KevinSchaper wrote:I never got why some dances have these uber subtle differences that make them entirely different, like bal and single-shag, but lindy has this massive range that includes everything done by somebody who's first dance class was a lindy hop class.
Why not move towards the broader term swing dance?
This is way off the thread and even outside of a Swing DJ list topic, but there are good reasons why I use “Lindy Hop” as the generic term, not “Swing Dance.” I understand why people have begun to use “Swing Dance,” but here’s why I very purposefully do not.
First, marketing. Doing so distinguishes "us" from the Neo Swing, zoot-suit "Swing-twits" that most people outside of the scene irreversibly, categorically, and negatively associate with "Swing Dance." Ryan Francois inspired me to do so long ago to distinguish "us" from the modern-day jitterbuggers (Swing-twits) who threaten to kill the dance by diluting its beauty, form, and diversity, just like the "original" Jitterbuggers did in the 40s and 50s. The term “swing dance” has a negative connotation, even for me, to the point that even I would feel embarrassed to tell people that I travel across the country to “swing dance,” but not to “Lindy Hop.” As an instructor, it is also easier to get “normal,” mainstream people to learn to do something called “Lindy,” but very difficult to market “Swing” to mainstream people now that the fad has passed.
“Swing dance” as taught by Ballroom studios also developed its own connotation through Ballroom dance classes to refer to a dance that differs tremendously from the Lindy Hop we do. Using “Lindy Hop” instead of “Swing Dance” distinguishes “us” from the Ballroom scene, not just the zoot-suit, neo-swing twits.
Second, it is not intellectually dishonest to do so. “Lindy Hop” is not limited to just swing-out, circle, and swing out from closed done to the 1,2,3&4,5,6,7&8 rhythmic pattern. It is a diverse enough dance to not only include other improvisational movement, but also other rhythmic patterns such as Charleston, Bal and Shag. Where do you draw the line between more advanced “Bal” or “Shag” moves and “Lindy Hop” moves? If even simple barrel-rolls or sugar-pushes are part of Lindy Hop (as well as Salsa, West Coast, etc), and if the swing-out can change its rhythmic patterns to fit whatever rhythmic accent you want to make while dancing to the point where its nothing like a basic swing-out, then I don’t see the harm or dishonesty in including the basic bal, charleston, or shag step in “Lindy Hop.” Moreover, the "Charleston" that "we" do to Swing music differs enough from the "original" Charleston dance that I consider "our" Charleston (Lindy-charleston) to more honestly be a subset of Lindy Hop, not the actual, separate dance done to choppy, stacato jazz of the 1920s.
Third, (and least persuasively) I believe that the term "Lindy Hop" predated "Swing Dance." If anything, Swing Dance as we know it (6-count East Coast Swing) evolved from Lindy Hop. (I could be mistaken about this point).