February 26, 2013
History of Swing Dancing
The history of swing dates back to the 1920's, where the black community, while dancing to contemporary Jazz music, discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. On March 26, 1926, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors in New York. The Savoy was an immediate success with its block-long dance floor and a raised double bandstand. Nightly dancing attracted most of the best dancers in the New York area. Stimulated by the presence of great dancers and the best black bands, music at the Savoy was largely Swinging Jazz. One evening in 1927, following Lindbergh's flight to Paris, a local dance enthusiast named "Shorty George" Snowden was watching some of the dancing couples. A newspaper reporter asked him what dance they were doing, and it just so happened that there was a newspaper with an article about Lindbergh's flight sitting on the bench next to them. The title of the article read, "Lindy Hops The Atlantic," and George just sort of read that and said, "Lindy Hop" and the name stuck.
In the mid 1930's, a bouncy six beat variant was named the Jitterbug by the band leader Cab Calloway when he introduced a tune in 1934 entitled "Jitterbug".
More here. (Note: At least one daily post throughout February will be devoted to African American History Month)
Posted by Azra Raza at 07:08 AM | Permalink