Differences between Swing and Lindy?

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#41
But I've seen Bal-Swing and Pure-Bal. Hear them regularly refered to as such. Danced them both. And learned in a school gym and living rooms. From two people who can definitly be considered in the top tier of Bal dancers - yet they're based out hear on the Atlantic. One of the best events for Bal takes place in the Midwest.



I said I didnt know where--- not that there wasnt .



As Finally, as for studios making or breaking a dance - I don't believe it. People learned from each other, stealing moves or asking for help.


here we part company-- of course people learn from each other ( usually turns out to be a mess -- i know -- have taught many of those types )-- do they need lessons ? of course not-- would they help-- probably-- and can you deny, that ( if your old enough ) that tv programs like the A/M show DIDNT bring in thousands of people?--- we are having the same effect now with Salsa and B/room due to TV and movie exposure -- how can you possibly deny the effect of advertising on the masses ?



Dances wax and wane in popularity, the ballroom studios have nothing to do with that. It was popular without the studios, and the waning was due to the music changing, when studios happened to be teaching ECS, and not the Lindy Hop we know today.


Thats opinion-- you are isolating 1 dance-- many dances from the past have INCREASED in popularity-- and some have disappeared--- and of course we cannot control the likes and dislikes of any genre of dance .




Popular to what extent ? world wide ? most decidely not .You seem to give way too much credit, and little if any, to all of the other possibilties .


What I see coming out of the studios are a handful of people who learn some basic steps and go out dancing a few times.



But thats true in all forms of educatiion-- its the continuous VOLUME that counts, which is a hellava lot more than a handful over the many yrs .



From there most stop learning - a few desire to learn more and find other, more reputable, resources to improve from.

No argument with that -- but I believe your overall hypothosis is flawed .

Lastly-- do you have ANY conception of the numbers of people taking dance lessons WORLD wide on a weekly basis ?-- the figures are staggering . Salsa alone, is light yrs beyond "those " whom you quote, are looking to other sources .
 
#42
Thats opinion-- you are isolating 1 dance-- many dances from the past have INCREASED in popularity-- and some have disappeared--- and of course we cannot control the likes and dislikes of any genre of dance .
I'm sorry, I must have gotten lost, I thought this was the SWING section of the forum - therefore perfectly ok to isolate one dance and it's relation to a studio. When it comes to swinging - ballroom studios never were the be-all-end-all of knowledge. The really knowledge came elsewhere, from the people who created and lived it - in this case some of whom are still alive. And they never will - being structured around a set series of steps doesn't work for a dance that is based on improvisation and has a wealth of accessable history. Which is why swing programs regularly struggle at studios, the personality of the dance is not suited for the structure of a ballroom studio.

Therefor it's a rather moot point to be discussing the influence of dance studios in a discussion of whether or not Balboa swings and what differentiates various forms of swing.

here we part company-- of course people learn from each other ( usually turns out to be a mess -- i know -- have taught many of those types )-- do they need lessons ? of course not-- would they help-- probably-- and can you deny, that ( if your old enough ) that tv programs like the A/M show DIDNT bring in thousands of people?--- we are having the same effect now with Salsa and B/room due to TV and movie exposure -- how can you possibly deny the effect of advertising on the masses ?
And there are equally disasterous results coming from the studios. A teacher training program isn't exactly high credentials for being able to dance. In fact, in terms of swing dancing most of the information being taught by ballroom professionals is incorrect.

Sure ballroom studios numbers may be increasing thanks to TV shows, but talk to most professional dancers and they are dismayed with the representation of said dances (all, not isolating here) on these shows as a result, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation that is perpetuated by Suzy "I went through a three month teachers training program" Instructor.

You find it in anything. I can sign up for at a Tai Chi class and it's being taught by someone who studied for a year or two who now feels qualified to teach. And as a result people get hurt because the "knowledgable" instructor doesn't fully understand why we must move in a specific way. Or I can do a ton of research and find someone who has devoted their life to the practice and isn't affiliated with a school - but at least I'm learning it correctly.

Also, VOLUME isn't what counts. I can send a lot of people out to get a school, but that doesn't mean they come out educated. Additionally, those who've kept swing alive over the years weren't the ballrooms. They may have had ECS and Ballroom Jive, but those hardly swing and are a small, misrepresentative portion of the entire swing community.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#43
I'm sorry, I must have gotten lost, I thought this was the SWING section of the forum -


I do believe you were the one who stated dances come and go ?-- i was responding to that !

And there are equally disasterous results coming from the studios. A teacher training program isn't exactly high credentials for being able to dance. In fact, in terms of swing dancing most of the information being taught by ballroom professionals is incorrect.


Thats a matter of opinion ( credentials ) it depends on many factors-- of course its not supposed to make YOU a great dancer-- but others .





Sure ballroom studios numbers may be increasing thanks to TV shows, but talk to most professional dancers and they are dismayed with the representation of said dances (all, not isolating here) on these shows as a result, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation that is perpetuated by Suzy "I went through a three month teachers training program" Instructor.




I head that list !!-- but that was not the thrust of my comment -- and the US is unique in its approach to dance training ( i know, I worked the sysytem for over 40 yrs ) the rest of the " dance " world has an entirely different approach so we need to get away from parochial viewpoints .



You find it in anything. I can sign up for at a Tai Chi class and it's being taught by someone who studied for a year or two who now feels qualified to teach. And as a result people get hurt because the "knowledgable" instructor doesn't fully understand why we must move in a specific way.





We are in complete agreement on this issue-- something i have champione dagainst for many yrs .



Also, VOLUME isn't what counts. I can send a lot of people out to get a school, but that doesn't mean they come out educated. Additionally, those who've kept swing alive over the years weren't the ballrooms. They may have had ECS and Ballroom Jive, but those hardly swing and are a small, misrepresentative portion of the entire swing community.
it does in the context in which I placed it against your claim -- and no one said that any dance school turns out perfect products of their teaching skills- with certain exceptions .


From the tone of your post-- it would seem that you have had a bad experience within the " B/room " community -- if this is not the case-- then on what are you basing your posit ?
 
#44
I guess I was in shock !!! :rolleyes:
What???? I don't get it. Go re-read leftfeetnyc's post regarding the early days of bal and the fact that what we call bal-swing was originally simply called swing. And that was way back in the day (30's).

With respect to my credentials, balboa (and bal-swing if you want to be picky) is one of my two primary dances (the other being tango). I have danced bal intensively for nearly 10 years, competed nationally (no, I am not and have never been Cali Bal champions - but I do know and dance with them), and am personal friends with a number of the living bal old-timers, and have listened to their stories and reminiscences. Trust me, if your Balboa does not swing, then I don't know what you are dancing (*****), but it certainly ain't Balboa.

And to expand on Damon's post regarding the terminology, in the circles that I move in, both bal and balboa are used essentially interchangeably to refer to "bal-swing". Balboa dancers nearly always say "pure bal" when they mean the closed form of the dance.

Originally Posted by tangotime

I doubt if very few outside of S.Calif. has ever seen a " classical " balboa style performed
 
#45
Let's not be shallow, or are you just kidding? Of course, these things happened, and my comment stands. Since we were generally not there, all of history is subjected to the understanding/s and translation/s of the teller/s. All I meant was/is that we are never fully aware of all of the factual whats and whys.
No need for the hyperbole. You could have said instead something 100% factual like, "While we know how and when certain things have happened, the why is often harder to trace. When dealing with vernacular dance things become even more muddy."

Artie Shaw, Count Basie, and Cab Calloway, who were all personal friends of mine and my family.
Considering none of them were central at the beginning of the development of Swing I think I'll stick with things said by Louis Armstrong, Fletcher and Horace Henderson, and Don Redman who were.
 
#46
You can find amazing salsa dancers who have never stepped into a ballroom. They are in clubs all over the US, and Latin-American countries. Salsa could get dropped by the ballroom community today, and ten years by now it will still be danced and developing and growing in these same places.

Lindy Hop never died. The Jiving Lindy Hoppers out of the UK, The Rhythm Hot Shots out of Sweden, and Steven Mitchell and Erin Stevens all traveled to NYC and easily found a score of old timers still dancing, and not just "average" dancers but also a collection of the Savoy's finest. In L.A. you had the same thing with both Lindy op and Balboa and Swing, old-timers dancing still. And mixed in with all of these older dancers were middle aged and 20-somethings.

Ballroom has certainly "popularize" specific dances amongst those who may not have otherwise wondered into a club, and discovered the specific dance, but the ballroom community is not the best place to learn a "street" dance and is easily among the worst.
 
#47
I'd have to as where they were from and when this was done. I mean balboa was all over the West Coast as far up as Seattle back in the day, though it was certainly centered in the San Diego, L.A. area. There are thriving Balboa communities in every region in the US, and I'm surprised that there is any avid lindy hopper who has not at least seen Balboa.
My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't consider anyone a "great" swing dancer if they aren't at least mildly proficient in Balboa.
 
#48
Well, I travelled and coached all over the U.S. from the late fifties thru the early 2000-- exactly where are all these thriving communities ?-- and are they really doing balboa ?.
All over the place, and yes, they're really doing Balboa. In 2001 (or around there), I went to a great Balboa workshop in. . . Pocatello, Idaho. Taught by Joel Plys, one of the then (and now) great Balboa dancers in this country. To this day, I consider it one of the best workshops I've ever been a student in, largely because of the skill level of the rest of the people in the workshop. In the middle of Idaho, which is basically the middle of nowhere.

And if you traveled and coached all over the US in ballroom circles, then yes, you would have missed thriving communities of all sorts of forms of dance.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#50
You can find amazing salsa dancers who have never stepped into a ballroom. They are in clubs all over the US, and Latin-American countries. Salsa could get dropped by the ballroom community today, and ten years by now it will still be danced and developing and growing in these same places.

.
Now youre really in my ballpark-- have spent time in many latin countries from Brazil thru Peru ( not all hot beds of salsa )-- I have taught more latinos ( salsa )than you can ever imagine-- have a clue for you-- majority dont have a clue !.
Danced in latin clubs 7 nites a week yr in and yr out for many yrs, in a highly latino populated area ( cubans and PR )so this is empirical .
The B/room set,by and large, i will agree, do not adapt to the street style salsa ( which I teach ) and thats ok.

But-- the genre has been influenced beyond recognition in its variety, primarily coming from the b/room world .The whole danced is premised on a b/room version of Danzon/ Bolero-- both used as templates for Mambo morphing into Salsa

Of course you may find great dancers in any set up-- but they are in the minority ( depends on your definition of great ) Not many frankie martinez types around--

The other side of that coin-- if it were not for the millions world wide who are NOT latino-- the industry would suffer irreparably from a financial standpoint .
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#51
No need for the hyperbole. You could have said instead something 100% factual like, "While we know how and when certain things have happened, the why is often harder to trace. When dealing with vernacular dance things become even more muddy."
That says it nicely.

Considering none of them were central at the beginning of the development of Swing I think I'll stick with things said by Louis Armstrong, Fletcher and Horace Henderson, and Don Redman who were.
:confused: You are entitled, however, these guys were among the leaders of the swing era. They are the players in the "swing" bands of which I was referring. Yet, we are all allowed our preferences, and is why the above first quote/response is true.
 
#52
Louis Armstrong, Fletcher and Horace Henderson, and Don Redman were the creators of the Swing era, not just players...

And while this may have been why you said what you said, it is not any more valid. This is people with different perspectives disagreeing on things, all statements removed from the context. If I ran into a break dancer who told me that break dancing was named that because the dancers sometimes ran into stuff and hurt themselves in the early days and it was something they had been told by an older breakdancer form the 80's I'd still have to question the statement... because while their source was a breakdancer during the height of the dance... they were not one of the originators. When the original dancers and dj's say it was because they danced to the break beats at the first hip-hop parties in the Burroughs of NYC, I'm going to have to go with those statements by those who were there... not those who came after it was popular.

IOW, history and "his-story" are not the same thing. Historians make clear distinctions when something is verifiable and when something is supposition. When something is a theory presented by a historical figure, and something is verifiable by those who did the deed and those who observed it being done, you can see a clear line.

In this particular case it is a case of "he said, he said" but it isn't actual history we are debating, it is clashing theories with no means of independent verification.
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#54
In my neck of the woods - Ithaca, NY - balboa refers to the closed form of the dance, while bal or bal-swing refers to balboa which includes the open form/moves as well.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#55
WCS came from the dance known as "Western Swing", and was first written down and taught by Laurie Haile for the Arthur Murray Studio in Santa Monica, CA in 1951. Lauire is supposed to have documented the most prevalent style in the Los Angeles area.
The dance became known as "West Coast Swing" around 1958 when Skippy Blair advertised it as such.
(My apologies to those of you who have read this a hundred times already.)
Came across this old thread while looking for something else, and I feel like I should update this, written in 2008! I've learned a few things since then.

Step sheets from 1953 and earlier, (They don't say "revised," but are undated) had both of the terms "Western Swing" and "West Coast Swing" on the first pages. One sheet has Portland, Oregon on the title page, so the dance was already in the Northwest.

Lauré Haile started what became her Dance Notes for her own use when she started working for a Murray studio (she was NOT hired by Murray) in 1945. She was documenting the steps and names that the studio expected her to teach. Again - for her own use. Around 1951 the notes were copied (rather than "published," I'd say) and used to help other teachers learn the steps and names. As word got around, the Notes became a popular item and Haile began selling them herself.
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#56
Remerci, Steve, and as I ahve said before, the title of this thread is a wee unfortunate b/c it seperates Swing from Lindy which, of course, 'is' swing. Funny, yes, that there are more variations of Swing than all other dances almost combined?
 

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