Swing Discussion Boards > What is the Flying Lindy?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by DanceMentor, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Okay, so you've got the Lindy Hop, and Hollywood-style Lindy and Savoy-style Lindy. How did people coin the term "Flying Lindy"?
  2. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Flyingg Lindy Hop

    Good question. Last time I heard the word used was in the 1930's in Brooklyn when that was the common name for a fast kind of wild style of Savoy Lindy. I see semblances of it every now and then, Three dancers that come to mind are Brian Lee, Jeremy Oath, and Marshall Watson, three of our top ten WCS dancers. As far as I remember, it was a man's style of Swing dancing like the 'Freeze' is a lady's move or the hip twisting used by ladies..
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    BlackSheep stirred the "brainwaves." I recall my Mom talking about the "Flying Lindy," and she is from Brooklyn and that era - late 30's early 40's. I can't ask her though . . . she's "Jitterbugging on that big dance floor in the sky!"

    So, I think BlackSheep has pin-pointed the location of origin???

    Some further research??? Maybe, yes???
  4. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Hollywood and Savoy are simply styles of lindy hop. The Flying Lindy has been said to be a different but related dance to the Lindy hop, a footwork variation to uptempo music, as well as simply a name used when you are doing any form of energetic Lindy Hop.

    The Flying Lindy I learned in the late 90's from Martin Parker, it is a slotted version of the lindy hop swing out, sort of a fast eight count proto-West Coast Swing.

    Leaders : Skip (L), skip (R), double skip (L)(L), skip (R), skip(L), double skip (R)(R) is the base footwork.

    The followers reverse Left and Right above.

    Breaking the dance down in writing is difficult. The skips are small kick-like motions with a small hop (just like when you were a kid). So a Left skip is a small "kick" with the left foot and a small "hop" on the right. On the double skips the "kicking" foot remains in the air between the two. The timing is the skip on the whole count the weight change after (depends on the music being played where in the space the weight change takes place).
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Is there still a rock step of sorts?

    Otherwise, it seems like you are kind of replacing the triples with something faster. I've also heard of replacing the triples with singles when the music is really fast, but I'm not sure if you would call this Flying Lindy.
  6. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Origin of the name!

    The origin of the name, 'The Flying Lindy Hop was in honor of Charles Lindbergh's firs airplane flight across the Atlantic on May 22, 1927. I never knew what they called the Lindy before 1927, but Frankie Manning aught to know.
    Although I was a wallflower until 1949, I was president of a teenage Social Cellar Club for two years where I saw and tried to learn the Lindy without success, and my Bear Trap memory still holds the visualization of those moves.
    And D'nice I don't want to question your teacher, Martin Parker's rendition of the Flying Lindy in the 1990's, but Lindy dancers never skipped unless the were playing hop scotch. Lindy dancers of the 1930's and into the 1950's prided themselves with ultra smooth dance moves above all styling pointers. If Martin Parker is still alive, D'nice, I'd ask for my money back!
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  7. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Martin Parker was a student of Dean collins... Dean taught Martin. Hal Takier also does the flying lindy... with "skips".
  8. d nice

    d nice New Member

    There are lots of styles of lindy hop, some of them are quite "bouncey". The moves are lead smoothly of course as they should be, but smooth as in "gliding" type of effect is but a very narrow branch on the Lindy Hop style tree.

    Not to mention skips that involve a great deal of momentum and revolve tend to be rather flat: long on the horizontal plane and low on the vertical the vertical plane.

    Dance Mentor: switching to single steps and kicks is not necessarily the Flying Lindy. There are many ways to adjust one's Lindy Hop at faster tempos without using the dynamic or aesthetic done in the Flying Lindy.
  9. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    eighht count Flying Lindy?

    Flying Lidy buffs,
    The Flying Lindy Hop (FLH) was a term used from 1927 to post WW II years in New York City. I never heard the term Flying Lindy used on the West Coast in tyhe 1950's and I met and danced with a lot of dancers that claimed they took lessons from Dean Collins, who usually apologized to me about their poor dancing. Although Dean was my Lindy Mentor since 1955 until a year before his death, I never heard him use the Term Flying Lindy, and Dean taught me everything he knew about swing not only by demonstration but observing him teaching in my studio for two years and taking classes from him in 1980 . Dean had a strange history; he came out top L.A. from New Jersey in 1932 or so and danced the Chain Studio Swing, so Flying Lindy probably wasn't even in his vocabulary, because only New Yorkers used the term FLH. During WWII I faked my Lindy dancing all over the country and never heard the term FLH.
    There is another factor in Martin Parker's rendition of the FLH that belies his claim to knowing and teaching you the Flying Lindy, and that term that you use in your description above has 'EIGHT counts'; the term 'Eight' count Swing/ Lindy only came into vogue in the mid 1980's and Dean was already gone by then. And so how does Martin claim that Dean taught him an eight county Flying Lindy. Your theory is full of holes, not your fault D'nice, I was taken in by so called former Dean students until I saw them dance. I don't doubt that they might have taken a few lessons from Dean, but that definitely does not qualify them as an authority on Dean's dance techniques of the 1950's which were very different from his Chain Studio Swim of the 1940's. Hal Trakier did about every trick aerial existing in the 1940's and I know the man has integrity and he is honest about everything in his career. I've seen him dance in 1940's videos and up until a year ago. When you accuse Hal of hopping, you do him an injustice, Hal was then and is today, one very smooth dancer.
    So the bottom line is: The term FLH was NEVER used in any form of Lindy before the Mid 1980's, unless it was used by a choreographer who needed a guide for his chorus of dancers to follow or by some teacher from Shamokin, USA.
    D'nice I respect your knowledge, and your view points are just as valid as anyone else's including mine.
    I hope these pearls I've shared with you are not lost or taken as criticisms.
    After all, I was personally there in New York City up until 1946 and in Hollywood in the 1950's with the largest student body of ballroom dancers in Greater L.A.
    No one expects you to doubt that your teacher took some lessons from Dean Collins.
    One last bit of history: If Dean Collins taught all the people who claimed he did, Dean would have died a wealthy man.
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  10. d nice

    d nice New Member


    What a surprise.

    I'm glad that at this point there is more than enough information already on this board that I don't have to go and pick this post of yours apart piece by piece.

    What I will say is that anyone who actually wants to see authentic lindy hop should check out the various films with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. If you are interested I can give you list of various films and documentries that contain clips of the dance. Once you see any one of these you'll understand and agree with my view of lindy hop. Guarantied.
  11. d nice

    d nice New Member

    It is possible I got Martin's credentials wrong. If you say he wasn't a student you can check Martin's credentials by talking to him. He operates a school in Costa Mesa. 2980 A & B McClintock Way Costa Mesa, CA. 92626 SW corner of Fairview & Baker 714-641-8688. I'm sure he'd happily answer any questions you may have.
  12. d nice

    d nice New Member

    So I've posted tons of verifiable resources that support my view on Lindy Hop... Joe why don't you cite some verifiable evidence that supports your point of view.
  13. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    The Hop in 'Lindy Hop'

    Check my Credentials,
    I finally figured out why someone thinks that the Flying Lindy was a hopping dance. The word 'Hop in Lindy Hop refers to Charles Lindburgh 'Hop' over the Atlantic.
    And if someone doing the Lindy is 'Hopping' all over the place then they are just not accomplished smooth dancers. But the "Hop' in Lindy does not describe the dance style, it just describes Lindburgh's 'Hop' over the Atlantic.
    As for naming names to verify my facts, the primary source is always the most authentic and reliable. And as for the Swing Scene in the 1950's in Hollywood, the primary source was, is and will continue to be the man who lived and earned his bread from 1949 until 1963 as a professional dancer, was 'JOE LANZA'. And you can't find a better 'PRIMARY SOURCE' for that place and era.
    One more misquote by the Champion misQuoter:
    I did not say Martin Parker never took lessons from Dean Collins; What I said was:

    1) "There is another factor in Martin Parker's rendition of the FLH that belies his claim to knowing and teaching you the Flying Lindy, and that is the term that you use in your description above which has 'EIGHT counts'; the term 'Eight' count Swing/ Lindy only came into vogue in the mid 1980's and Dean was already gone by then. And so how does Martin claim that Dean taught him an 'Eight Count' Flying Lindy. Your theory is full of holes, not your fault D'nice. I was taken in by so called former Dean students until I saw them dance."
    2) "I don't doubt that they might have taken a few lessons from Dean, but that definitely does not qualify them as an authority on Dean's dance techniques of the 1950's".
    How in heavens do you manage to mis-read, misunderstand, misquote and misconstrue so often without ever thinking of apologizing.
    Although, Martin Parker's rendition of the Flying Lindy Skip, I mean Hop, is not the Flying Lindy that I recall, the skipping, hopping breakdown that you described sounds like you have a new novelty dance like Chubby Checker's, 'The Twist'. If you video your new 'Skipping-Hopping' dance, I'll write a song for it and I'll be the first to order a copy. But we have to think of a commercial new name! Any suggestions out there?
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor.
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Joe you are not a primary source. What you says is completely at odds what the living legends of Lindy Hop say. It is completely at odds with all film footage of the dance. You provide no verifiable evidence to support your claims at all. None. When questioned you respond with something along the lines of I was there.

    Sorry not good enough when dozens of people, with direct roots to the dance as done in Harlem in the Depression, directly contradict your statements. THEY are primary sources.
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Origin of the name!

    Joe, what are your views on these clips? Anyone else also, would this Lindy Hop be considered to have "hop" in it? (short, with quick download) (long, with big download)

    These are from the Harvest Moon Championships which ran for 40 years and was one of the most recognized major competitions for Lindy Hop and other dances (Rock n Roll, Hustle, Waltz, etc.)
    A HM website: http://www.savoyballroom.com/exp/notforgotten/hmbpre.htm

    There is a fair amount of video available from the 30's to 50's, some choreographed, some social and some competitions. From those alone, not including testimonials from those around before the 1950's, the 50's dancers did pride themselves on ultra-smooth style. However, there were differences between them and those before that time span. Do you have any favorite videos from before the 1950's?

  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: eighht count Flying Lindy?

    Actually, there is a video of Dean talking about the Flying Lindy Hop.

    Fast forward to minute 3:33

    Hal Takier, who Dean says in that video is doing "Flying Lindy", is doing a primarily 8-count based pattern -- This was shot in 1982.

    Related note, Dean Collins in this clip (minute 2:20) is shown dancing Lindy Hop in an 8-count basic pattern. This is a non-choreograph dance. If anyone would like footage of earlier work Dean did on film with 8-count basics I can give some links as well, although perhaps another thread is best.

  17. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Clearly the majority of the film footage before WW2 shows people dancing 8 count lindy circles. We've established this on many threads. If we are going to continue to discuss this issue we need some hard facts like films we can watch or direct quotes from other dancers of the period. That is NOT asking too much.

    On the other hand, it's quite interesting you brought up the idea of Flying Lindy. I'm sure many people will watch the clips funkyfreak provided and learn more about this phenemenon.

    It's OK to argue by providing evidence, which may include things like, "I experienced this myself", "take a look at this quote from Frankie Manning", or "take a look at this film footage".

    It is NOT OK to say, "One more misquote by the Champion misQuoter".

    Is it possible there was a bigger thrust toward six-count post-1950? Could that be where much of the confusion lies?
  18. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Yes. When you talk about your own experiences you need to remember that you are a single person. Your experiences as important as they are only reflect a small amount of what was going on even within your city. It is important not to assume that you personal experiences are representative of anything more than your experiences.

    I've talked about this in a couple of posts. The simplification of the music led to numerous changes in the dance. While some continued to refer to their dance by the name of that which it had morphed out of, it was most obviousely not the same dance.
  19. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Re: eighht count Flying Lindy?

    Great "find" funkyfreak...sort of cleans up the whole mess in a few minutes flat, now doesn't it?
  20. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Exhibition dancing!

    Excellent questions.
    I can only speak for myself and the dancers I trained or close dance friend, that dancing smoothly is not only difficult to develop, but aesthetically and euphorically creates a mood of effortless perpetual motion. The dance is an uninterrupted exhilarating experience shared with your partner.
    Let me illustrate a revelation that started me on the Project of developing the Magic Pill with a story:
    In the summer of 2000, I was standing on the sidelines watching some 1,000 dancers Swing dancing on the Satin Ballroom floor. Michael Pierceall standing along side of me asked, "Joe, what is the difference between these dancers and the dancers in your day?" It took me only a second to reply, "When I look out on this crowd of dancers, I see a lot of turbulence like choppy waters on an angry ocean. In the 1950's the crowd of dancers would be moving in soft smooth waves on a calm ocean." Three years ago, I used different words, but essentially the meaning was the same.
    No matter what style of dancing you do be it WCS, ECS, Flamenco, Ballet or Salsa, if you can't move agile and smoothly with good body coordination, no matter how many tricky Swing combinations you can do, you can't be considered a good dancer. Min Vo is a smooth dancer and a model of the smooth style we used to practice ad nausea. I remember spending more hours on how to transfer my body weight smoothly than learning any number of dance combinations. One of or favorite practices was dancing or walking with a book balanced on our heads.
    Is dancing smoothly worth all that practice time? It develops legs, coordination, and improves posture and a sense of balance, all faculties used in dancing or any physical activity be it tennis or Gymnastics.
    As for Exhibition dancing in films, dancers are encouraged to exaggerate and clown it up. You can't always imitate what you see on the screen and assume that's how people dance socially. However, I personally never danced differently whether on or off the film shooting set. What you see me do in movies is how I danced elsewhere.
    As for my favorite films: Besides 'Hell's A poppin' I think some of the best Swing dancing is on, 'Don't Knock the Rock', but there are only six couples that made the dance auditions, the rest are Movie extras doing some basic moves. If you can get a copy of, 'Cha Cha Cha Boom' Columbia Pictures 1957, you will see a variety of good Latin dancing. I have never seen the film myself, but the first three couples who were picked at the audition were students from my Hollywood Dance Club.
    I might add that Swing movies of the 1940's were strictly WCS dancing. The films of the 1950's that I worked on had Lindy or Street Swing Dancers, but out of the 30 or so dancers, maybe three or four couples at the most danced the Savoy Style Lindy whiuch is closest to ECS in style. The couple dancing on the piano are protégées of Dean Collins who taught them at my studio for over a year.Gill Brady and Niklki Faustino were Dean's best products.
    I don't consider myself a Dean Collins' product because I already had been dancing professionally for five years. What I did learn from Dean were the Savoy Lindy techniques which improved my Swing tremendously. But I am not one of those who claim, Dean Collins taught me how to dance!
    Black Sheep, your friendly instructor

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