Our friend Anna singing for the very first time with the New Traditions big band. I think she was a little nervous at first, but really hits a home run on the ending. Her grandmother, who sang with big bands in the swing era, would be very proud! I know we all are!
For those of you wondering about the roots of Lindy Hop, here is some footage from the 1929 short “After Seben”. It is some of the earliest known footage of Lindy Hop and features one of the original innovators of the dance, “Shorty” George Snowden. You can see the strong roots in Charleston and the very early swing outs.
The demo videos for our classes were looking a bit dated, so we decided to film a new one for our upcoming Lindy Hop and Charleston classes. You can view it by clicking on the image above, or you can watch the high definition version if you have the monitor space.
It’s nothing fancy. We just wanted to demo some of what we teach in both classes with a few options of what you can do with it. The way we filmed it was somewhat of an experiment. Both Dawn and I thought it came out looking pretty good! We’ll probably do some more videos in the near future. Keep an eye out.
We mentioned this vintage clip in our Shag class recently. This is a 1937 film of Arthur Murray teaching the Shag. Pay little attention to the… um… “watered down” version of Shag that Arthur is teaching. Of more interest are the couples that come out and do the demo in the middle of the clip. These were the actual Shag dancers of the day and their style and technique are more definitive Shag.
Another fun Shag clip from back in the day was the dance scene from the 1939 movie “Blondie Meets the Boss”. As with lots of the vintage clips, don’t pay attention to the actors, but watch the “extras”. In the swing era, it was customary to hire actual swing dancers as extras in dance scenes.
Oddly enough, this clip came up in conversation yesterday. This has to be one of the quirkiest of all the vintage swing dance shorts. This is the best quality version of it I could find online with a quick search, however, I know there are better quality ones floating around out there. I thought I would post it and share.
Oh, I probably should have said this before you hit the play button… warning… this annoying little song will get stuck in your head and drive you up the walls!
On this date in 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened. To celebrate, here is some rare early color footage of dancing at the fair. While color was new, portable film recorders did not yet have sound… so we’ll have to enjoy in silence. Note that the world famous and historic Savoy Ballroom had an exhibit.
This is some rare color footage of Lindy Hop (as well as some Fox Trot) being dance to the Glen Gray Orchestra at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This was amateur “home movie” footage that, unfortunately, did not have sound.
“I wanted to send a little note expressing my appreciation for the amazing job you did teaching me how to dance. I went to all the events for ORLX this past weekend and had some wonderful compliments about my dancing. The biggest one, that topped them all was when a lead said to me, "...your style of dancing is so authentic. It is how the old timers would say they used to dance." Thank you, thank you, thank you...for keeping true to the origin of the dance and passing that on to your students without corruption. It made me extra proud to say who my instructors were. Another lead I danced with was from JAX and attended your workshop there and after I told him who I learned from he said, "oh, yes of course! you are so lucky to have them in Orlando." I just beamed and agreed. What more can one say...keep up the good work seems trite, but it is heartfelt!”