Swing Discussion Boards > Lindy Hop and the Studios

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Spitfire, May 23, 2004.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Is Lindy Hop commonly offered in the dance studios where you live?

    Just curious about other areas of the country since it is not being offered here; at least not in group classes. The reason given is that it is not in demand and in fact it's not being taught much anywhere else either at the present time, but in areas where it has a much larger following I'm wondering if the dance studios have gotten into teaching it.

    And for those of you who may have had Lindy at a studio is it taught differently in any way?
     
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    We don't have any studios here in Ithaca, that I can talk about. There is one dance academy, but I have nothing to say about it, and am pretty sure I'll never take a dance class there.

    THere are group classes offered here in Ithaca. We had Bill Borgida who offered a coupel series while he stayed here a couple months, and a lindy class/jump swing class that is offered for PE credit at Cornell, plus a coupel really great lindy dancers, one who is Lucy Dunne, who used to teach lindy class series a coupel times a here. I say used to as quite a few of them have graduated. Then we have another dance instructor, Cindy Overstreet, who ever so often, starts a lindy series of classes. I would say that we do have quite a few lindy classes here.
     
  3. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    A ballroom studio in Kansas City used to offer lindy. However, it was poorly taught and the students weren't dedicated to practicing. Finally, it was a studio that played primarily fast neo-swing for the swing nights. This was not beginner lindy friendly music.
     
  4. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    One of the studios here had a weekly group class for lindy a few years ago, but it was cancelled due to lack of attendance.
     
  5. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    It's probably a good thing that most dance studios don't offer Lindy Hop instruction. There's a line in Dizzy's Desiderata that says "Exercise caution in your choice of dance instructors, cause the world is full of Arthur Murray Studios." If you've never read Dizzy's Desiderata, you should. It's pretty entertaining.
    There are some good ones, though. Sandra Cameron in NYC is one that comes to mind. Unfortunately, it's not where I live.
     
  6. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    I got an email today... one of the studios here is offering a lindy class this month.
     
  7. Doug

    Doug New Member

    It is taught locally, but only excruciatingly badly.

    I think that this ties in with an earlier thread discussing differences between WCS & Lindy crowds. For a whole variety of reasons, the dancers tend to be somewhat distinct. And I think that is reflected in the level of demand for vintage swing dances, Balboa & Lindy, at the studios and the consequent unwillingness of the studios to put enough effort into learning how to teach or even dance the vintage dances.

    I think too that franchises are subject to some constraints by their chain, but am not sure of this.
     
  8. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    The largest social dance studio in town teaches Lindy periodically every 3-6 months. Based on demand/requests, they may teach a second or a third 8 hr/month class. Why? Based on feedback from some instructors (who are die-hard Lindy dancers & and are quite active in the Lindy community), the majority of people that come in to learn swing (6-count ECS) simply aren't interested enough to move beyond it. Most don't even make it past 1-2 months worth of classes. Many simply don't practice much. Lindy is another learning curve for ECS folks and most simply do not have the motivation to learn and practice regularly in other to enjoy the dance. When it comes to swing practice night, most music is not Lindy friendly. The very few Lindy Hoppers at the studio try their best to get more Lindy friendly music, but it's not popular with the ECS folks since they'd have to...gasp....triple step...(sarcasm intended by me) in order to dance to the music.

    I moved on from ECS to Lindy Hop and am not looking back. As a follow, Lindy allows much more freedom of expression than ECS. Not to mention Lindy is a unique culture/community in and out of itself :D .
     
  9. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Here is the thing, any studio that has classes in any swing style taught by teachers who are not active members of the swing dance community, or actively being trained by an active member of the swing dance community you are going to recieve an incredibly watered down product. One which is sometimes not even recognizable as a swing dance... ECS/Jitterbug with hustle prancing and cuban motion? *retch*

    Most studios won't go out of their way to hire a skilled swing dancer/teacher or have their teachers trained by one. End result is an inferior product. This feeds right into the lack of interest at studios. Not being a part of the community they have no idea who to target and how to advertise. At my studio I only teach the upper level Lindy classes. Its hard to attract new dancers when they find out that I won't be there teacher.
     
  10. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    Sounds like my former studio. The kickers for me have been the studio boss saying that he doesn't want a lindy hopper's influence in his studio and some 'fake' DJs telling me that lindy music wasn't allowed.
     
  11. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    Do you know what it would be about a lindy hopper's influence that a studio director wouldn't want to have around? There has been two studios near me who have not reacted positively to my lindy hop propositions.
     
  12. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Lindy is danced by out-of-control 20 somethings that sweat a lot, do kicking charleston things and girl tossing. Right??

    Our dance is Balboa, which can be sedate, no sweat required and can hugely increase your range of danceable tempos (60 - 240 BPM easily). Same kind of reaction. I even offered to simply teach their studio instructors Balboa (for FREE - our current goal is to merely increase the number of local Balboa dancers). Same negative reaction. "It isn't on our syllabus." and "There is no demand."
     
  13. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    heheh yeah when talking to those directors it feels like I just asked, "so where can I park all of the bullldozers?" or "do you have a landing pad for my helicopter?"
     
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Lindy hop is a very free-form dance. Your ability in the dance is judged not by how exact you perform a step but by how unique your own style of performing th estep is. The ability to improvise and the recognition that while there is correct and incorrect technique, there is no correct or incorrect moves is very threatening to syllabus dependant studios.

    Another factor maybe that lindy hop being a vernaculr or folk dance encourages, no, demands the use of natural movement and posture... which is very different than the standard smooth ballroom method of standing and moving. They may worry what a few months of that relaxed athletic posture will do to their carefully crafted aesthetic. And rightly so.
     
  15. Doug

    Doug New Member

    I think that Damon has very good points and that this could help explain why even Balboa, also a street dance with attributes common to Lindy (and to Argentine Tango - another street dance??) is not welcome in the conventional studios.
     
  16. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    So true. I am currently taking a ladies styling class with a WCS pro and have had to consciously re-train myself on posture, keeping shoulders down & back, etc.... since I had been doing more Lindy than WCS this past year. I suppose Lindy posture is a ballroom instructor's worst nightmare :twisted: .
     
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Lindy posture looks pretty hideous on ballroom dancers and vice versa, I'm sure. I can't imagine ballroom posture looking too great on a lindy hopper.
     
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Actually, did I mention this in another thread at some point? There's a kid here who dances EVERY dance with lindy hop posture -- WCS, foxtrot, salsa, samba, you name it. It's extremely distracting. He appears to think he's stylin', but hey, he just looks bad, except when he's really doing lindy hop. *shrug*
     
  19. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    The studio owner is afraid that if his students, actually his swing night attendees, learn another dance, that they would leave his studio. My point is that if you have quality instruction and better music than the same neo crap that's been played there for 4 years, people would stay and enjoy themselves. Essentially, he wants to retain these people who only come to a once a week swing night. My thoughts: decide if you're a ballroom studio or not.

    What propositions have you made?
     
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. I have to tread carefully when I respond to this topic. My observation is that ballroom and lindy hop cultures are very different. They're not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they're different. Maybe the studio owner really has decided to have a ballroom studio. (Why the heck he's sponsoring swing dances, then, is another question. :? )
     

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