What is Swing Dancing?
Swing dancing, usually including Lindy Hop, Balboa, Shag, Charleston, and East Coast Swing, started in Harlem in the 1920s. Most often done with a partner to big band jazz music, swing dancing incorporates improvisation, circular and linear movements, and a lead / follow connection.
The Early Days
Star dancers of the early days, like Frankie Manning, Ann Johnson, Billy and Willa Mae Ricker, Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan, Maxie Ford and Al Minns, can be seen performing in video clips on your favourite video site. Check out clips from “After Seben”, “Day at the Races”, “Hellzapoppin'”, "Rings on Her Finger“, and 'Groovie Movie,” to see some of the historical record.
Shorty George Snowden, After Seben (1929)
Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, Day at the Races (1937)
Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan, Rings on Her Fingers (1943)
Arthur Walsh and Jean Valoz, Groovie Movie (1944)
Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, Hellzapoppin' (1941)
The Modern Era
Modern swing dancing draws extensively on the early roots of the dance. Some video examples of more modern solo jazz/charleston (Lennart Westerlund), lindy hop (Skye Humphries and Frida Segerdah), competition lindy hop (Camp Hollywood Open Lindy Hop Finals 2017), and balboa (Nick Williams and Kate Hedin).
Lennart, Åsa, and Daniel (Rhythm Hot Shots), Big Band Swing (2017)
Skye and Frida, Athens Rhythm Hop (2019)
Open Lindy Hop Finals, Camp Hollywood (2017)
Nick and Kate, Snowball (2018)
The Global Trickeration Project in celebration of Norma Miller (2020)