The first question we often get here at Swing for Kids is, "What exactly is Swing Dancing, anyway?" So, I thought it would be the perfect subject for our very first blog post. As I began to write, I quickly realized that it would be much more compelling to show our readers exactly what Swing Dance is and why we love it. I enlisted the help of Swing for Kids' lead instructor, Nicolle Wood, as well as several Swing savvy friends to hunt down these youtube clips that we here at Swing for Kids feel encapsulate the history, variety, and energy of the Swing Era. Enjoy!
Although this was filmed in the 1950's, Al Minns and Leon James showcase some great solo and partner Charleston moves from the 1920's. Check out the "Itches" that start around 1:25. It's a favorite move of Swing for Kids!
Perhaps the most well-known, high-flying Lindy Hop video is Helzapoppin' from 1941. This dance scene, choreographed by Frankie Manning, features Whitey's Lindy Hoppers from Harlem and is a great example of how wild and athletic Swing Dancing can be!
Balboa is another form of swing popular in the 1940's. This clip from the Maharaja showcases the Balboa greats, Hal & Betty Takier from Fresno, California. This clip beautifully illustrates how silliness and athleticism can merge beautifully to make Swing one of the most engaging dances to watch!
Want to know more? Check out these resources!
- Great blog post from Bobby White at Swungover, "Swing 101 — 20 Original Lindy Hoppers Every Beginner Should Know (Or At least See Dance)"
- Fun article about Lindy Hop and science in The Guardian, "The Science and Magic of Lindy Hop"
- Video put together by Yehoodi, "What is Lindy Hop"