Swing Discussion Boards > Lindy Hop vs. Other Swing Styles

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Spitfire, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    I'm new here first of all. Hello to everyone here.

    I've been dancing for quite some time now in both ballroom and swing, but it's only recently that I have discovered something; there seems to be two different worlds between Lindy Hop and swing dancing as it is done in the ballroom environment.

    What I'm getting from the hard core lindy hoppers is that their dance is the only real swing and what is taught and done in the studios - East Coast, West Coast, single time is not real swing and with some hostility and ridiculing on their part.

    Wondered what comments there are on this.
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    The "real swing" is whatever people want to dance. Even within Lindy Hop there is an East Coast style and a West Coast style, not to mention Collegiate Shag. I think Lindy Hop fits more into the Vintage Dancing category, while East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing are the popular dances of today. Maybe some Lindy Hoppers feel threatened by this and therefore seem a little smug when others around them are dancing East Coast Swing to Glenn Miller.

    In general, it is important for dancers to share with one another and dance "outside the box" sometimes, as well as meet new people. Having such a strategy with Lindy Hop will only help Lindy Hoppers. :wink:

    BTW, I was among the first to do Lindy Hop in Atlanta (since the resurgence of Swing). We brought Angie and Roddie from New York back in 1998. I really had a great time working with these fine people.
  3. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    That's another thing; it seems like they will only dance to vintage music or "swing" music by bands such as Indigo Swing and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Many of them anyway.

    Interestingly every swing dance that I've attended is given by a Lindy group, but the group classes just before the dance are not Lindy; they are either ECS or single time and the people who go to these dances bring it all - ECS, WCS, Single time and not just lindy.
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I never thought of it that way, but you're right! Even when you go to a Lindy function, the basic class is always ECS, not Lindy.

    I think Lindy has a higher learning curve and the result is that less people end up learning how to do it. When swing was big a few years ago, erverybody was doing, "Side, Side, Rock Step". It was simple and worked beautifully, and everybody could do it. The Lindy showed up...

    Now there are far fewer places to dance and the Lindy Hoppers dominate. The simple and beautiful "Side, Side, Rock Step" is not as common and there aren't as many new people showing up to the dances.

    What is a swing dancer to do?
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

  6. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    My main concern is that people behave in a way that promotes swing dancing to beginners and includes them in what's going on. Sometimes there are people more interested in promoting themselves, but I guess you find that anywhere. I just think it's important for a swing community to have some sort of outreach program that helps to make swing fun for the beginner.
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    East Coast Swing

    Not only is ECS the smoothest, in my opinion, of the swing dances it is the smoothest of all dances which is why it is my no. 1 favorite dance. :D
  8. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Hollywood Lindy is a pretty smooth dance, also. It combines elements of East Caost Swing and West Coast Swing. I like the styling of some of the moves such as the throw out (or send out). I like to use the styling from Hollywood's throw out when I dance East Coast.

    Also, even East Coast has 8 count moves in Silver. Once again, the Whip with Freeze from Hollywood can be an attractive step to use in East Coast.
  9. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    What is the Freeze? :?
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Here is a picture of the Freeze (there may be another name):
    I found this picture at ballroomdancers.com.
  11. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Something further to add here...

    Something further to add here...

    There is much "ballroom bashing" that comes from certain Lindy and WCS groups and perhaps maybe some other single dance only groups. :eek:

    They often seem to convey this sense of superiority that they have about their dance and themselves over those in the ballroom world. :x

    FWIW - I think we do make up the majority of the dance community.

    But regardless of anything else there is in my experience one advantage with the ballroom venues as opposed to many, but not all of these single dance only groups and that is a warmer, friendlier and more welcoming atmosphere. :wink:
  12. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think "superiority" is a sign the people actually feel uncomfortable with themselves. If they are good dancers and respect other dancer's styles, there is every reason to show good cheer to everyone.

    I almost have to laugh when I see people trying too hard with a defensive look on their face. I mean, why do we dance anyway? Is it maybe because we enjoy it? I know I do.
  13. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Without a doubt... :)

    Just because a certain dance takes more time and effort to learn then another does not make it superior nor does it make the practitioner a superior dancer.

    Some people feel they need that to give them a feeling of outdoing another out of insecurity. :roll:
  14. Liz076

    Liz076 New Member

    Popularizing EC and Lindy

    Okay, I think this is a very interesting subject. Around my area, swing is not a popular dance. People prefer the "booty-shakin" to P-diddy and Nelly, but I think it's attributed to their lack of knowledge, availability and possibly the complexity. I can't count how many times I tell people I like to swing dance and the first reaction I get is, "People still do that?"
    So, we started a "swing club" at my college and hold dances every once in a while. We have a lot of people show up, but no "swing-lifers" if you know what I mean. There aren't any local venues and not many people do it around here.
    I taught a class a few weeks ago and we just went over the east coast single step. I found out quickly that if it was a struggle to learn, they would quickly lose interest and leave. So I wouldn't dare try to teach lindy. If they get hooked on the single step EC, then you bring them up to the triple step, and then, LINDY!! :lol: That's how I've gotten most of my friends hooked.
    As a teacher I tried to be as open minded and available as possible to my students. I would inform them of other venues they could attend in the state and offer up as many options as possible for lessons and exposure.
    It's difficult, but popularizing swing dance is possible. (just on a small scale!!
    :lol: )
  15. Liz076

    Liz076 New Member

    Back to the point:
    Oh yah, (sorry, I digressed) when I attend functions that have people that actually know what they're doing, I indeed feel some sort of superiority coming from others when in the environment. I just take it as people I need to talk to in order to learn more. They give off that vibe, but in reality, they're mushy teddy bears!! :lol:
  16. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Re: Popularizing EC and Lindy

    I hope your scene grows Liz. I applaud you for your effort.

    As I mentioned previously I attend a monthly swing dance given by the local Lindy Hoppers, but all forms of swing are done there ECS, WCS and Lindy Hop and if there's such a thing as North Coast and South Coast Swing, well, I guess they bring that too - lol. From what I've experienced the pure Lindy Hoppers here don't seem to have any problem with that and are a friendly group, some of the follows from their group even ask me to dance - knowing fully well that I'm going to do ECS. It does seem though that in other localities that people are not as open to anything outside of Lindy Hop and come across as rude, cold and arrogant. The WCS group here in town is this way.
  17. d nice

    d nice New Member

    A lot of people who mostly socialize within one setting with one group of people tend to be derisive of outside groups, have a sense of superiority, and often a mistaken impression of the knowledge and ability of the other groups.

    I will say straight up I have seen far more snobbery and snubbing in some ballroom dances than I have at some lindy dances.

    As to lindy hop being the only real swing... well the impression that some give tends to be based on the lack of Swing music and in many cases even swinging music. Hard to say a dance is a swing dance if neither the dance nor the music swings. A lot of lindy hoppers view the pop music that is fashionable in wcs as crap.

    There are definitely East coasters and Weast Coasters that dance to swinging music some to Swing music... but for the most part they really aren't in the majority in my personal experience. Some local scenes thrive on it, but the conventions and competitions tend to be a good indicator of current trends across the nation.

    Six count swing is not by definition ECS. The method of body movement and footwork will dictate whether it is ECS, WCS, Shag (colligiate or Carolia) etc.

    edited to show where the word crap was used
  18. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Re: East Coast Swing

    ECS is not the smoothest of all dances. A few ECS dancers you know may be particularly smooth when you compare them to other dancers you know.

    The skill of the dancer will generally have more to do with the "smoothness" of the dance, rather than the dance. I've seen PLENTY of horribly bouncy (to the point of being called "jumpy") East Coast Swingers, and seen some unbelievably smooth Colligiate Shag dancers.
  19. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    And what's funny is when you see people who were part of snobby group last year have joined the very group they shunned last year. I think people tend to form protective barriers emotionally to help them feel better about their limited knowledge. But often as they become more comfortable and knowledgeable, they also become more open to other dancers and styles. I think it's important to continue to be open with these type of people, thereby promoting an openness that they may make part of their personality later.
  20. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    The Freeze

    The Freeze first was first viewed in the 1943 film, 'Groovie Movie' or 'Swing Fever', and was performed by Jean Phelps Veloz who told me the lady who originated that move was her life time friend Irene Thomas. Jean drove me up to Ojai, some 80 miles from L. A. where I met Irene in 2002, and my visit was very productive for my research project on Lindy styles of the past. In a future post I may tell about that pretty historical revealing experience.

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