From the Short: TILLIE 1945 This is a fragment from a Louis Jordan short featuring the dance team “Taylor & Harris”.
Vintage Swing163 Videos
From the EARL GRANT SHOW May 27, 1957 In the 1950’s there were dozens of these teen dance shows on TV all across America and I would assume Canada as well. These kids are from Northwood High in Silver Springs Maryland and the show came from station WTTG-TV in Washington, DC. None of these couples […]
From the movie: MOM AND DAD 1945 I’m not sure who the dancers are other than Irene Thomas.
From the documentary: THE SPIRIT MOVES Leon James leads off some Savoy style Lindy Hop from the last days of Savoy.
From the movie: MARGIE 1946 The tall slender blond girl in the blue dress at the beginning is 16 year old Barbara Lawrence. Fun number.
From the movie: RHYTHM ROMANCE aka SOME LIKE IT HOT 1939 This is mostly a drum solo by Gene Krupa but starting at about the 1:20 mark there’s some interesting swing dance. There’s a lot of dead time from a dance standpoint but overall it’s a fun number.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 The Suzie-Q as danced by Al Minns and Leon James.
The first clip features Frankie Manning and I believe Irene Thomas is one of the dancers in the third clip but I personally like the second clip the best.
From the movie: ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK 1956 Another good routine by Earl Barton and Lisa Gaye backed by Bill Haley and his Comets. There are a number of name dancers in this movie but the only one I recognize in this number is Johnny Duncan. Good stuff.
From the movie: SWING SISTER SWING 1938 Here we see a dance called “The Baltimore Bubble”. I have no idea if this was in fact a real dance of the time or just a dance created for this movie. In any case it’s a fun number although there’s too much conversation between Ken Murray and […]
From the movie: MR BIG 1943 I really like the first part of this number before the tap routine. I’ve tried for years to find a copy of this film with good picture quality and this is the best I’ve found so far. Unfortunately there’s a distracting blocked out timing bar at the bottom of […]
From the movie: RADIO CITY REVELS 1938 This is quite simply one of the best routines Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers ever did on film, and it’s certainly one of my personal favorites.
From the movie: LET’S ROCK 1958 Theatrical but it has it’s moments. The singer is Julius LaRosa who my generation remembers as the guy Arthur Godfrey once fired because ” he lacked humility”.
From the documentary: AMERICA DANCES 1897-1948 A brief demonstration of two popular dances of the 1920’s, the Raggedy Ann and the Tangolio.
From the movie: JOHNNY DOUGHBOY 1942 Dean & Jewel go Irish in this chorus number from a rather obscure Jane Withers movie.
From the movie: FOUR JACKS AND A JILL 1942 Hollywood great Ray Bolger dances briefly with swing dance great Patti Lacey.
From the movie: JUKE BOX RHYTHM 1959 The dancers include Gil & Nikki Brady and their backed by Johnny Otis and his band.
From the documentary: THE STORY OF JAZZ 2002 An interesting narrative with some good swing dance scattered throughout.
From the movie: ORCHESTRA WIVES 1942 I don’t know who any of the dancers are other than actors Harry Morgan and Ann Rutherford. The background music is provided by probably the most popular band of the big band era, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
From the movie: WHY BE GOOD 1929 I’m not sure how much real Charleston there is in this speeded up clip along with some Collegiate maybe a little early Shag and whatever else, but it’s fun to watch. The last couple includes silent movie superstar Colleen Moore. I remember Colleen Moore mainly for the incredible […]
From the movie: DADDY -O 1958 This is mostly a vocal number by Dick Contino but Gil & Nikki Brady among others appear briefly.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 A good but all too short example of Collegiate Shag at the Harvest Moon Ball. I believe this is from the late 1930’s because of the way the girl is dressed. Those striped ankle length socks she’s wearing were very popular with American teenagers in the late 30’s.
From the documentary: THE SPIRIT MOVES The dancers include Al Minns, Leon James, Pepsi Bethel, Esther Washington and I believe, Willa Mae Ricker.
From the documentary: 500 YEARS OF SOCIAL DANCE 2002 Very theatrical to say the least but a fun number just the same. If nothing else you’ve got to love the background music, Louis Prima’s classic “Sing Sing Sing”.
From the movie: SUMMER LOVE 1958 Once again John Saxon pretends to play guitar and the print is a little choppy in spots.
From the movie: START CHEERING 1938 Actress Joan Perry starts off with a little Truckin backed by Louis Prima and his band. Then the Arthur Murray Dancers give us some Big Apple, Truckin, Suzy-Q and Charleston with a little help from Hal Le Roy. Finally there’s an all too short example of Bal-Swing by Lawrence […]
From the short: THE WINNAH 1934 I’ve included the opening vocal by Dorothy Dare and Arthur Lake with the dance beginning at about the 1:20 mark. I’ve been told that this is in fact a variation of an 1920’s dance called “The Collegiate”. Maybe so but i think at times it does look at least […]
From the short: CAB CALLOWAY’S JITTERBUG PARTY 1935 This is mostly more Jazz line dance than swing dance but it is claimed that this was the first time the term “Jitterbug” was mentioned on screen. In any case it’s an interesting number featuring Cab Calloway and his band and one of the dancers is a […]
From the movie: DON’T KNOCK THE ROCK 1956 Among the featured dancers are Gil & Nikki Brady.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 A little Charleston, a little Shimmy and just a whole lot of Jazz Age wonderful nonsense. I’ve backed this silent footage with my personal favorite 1920’s pop dance band record Irving Aaronson’s 1928 recording of Cole Porter’s classic “Let’s Misbehave”. Great stuff.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 I’m not positive but I think this is the British group “The Jiving Lindy Hoppers” that came to America in the late 1980’s.
From the movie: LET’S GO STEADY 1945 A very young Mel Torme sings to June Preisser as Dean Collins & Jewel McGowan along with Bob Ashley and either Rosemary Wilson or Elsie Parish swing dance.
From the movie: MR. ROCK & ROLL 1957 Once again Jazz great Lionel Hampton looks a bit out of place in this Rock & Roll movie but his band does provide some good background music.
From the movie: SPIRIT OF YOUTH 1938 This group calls itself ‘The Big Apple Dancers’. I originally thought this was a Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers group but apparently that’s not the case. It has been claimed that this in fact a group from Chicago also featuring “Rubberneck” Holmes. Whoever they are they’re very good.
From the movie: DANCE HALL RACKET 1953 An interesting look at swing dance shortly before Rock & Roll took over. Unfortunately the print of this obscure film is in pretty bad shape in spots.
From the movie: INVISIBLE STRIPS 1939 George Raft dances with Flora Robson but what’s interesting is what’s going on in the background.
From the movie: ROCK PRETTY BABY 1956 A group of unknown dancers give us a sock hop with Sal Mineo on drums and John Saxon again pretending to play guitar.
From the movie: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN 1992 Madonna dances as does Rosie O’Donnell, sort of. Is it just me or dose Madonna actually look better with her real hair color.
From the documentary: THE SPIRIT MOVES Early 1950’s One of the best Charleston routines I’ve ever seen with some great background music. The dancers include Al Minns, Leon James, Esther Washington, Frankie Manning, Willa Mae Ricker, Pepsi Bethel, Sandra Gibson, Teddy Brown and James Berry. The drummer at the end is Jazz great Zutty Singleton.
From the movie: LET’S MAKE MUSIC 1941 Dean Collins dances with Bertha Lee with music provided by Bob Crosby and His Bobcats. Good stuff.
From the movie: CARNIVAL ROCK 1957 Some pretty good Rockabilly with a little swing dance. I’m not sure who the dancers are other than Lennie Smith, but the band is Bob Luman and His Shadows.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 The Camel Walk dance was originally a ragtime vaudeville dance that became a social couples dance and later on a solo dance. Here Al Minns shows us one of the solo variations.
From the soundie: DOWN, DOWN, DOWN 1942 I’m not sure who the dancers are but their pretty good. The band is Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five.
From the movie: DANCING SWEETIES 1930 Some foxtrot, some Collegiate and maybe even a little early Shag. I’m not exactly sure what all their dancing here but it’s fun to watch.
From the movie: BOP GIRL GOES CALYPSO 1957 The dancers include Gil & Nikki Brady.
From the movie: PLAYMATES 1941 Dean & Jewel can be seen briefly near the beginning of this fun Kay Kyser number.
From the movie: SHAKE RATTLE AND ROCK 1956 The singer is Annitta Ray and the main dancers are Carlos Davila and a girl identified only as Rosie.
From the movie: THE CANTERVILLE GHOST 1944 Little Margaret O’Brien dances with Robert Young, Rags Ragland and finally with one of the two swing dancers.I’m not sure who these two guys are but their pretty good. Some say Dean Collins was the choreographer for this number.
From the documentary: JAZZ 2000 This clip shows us some scenes from the famous “Carnival of Swing” Jazz concert on Randall’s Island in 1938. An interesting narrative with some swing dance by members of the crowd scattered throughout.
From the movie: JIVE JUNCTION 1943 One of the best swing dance clips ever. The dancers include Bess Flowers, John Archer, Betty Boyd, Lenny & Kay Smith, Irene Thomas & Don Gallaher and Jean Phelps-Veloz & Bob Ashley. Jean almost gets her back injured attempting an aerial at about the 2:05 mark.
From the movie: RUNNING WILD 1955 I’ve spliced together two dance scenes from the same movie here and among the dancers are Lennie Smith, Lou Southern and Gil & Nikki Brady.
From the movie: HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN 1944 This is mostly a swing number by Jimmy Dorsey and his band but there’s some interesting swing dance in the background at the beginning, at about the 1:50 mark and at the end. I’ve always though Jimmy Dorsey had a very underrated band from a Jazz standpoint. He may […]
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 Frankie Manning dances with Norma Miller.
From the movie: BELLES ON THEIR TOES 1952 I’m not sure how close to early Shag this really is but their are at least some elements of Shag to be seen here.
From the movie: ROCK BABY ROCK IT 1957 This clip is divided into two parts, the first part begins with the dancers dancing behind the very obstructive opening credits which end at about the 1:20 mark. The second part starts at about the 1:50 mark. Again these look like real American teenagers from the 1950’s […]
From the soundie: THE OZZIE NELSON BLUES 1943 Featured are dancers Hal & Honey Bee with the “Collegiates”. The dance starts at about the 1:00 mark and I am told it features Hal Bee and his sister not Hal & Honey Abbott from the 1938 Woody Herman short.
From the VHS tape: MINNIE THE MOOCHER 1987 Cab Calloway takes us on a tour of some of the Harlem hot spots of the 1920’s and early 30’s. There’s also some very good dancing featured along the way.
From the soundie: MEXICAN HAT DANCE 1941 This is kind of an interesting combination of ballroom and swing dance performed by the dance team of Marcheta & Cliff Ferre. There’s also some pretty good background music, with the exception of the trombone player, by Gray Gordon and His Band. The best part is near the […]
From the movie: ROCK ROCK ROCK 1956 The dancers include actors Tuesday Weld and Teddy Randazzo the rest are probably casting call dancers but some of them are pretty good. There’s also some good background music by Al Sears and the big band.
From the soundie: JAZZY JOE 1941 I’ve included the entire soundie though I’m not sure why. Dean & Jewel can be seen at the very beginning and again starting at about the 1:50 mark. The last part is very good.
From the soundie: MAHARAJA 1943 One of the classic swing dance soundies. Hal & Betty Takier give us a clinic in Bal-Swing with some Lindy, Charleston and maybe even a little Shag thrown in. This is also the best copy of this soundie I’ve ever seen. Great Stuff.
From the soundie: SUGAR HILL MASQUERADE 1942 One of Whitey’s lesser groups but good stuff non the less. Also featured is Walter Fuller and his band. This is also the best picture quality for this soundie I’ve ever seen.
From the short: SKINNAY ENNIS AND HIS ORCHESTRA 1941 Jack Arkin and Marion Goldy give us a little Bal-Swing, a little Lindy and a little Shag. Good Stuff.
From the movie: HOUSE BOAT 1958 Sofia Loren does a surprisingly good job swing dancing. Also seen are Joe Lanza and Gil & Nikki Brady.
From the documentary: THE SPIRIT MOVES 1950’s The dancers include Leon James, Al Minns, Pepsi Bethel, Sandra Gibson and Esther Washington among others.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 Some newsreel footage of one of the Harvest Moon Ball contests from WWII. There’s a lame attempt at comedy near the end but overall it’s pretty good though the picture quality is poor.
From the Movie: DADDY-O 1958 The dancers are unidentified but I believe I see Lenny Smith. Gil & Nikki Brady do appear briefly elsewhere in the film. The main actor here is Dick Contino.
From the movie: BEWARE 1946 I don’t know who the dancers are but the band is Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.
From the movie: ASSASSIN OF YOUTH 1937 Beside a little Truckin’ I’m not sure exactly what all’s going on here except for the usual exploitation film nonsense.
From the short: JAMIN’ THE BLUES 1944 Some great Savoy style Lindy Hop by Marie Bryant and Archie Savage.
From the movie: ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK 1956 Earl Barton and Lisa Gaye dance to the music of Bill Haley & His Comets.
From the documentary : 500 YEARS OF SOCIAL DANCE 2002 Very theatrical but a fun number none the less.
From the movie: THE GET-AWAY 1941 Some typical Dean & Jewel in this all to short clip.
From the soundie: JUMPIN’ JACK FROM HACKENSACK I’ve included the entire soundie by a group caleed The Chanticleers but the best part of this is a brief by good swing dance scene starting at about the 1:30 mark.
From the movie: JUKE BOX RHYTHM 1959 There’s some good dancing here. The dancers include Lennie Smith, Freda Angela Wyckoff, Gil & Nikki Brady and I believe johnny Duncan.
From the movie: THE FIGHTING SEABEES 1944 John Wayne dances with singer/ dancer Adele Mara. It’s a good thing John Wayne kept his day job as an actor because as a swing dancer he was not exactly another Dean Collins.
From the soundie: FOO A LITTLE BOOGALOO 1945 I’ve included the entire soundie including Cab Calloway’s vocal. Cab dances with Rusty Stanford starting at about the 1:50 mark.
From the documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 A little swing dance, mostly Collegiate Shag from probably the 1980’s. I’ve been informed that the girl is Margaret Batiuchok.
From the movie: SUMMER LOVE 1958 Mollie Bee sings briefly and once again John Saxon pretends to play guitar with a group of what appear to be casting call dancers.
From the movie: GHOST CATCHERS 1944 The singers are Ella Mae Morse with Mel Torme & The Mel-Tones. Dean Collins was the choreographer and the dancers include Lennie Smith, Irene Thomas, Gil Fernandez, Patti Lacy, Betty Stoy, Bob Ashley, Alice Scott, Mike Tremini, John & Venna Archer among others.
From the documentary: THE SPIRIT MOVES 1950’S The Cakewalk was not exactly a swing dance but it was probably the first African-American dance to become popular with white audiences going back to the late 19th century. I believe the dancers are Pepsi Bethel and Esther Washington.
From the movie: MR. ROCK AND ROLL 1957 Lionel Hampton and his Jazz band seem a little out of place in this Rock & Roll movie but I think it all works together rather well. The dance starts at about the :55 mark.
From the short: WOODY HERMAN & HIS ORCHESTRA 1940 Hal & Honey Abbott give us an interesting combination of Tap and Swing Dance mostly Shag. The music is provided by Woody Herman and his band.
From the movie: JUNCTION 88 1947 I’ve included the entire number with the dance starting at about the 1:00 mark. The singer is Bob Howard and the band is led by Noble Sissle. I don’t know who the dancers are.
From the movie: DANCE HALL 1941 I’ve combined two separate scenes from this film, the second starts at about the 1:35 mark. In the first scene Jewel briefly says a few words and I believe that”s the only time I’ve ever heard her speak on film.
From documentary: DANCETIME RESEARCH #1 Al and Leon show us a number of different moves associated with the Big Apple. Things really heat up at about the 1:15 mark.
From the movie: I AM THE LAW 1938 Actors Edward G. Robinson and Wendy Barrie and others dance the Big Apple and more. Good stuff.
From the soundie: FOUR OR FIVE TIMES 1941 I’ve included the entire soundie including the vocal by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. There’s some good Savoy Style Lindy Hop starting at about the :40 mark and the band is Lucky Millinder’s.
From the movie: ROCK PRETTY BABY 1956 The dancers appear to be real American High School or in some cases even younger from the 1950’s. And yes that is Sal Mineo on the drums and John Saxon pretending to play the Guitar.
From the movie: THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK 1944 I have no idea who the dancers are other than Betty Hutton.
From the movie: TILL THE END OF TIME 1946 Actors Guy Madison and Jean Porter give us a kind of slow motion Lindy Hop. Guy is a bit stiff but Jean does a pretty good job.
From the movie: SIREN OF THE TROPICS 1927 Josephine Baker started out performing for nickels and dimes on the streets of St. Louis and eventually became the toast of Paris doing her “Banana Dance” in the 1920’s. Here she dances a lively Charleston without the help of any bananas.
From the movie: MARIHUANA 1936 Once you get past the “Exploitation Film” nonsense there’s some good stuff here. There seems to be a little Shag, a little Balboa, a little Fox Trot and maybe some of what I once heard described as ” Randy Swing”.
From the movie: ROCK ALL NIGHT 1957
From the movie; TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR 1944 June Allyson dances with Arthur Walsh to the music of Harry James and his band.
From the movie: MANHATTAN MERRY-GO-ROUND 1937 I’ve included the entire number including the vocal by Cab Calloway but the dance scene starts at about the 1:50 mark.
From the movie: BUNDLE OF JOY 1956 This is a total rip-off of the scene from the1939 film ‘Bachelor Mother” that I just posted. The dancers include beside Debbie Reynolds, Joe Lanza, Lennie Smith, Freda Angela Wyckoff and Gil & Nikki Brady.
From the movie: BACHELOR MOTHER 1939 Ginger Rogers dances with actor Frank Albertson. But again the real action is in the background with some Collegiate Shag among other things. The dancers include Lawrence “Lolly” Wise and Marge Wilson.
From the soundie: AIRMAIL SPECIAL 1941 Count Basie provides the music for a group of dancers I don’t recognize other than Jimmy Rushing and Winnie Johnson.
From the movie: THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT 1945 A lot of dead time in this one but there’s some very good swing dance mostly at the beginning. The dancers include Jean Veloz, Dean Collins, John Archer and Irene Thomas.