Nightclub two-step

> Did Buddy Schwimmer invent N2S?

v Even older source for N2S

Hey, I just learned something fascinating.

You've seen the film of Shorty Snowden doing the original Lindy Hop, along with other Savoy Ballroom dancers in 1929, right? I've heard many people remark that it is almost identical to the Nightclub Two Step, except that the spinning turn is the basic instead of a variation. And the observation is true, of course. They danced it closer to 100 BPM instead of 80-90 and the style was bouncier, but the basic step and many variations were the same or similar.

Well, last night I had dinner with Norma Miller, one of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in the 30s, and she told me about this 1920s version. She saw it lots because she lived just across the alley from the Savoy in the 1920s, was a dancing kid at the time, her mom danced it, and she knew Shorty well. I asked her what they called it before Shorty called it was the Lindy Hop (in 1928). "Oh, we called it the two-step." "Really?" Yes, she was positive. Everyone called it that, she said, including her mom who also danced it. (Then they started calling it the Lindy Hop in 1928, and filmed it in 1929.)

A rather nice coincidence, eh?

BTW, when people try to claim that Buddy Schwimmer didn't really invent the Nightclub Two-Step, because it predated him by decades, I defend him by stating that Originality is coming up with something completely on your own, whether you knew it already existed or not. Dances are re-invented all the time. Buddy invented a very nice dance he hadn't seen before and did a good job of promoting it.

Another coincidence: Buddy told me his father competed with Shorty Snowden at the Savoy in the late twenties, probably doing the two-step. [Richard Powers]

> Traveling patterns in N2S

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Last modified on: 2000, Tuesday December 12.