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“Ryan Gosling, Lindy Hopper” Meme

I’m not sure if I fully understand this recent meme, but “Ryan Gosling, Lindy Hopper” is quite entertaining.  And you should probably check it out.

It’s not included on the semi-reliable “Know Your Meme” website’s Ryan Gosling page, but the evolution is obvious from what is already there.

(I posted this to my own blog first, but I think it needed to be here.) 

Dance Clip of the Month!

Dance Clip of the Month!

This clip comes from the movie “The Powers Girl” (1942) and features Benny Goodman’s band. This clip also offers a relatively rare opportunity to see Benny without his customary glasses on!

Lindy Hop in the Wall Street Journal

They’re Still Doing the Lindy Hop?” is the title of a short piece published in the Wall Street Journal last week, complete with a video featuring Frankie Manning. 

When someone sent me the link, I was like, “Yes, infact, we are still doing the Lindy Hop, where’ve you been?”  As you probably know if you’re reading this, the Lindy Hop is alive and well, even if it’s not in the exact form it was back then.  But it’s a nice little account of how swing dancing is still vibrant and alive after all the years since Charles Lindbergh’s historic “hop” across the Atlantic in 1927.

Check out the article here: They’re Still Doing the Lindy Hop?

“Shorty George” Snowden

Happy Birthday to Shorty George Snowden!

A little swing history for you all today!

Shorty George was born July 5, 1904. Shorty George was a top dancer in the Savoy Ballroom from its opening in 1927 into the early 30’s, when he formed the first professional Lindy Hop troupe, the Shorty Snowden Dancers. They performed with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra at the Paradise Club downtown through most of the thirties.

Although he was barely five feet tall, Snowden made his height an asset rather than a liability. With comic genius, he parodied himself in his signature “Shorty George” step, in which his bent his knees, swinging from side to side, exaggerating his closeness to the ground.

Shorty’s partner, Big Bea, towered over him. They often ended their routines in a comic move in which she carried him off the dance floor on her back. Frankie Manning says that this move inspired him to create his first air step, in which his partner started out on his back and then she flipped over his head and landed on the ground.

Shorty George is often given credit for giving Lindy Hop its name. As the story goes, there was a charity dance-marathon in New York City in 1928, shortly after Charles Lindbergh’s (known as “Lucky Lindy”) triumphant “hop” across the Atlantic. A reporter saw Snowden break away from his partner and improvise a few steps in a style that was popular in Harlem. “What was that!?” he asked. Snowden thought for a few seconds and replied, “I’m doin’ the Hop…the Lindy Hop”. The name stuck.

Count Basie, always attuned to the dancers, honored Shorty with the swing hit song called “Shorty George”.

Snowden retired in 1938, the only Lindy Hopper commemorated in a dance step, the “Shorty George.”
His unique reversal of the ballroom tradition, that was copied by many others, in which Big Bea tossed him in the air, opened the doors to any and every innovation in the dance.

Video clip of Shorty George and Big Bea:

Info from SavoyStyle and Yehoodi

Global Shim Sham for Frankie

The Global Shim Sham for Frankie video is here!

Remember back in March when we taped our swing scene doing the shim sham to honor Frankie Manning?
We submitted it to the Frankie 95 Festival organizers to possibly use in their “Global Shim Sham” compilation that they would show to thousands of dancers and friends of Frankie at the event in May.

Well… Fort Collins Represented!!! If you look closely (and don’t blink) you’ll see us all waving our happy jazz hands around 3:35!

What a great tribute video to Frankie.

And if you missed it the first time, here is our original shim sham video:

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