Helzapoppin & Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers | 1941

Arguably one of the greatest dance sequences ever filmed….featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers from the film Helzapoppin.


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.


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.



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.
I need this movie NOW

This is probably one of Chloe Hong’s most amazing work yet!

Check out the Whitey Lindy Hopper’s jacket she recreated! She’s taking orders for this. Check out her post here for updates!


I’ve personally ordered a red skirt from Chloe before and I absolutely love it. She replies to orders really fast and is really helpful in making sure that you’ve got the right size for you.

Here’s her official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/fromandchloehong


The Big Apple as performed by The Harlem Hotshots

If you don’t know who the Harlem Hotshots are, basically they are a group of professional Swedish dancers that are dedicated to the mission of showing people lindy hop.

It’s hard to see many good videos of the Big Apple these days, so it’s nice to see this video they made. I also LOVE that it was performed to different music because I dislike the notion that people can only Tranky Doo to The Dipsy Doodle or Shim Shim to T’aint What You Do or similar variations. It’s JAZZ for goodness sake. A lot of the songs have similar musical structures. As long as you pick a song with a similar structure to the routine song, it should still work out. I mean, obviously, some songs work out better and have better climaxes at certain points, but YOU GET THE POINT. We are all supposed to be improv dancers anyway, aren’t we??? Okay rant over lol.

Anyway, if you haven’t, I HIGHLY recommend learning this routine. The Big Apple has some serious solo moves in it, and learning the rhythmic intricacies/moves will definitely improve your dancing both solo and partnered. I learned using Patrick & Natasha’s helpful Youtube series, and I definitely recommend it. It’s hard, I gave up on it a few times before I completed learning it, but it’s TOTALLY worth it. (PS: Don’t give up after Sequence 10, that was the hardest one for me! I promise you can get past Sequence 10!!!)


*mouth drops open*


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.)


This is my new dance journal (thanks to skypengu for buying my this Whitey’s Lindy Hopper’s journal for Christmas! Buy it here!)

(Adorable penguin drawing also courtesy of skypengu)

On the first few pages, I recorded all the dances notes I’ve taken over the years from some private lessons/classes, so I have something to refer to when I need something to work on.


The next pages will be filled with a journal documentation of every time I go dancing this year. I’ll be posting each entry individually, but because I didn’t have to time to post this until today and I’ve already been dancing, here’s the first page of entries.

It’ll be reflections, notes for myself, etc. All short, cause ain’t nobody got time for that.

I’ll be typing everything out as well (with the exception of this post) so no one has to try to decipher my handwriting if they don’t want to.

Here’s to a year of dance reflection!


Tranky Doo (via juanibadass)

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.


Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers as the Harlem Congaroo Dancers from Hellzapoppin’

I can’t help but laugh and smile throughout this scene. Feels like pure energy and joy radiates from the dancers. Seriously, the athleticism and daring in this - Amazing.

And I actually like this music more than the original that it was choreographed to - Jumpin’ at the Woodside by Count Basie -, since it feels more energized and raw. 


Lindy Hop at it’s finest.  Pick a style of swing dance and it originated right here!  Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers performing in the film Hellzapoppin, 1941.