Websites & Blogs for West Coast Swing & Lindy Hop

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Joy In Motion, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    Taking a look at the links I have for various dance sites, I've noticed that salsa and tango are pretty well-covered, but for some reason west coast swing and Lindy hop are not very well-represented. I'm not sure why this is the case; could be me or could be that there just isn't as much out there...

    Anyone want to share their favorite sites, blogs, etc. for west coast swing and Lindy hop? Anything that makes for good reading when it comes to history, music, personal dance experience, teaching and learning tips, etc.

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. RickRS

    RickRS Member

  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've look at a LOT of these sites since I'm researching the history of the dance. This "project" has taken be all the way back to where the Texas Tommy came from.
    I'd say that this is pretty much hands down the best of them for history.
    http://www.kclindyhop.org/
    and more specifically
    http://www.kclindyhop.org/history_b.htm
     
  4. utahswestcoastswing

    utahswestcoastswing New Member

    Skippy Blair has been involved in dancing for over 50 years, with a strong emphasis on west coast swing. She has some articles on history and has some old blog entries for your viewing pleasure
     
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    That's an excellent site that has Blair's Dance Terminology "page" which is based partly on her 1978 book, as well as a history section. Has anyone seen the article written in the Historical Chapter written for Norma Miller, in 2009??
    I think the wikipedia article has some worthwhile information, too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast_Swing
     
  6. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    There is also Westie Wire http://www.westiewire.com that has a fairly active network.

    The Rocky Mountain Swing Club has interesting information and used to have an active bulletin board. There was a bit of a club conflict last year. So the board doesn't seem to be active while everything settles out. Still, lots of interesting stuff at http://www.coloradoswingdance.org/
     
  7. Apache

    Apache New Member

  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    http://www.coloradoswingdance.org/history.htm
    So, it looks like people in Phoenix were dancing WCS to rhythm & blues before they were in Denver. Wonder what the Denver people were dancng WCS to? Note theat it is almost 1990.
     
  9. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I can ask some weekend. The main thing I see is the music WCS is danced to has been migrating to slower and slower tempos. So it was probably much faster music.
     
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    What it means, too, is that they WEREN'T dancing to rhythm & blues in Denver prior to that incident. I'm going to look at the Craig Hutchinson stuff. He taught in Colorado in the early 70s, I think. He has a very long list of songs, but his book is dated late 80s (have to check to be sure, he had several editions)
     
  11. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    That might be too broad of a statement. It does mean that those 8 dancers weren't dancing to rhythm and blues, but even back then Denver was a big city. While all of this is way before my time, most of the older videos I see are being danced to much faster music than would be typical for WCS now.
     
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps.
    We both know that 100% of the past will never be know.
    Now a word about "jump blues" and the like, which is often bandied about regarding early WCS.

    Lionel Hampton recorded a stomping big band blues, "Flying Home," in 1942. Featuring a choked, screaming tenor sax performance, the song was a hit in the "race" category.[5] When released, however, Billboard described the tune as "an unusually swingy side" "with a bright bounce in the medium tempo and a steady drive maintained, it's a jumper that defies standing still". Billboard also notes the Benny Goodman had a hand in writing the tune "back in the old Goodman Sextet Days". Billboard goes on to state that "Apart from the fact that it is Lionel Hampton's theme, "Flying Home" is a sure-fire to make the youngsters shed their nickels-and gladly."[6] Five years later Billboard noted inclusion of "Flying Home" in a show that was "strictly for hepsters who go for swing and boogie, and beats in loud, hot unrelenting stylte a la Lionel Hampton." "...the Hampton band gave with everything, practically wearing itself out with such numbers as Hey Bop a Re Bop, Hamp Boogie and Flying Home..." [7]

    In the 40s when this stuff was going on, the terms like "jump", "jump tune", etc, were used often for uptempo tunes. Note that they other than the first sentence, whcih was written by Robert Palmer decades later, nobody even mentioned that the song was a "blues".

    P.S. Billboard is available though the Google Books project, and contains a wealth of information starting in the 40s (so far). Not WCS as a dance (so far), but music for sure.
     
  13. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    Thanks for the help, everyone. I already knew about the west coast swing links provided, but the Lindy hop ones were a great help. Feel free to keep adding if you come up with more. And if you have books to add, that's great, too. Always looking for more knowledge and resources...

    Thanks again! :)
     
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Are you familiar with Hutchinson's Swing Dancer and the Swing Dance Encyclopedia?
     
  15. Apache

    Apache New Member

    I've been dying to get a copy of any versions of Hutchinson's writings, any suggestions where to find them?
     
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Do you know about ILLIAD interlibrary loans?
     
  17. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    No, I haven't heard of it. So I'm guessing this is a good resource, Steve? I will have to order this through my local interlibrary loan system. Thanks for the recommendation!
     
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    It it most excellent!
    Combine it with the WorldCat on line find anything in any library (in the US) system and you have an extremely powerful research tool.
    GoogleBooks, too, will in many cases allow you to look inside books that they have scanned, and search, too. Some of the pages are left out, though, and that's where WorldCat and ILLIAD come in very handy.
     
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Just pasted this from somewhere else. Listed book has a section on West Coast Swing. Other that the incorrect statement about Dean Collins, I don't remember much about it. Don't think it's a treasure trove or anything like that.

    I recently came across a book "Social Dance in America" by Ralph G. Giordano published this year (2007). Page 95 states that Dean was on the cover of The New Yorker when he was 18 and Dancer of the Year. This is a new wrinkle, so I thought I'd check it out.
    I went to the library and looked at covers of the New Yorker from 1934, 1935, and 1936. First I noticed that they always use drawings and not photographs. After looking at all covers for these years, no dancers. A librarian sat with me and verified my observations. So this brand new book has at least one incorrect statement.
     
  20. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    Hmm, interesting. I have both volumes of Giordano's to use as a reference. I found many mischaracterizations of the social Latin dances and some glaring ommissions in this area as well; I attribute this to his background in swing and ballroom and lack of experience in the Latin dance world. Interesting about the error... would be interested to know the story behind this.

    I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that many people will take what they read (and hear) at face value without questioning. A friend of mine recently read a tango book and raved about how great it was. When I read it, I was amazed... lots of overgeneralizations in there to the point that one of the only true values of the book is to highlight how much these overgeneralizations are present in the majority of the dance population - and apparently to pass them on to a new generation of dancers as well. I think this same problem affects many dancers' learning.
     

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