Where can I find out about the history of swing dance?

Can anyone find me a good site where it explains how swing dance started besides wikipedia? Thanks.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well first off, wikipedia's history is very accurate to the types of swing dances and era's of which they developed. All swing dances are folk dances, which means they are just what people did to certain types of music . . . although there are some names that stand out in the jazz dance history.

    If you are looking for some source material, as in books to read, then you'll want to check out this book:


    In terms of online resources, this website is fairly accurate and detailed:


    Basically, the general time line for swing dancing coincides with the development of swing music in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

    Swing dancing comes from partnered charleston, which was changed in the late 1920s to be circular and have a breakaway in the dance. Shorty George Snowden is credited with naming the breakaway as "the Lindy Hop", but the dance was being done before Charles Lindbergh's famous flight.

    You can see Shorty George in 1929 here, doing the charleston breakaway:


    Youtube thumbnail

    ...and again in 1937, doing the more refined Lindy Hop:


    Youtube thumbnail

    Other famous dancers:

    Frankie Manning - credited with creating aerials (or air steps) in swing dancing, and is still alive today.

    Dean Collins - White dancer from New Jersey who brought Lindy Hop to the West Coast and appeared in more hollywood films than any other dancer. His smooth style of dancing is also credited with being the origin of West Coast Swing, which has the same steps as Lindy Hop, but it's danced with a different style to pop, blues, and country music.

    Other dances of importance:

    Collegiate Shag - Late 30's, early 20's white swing dance, popular among colleges.

    Balboa - Mid 30's and 40's white swing dance created on the balboa island in southern california. Became most popular when dance floors became extremely crowded at the height of the big band era.

    Anyways, I hope that helps!

    Source(s): I'm a swing dancer. You should check out the nationals wing forum here: http://www.yehoodi.com
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Swing dance began many moons before the white man came to the Americas. It was a form of Cherikee rain summoning, which gradually transitioned into night clubs with the influence of Native American bartenders, janitors, and alcoholics.

    Source(s): Big Chief Build-a-Bear's Big Ol' Book of Native American Revisionism, Copyright 2003, Wounded Knee Casino Press
  • 4 years ago

    World War Two, zoot suits and swing. the music came first and then the dance. Glen Miller, and other bands

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