The Golden Era

Here are some clips of some of the great dancers from the Golden Age of Swing. Obviously these only scratch the surface: YouTube is awash with amazing videos of Lindy Hoppers from both the classic and the modern eras. Your journey begins here!

Try to enjoy these videos for the wonderful dancing and recognize the context in which the films were made. Obviously we don’t condone the racial stereotypes in which many of the dancers are portrayed but, unfortunately, such were the times. Instead we focus on the fact that the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York, was one of the few places at the time which did not have a segregation policy. Let the dancing speak for itself.

This clip from the 1929 short film After Seben features “Shorty” George Snowden, one of the “first-generation” dancers of the Lindy Hop:

Here is Shorty George again, dancing with his partner Big Bea:

This one is from the Marx Brothers 1937 film A Day at the Races and features Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, including in particular Norma Miller and Leon James:

Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers again, this time in the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’. Look out in particular for Al Minns (white jacket, black trousers) dancing with Willa Mae Ricker and Frankie Manning (overalls) dancing with Ann Johnson:

By the early 1940s, the Lindy Hop had spread from the ballrooms of Harlem, New York, to the West Coast and HOLLYWOOD! Largely credited with this migration is Dean Collins. Here he is with one of his frequent dance partners Jewel McGowan in the 1941 Abbott and Costello film Buck Privates:

Obviously the list goes on and on… here’s a brief summary of some Lindy Hoppers you just have to know:

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