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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that disconnection from the true jam circle that characterized Lindy Hop, and the subsequent appropriation by white audiences who viewed only the disembodied spectacle of the exciting air steps outside of their original contexts, ultimately transformed the meaning of the dance from one that had an inclusivity of community at its central core into something that now had a liminal space that created a distance between observer and participant. This became most readily apparent when in 1943, just eight years after Lindy Hop emerged, Life magazine featured a cover photo on the 23 August issue titled “Lindy Hop” with two young dancers, both white, rigidly posed and grounded, smiling together with no one surrounding them and thus firmly representing the dilution of the dance’s original meaning.

Keywords: Lindy Hop, Frankie Manning, Frieda Washington, air steps, Savoy Ballroom, swing, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, Life magazine, Hot Mikado, Herbert White

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