I was delighted to find that the folks at the Rough Translation podcast produced an episode called May We Have This Dance? For those who haven’t heard of it, Rough Translation describes itself as “a podcast about cultural mistranslation and what we can learn from them.”
In this episode, they explore the Lindy Hop and its odd evolution from a dance created by African Americans in 1920s Harlem to its revival when it was adopted by the Scandinavians (and others) in the 1990s. Not being from either culture, I don’t feel equipped to talk about the core of the cultural issues addressed in the podcast and accompanying article. But I would recommend both Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop and Stompin’ at the Savoy if the podcast piques your interest in the origins of the whole swing family of dances. In addition, I haven’t read Swingin’ the Savoy yet but it is definitely going into my queue.
I will say that I particularly liked the discussion at about 30 minutes into the podcast about when LaTasha and Felix clicked as dance partners and dance became like a conversation. I feel like the best of my social partner dancing has felt like speaking a language that’s more expressive than English.
Definitely check out the reference material they have at the end – if you haven’t seen the Lindy Hop sequence from Hellzapoppin, you’re in for a real treat and the clip of LaTasha and Felix was lots of fun as well.