What's the difference: Lindy Hop Vs. East Coast Swing?

#41
I was having trouble with this as well, and after reading this thread, I am now even more confused. :) I have been doing lindy hop for about 4 months now, but when I look at videos of East Coast Swing, they look almost exactly the same (at least to me). Can you easily transition between the two? Could I go to an East Coast Swing event and still hold my own?
 
#42
I was having trouble with this as well, and after reading this thread, I am now even more confused. :) I have been doing lindy hop for about 4 months now, but when I look at videos of East Coast Swing, they look almost exactly the same (at least to me). Can you easily transition between the two? Could I go to an East Coast Swing event and still hold my own?
This thread is confusing because “lindy” and “east coast swing” are ambiguous terms that each can have multiple meanings.

An experienced lindy hopper can probably dance without difficulty with an experienced EC swinger simply by dropping the 8-count patterns from lindy (e.g., swingout, circle, and Charleston). The 6-count lindy patterns that remain are compatible with 6-count EC swing, and because the dancers are experienced, the differences in style between the dances are easily accommodated. For example, a triple step, a kick step, a tap step, and a step are all compatible because each consumes 2 beats of music, and an experienced dancer can perform each without disturbing the connection. As another example, lindy hoppers typically pulse in a different style than do EC swingers, but experienced dancers can handle the difference.

Whether a lindy hopper with 4 months experience can comfortably dance with a EC swinger with 4 months experience is a more difficult question, which is probably unanswerable without seeing the two of you dance. Some key differences for these two dancers:

1. The lindy hopper probably pulses more than the EC swinger, who might not pulse at all.
2. The lindy hopper probably expects to initiate the dance in closed position with a rock step. The EC swinger might expect the same, or might expect open position with a side step or a side triple.
3. At the time that the lindy hopper is doing triple steps, the EC swinger might be doing triple steps or might be doing tap steps or steps. One or both might feel a disturbance in the connection from this difference, which might be confusing.
4. The lindy hopper might be expecting to perform patterns in a more circular or changing-places action than the EC swinger, who might be expecting a more side-to-side action.

Can you and your potential partner handle those differences?

The answer doesn’t really matter. Just go give it a try. It will be good practice for you to learn to adjust to different styles of dancing.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#44
Wanted to put this somewhere. Guess this is as good as any, and here is why it's here.

when it comes to Boogie Woogie
I'm still working through the dancing in Rock Around the Clock, and in researching it, I see the "Boogie Woogie" was a specific move "characterized by sinuous hip rotation suggestive of Hawaian Hula." This according to Life magazine in 1943 with a now famous (among Lindy Hoppers at least I'd say) article that declared The Lindy Hop as a true national folk dance born in the U.S.A.
 
#45
I'm still working through the dancing in Rock Around the Clock, and in researching it, I see the "Boogie Woogie" was a specific move "characterized by sinuous hip rotation suggestive of Hawaian Hula." This according to Life magazine in 1943 with a now famous (among Lindy Hoppers at least I'd say) article that declared The Lindy Hop as a true national folk dance born in the U.S.A.
Perhaps that was fair assessment in 1943, but not in 1956 (and not any Boogie Woogie I've ever seen!). Boogie Woogie kind of fits somewhere between Jive (not the ballroom one, the European one) and Rock N Roll. In practice it's essentially a variation on the way triple steps are done (and, currently in Europe, with lots of aerials). Because of the way the footwork is different the hips do move differently than in other swings (and partly because as the tempo increases, you can't just minimize how the hips move, as in other types).
 

samina

Well-Known Member
#47
the terms can be interchangeable, but in my neck of the woods, i would put it this way:

people i would define as swing dancers have not learned how to do a lindy-hop "swingout" (which is a fundamental figure for people who dance lindy-hop) and for dancers, their basic or fallback step is a 6 count basic figure, while a lindy dancer's basic figure tends to be the swingout, although it's not uncommon for a lindy dancer to go into a lot of figures commonly associated with east coast swing - but they still go back to swingout moves. i can see this distinction at a nearby venue known as lindygroove (lindygroove.com). you can see swing dancers and lindy dancers there, although you don't see a lot of cross-pollinating as lindy dancers tend to dance with other lindy dancers, and within 6-8 weeks, the regulars know which category to which you belong. a friend of mine (who used to be a regular in DF, BTW) started going to lindygroove, and because he was new and an unknown quantity, everyone accepted his invitations to dance. but because he didn't know how to lead a swingout and had no inclination to learn how, the lindy follows began turning down his requests to dance. he stopped going shortly thereafter.
I have always wondered about the line between these two -- this clarification was most helpful.
 

regis

Active Member
#49
I dance and teach both Lindy and what I call vernacular East Coast Swing.

Lindy Hop is taught with an eight count basic called a "swing out". The lindy circle oft referred to in this post is a method for getting into closed position in order to facilitate tuck turns, side by side Charleston moves, etc. Depending on the beats per minute, lindy stays at eight counts or drops to six simply because there isn't time to do anything in eight. It has evolved quite a bit from its origins, which was more of a circular Charlestonesque rock-step kick turn rock step kick turn. That old fashioned Lindy is fun, but frenetic.

East Coast swing breaks into two categories of its own, triple step East Coast and the vernacular East Coast. You might call it "street style" as I read earlier. Personally, triple step East Coast is for Ballroom Dancers. Any song slow enough to make triple step East Coast comfortable for me I'll be dancing Lindy Hop. As the BPM rise and catch up with my injuries, general out-of-shapeness and lack of experience/practice with faster Lindy Hop, I'll dance single-step East Coast.

Both East Coast Swings are taught in a broken rhythm, (6 counts when the music has 8). In East Coast the dancers face each other, usually with a two hand hold. The basic travels side to side with a rock-step backward.

A Lindy basic, the swing out, begins with the two dancers facing, lead's left hand held to follow's right. The lead rock-steps, they come together and turn into closed position, continue the turn and the lead sends the follow back out to her original position as they complete the "circle".

They aren't dissimilar, particularly since one did indeed develop from the other. I believe the order of progression goes Charleston -> Lindy -> West Coast | East Coast.
Actually " we " teach ECS with 3 different rhythms, single time, double time and triple time . Each may be used depending upon the music being played. Been that way for over 50 yrs.
These are the best deffinitions of what I am familiar with so far.

From what I am reading on here it seems to me that thre are just different variations of the dances depending on what region or area you travel to.

If you come to visit my studio though East Coast (Triple swing, Triple Time Swing) is taught as a 6 count dance. Partners start the basic in a closed postion forming a "V" pattern, begin with a rock-step (1-2), triple step to the side/out- the lead's left (3-and-4), then triple back in (5-and-6). With the rock step and the triples the dance is supposed to be really bouncy, so it helps if the beat is "bouncy" sounding. This clip is a good example, at the end when everyone gets on the floor
Lindy Hop I have not actually learned but what I have seen at the studio, they teach it to a single time swing beat and begins with the rock step then goes into a lift one leg and kick out lift the other leg and kick out ...
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#50
That's Lisa Gaye and Earl Barton. If you look very carefully you will see that Lisa steps forward on her right foot when they are partnering. When she appears to be stepping onto her left it's actually part of a swivel.
The toe heel cross used to known as Wheeling. according to Skippy Blair it was fairly common until the early 90s in West Coast Swing. Note also the Whip they do, which is rarely if ever seen in ECS.

Based on their partnering in their routines in this movie, "Rock Around the Clock," what they do is consistent with the written descriptions of Western Swing by Laure Haile. And Western Swing was at that time the equvialent of West Coast Swing. Gaye and Barton were not part of the 1st generation of Hollywood Lindy dancers.

The other people, they're all over the place like in most of these films. In general they referred to their dancing as "Lindy."
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#51
Nothing quite as valuable as a dance historian in da house. :)


I also remember quite a few conversations, back in the day, about swing dances having to be danced to music that is "swung." Never did understand what that is supposed to mean.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#55
Yes. Thanks for asking. But the only thing 'think will make it *clear* is actually trying some lindy hop. (As in describing a swingout is not the same thing as dancing one.) These were actually not the threads I was looking for, btw. I was looking for a couple discussions I remember about how to define music that is "swung." Didn't find those, but I will.

I thought that those old threads addressed some questions that ECBB brought up this past week, so I bumped them up. Maybe a few of the swing folks can jump in and discuss. :cool:
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#56
Good hunting. My homework this evening is looking at how many ways there are to play "shuffle," which you would think would be simple, but, there are so many variations.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#58
That's Lisa Gaye and Earl Barton. If you look very carefully you will see that Lisa steps forward on her right foot when they are partnering. When she appears to be stepping onto her left it's actually part of a swivel.

The toe heel cross used to known as Wheeling. according to Skippy Blair it was fairly common until the early 90s in West Coast Swing. Note also the Whip they do, which is rarely if ever seen in ECS.
Hi Steve, they are called ( In A.M. ) Crossover swivels, and are taught moving left to right ,and travelling in a circle, in both E. and WCS .

The " Whip " re-surfaced in Latin Hustle in the late 70s .
 

Siggav

Active Member
#59
I can hear the swung rythm or not, have done since before I started dancing. Im a classically trained violinist but also branched out into bluegrass and scottish/irish folk music and some swing fiddle.

I find it hard to dance lindy to music that doesn't swing, it just feels wrong. The swing drops out as you get closer to 50's style rock'n'roll music.

Edit: I also have a slightly hard time dancing continuously in 6 count patters, be it doing collegiate shag or just 6 count lindy moves/ECS. I can really hear the 8 count patterns in the music and it's hard work not letting that confuse me. I found this particularly hard while doing a beginner crash course in collegiate shag. Fun dance though.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#60
I can hear the swung rythm or not, have done since before I started dancing. Im a classically trained violinist but also branched out into bluegrass and scottish/irish folk music and some swing fiddle.

I find it hard to dance lindy to music that doesn't swing, it just feels wrong. The swing drops out as you get closer to 50's style rock'n'roll music.
No offense or challenge. Really want to know. What does "the swung rhythm" mean? I know there are some of threads about it, but I can't find them.

ETA: I haven't done rhythmic dictation in a billion years but I'm sure that, if you can describe it, I'll be able to hear it. :)
 

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