Norwich Swing Cats

Copyright: Robert Austin 2015 -2017 All Rights Reserved

Authentic Lindy Hop & Jitterbug from the 1930s, ‘40s & ‘50s

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After Seben (1929)

The very first time Lindy Hop was shown on film. This hybrid dance somewhere between Charleston and Lindy Hop shows the "Breakaway" which a few years later would evolve into the Swingout & Whip. Today this is often referred to as "Transitional Lindy Hop" as it forms the link between the two dances. Pay particular attention to "Shorty George" Snowden (couple 3), who is credited with coining the term "Lindy Hop" and inventing the dance.

A Day At The Races (1937)

This clip is from the classic Marx Brothers film and features the famous Whitey's Lindy Hoppers from the Savoy Ballroom. Although many of the moves here are based on the Charleston, as the music changed from the vertical rhythm of Hot Jazz to the more propulsive horizontal feel of Swing so we can see the evolution of the triple step in the Swingouts.

Hellzapoppin' (1941)

Again featuring Whtey's Lindy Hoppers, who were now being led and choreographed by the legendary Frankie Manning (the guy in dungarees).  This is generally accepted as the greatest Lindy Hop clip of all time.  It's fast, athletic and high energy with death defying aerials.

Buck Privates (1941)

The first Abbott and Costello film which features dancers Dean Collins & Jewel McGowan. Whereas the previous two clips contain heavily choreographed scenes, the dancing here is smoother and based on Lindy Hop as a social dance form. Here the triple step pre-dominates and fits perfectly with the music. Dean Collins is a major inspiration in my dancing and this style has been termed "Hollywood Style".

Groovy Movie (1944)

This tongue in cheek short film on Jitterbug nevertheless features some amazing dancing very much in the Hollywood Style of Lindy Hop. It also contains glimpses of Collegiate Shag and shows how this smooth style can still be danced at frantic tempos. The blond dancer in the beginning section is Jean Veloz who still dances today in LA.

Rock Around The Clock (1956)

It is often said that the popularity of Lindy Hop declined with along with Big Band Swing. However, as this clip shows dancers were still swinging out when Rock 'n' Roll came along in the mid-1950s.  The dancers here were simply local Los Angeles Lindy Hoppers who were brought in as extras in the film.