September 21, 2010

About Swing Dancing

Innovators of Swing Video Clips
“Shorty” George Snowden – “Shorty” George Snowden was one of the most popular dancers at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, NY during the 1920’s and 1930’s. He is credited with giving the Lindy Hop it’s name. “Shorty” George performed in the film After Seben (1929) where he is seen doing a breakaway, a Charleston variation, which ultimately developed into the Lindy Hop. This video clip features “Shorty” George and his partner Big Bea dancing the Lindy Hop in After Seben. After Seben (1929)
Frankie Manning – Frankie Manning was a lead dancer at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, NY in the mid-1930s. He revolutionized Lindy Hop with the Lindy air step and synchronized group Lindy routines. Frankie was also a featured dancer and chief choreographer for  Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. He performed in films like Keep Punching (1939) and Hellzapoppin (1941)  and danced on stages with Jazz greats such as Ethel Waters, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway. Watch Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers with Frankie Manning do the Big Apple in Keep Punching (1939) and dance the Lindy Hop complete with air steps in  Hellzappopin’ (1941). To learn more about Frankie Manning visit Keep Punching (1939)
Hellzapoppin’ (1941)
Dean Collins – An American dancer and innovator of Swing, Dean Collins is often credited for bringing the Lindy Hop from New York to Southern California. Dean Collins performed in 38 films and on television. He is known for a smoothed-out style of Lindy Hop that eliminated the bounce and became popular in the movies and therefore became known as Hollywood style or Smooth style. Dean Collins also made popular a swing line dance called the Shim Sham. The video clips here feature Dean Collins and his partner Jewel McGowan dancing the Lindy Hop in the films Buck Privates and the Powers Girl. Buck Privates (1941)
The Powers Girl (1943)
Benny Goodman & The Benny Goodman Orchestra – Known as the King of Swing, a title given to him by Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman’s career spanned six decades. Benny started playing clarinet at the age of 10 and went on to play with some of the greatest Jazz musicians of all time: Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Mildred Bailey, Bessie Smith and many others. The Benny Goodman Orchestra also appeared in many Hollywood films. Benny Goodman is credited with popularizing the “big band” format. Watch the Benny Goodman Orchestra in The Powers Girl (1943). To learn more about Benny Goodman visit The Powers Girl (1943)