Thursday, February 14, 2013

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (information & film clips)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents information about and film clips of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, a very influential Jazz (Swing) American dance group in the late 1930s and early 1940s. A bonus video tribute to Frankie Manning, a core member & choreographer of that group, is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Whitey's Lindy Hoppers was a professional performing group of Savoy Ballroom swing dancers, started in 1935 by Herbert "Whitey" White. The group took on many different forms, with up to 12 different groups performing under this name or one of a number of different names used for the group over the years, including Whitey's Hopping Maniacs, Harlem Congaroo Dancers, and The Hot Chocolates. In addition to touring both nationally and internationally, the group appeared in a number of feature films and Broadway productions and counted Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis Jr. among their celebrity regulars. By the summer of 1943, with most of its best male dancers got drafted, the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers had pretty much disbanded. The Savoy Ballroom closed in 1958."...
Archives of Early Lindy Hop -Biographies of Early Swing Dancers

"It is almost 70 years since Herbert "Whitey" White started a professional performing group of Savoy Ballroom swing dancers in 1935. Yet the film clips of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers continue to delight and astonish audiences and inspire new generations of swing dancers...

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers was the brainchild of Herbert "Whitey" White. An African-American man known as "Whitey" because of the streak of white in his hair, he was a former boxer who became a bouncer at the Savoy Ballroom. At one time, more than 70 swing dancers were employed by Whitey. He had a good eye for talent and, like a good coach, he knew how to nurture it. He gave many future entertainers their start in show business...

No matter how far their professional careers went, Whitey's dancers were always, first and foremost, social dancers and true jazz dance improvisors, even after they had a number of choreographed routines under their belts. In this they paralleled the musicians of the great Big Bands, who could perform tight arrangements and still blow completely original jazz improvisations night after night.

The interaction between the improvisations of the great dancers and the great musicians made for fireworks! The dancers transposed the rhythms and riffs into movement and the musicians, watching, responded to what they saw with a frenzy of jazz innovation"...

Example #1: whitey's lindyhoppers -- history

7roach, Uploaded on Oct 15, 2007

whitey's lindyhoppers
featuring clips from Hot Chocolates and A Day at the Races

Example #2: Whitey's Lindy Hoppers Radio City Revels 1938

Olivier Cotton. Uploaded on Jun 3, 2010

Example #3: Whitey's Lindy Hoppers performing the Big Apple (1939)

Tanoa Stewart, Uploaded on Jan 25, 2007

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers performing the Big Apple followed by some crazy Lindy Hoppin'. From the movie Keep Punching, 1939 - Brought to you by the San Francisco Jitterbugs,

Example #4: Whitey's Lindy Hoppers - Hot Chocolate - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra - 1941

Juan Villafane, Published on Aug 8, 2013

"Cottontail" Hot Chocolate

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers:

Example #5: Whiteys Lindy Hoppers .. Helzapoppin

Uploaded by docludi2 on Sep 7, 2010

Probably the greatest Lindy hop sequence ever filmed. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers from the film Helzapoppin… [1941]

Juan Villafane, Published on Aug 8, 2013

"Cottontail" Hot Chocolate

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers

Frankie Manning Tribute Video

swingbud,Uploaded on Aug 25, 2010

We're pleased to present the new video tribute to Frankie Manning, produced by Swing Bud Films, "Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Swing." Whether you are a longtime Swing dancer, or new to the dance floor, we hope you will enjoy and be inspired by this introduction to one of America's great dancer / choreographers.

Click for information about the "Hellzapoppin" dance scene and a listing of other early lindy hop dance scenes.

Also, for a largely non-dance related critique of this film clip and a non-dance related critique of neo-Swing in general, click Race, Appropriation, & Lindy Hop: How to Honor our Heroes.

Thanks to Whitey's Lindy Hoppers for their dance legacy. My thanks also to the musicians and producers of these film clips. Thanks also to the uploaders of these videos and the authors of the information that is quoted in this post.

Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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