East Coast versus West Coast versus Jive

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#41
Hi Silveralsa, welcome.

You repeat an oft told story of where the slot came from, but I've been unable to find any verification of this particular "origin story".

There was a problem back in the day with space on dance floors, so they created a "slot" for dancers to go up and down with when doing their basic-8-count/whips/etc.
Dean Collins danced a lot of slotted moves, as did others, and he learned in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Balboa developed just a short distance from LA where what was first called "Western Swing" was codified by Laure' Haile in similar crowded conditions, and Balboa isn't slotted. Laure' expected people to be able to dance single, double, and triple rhythm before progressing with "Western Swing" which became known as West Coast Swing in the early 60s.
Slotted swing exists in other forms in other parts of the country.
What seems most likely was the a "fixed" slot (Laure' used NEVER and ALWAYS in writing about the slot) became prescribed from a more general, relaxed, changing slot that Collins and others danced. Any space that was open was fair game. (Dean also taught that the woman always goes into the slot on the first set of triples, as confirmed by Joe Lanza, among others)
 
#42
Hi Silveralsa, welcome.

You repeat an oft told story of where the slot came from, but I've been unable to find any verification of this particular "origin story".

Dean Collins danced a lot of slotted moves, as did others, and he learned in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Balboa developed just a short distance from LA where what was first called "Western Swing" was codified by Laure' Haile in similar crowded conditions, and Balboa isn't slotted. Laure' expected people to be able to dance single, double, and triple rhythm before progressing with "Western Swing" which became known as West Coast Swing in the early 60s.
Slotted swing exists in other forms in other parts of the country.
What seems most likely was the a "fixed" slot (Laure' used NEVER and ALWAYS in writing about the slot) became prescribed from a more general, relaxed, changing slot that Collins and others danced. Any space that was open was fair game. (Dean also taught that the woman always goes into the slot on the first set of triples, as confirmed by Joe Lanza, among others)
Hmm, interesting, thanks for sharing that version. Well, a lot of the Adv/Pros of Old-School have told me what I shared. It might be a combination of both, with history it's hard sometimes to completely nail it down and often is a result of multiple reasons.

As for Dean Collins, I know his slotted moves (as I was told above) came when the movie industry wanted to use swing dancing in them and it because too difficult to get the filming and camera angles right.

Ah, Balboa, one of my favorite to do when it's fast Lindy :) (You can tell I'm a true WCS person, I love the slower songs, lol). Did some shag too, learning from like Tip West, Steve (blanking his last name, drats), etc... However, was too hard on my knees :( I'm not even that old!
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#43
and it because too difficult to get the filming and camera angles right.
Turns out that cameras with adequate depth of field had been around since the 20s.
Didn't want them to "show their backs"? Happens all the time in movies and on stage.

Skippy Blair recalls dancing with someone who insisted that she walk forward when she was on the East Coast (Jersey, I think) in the 30s.

Yeah, I've heard 'em all. And you can still read about on various web sites.

Like you write
with history it's hard sometimes to completely nail it down and often is a result of multiple reasons.
 
#44
Ah, Balboa, one of my favorite to do when it's fast Lindy :) (You can tell I'm a true WCS person, I love the slower songs, lol). Did some shag too, learning from like Tip West, Steve (blanking his last name, drats), etc... However, was too hard on my knees :( I'm not even that old!
On a random tangent you know Tip West (He's quite a character, and I mean that as a compliment) and the rest of his L.A. gang? (I mainly dance in OC but occasionally I come up for Lindy Groove/Third Sat Swing visits).

Also Collegiate Shag isn't that bad on your knees once you figure out the upperbody isolation and not have that large bounce that a lot of people have at first. (Or the smoother footwork that Johnny teaches up in SF might help too.) I will admit though until you get that down and keep the feet underneath you/footwork small, the dance will sap you of energy quickly.
 
#45
On a random tangent you know Tip West (He's quite a character, and I mean that as a compliment) and the rest of his L.A. gang? (I mainly dance in OC but occasionally I come up for Lindy Groove/Third Sat Swing visits).

Also Collegiate Shag isn't that bad on your knees once you figure out the upperbody isolation and not have that large bounce that a lot of people have at first. (Or the smoother footwork that Johnny teaches up in SF might help too.) I will admit though until you get that down and keep the feet underneath you/footwork small, the dance will sap you of energy quickly.
Hiya! Yeah, to make a long story short, when I first started Lindy, some of my friends were already friends with Tip and LA crowd. So, I got pulled in. And he is quite a character, very talented and really nice guy.

However, I started WCS a while ago and have pulled out Lindy for a while. I'll go back, but I want my WCS to progress more first. At first my WCS looked "Lindyfied" and I had to pull out of Lindy so that my body wasn't confusing them. I've gotten that out, but need to advance more before I try going back. :)

As for Shag, I mainly learned the style of Steve from the old "Steve & Denise" when they were together... I always blank on his last name...
 
#49
Ah, Steve is a favorite teacher of mine.

Back when I was first starting to swing dance in Pennsylvania I found out from someone there was a dance that created literally only minutes away from my hometown in the place that where I was a kid I would get milkshakes from the Ruby's there on the pier and ride the ferry to even though it was completely unnecessary. I immediately scoured the internet for clips.

The first one I found was this one with Steve and Heidi:
http://www.jitterbal.com/NJC.mov

From then on I knew I wanted to dance that dance. One of my favorite moments of this summer was when I was taking an intermediate lindy hop class with him and Heidi and he singled me out in the middle of class for doing the move right. Having dancers who you look up to complement you in their lessons is fun :D
 
#50
Ah, Steve is a favorite teacher of mine.

From then on I knew I wanted to dance that dance. One of my favorite moments of this summer was when I was taking an intermediate lindy hop class with him and Heidi and he singled me out in the middle of class for doing the move right. Having dancers who you look up to complement you in their lessons is fun :D
Steve is great, very energetic and a lot of fun! Next time you see him, you should ask him about his street fighting, lol... he has some crazy stories ;)

Being complimented by teachers/pros is definitely encouraging! For me, it's like: "Finally, I'm doing something right!" lol
 
#52
It's funny, because I've actually found this to be the opposite and more with Lindy. I started with Lindy and got to Inter-Advanced, and it's been about 11 years. I started WCS about 5 years ago, and I've felt that the connection is more important in Lindy, because you really use the momentum and connection to actually do the moves because the music is typically faster.
Connection is everything. Both when dancing slow and fast, and both when using counter balance and when not.

There is no good Lindy without good connection. :)
 

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