How did the dance, 'Swing' Get Its Name?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Black Sheep, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    How did the dance, 'Swing' get its name?
    Up until 1935, the dance most people outside of New York, now call
    Swing, was called the Lindy all over the country until in 1935, when
    Benny Goodman introduced the song, 'Sing,. Sing, Sing' at the Palamar
    Ballroom in Los Angeles. Benny Goodman called his music, 'Swing Music', and
    that's when the dancers in Southern California picked up on it, and began
    calling the Lindy Hop, Swing dancing.
    However, Duke Ellington came out with a song in 1932 called, 'It don't
    mean a Thing if it don't have that Swing', and the Duke's style of Jazz
    music was what Benny Goodman and all those Big Bands of that era up until
    the 1950's used as a copied as a guide or role model when orchestrating
    their music.
    In New York, however, the name Lindy Hop remained the name even up
    until today when I visit my relatives in New York or talk too them on the
    phone. For a time around 1940, 'The Big Apple, a series of break steps like
    the 'Suzy Q' and the 'Shorty George' was the craze that New Yorkers
    included as breakaway steps in their Lindy Hop.
    I have to stick in this pitiful laughable story about the 'Camel Walk' ,
    which is a Big Apple step that I observed being taught about two months
    ago, by a well known teacher, not Peter Loggins, being taught at one of the
    most popular Venues, not the 'Swing Pit', and not on a Tuesday night, and
    not by a female instructor, spent the whole group class lesson teaching the
    Camel Walk with such pizzazz that the students stayed mesmerized with him
    throughout the lesson in complete awe. The next week he taught the same
    exact lesson with the same success. I was really amazed at the teacher's
    ability to stretch a five minute lesson into a two 45 minute lessons. I
    gave him an A+ for pizzazz!
    Black Sheep
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Great points, Black Sheep.
    Surely 'swing dancing' came fom 'swing music'. And surely, if you're dancing to swing music and having fun, you are "swingin'"! And surely, people who danced both 6 and 8 count patterns to swing music often called what they did "lindy". Let the historians tell their story and let the people who were there tell their story. You'll never get the same exact story, but I think we can all agree that "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" :D

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