Bebop dancing


Well-Known Member
I'm still with my original question, though. Are the folks in these various clips doing the same dance? Or is be-bop a generic term (sort of like 6-ct swing) that includes a sub-family of swing dances? Or something else?
I have no idea what the be-bop is dance wise. But be-bop music it wasn't.

If someone had showed me the clip, and asked me what dance it was, I would have guessed WCS. But I'am not from the US, so I don't know WCS and it's characteristics too well. But the upright style, the lack of bouncing, the slottet movement patterns, dancing to non-swing music of different varieties.... it all says WCS to me. But since noone of you have suggested it, please tell me what makes this not WCS. (Btw: talking about the colour clips, not the b/w ones)

What makes these videos boring to watch for me, is the lack of musicality. They're not using the music, they're just going through predefined patterns. And it shows. It seems very uninspired. Also there seems to be a bit of arm overextension. (Keep those shoulders in place.)

I saw a comment about Boogie Woogie over here. Were I am dancing, Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop dancers mixes and matches. There are some differences when it comes to music preferences, but we all dance with each other. And Boogie Woogie dancers have lots of musicality and does a lot of improvisation too. BW has almost just as much freedom as LH do.


Active Member
@pygmalion - i have no clue - but the website seems to say so - and if I'm correct the same guy did the coreographies.

@flat shoes - i definetly have to come up to norway some time! boogies and lindys mix - that be cool. though i heard of a friend that in finnland it's the same. maybe one day I'll go to herrang and see what's going on there. - have you been to herrang?


New Member
I looked at this thread because I thought "bebop" might be a synonym of "ceroc" (generic term "modern jive", known under many different trade names in UK and Australia).

It's certainly not ceroc (as I know it). But somebody mentioned a French connection, and ceroc is derived from French rock/jive, so that may be the answer.

As to whether the clips were all of the same dance, if they had been ceroc, then they would have been all of the same dance (everything -- both good and bad -- shown in all those clips can be found in ceroc), so it's quite possible they are all the same dance.

The reason some of those clips look like wcs is because they are.

My guess is despite the search for bebop, none of those actually are.

Bebop was an actual dance form, not a blanket term. It can be found on the Spirit Moves video clips:

Part II moves to bebop, mambo at the Palladium Ballroom, and Afro-Cuban dances as filtered through Harlem. Bebop is the most arresting (Scobie Strohman the most striking dancer) because of its dark and mysterious humor, the austere, inward focus of the dancers, the way movements and tempos fracture expectations. You've got to lean forward to catch this dance. In a typical bop gesture, the hand shoots out, grabs a hunk of air, then snakes it back to the chest. Shoulders bunch. Heads tilt in odd directions, but never face directly forward. Bebop is the true parent of the electric boogie, filled with the same pantomimic scenarios. A guy gets shot or stabbed. The dancers play ball, toss invisible objects in the air, then slide to catch them. Ever indirect, they skate around the stage on greased shoes, pulling up, sliding down, doing a fast little forward-backward skip-step that takes them nowhere.
I think Bebop as a dance form is going through a major decline much as Lindy went through in the 70s...people just don't do it and it's an art form that's being lost. People just don't know what it means anymore. Doing a google search of course turns up a lot of music related links. But I did find that there seems to be some sort of Bebop classes/society in Japan. I can't read the sites since their not in English or have much text, so they could be using it as a blanket term as well. Other searches link it to tap dancers, so I would assume it had some great footwork.
Also found this if anyone can get their hands on the clip:

Directed by Bill Hancock this film records the Bebop dance style and life of one of the greatest old tap dancers Baby Laurence, who led tap into its last creative phase. In addition to performances of his unique style, we are also treated to a vivid histoy
JAZZ HOOFER: BABY LAURENCE (seems to be only available, if at all, on VHS)
I only watched the electrotango clip, but I agree with FlatShoes: the dancing is dry, uninspired, unmusical, and boring. Looked like they were going through some WCS patterns, which were finely executed, but looked way out of place. When I dance to music from that album, I (a) try to throw in actual tango into my lindy and (b) travel all over the floor. Here, the guy just stays in one spot more or less and it just doesn't fit the flow or the energy of the music.

Dance Ads