The History of Lindy Hop begins in the African American communities of Harlem, New York during the late 1920s in conjunction with swing jazz. Lindy Hop is closely related to earlier African American vernacular dances (e.g. Charleston, Tap) but quickly gained its own fame through dancers in films, performances, competitions, and professional dance troupes. It became especially popular in the 1930s among the general population.The dance is considered a cultural phenomenon that broke through the race barrier when segregation was still the norm.The popularity of Lindy Hop declined after World War II, and the dance remained dormant until revived by European and American dancers in the 1980s.
ABOUT WHITEY’S LINDY HOPPERS
The Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers was a professional performing group of Savoy Ballroom swing dancers, started in 1935 by Herbert “Whitey” White. The group took on many different forms, with up to 12 different groups performing under this name or one of a number of different names used for the group over the years, including Whitey’s Hopping Maniacs, Harlem Congaroo Dancers, and The Hot Chocolates. In addition to touring both nationally and internationally, the group appeared in a number of feature films and Broadway productions and counted Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis Jr. among their celebrity regulars. The group disbanded in 1942 a year before the Savoy closed its doors.
Of all the members of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, Al Minns, Leon James and Frankie Manning are amongst the most famous – Minns and James in part for their role in the research of Jean and Marshall Stearns’s influential book Jazz Dance, Minns for his work with The Rhythm Hot Shots during the 1980s’ swing revival, and Manning for his role, starting in 1986, in contributing to the swing and Lindy Hop revival after Minns died in 1985. Manning and Norma Miller were among the few members of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers still alive during the 1990s and 2000s and were some of that era’s most influential Lindy Hop performers and instructors. With Manning’s death in April 2009, Miller alone remains to teach and lecture at dance workshops and Lindy Hop conventions.
WOAAAHH!! NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE THIS!!! AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD!!!!
The Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers dance scene from film Helzapoppin’ Probably the greatest Lindy hop sequence ever filmed! choreographed by the genius and pioneer of lindy hop: Frankie Manning. DAMN! I need this movie NOW
So you know those Savoy Ballroom lindy hop photos I reblogged a couple of weeks back? Here’s what these dancers actually looked like in motion—Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers as they appeared in Hellzapoppin’.
The speed is unbelievable, and those fucking aerials, man. (Notice how often they have a spotter on the ground for whoever’s going up in the air, but he’s in there so smoothly that he just looks like part of the act.)
Apologies for not posting much lately - my usual diet of swing clips has been largely replaced with news about the recent events in Japan. Please keep Japan in your thoughts and donate if you can!
This clip is inspiring to me because while they are all doing the same moves, each of them styles them differently according to body type, personality and personal preference. They also commit to their movements and make everything deliberate…that’s what really makes the difference between someone who learns to do, say, crazy legs for the first time (and thinks ‘Am I doing this right?’ 'I probably look ridiculous…’), and these chaps who really own their movement.
The 1920s gave life to jazz, jukeboxes and the career of Norma Miller — the Queen of Swing. Now, at 95 years old, Miller is the last living member of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, the group that took Lindy Hop — the original swing dance — out of Harlem’s ballrooms and across the world.
But before she became the Queen of Swing, Miller was just a poor black girl in Harlem who loved to dance. Even as she watched her mother struggle to make rent by cleaning houses, Miller dreamed of another path.