We're always willing to listen
This website is sort of my hobby. I don't charge anything for it and I do it in my spare time. I'm always willing to listen to anyone who reads the site. It is useful to hear multiple value perspectives. Complain away! But, first, take a look at this:
It is free...
Lately, we've been getting some complaints about our lack of enthusiasm about a particular band. To save you an e-mail, here is the story.
DIXIELAND JAZZ IS NOT LINDY HOP MUSIC!
We fully recognize the roots of big band swing lie in the original forms that migrated from New Orleans, and that many of the acclaimed masters of Swing had their roots in the Dixieland form. Personally, I have the highest regard (and as many 78s as I can find) for Bix Biederbecke, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols, Wingy Manone and a host of others (write me for a long list). We fully recognize that Benny Goodman got his start in Ben Pollock's Dixieland band and that most of the Goodman Trio and Sextet performances were of the Dixieland Form. (I am quite partial to Stealin' Apples.)
Further, we recognize the major contribution of the Dixieland form to Lindy Hop, particularly in the dance called The Breakaway that is the bridge between Charleston and Lindy.
However, people DID NOT do Savoy Style Lindy Hop to Dixieland Jazz -- the appropriate forms were Charleston, Cakewalk, Collegiate Shag, Black Bottom, Balboa and a host of other minor dances. The Polka is most appropriate to the March forms of Dixieland, and if people will clear a track around the floor, you can also do Peabody, Castle Walk, and/or Quickstep. All of these dances are wonderful, and we encourage our readers to learn them all.
This website is about my personal hobby, Savoy Style Lindy Hop and the era 1941-1955. It is not about Ballet, it is not about Waltz and it is not about these early precursor dances. There are a large number of bands playing on any given night and I can't possibly list them all.
I am not hostile to any of these earlier dances. In fact, we had a long association with Max Dorf, one of the originators of Balboa (cf. our Max Dorf Photoessay) We brought Max to DC in 1999 and the general opinion at that time was "anything prior to Dean Collins (1941 +) was not Swing or Lindy or whatever." The same folks who indulged in that thinking were holding "All Balboa Weekends" three years later. Some of the folks that are now hyping Dixieland actually went on record in 2000-2001 as saying "Charleston has no Place in Swing Dancing."
While we are thrilled that dancers have re-discovered the dance forms that are at the root of Lindy Hop, we tend to resist "trendy thinking." (Would you expect anything else from a Retro Lifestyle site?) We are reminded of the axiom "to the child with a hammer, the world is a nail." We are not, apparently, alone in this notion. Take alook at the clip below from 1946 -- note how the kids toss the guy with a ukelele out on his ear for doing (classic) Charleston. We're glad to be in the same company as Benny Goodman!
Those who profess overwhelming admiration for the early pre-swing forms appear to be noticeably absent from the Tea dances given by the LaSalle Dance Orchestra at the Spanish Ballroom. In my opinion, La Salle does an almost flawless job of recreating the music of the 1920s and I know that Sally Hile, their leader, does a tremendous amount of scholarship in keeping the band authentic.
This site is about Savoy Style Lindy Hop. You are free to start a Dixieland jazz web page and to hold Dixieland jazz events. We hope that these prove to be economic and last a bit longer than all the other fads that we have seen.
OKAY! seriously, we do accept constructive criticism.. Click here to complain!
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