Swing Discussion Boards > What is the hollywood?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I found a reference to this dance on a swing web site. The best I could deduce is a swing-derived dance done in a slot. What the heck is the hollywood? Anybody know?
  2. lindy jihad

    lindy jihad New Member

    hollywood in 9 words:
    word used to make money off of a dance.

    i'm sure others will explain, but thats all i have to say.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Now I'm really confused. Huh? :? 8) :wink: :lol:
  4. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    I think it's referring to the Hollywood style of Lindy Hop. The original Lindy Hop of the 1930's began in NYC at the Savoy ballroom. Frankie Manning-also known as a "founding father" and "ambassador" of Lindy Hop grew up there. Thereby the Savoy style of Lindy which is more bouncy (Hop). The Hollywood style is a smooth style. I am no historian but I thought I read it originated later (1950's). I don't know every detail on each style but believe that what is taught, learned and practiced by most Lindy teachers and students is a combination of both. Personally, I dance a smooth style of Lindy - the "bouncy" version I find harder to emulate. More advanced dancers where I live do dance a bouncy version at times - it's all in the music - what the music calls for.
  5. lindy jihad

    lindy jihad New Member

    "hollywood" "style" is not old at all. its a term copyrited by eric and sylvia. i am totally drawing a blank on who they ripped it from.. Damon, you know this.

    the savoy you are thinking of is the PBDA savoy(atleast i think thats what you are thinking of).
    real savoy looks nothing like that at all.
  6. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    Copywrited? Geez! I'm yet to see the "R" next to every "Hollywood Style Lindy" print. I want to see that to believe it.

    Check out this swing dance commercial site -
    Looks to me like "Hollywood" style was the style danced in 1940's Hollywood (duh) movies (not strictly Erik/Sylvia domain)......have never watched these movies to check it out. Oh, and the "copywright", if any, on Erik and Sylvia's videos is nowhere to be found.

    I've been told Hollywood style is smoother than Savoy. That's what I know. It's all part of the "happy Lindy family".
  7. lindy jihad

    lindy jihad New Member

    meh, i wrote a big long reply.. but my computer ate it (#*&#@%&*@!!). i dont feel like writing it all again.
    i will summarize..
    hollywood is lame and boring to watch.

    maybe i will feel like writing everything else again after i throw my laptop out the window.
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Way to leave room for differences in personal tatses and preferences LJ. :lol:
  9. lindy jihad

    lindy jihad New Member

    hah, yeah. i'm good at doing that.
    well, i "danced" it back in the day.. i try to forget those times.
  10. jon

    jon Member

    Apparently it's practiced by dancers who don't care whether or not they're being watched, then. Which is a highly desirable category of dancers IMO.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol: You guys crack me up!

    I'm a little mixed up, here. Okay, so Hollywood style lindy is smooth, Savoy style is bouncy? :?:
  12. d nice

    d nice New Member


    Hollywood style lindy hop is a modern interpretation of Lindy Hop and Jitterbug from the mid to late forties into the early fifties.

    Erik and Sylvia were both Savoy Style dancers in the Los Angeles are, who began to get more into the local variation of swing dancing. As they met the dancers from these old Hollywood movies they began to learn how they danced the Lindy (the Hop was dropped out of it for different reasons depending on which old timer you ask) now. With some studying of old film clips Erik and Sylvia synthesized a new style which they dubbed Hollywood style (the term is actually trademarked for a clothing company, but its refence to dance is pure Erik and Sylvia so it is often times refered to as their "trademark", it is a matter of concept not law).

    Now there were a number of other people involved with various stages of the development of Hollywood style which more properly should be refer to as proto-west coast swing.

    The entire look was changed from the black aesthetic of the original lindy hop (which serious white dancers in the thirties held as well) to a very European aesthetic. It was no longer about aggressive grounded movement, deep rhythmic improvisation, and spiritual release, but about extended lines, smooth melodic movement, and more performance oriented.

    Actually it is pretty much the exact opposite.

    Now Hollywood style is a great dance style... I like it for the same reasons I like classic West Coast Swing (which it is a sibling with), but it satisfies a very different artistic need in me than lindy hop as a whole.

    Hollywood style should not be confused with L.A. style or Smooth style. Smooth style is used specifically to refer to the form of lindy hop Dean Collins danced and taught from the late forties on, the main proponents being Johnathon and Sylvia (Sykes not Skylar-Robison) for years. L.A. Style is the collective term for the vintage styles of Lindy hop danced in the forties, but includes moves and stylings of Hal and Betty Takier, Arthur Walsh, Dean Collins, Jean Veloz, and Jewel McGowen, just to name a few.

    As to what is taught most often today... thankfully most of the national level instructors tend to concentrate on just teaching lindy hop in general and don't start teaching specific styles until the students get a grip on the lead follow connection.

    Everyone should have their own personal style and if you teach newer students a stylistic interpretation to early they often end up striving to reproduce the teachers style rather than begin to develop their own.
  13. d nice

    d nice New Member

    As to bouncing... Lindy Hop is an athletic dance, and should be performed in an athletic manner. This requires you to be in a lowered athletic position the bounce used in the Lindy Hop is a downward grounding bounce. You flex your legs lowering your center and rise as you push out of the flower and travel, lowering yourself into your flexing leg as your full weight transfers on to the new leg.

    If you aren't bouncing you are not doing the Lindy Hop. There I said it.

    Now why don't a lot of lindy hoppers bounce if it is an integral part of the dance (and it is)... (for the record I'm not in anyway talking about dancegal, I don't know who she is so I could hardly be critiquing her dancing).

    The reason is because if you are not bouncing in sync with your partner and the music it becomes really obvious... it is actually one of the primary keys to ensuring you are in sync with your partner, but rather than fixing their timing most new dancers will repress the bouncing and try to be as smooth as possible... the problem is two-fold

    1. getting rid of the bouncing does not fix the timing problem... it hides it and instead apparently breeds dozens of "different" problems, all of which magically disappear when the dancer starts bouncing and corrects the timing issue.

    2. the human body has a natural rise and fall... there is a reason why the "Walking with a book on your head" is hard and must be practiced... it is contrary to body mechanics. When you jog their is a very obvious bounce, when you run there is a very strong but less obvious bounce... the amount of distance covered in a stride will make onces bounce under these conditions more or less visible but the body demands that it is always present for effeciency. Smooth and L.A. style Lindy Hop both use a bounce, but it is a more subtle one than is often associated with the Savoy and Harlem styles. The Smooth and LA styles keep the bounce mostly in the legs absorbing it so the head appears to stay relatively level. The Harlem and Savoy styles involve the waist in the boucne making the body and head movement a little more obvious.

    Having a smooth bounce is great and fine... just don't eliminate the bounce entirely. One of the compliments I get the most is about how smooth a dancer I am... I bounce like a jumping jack... but my lead is smooth, I move in time with my partner and the music and my moves blend well together the momentum of one feeding into the next... this is what gives the illusion of smoothness in regads to my body bouncing.
  14. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    Hmm - as I'm thinking of of this and doing a basic - I do bounce, but it is with the legs absorbing it. Right, if I wasn't bouncing and, as some call it, in the "sitting in a chair" position, then the dance would feel more like WCS (I learned WCS before taking Lindy). I think I can emulate my partner if he bounces more than me, but don't feel confident that I've reached that level of skill yet. I once took a "fast lindy" class and it did force me to bounce more (in order to survive :lol: , my! did I feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards - oh and did I sweat-I mean-"glow"), but it's not my favorite way to dance. I recall that when Sylvia Sykes came to GSW Lindyfest last year she taught mostly Balboa. The one Lindy class I took from her felt more like WCS than Lindy - but it was an enjoyable class. I hope to attend more Lindy classes from her (at next yr's Lindyfest).
  15. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    I now realize there is a "dancergal" out there - did not mean to nearly copy an existing name. I did not lurk around this forum long enough to notice this - I would have picked a different name if I had. Not ready to reinvent myself yet :) ...
  16. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Not to fret dancegal. :D ...dancergal is up in NorCal and you're over in Texas, so it's still fairly easy to keep you straight. :wink:
  17. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Sorry about that, Dancegal (no "r").

    What part of Texas do you live in?
  18. bgirlswinger

    bgirlswinger New Member

    d. nice,
    thank-you for the post. I for one feel liek I learned something and your post has helped me to understand what extactly what hollywood style is,
    -amber d.
  19. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    Hi bgirlswinger! I see that you joined quite some time ago but I haven't seen you around so welcome to the forums (or 'back to the forums' whatever the case may be).

    Yeah, d nice posts very informative stuff on a regular basis. I'd say it's worth going back into some of the old threads if you haven't already-- there are some real gems. I'll stop there... he's so humble that I'd hate to embarrass him ;)

    What kind of dancing do you do? From your login name I'm guessing swing and hip hop? how long have you been dancing?
  20. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    No problem! I really appreciate your insight. I guess this Hollywood vs. L.A. style vs. Smooth style is three different things after all.

    I'm from the Home of the Great Southwest Lindyfest :D

    d nice - what part of California are you from?

Share This Page