Lindy Hopping and the Marx Brothers

[I may have put in too many video clips, just take a dip or two]

Important questions first. What is Lindy Hopping? It is basically Swing Dancing, it started in  America in the 1920s and gathered pace with many variations through the next twenty years. To see the genuine article watch this clip from the Marx Brothers Day at the Races. The Lindy Hopping sequence doesn’t start until about 3.25 mins in, and the Lindy Hop dancing really starts about 5 mins in, but I love the section with Harpo and Who Dat Man that precedes it.

And no, I can’t dance like that.

Here’s a modern version of it.

I can’t dance like that either – but I try (the front couple in this demo were my first teachers).

In the last twenty years there has been a massive revival of Swing Dancing, particularly Lindy Hop and some of the original dancers were still with us until very recently. Most famous and beloved was Frankie Manning (d. 2009). Here he is age 90 doing the Shim Sham (a group Lindy dance)

(and if you want to be cheered and moved watch these two clips of villagers in India doing the Shim Sham in honour of Frankie on his Birthday).

Lindy is a partnered dance for all ages and everyone dances with everyone, you are either a lead (traditionally male) or a follow (female), but both men and women try the other roles. There are clubs in most big cities across the world run by enthusiasts. It is the best and most enjoyable exercise I know and I swear it has given my knees a new lease of life.

Web surgery – Kristen Harrison

It’s been a while since I put up a post, because I have been hard at work trying to update my embarrassingly old-fashioned website at hilarycustancegreen.comScreen Shot 2014-07-30 at 17.24.04

Today, through the Society of Authors, I signed up for a tutorial on my website and social media presence. I spent a generous and productive hour with Kristen Harrison of The Curved House.

My fear that I would be told to get onto various media outlets and advertise my books according to some hidden ‘rules for authors’ was unfounded. The session was unexpected for three particular reasons: 1) Kirsten had already checked out both my blog and my website and her first questions were designed to understand my work and interests. From there she swiftly showed me how to rearrange and redistribute the information on the web about me and my books. 2) She listened to, and understood, my concerns about cover design, about which she was extremely knowledgable (more about covers at a later date). 3) She aligned her advice with my understanding of the Internet and technology and with my needs outlined in a pre-session questionnaire.

How rare is that? All I have to do now is to put all this into practice…

I did manage to weed the vegetable plot and we have eaten the first runner beans.

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But there are 74 posts to read in my emails and I am going Lindy hopping tonight.