A lot of footage from the recent Blues baby Blues festival is popping up on YouTube and I just couldn’t resist sharing this video from the Strictly Blues
finals featuring the slowest aerial in history? I don’t know, you decide. But the first couple definitely make you want to dance in Heidelberg in January!
Mooch to your left then Mooch to the right
Hands on your hips and do the Mess Around,
Break a Leg until you’re near the ground
Now that’s the Old Black Bottom Dance
There’s few theories about where the Black Bottom came from (one of the less politically correct ones you’ll find in this video!) but Black Bottom is said to have originated in New Orleans in the early 1900s. The rhythm is based on the Charleston and in its solo form was one of the origins of modern Tap and Jazz dancing and by 1926 it had pretty much replaced the Charleston as the popular social dance.
With the London Jitterbug Championships but weeks away there’s never been a better time to brush up on your solo Charleston. The Newington Green kids had a go a few weeks a go, with some pretty impressive results it has to be said. So here we have a bit of a Charleston for dummies…be sure to stay to the end of the clip for something to do on those long taxi rides…
Every seen a lindy punch up? Or maybe a lead almost strangle his follow to death? It’s murder on the dance floor in this clip from 1945 move Twice Blessed. Some square cats try their best in a swing dance contest. Let’s hope there’ll be no such horror at the London Swing Festival eh?
So, I was acquainted with a the phrase ‘white and upright’ recently, it’s a great phrase. How many times have we been told in class to bend our knees a bit more? I often feel that there’s a tendency to forget lindy hop’s african dance roots for and a preference for dancing it like your gran. Which is why I love the story of the Cakewalk. It’s often claimed that the Cakewalk was the first American dance to cross over from black to white society in America. But what’s best is that it’s thought to be a mockery of the ‘white and upright’ formal dancing preferred by white slave owners back in the day. Satirical dancing? Now you’re talking.
The dance was usually performed as a competition and the winners were said to receive a massive cake, hence the name Cakewalk. During the 1890s, the Cakewalk was one of America’s most popular dance styles. However its popularity died out between 1915 and the early 1920s, when it was replaced by other the Charleston and Black Bottom.
Dancing + Cake = Winning combination, time for a revival methinks.
Now I’ve been to some house parties, but none so cool as this one from Boy! What a Girl! Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers busting out some super fast swing and some seriously leggy tandem Charleston. What’s most impressive…not a single broken vase in sight.
The title sort of says it all really. After the second world war we saw a lot more women both playing in bands and heading them up. Quite how anyone manages to conduct an orchestra whilst shimmying about in a sparkly number and balancing all those curls on top of their head is a total mystery to me. You’re unlikely to hear this number on a dance floor, complete with yelps and screams, I always think it sounds rather like the B52s if they’d been born a few decades earlier. However, thanks to the power of YouTube we can enjoy some of it’s more visual qualities.
Hang on hang on! Despite the dodgy title…it’s not what you think. That said, there’s more flashes of satin pants in this than your average Anne Summers. Take a look at this great vintage clip we stumbled accross on YouTube. A bit of a Swinging threesome if you will. Albeit a classy version. Oh the moves….
I know it’s very British to talk about the weather but hasn’t it been funny lately? On the weather theme take a look at this brilliant clip from the 1942 film “The Powers Girl” featuring Benny Goodman. If you watch closely through the rain and the ‘old movie’ haze there’s some lovely dancing from Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan. Not to mention a whole load of sliding around. Enjoy