that I have done my homework, and if I come off like I know what I'm asserting, that is due to my assiduously observing the teaching techniques of others these past four years, plus my 12 years of running the largest staff of dance teachers, often up to 12, at one time. And in addition, fifteen years as a tennis coach with only a dance background and a few pointers from professionals, I developed my own tennis techniques which are documented in three tennis books, and other several other teaching fields, I do have confidence in teaching. Although I have observed teachers using the
    '1 &2, 3 &4, Rock Step' counting method they always mixed it in with their 'Triple Triple, 1-2' or started with the Rock Step as a 1-2, and never used the Six Count Method as a mechanical/Rhythmic Guide to teach or learn the Lindy. And there is the secret to my teaching method; The 'Lanza Six Count Lindy, a Teaching Method uses at 'Mechanical Rhythmic' count which I developed when teaching my uniquely different tennis techniques.
    And there ARE people who are creative, and they are the few in this world while the great majority are copycats and imitators. But let me pull out of my memory a statement made by a celebrated artist, I believe it was Alexandre Dumas, and although I have to paraphrase, his statement might put to rest this idea of originality or creativity. An acquaintance once asked Dumas, ' But isn't what you do an imitating of what others in the past have done? (maybe he was inferring three million years of civilization) The artist replied, 'Perhaps these things have been done or said before, but what makes my work original is the order in which I arrange them and the original affect I thereby produce'!
    Let me ask you Swing Kitten, 'Do you feel my Six Count Lindy teaching Method is a copycat or an out and out imitation of a teaching CODE, which my Mechanical/Rhythmic system actually is, since each cipher almost always stands for the specific weight change and a specific motion? And can you actually prove your allegations of my supposed plagerism by documenting your proof with a publication previous to my November 1999, 'Strictly Swing'?

    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  4. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Eight vs. Six Count Lindy

    Swing Kitten,
    If you count the number of steps in the 'triple Lindy', you do have '8;'
    If you count the number of Quarter beats used in taking those
    'Triple Lindy' steps then we have a 'Six Count Lindy'. I chose the Six with
    the '&' Counts to better express the syncopation on the '&2, &4, and the 6 counts (the up beats) as an integral part of the dance.
    I explain this '6 vs. 8' in my 1999 publication.
    Excellent questions, Swing Kitten. You gave me the opportunity to answer those questions that were in many other minds I am sure. Thanks for your insightive critique.
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    It's always good to be able to find a friendly middle ground. Getting a little philosophical: We ALL have a limited view of the World. For that reason, it is so important to establish relationships that are based on growth and learning.
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Swing Kitten,
    Welcome . . . as you pass through . . .

    Your response to Joe is certain another perspective on this topic, and well written if I might add. I can almost guarantee that it has been run into the ground, yet you have opened yet another view of it!

    "DING," DING," "DING" . . . ROUND 2!
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I guess my last post was a little goofy. :tongue:
    But as you say, Vince, round 2 seems imminent (and we are NOT going to get personal).

    I always thought that "Lindy Rhythm" is defined as 8 beats, either 1&2, 3-4, 5&6, 7-8 or 1-2, 3&4, 5-6, 7&8.

    Can we just agree on calling it 6-count swing?

    Whatever might have been common in the past, it's clear to me that "Lindy" almost always refers to 8-count swing presently.
  8. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Dance Mentor... I think it is telling that all documentation of Lindy Hop as done by the Savoy Lindy Hoppers shows one specific common move amongst them, the eight count move refered to as the Lindy Turn/Swing Out/Whip. All vintage film footage of competitions and performances, and all video tapes of those dancers teaching the dance since the 80's, and all current living Savoy dancers who are currently teaching, use this as the main pattern of which other patterns are executed from or are variations of.

    While this has been brought up in just about every single thread that deals with lindy hop on this forum, it has never been adequately addressed. As a matter of fact I can only find it addressed at all once. The statement was to the effect that it was an 80's innovation and never a part of authentic Savoy Lindy Hop, yet both existing clips of Shorty George Snowden show this move and variations of it, and not one execution of the East Coast basic pattern that Joe describes in his method.
  9. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Re: Eight vs. Six Count Lindy

    If I read correctly she was talking about eight counts, not eight steps. Since Lindy Hop is a jazz dance, it is based on jazz music, meaning syncopation and improvisation are necessary elements in order to dance the Lindy Hop. How many steps is executed within the pattern being lead/followed is not to important (though obviousely for beginners you wantto keep the footwork as simple as possible).

    Joe there are only three upbeats in a six beat segment. The upbeats, also known as the weak beats which in jazz recieve rhythmic emphasis, are the even counts, the 2 and 4 in a one bar musical phrase.
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    True, very true. Although I am not a Lindy dancer, this is true of all Swing dances. I only count in 8's, regardless of what my feet do. There are some patterns (oops, is this pattern dancing?) that I may only take two - four steps in (&1, &2) and get out of the way, yet this can get the follower through a 16 count pattern - obviously, I wouldn't do this move with a beginner, nor in a Jack and Jill, nor, if I felt the follower couldn't do it. So, how many steps IS NOT important!
    100% correct!
  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    :lol: No Vince, the simple use of patterns is not what constitutes pattern dancing--its executing said patterns regardless of all external considerations such as: floor space & conditions; partner's ability & skill; your mechanics as a couple. Pattern Dancers, in short, let the patterns control them and dictate their movement rather then vice versa.

    (P.S. See Vince? I told you there was life beyond the swing forum :tongue: )
  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member


    I was "poking fun" at the other post that got into pattern dance, yet I see so many that do just this.

    You mentioned the "floor space & conditions . . ."
    That's how I had the top of my foot broken . . . the leader put a lady into a ronde' (did I spell it correctly?), she did, I went down after she took my foot out from under me . . . all on a large dance floor with maybe a thousand dancers on it. Barely enough room to do anything but dance in place and talk to your follower. I've learned from that experience!
    Ah yes . . . thank you again. I've been bravely sticking my yet-untrained Salsa mind out there . . . see other recent post!
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I noticed! Hence my: :lol:

    Geez, your story points out that its not "just" bruises and lumps that result from such inconsiderate behavior. It also raises another interesting question though...to what extent does the follower have a responsibility not to execute various movements that are counter indicated by ambient conditions? If the woman you mention was a lower level beginner following her instructor, for instance, I could see it as entirely reasonable that she trusted and expected him to be responsible for such considerations. But a more experienced woman with a partner of equal or lesser ability?

    Yes I noticed...and just like the old Life cereal commercial suggested..."try it; you'll like it" :D
  14. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    4 beats to the bar

    Dear Music Teacher,
    Thank you for explaining syncopation and where the up beats come on a bar of music. Although, I have to my musical credit 20 musical compositions +, including the theme song called, 'Camp Hollywood' and have completed an operetta with over a dozen songs including the harmonic chords, I appreciate any little information offered for my musical knowledge, especially about the up beats of the 2nd and 4th Quarter notes on a bar of music.
    You have no idea how grateful I am for your erudite instructions on the construction of a bar of music because it gives me the opportunity to mention my completed Musical Project based on my experiences in the Swing environment of the 1950's in Hollywood. And I am now at the stage of financing this venture to go into production in 2004.
    Thank you music Maestro for your critic. Hmm, '4 beats to the bar'. How clever?
    I have a saying, "My critical adversaries are my best promoters."
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  15. d nice

    d nice New Member

    I'm glad I could be of help. I wouldn't want someone to read your posts and judge the entire process of Lanza Six Count Lindy faulty because of a few mistakes regarding musical timing.

    The method will be all the stronger, and people will be able to concentrate on the overall process than get caught up in the technical errors.
  16. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    up beats & down beats

    4 beats to the bar specialist,
    In the middle of Page 82 in my book, 'Lindy by Lanza' I clearly describe accentuation in Swing with these exact words,
    "ACCENT: In Swing we accent the Quick Quick steps or the 2nd and 4th beats of a bar of music, i.e. the up beats."
    The book was published April 20, 2001 and the statement on ACCENT was right in with the chapter, 'Lanza's Six Count Lindy'.
    How often must I catch you in these Mis-Quotes before I get even a single apology from you, D'nice?
    I have a saying, "It's dangerous to mis-quote a man with a memory like a bear trap!" Lanza 2003 a.d.
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor..
  17. d nice

    d nice New Member

    misquote or indefinite statement?

    Joe notice below where I quote exactly what you said on the first page. No alteration was made. Now the problem is that you use steps, beats and counts almost interchangeably at times. I assume here what you are talking about are the two sets of the second part of the triple steps done on the "half" count and on the following up beat... However that is not how it reads.

    They aren't mis-quotes... since you accuse me of this so VERY often I thought I'd inlcude the link to Dictionary.com and provide their definition of a quote:

    quote ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kwt)
    v. quot·ed, quot·ing, quotes
    v. tr.
    1.To repeat or copy the words of (another), usually with acknowledgment of the source.
    2.To cite or refer to for illustration or proof.
    3.To repeat a brief passage or excerpt from: The saxophonist quoted a Duke Ellington melody in his solo.
    4.To state (a price) for securities, goods, or services

    So, if I am including your exact wording from your own post, I can't be misquoting you. The only possible misquoting being done is by you of your own words (then again we generally just call these mistakes not misquotes, we all make them). Now I could certainly be misunderstanding the meaning behind your words... but a misquote can only happen if I modify your words or incorrectly attribute a statement to you that you never made.
  18. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    Re: Originality & creativity

    Black Sheep,
    I apologize for not responding more promptly and thus disrupting a more conversational style of communication.

    so you're saying the swing-out (that even I know is an intragal characteristic of Lindy Hop as well as consisting of 8 counts, and often 10 steps) came after the 1930's, that is, when you watched your friends dance?

    But it seems this has been discussed-- I see no need to bring on a "round 2!" There are so many people here that may speak of the intricacies of the dance far more competantly than I. I am very comfortable dicussing the concepts of creativity and originality, however, so those I will address here briefly before gaining my much needed sleep.

    See what this says to me is that you are more interested in what the world thinks of you vs. internal person satisfaction and fullfillment. This is probably due to differences in our perspective connotations with such terms as pride and credit and such.

    This is exactly what I mean by creativity!! You didn't see it beforehand, but you created it-- the creative act!! Isn't it exciting?!!
    But honestly, I've never heard the six count counted out the way of those other instructors mentioned.

    This is where our views are VERY different. To me, all people are creative just to varying degrees. Have you ever watched children play with their toys? Sure they play just as children have played for generations but they aren't hacks. A student in his first ceramics class... one of the oldest arts known to mankind... after several attempts he makes a.. a.. a vessel... sure he's not an original but he is, in fact, creative-- Dumas would agree.
    There are so many other examples, including some from my own life experience, but I believe these will suffice.

    I don't think you're a copycat... I would sincerely doubt anyone thinks such. I don't think you saw this counting method anywhere before you wrote it down... that's fine. Do I think you created it? Yes. Do I think you originated it? No. Do I think you are guilty of "plagerism?" Of course not (I'm also not sure if you intend your language to come across as heavy and defensive as it seems-- again, those silly connotations! :D )

    The other day when I was a girl my church taught a little swing dance class for the girls and their dads (it was definately pre-1999). While they did not use your Magic Pill, they used your CODE.

    Think of this... I had a good friend who studied handdruming (of course this in not an academic citation...but it makes perfect sense to me). The first druming pattern he taught me was 1234, 1234, 1212,1234.
    What is interesting about druming is that it is found most cultures (let's just say that you'd be hard pressed to find a culture that does/did not include the drum) and each prominate culture on each continant on the globe (maybe not Antartica... maybe!) came up with the pattern 1234, 1234, 1212, 1234. But who originated it? No one knows and it's not the point... There is no reason why each of these cultures cannot be thought of as creators of the rhthym and even though it is certain that some of these cultures developed this chronologically before others; however, it is fairly certain in some cases, due to geographical reasons, there was no cultural exchange of such. So it seems quite likely that it was created independantly across the globe.

    So why would it be so hard to fathom that someone else, if not many people could come up with the very same way of counting out the steps to a well known dance? There are a limited number of logical possibilities... and people love to think! Is concievable that a few people may have come up with it at the same time or possibly even before Mr. Joe Lanza? even if on the other side of the country? This does not diminish your creativity... only your "bragging rights" if that's all you are after.

    No one has to agree with me... just sharing my thoughts.
  19. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Bragging Rights!

    Swing Kitten,
    The reason I call the 'Magic Pill' the 'Joe Lanza Six Count Lindy', a Teaching Method is two fold, and I know I am repeating my self, but once again:
    1) I want to differentiate it from any other teacher's Teaching Method;
    2) The Magic Pill has a very delineated step by step teaching procedure with specific guide lines for both the Man's and the Lady's movements which I secure from corruption by documenting it and simultaneously distributing the Magic Pill to well over 10, 000 dancers in the same ten day period.
    Of course every one is creative in one way or another. When I talk about creativity, I'm not talking about knitting a sweater or even an oil painting or even acting or any other art or sport activity. What I am referring to is the innovative methods, the inventions the, unique way of assembling information and coming up with something new and better with which all people can benefit by in any given field of life.
    The Magic Pill of course has factors that others may or may not have employed in teaching any sport, be it tennis of tidily winks. As I paraphrased Dumas' statement of 'creative originality as the arranging of old ideas in a new way with better results'.
    Is the Magic Pill an earth shaking Method of teaching? Of course not! But is it helpful in 'Jump Starting' a wallflower into dancing the Lindy? Absolutely. I've got some hundred or so personal subscribers who have already personally benefited by my 15 minute Lindy Lesson, called the 'Magic Pill'.
    Should the 'Magic Pill' be judged a complete comprehensive training method of Lindy dancing with all techniques included for developing into an accomplished Lindy dancer? Of course not!
    The 'Magic Pill', is a way of getting a complete beginner to dance socially with any dancer at any level, the very evening after their first 15 minute 'Magic Pill' Lesson.
    Why is there so much nit-picking about the originality of the Six Count, and a complete ignoring of the effectiveness of concept of my Magic Pill?
    If others have used this six count and of course we have to assume that many have, but where do we find someone employing the six count into the formula similar to my Magic Pill Rhythmic/Mechanical Code? And if they have, why haven't they published it before me? What good is an innovation or an invention or a new discovery if it isn't usefully or shared?
    I do not purport to be a Columbus, but there are archeological finds in North America that suggest the Vikings were the first discoverers of America a hundred or so years before Columbus. But what good were their discoveries if the Vikings kept it a secret? Columbus' discovery opened up a new world for land hungry Europeans. His discovery had a significant beneficial affect!
    So if someone else has come up with my Magic teaching method, which no one so far has even suggested, then what good is their Viking discovery if posterity doesn't benefit by it?
    I don't think having my attitude about the Magic Pill is justky defined as 'bragging'. This word has the connotation of someone taking undue and unwarranted credit for some activity or idea.
    I do feel it is perfectly civil for a person to take credit for an accomplishment that is the result of some 50+ years as a professional educator whose sole earnings were from teaching and experimenting in the many fields of teaching.
    The Magic Pill is not an accident! I knew there was a dire need to make the Savoy Lindy more available for posterity in its original form, and I put all my past experience toward this goal. And tested it with hundreds of students these past ten or so months. What's wrong with taking credit for that?
    I explained the two reasons above why I attached my Name to the Lindy Six Count, a Teaching Method. And I find no fault is adding a third reason for attaching my name to the Six Count Lindy, a Teaching Method,
    3) because Joe Lanza developed it!
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  20. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Bragging Rights!

    Depends for who, now doesn't it? I imagine that whatever "discoveries" they made were quite good for the Vikings themselves, no?

    Ok, factually true.

    Again, it depends for who Joe. I can imagine that most Native Americans might have a rather different point of view, no?

    I realize that you were trying to make a specific point, but using factual materials also binds you to the full measure of those materials, not just the elements you want and/or like.
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