East and West Coast Swing, and Lindy Hop:
The unknown force in swing
dance during the 1950s and 60s was Arthur Murray Dance Studios. The leading factor which brought AM's dominace to the swing dance scene during this time was two fold:
One: It was the Vietnam
War in which several young emerging dance Swing and Lindy Hopper social personalities went, mostly to join up, in the various
military branches. "For the love we
had to stand up for America. " People in this cultural dance genre where in love in what America stood for. Dick Clark
of American Bandstand, leter on lamented , as a result of knowing the list of those who died in this war, on
this fact, as he became the first to acknowledged
this affect on the Swing Lindy Hop dance world. Moreover, as the war got more of this group of American Swing Dance -
Lindy Hop youth, it left a vacume on the social dance floor, and as result ushered in the era of disco-following the new dance craze of Lindy Hopper ( yes he is a
" Lindy Hopper " ) Chubby Checker's innovative dance " The Twist ". There was very, very few who could pass on the dance moves
in Swing - Lindy Hop, as a result of the War during this generation.
Two. Freddie James star appearance
and emergance with " his " Lindy Hop styles started to electric'fied the whole studio system of Arthur Murray Dance Studios, Inc. Arthur Murray's
Dance Board through his efforts as the leading influence among others had taken the national lead in developing a popular
dance curricula to teach the Swing - Lindy Hop, and thus dominated the dance genre itself during this era. They
got most of the money too, and they well earned it too!
The interesting fascet about
his styles, as result of the power and force of his very physical style of Swing and Lindy Hop dance, from time
to time he would split his pants. Everyone knew of this. " So during every given performance, his wife would bring at least two more pants." As it was commented
to me. He almost earned the name " Splits " as a result. The energy he employed and the movements he threw in were all dynamic and awsome, and kept
alive some of the stuff which could
have disappeared if it was not for his dedications to this American Folk Dance. Ya ! Swing and Lindy Hop are American Folk
What may surprise the present
" Lindy World " is that he was also responsiable for encouraging the artisitic and personal rescue of Frankie Manning: this is the behind the scene scoop of the
present dance Lindy World. That proponents, students, and alumni of Arthur Murray, and then later on Fred
Astaire Dance Studios in New York City
region had the available student base which further triggered and then supported this urgent artistic rescue. So
if you ever wonder who were his first core of students and support after the initial Televised broadcast - which reported
his living conditions came from, and those who supplied the initial capital to restorate his career, then you have some idea....
April 14th, 2004
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