Four Jazz Routines Every Swing Dancer Should Know (part 2)

So here’s part 2 of on Jazz Routines, read part 1 here.

#3 The Big Apple

Difficulty level: Difficult

It’s 1936, and three white students from the University of South Carolina manage to get special permission to smuggle into the black-only Big Apple Night Club to watch dancers from the balcony.

They witnessed dancers in a circle, and when someone cracked out an awesome dance move, someone would call out the name of that jazz step and then everyone in the circle followed. This was the original free-form version on the dance.

It left such an impression on those 3 students that a year later they danced the Big Apple at the Pavillion in Myrtle Beach. Everyone loved it, including a New York talent agent who then incorporated it at the Roxy Theatre.

Herbert White, aka “Whitey” caught sight of it and immediately called up his good pal and absolute legend Frankie Manning, who was in Hollywood at the time with his dance group, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.

Frankie put together his own version of the Big Apple to teach to his troupe and later to the dancers at the Savoy Ballroom.

Just two years after that the Big Apple dance routine was immortalised in the 1939 film Keep Punchin’.


#4 The Tranky Doo

Key Songs: The Dipsy Doodle (Ella Fitzgerald)

Difficultly level: Medium

It can’t be said for certain, but people think the dance originated in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, like the Shim Sham. It’s another line dance that cropped up somewhere in the 40s.

The popular version of the dance which was filmed at the Savoy ballroom in the 1950’s can be seen being performed by Al Minns, Leon James & Pepsi Bethel in the dance documentary the Spirit Moves. Frankie Manning did a variation of the dance, too, so there are two routines floating around for you to learn if you’re a die-hard fan.

The first sequence of jazz steps includes Fall Off The Log, Shuffles, the Lowdown, Shoe-Shine & Boogie Forward.






Where can I learn this Jazz Routine?

Watch this space for jazz workshops or book a private lesson with one of our excellent teachers to learn one of these routines.



Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *