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Practice w/ Bobby SEASON 2!

June 25, 2020

Over the COVID-19 quarantine I’ve been doing 30 minute, down-and-dirty Improv jazz dance training. (And I will continue to do so, btw, Monday Nights at 7pm EST on my FB profile! http://www.facebook.com/robertwhiteiii)

Here is SEASON 2! It’s only $19.99 for FOUR HOURS of dance training (and, you know, fish eye lenses and FB live video quality!) You can even try out Episode 13 for FREE to see if you’ll like it!

JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO GET THEM. (Links to the videos are also over at the The Swungover STORE  and www.SWINGBOBBY.com so you don’t have to search for this post!)

More info below. 


Season 2 thumbnail crop

Read more…

“Whitey’s Hopping Maniacs” at the Savoy, 1937

May 26, 2020

COVID ask 3

Perhaps you’ve seen the footage before of a young Frankie Manning dancing at the Savoy ballroom. With Chick Webb and his band swinging in the background, Frankie is clearly seen dancing and smiling, and sporting a suave 1930s mustache. It was used in Ken Burns’ Jazz, for instance, but if you haven’t seen it before, or in awhile, here is a pretty clear copy recently made available on Getty’s stock footage website: (Please note the announcer makes a racist pun on “dark” that was sadly typical of the time.)

 

So there’s some Frankie Manning for you on his birthday. But who’s that dancing with him? And if you watched it a few times, you might notice there seems to be a group of three couples, including Frankie, that pal around and talk to each other while they’re dancing. Those three couples get the bulk of the camera’s attention in these short snippets. So who are they?

We think those three couples are none other than Naomi Waller & Frankie Manning, Mildred Cruse & Billie Williams, and Lucille Middleton & Jerome Williams.  

Here’s a little bit about their story, and why we think it’s them. Read more…

R.I.P. Roy Damron (1921- 2020)

May 21, 2020
ROY

Roy Damron & Snookie Bishop

Roy Damron, original Southern California Swing dancer, passed away January 2, 2020. He was 98 years old.

Roy was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 27, 1921. He grew up in the then-small town of Alhambra, where he attended Alhambra High School. Like many young people, he took basic dance lessons during that time, where he learned the box step. He would practice it while walking five miles home from the lessons with a friend, and they would occasionally stop to try out the step with each other. After Roy got into swing dancing, he would forever think of that box step as the fundamental basic of all the swing dances. Read more…

The 1935 Harvest Moon Ball

May 13, 2020

COVID ask 3

This is the SNACK-SIZED edition. For the longer, GEEK-OUT version, click here. Words that are a different color (like the link in the previous sentence) are links to source articles and information.

This is the first in a series that will explore the Harvest Moon Ball over the years. (It will be by far the longest.) It is a story of social disruption and mistaken memories, of rediscovered truths and the pioneers of Lindy Hop. Hope you enjoy. 

(The GEEK OUT edition of this article goes into a lot more detail in everything. It’s got more insight, pictures and newspaper article connections, and source material — it’s designed to be more like a museum exhibit.)

Read more…

The 1935 Harvest Moon Ball (GEEK OUT)

May 13, 2020

Geek ask 2

This is the GEEK-OUT EDITION. For the shorter, snack-sized version, click here. Words that are a different color (like the link in the previous sentence) are links to source articles and information.

This is the first in a series that will explore the Harvest Moon Ball over the years.  It is long, but that is because it is not just the story of a contest, it’s a story of a crucial year in the life of Lindy Hop. It is a story of context. It is a story full of mystery, intrigue, social disruption, mistaken memories, rediscovered truths, and an awful lot of geeking out about Lindy Hop. Hope you enjoy. 

 

1935 First announcement Graphic

From the first advertisement introducing the Harvest Moon Ball, July 7th, 1935.

Riots and Dances

On July 7th, 1935, the New York Daily News announced it would hold an amateur ballroom dance contest. Preliminaries would be held at several locations around the city, with the final 100 couples having a full night of contests in Central Park. They named it the Harvest Moon Ball. Read more…