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January 30, 2007

the dark side of the swinguverse

Posted by dogpossum on January 30, 2007 5:54 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

No, it's not all Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and solo jazz routines.

[Benji Schwimmer West Coast Swing Jack and Jill]

When I talk about 'groover' lindy in Melbourne, that's the sort of thing I'm talking about. That's not lindy hop in that clip, it's west coast swing (a peculiarly American phenomenon - though we have our ceroc), and I have to admit that that's some pretty shmick dancing. Particularly when you keep in mind that that's a jack and jill comp (ie, they weren't actual dance partners - that's all made up shit). It's just that it's so... well, look at it.
That guy - he's some pretty hot stuff. I couldn't lead like that. But... you know what I mean.

Why isn't it lindy hop?
Ok, so once you get past the music (which is the sort of pap I hear far too regularly out lindy hopping here in Melbourne - especially the first song), there's the really upright bodies (even leaning backwards), the pointy toes, the lack of bounce, the heels on the ground (putting their weight backwards, rather than onto the front half of the foot)... it's a completely different bodily aesthetic. And very white. This is honky dancing (note the way they sort of nod down to the ground, then up. And flick their hair about).
It's almost latin, but look at their hips. There's no saucy Cuban isolation there.

But I do have to say - that's some pretty dang shmick dancing. Not my cup of tea, not one little bit (though it does look like fun), but that don't stop that being some pretty good leading and following.

.... do I have to mention the whole black pants, black dress shoes, red collared shirt thing? No. Nor do we need to talk about black pants and black crop tops.

[Don't Cha (Pussycat Dolls) - West Coast Swing demo]

Yep, that's that sweet west coast action as well.

And the scariest part of all this is that this sort of dancing is getting about in Melbourne, masquerading as lindy hop. And I. Don't. Like. It.

[edit: I can't stop watching that Benji clip. It's mesmerising. The Squeeze watched 10 seconds and left the room in disgust]

Posted by dogpossum on January 30, 2007 5:54 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances