Swing Discussion Boards > Lindy Hop in the 40's and 50's

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Black Sheep, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    To History Buffs,
    In 1940's, the Lindy crowd in Southern California was miniscule compared to millions of Lindy dancers in New York City. The annual Harvest Moon Ball held at Madison Square Garden in New York City was always packed to the rafters for that occasion. There are films that are still available of those awesome contests. The blacks from the Harlem Savoy always won those contests right into the 1950's with their incredible performances. I'm referring to the 1940's in New York City.
    In the 1940's in Southern California, the Lindy crowd numbered somewhere in the below a hundred with the actual contests dancers limited to maybe a dozen dancers. Galleger, Ronnie Hawks Jean Phelps Veloz, Irene Thompson, the Christpherson brothers, Dean Collins, Lou Southern, Hal and Betty Trakier, Jewel McGowan,Johnny Archer, Jack McCann, Venna Archer, Bob Hefner, Willie Desatoff, and a half dozen others made up the bulk of contest dancers. The competition in Southern California was very limited; Swing did not become a craze in So. Cal. until Lindy died in New York and Mambo and Cha Cha took over the dancing social life.
    During WW II the New York soldiers spread the Lindy world wide at the USO dances. Look at some of these films of G.I's dancing all over the globe. It wasn't any individual who popularized the Lindy in Southern California or Shamokin USA: It was the G. I's from New York that spread the dance world wide. What misled many dancers to think that Southern California was the Mecca of Lindy dancing, were the few Films made during the war in Hollywood
    with the handful of Swing dancers 'who were left at home' during WW II. Swing did not become a 'CRAZE' in Southern California until the early 1950's when the number of contests dancers numbered some where in a group of less than a hundred dancers, a few of the dancers were survivors from the 1940's. In the 1950's. The Hollywood Dance Club was the only dance studio in Hollywood, teaching the Savoy Lindy which Dean Collins
    began teaching AFTER the 1940's at my Hollywood Dance Club in 1954-1957. All the independent and chain studios kept on teaching what has become known as 'West Coast Swing'. Today the West Coast Swing, which was probably simplified and designed for senior citizens and the physically impaired, has spread like a virus, and the serums in L.A. are dangerously in short supply. Fortunately, the Swing did Survive as the East Coast Swing (ECS). After six months of proselytizing, preaching the advantages of the Original Lindy Hop (ECS), I am now seeing ever increasing converts materializing on the dance floors of the City of Angels (Los Angeles).
    An interesting comment was made to me over the phone by one of the leading Orange Coast dance teachers. He notified me that he was going to teach his next two Group lessons with the Students always Rocking back, and asked me what I thought about that! I don't remember my answer, but I'm sure I was polite. Although the 'rocking back' is only a characteristic of the Lindy Hop and not the dance form itself, that Orange Coast teacher is taking the first step toward his enlightenment of the catholic Lindy Hop. Hallelujah!

    Long live the Savoy Lindy Hop!
    Black Sheep www.lindybylanza.com
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Awesome list! That's a lot of really amazing dancers, we're fortunate to still have a few left, such as Willie Desatoff who is a large promoter of Balboa today!

    Did you just call West Coast Swing a dance for the physically impared, or am I reading that wrong??

    Is this the "WCS" you're often talkng about in other threads?

    Wait, what is ECS in your opinion? A portion of an original dance that survived, or the original dance itself?

    Thanks for taking the time, Joe,
  3. d nice

    d nice New Member

    When did Bal-Swing and Shag become popular in LA?

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