Dancing! | History - Life In The 40s | Club Dahlia

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Dancing!
April 13, 2011
2:01 am
Emmaline
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This is somewhat of an incongruous topic next to ones about rationing and WWII, but, well…surely a bit a fun is alright? So! 1940s dancing!

Obviously the most famous one is swing dancing, but my personal favorite is the lindy hop (a sort of derivative of the Charleston)! One of the best lindy hop dance sequences I've ever seen is from the 1941 movie Hellzapoppin' (which otherwise isn't very good from a modern perspective, although Martha Raye is fantastic). Here's a video clip of one of the dance sequences:

 

What's your favorite dance from the 40's? And can any of you dance yourselves? (I don't think I have the energy level for swing or lindy, so I mostly just watch!)

April 13, 2011
4:56 pm
RocketMan
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I never did dance. I loved to watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance though. I also enjoyed watching Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen dance in "White Christmas" When they did the jazz type dance I loved it. I was always too clumsy and shy to try myself though.

April 15, 2011
3:24 pm
Scarlett
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No dancing for me! I am so clumsy. I do love watching people dance in old movies. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are favorites of mine. I really appreciate all the work put into those dance sequences. There weren't fancy editing tricks like there are now.

April 15, 2011
5:16 pm
Emmaline
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I agree with the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers love! I also really like Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. :D Dancing always makes movies way more fun that normal, don't you think?

April 18, 2011
5:27 pm
Scarlett
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Yes, I found that dancing in a lot of movies really makes it unique and so much more engaging.

I really like Gene Kelly as well. I don't know Cyd Charisse but I will look her up!

April 18, 2011
8:24 pm
luv2write
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Emmaline said:

I agree with the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers love! I also really like Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. :D Dancing always makes movies way more fun that normal, don't you think?


 

Yes those two had it going on. I love watching movies with this dancing in it. You just can not have a good movie these days like that.  Those old movies were the best.

April 18, 2011
8:56 pm
Rosie77
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April 12, 2011
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I love watching dancing in old films too! I have always wanted to learn how to swing dance but I could never get my significant other to go with me. It would be kind of pointless to learn if I didn't have someone to partner up with.

April 19, 2011
2:50 am
NatureElf
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Swing dancing has become very popular lately. I know of some younger people and teens taking lessons. I think it is a wonderful thing to learn.

April 19, 2011
5:24 am
Orrymain
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I couldn't do any of those; just no energy at all.  It sure kept them in shape, I think.  Probably the swing is my favorite, but they are all fun to watch.

April 23, 2011
10:11 am
Taggart
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I'm not a dancer myself, but I'd love to watch some couples doing the routines to a live big band.

I'm always glad to see the style brought back whenever that happens. I think Dancing With The Stars has drawn from that genre in the last couple years.

April 30, 2011
2:48 pm
luv2write
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I agree with you how fun it is to watch.  I love watching them swing on Dancing with the Stars.  It looks like a lot of fun.

May 11, 2011
6:53 pm
JazzyDame
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I love swing dancing!  I don't often have the opportunity to do it, but I do enjoy it.  I like the lindy, as well as the jitterbug.  And give me a waltz (even if it's Viennese) any time of the day or night and I'm a happy camper.  Finding places to swing dance is often difficult, unfortunately.  You generally have to venture into larger cities to find such venues featuring swing music and dancing, but they are out there.  Personally, I really wish that "Supper Clubs" would make a return to our culture today…that would be swell!  Great places to meet, greet, socialize, dine and dance. 

May 12, 2011
2:08 am
Emmaline
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JazzyDame said:

I love swing dancing!  I don't often have the opportunity to do it, but I do enjoy it.  I like the lindy, as well as the jitterbug.  And give me a waltz (even if it's Viennese) any time of the day or night and I'm a happy camper.  Finding places to swing dance is often difficult, unfortunately.  You generally have to venture into larger cities to find such venues featuring swing music and dancing, but they are out there.  Personally, I really wish that "Supper Clubs" would make a return to our culture today…that would be swell!  Great places to meet, greet, socialize, dine and dance. 


 

I'm lucky to live in a big enough city to have at least one swing dance club! But I'm too shy to actually go out and join it. (Also, I'm not entirely sure I'd bee good at swing dancing, anyway.)

Anyway, what I really want to know is-- what's a Supper Club? Just what it says? Somewhere you go and have supper? :D

May 12, 2011
7:20 am
FlorrieMay
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Oh yes, Gene Kelly was terrific. I remember him with Frank Sinatra, who also danced, in "Anchors Aweigh" and with Astaire in "Zeigfreid Follies". I also remember him dancing with Cyd Charisse but can't recall the name of the film.

May 12, 2011
10:47 am
JazzyDame
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Emmaline said:

JazzyDame said:

I love swing dancing!  I don't often have the opportunity to do it, but I do enjoy it.  I like the lindy, as well as the jitterbug.  And give me a waltz (even if it's Viennese) any time of the day or night and I'm a happy camper.  Finding places to swing dance is often difficult, unfortunately.  You generally have to venture into larger cities to find such venues featuring swing music and dancing, but they are out there.  Personally, I really wish that "Supper Clubs" would make a return to our culture today…that would be swell!  Great places to meet, greet, socialize, dine and dance. 


 
I'm lucky to live in a big enough city to have at least one swing dance club! But I'm too shy to actually go out and join it. (Also, I'm not entirely sure I'd bee good at swing dancing, anyway.)

Anyway, what I really want to know is-- what's a Supper Club? Just what it says? Somewhere you go and have supper? :D


Emmaline, you are indeed fortunate to live in a city with a swing dance club!  I envy you!  You should definitely check it out—you just never know…you might love it! 

To answer your question regarding Supper Clubs…these were classy yet affordably-priced dining/social establishments that gained popularity in the late 1930's and 1940's.  They were venues where you good meet friends or go with your date to enjoy an evening of good food and friendly mingling.  They often included a dance floor and a live swing band, so you can imagine the wonderful atmosphere…definitely a place where members of Club Dahlia would want to meet!  If fact, I think Club Dahlia just might be considered a "Supper Club", yes?

 

May 14, 2011
6:58 pm
Zootsuit
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Great topic!  It is amazing to see the dance moves.  I think it is all about the rhythm.  Rhythm in the dancing and the music.  The Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire pair is ledgendary.  To watch them perform in such harmony and to move as one shows how much time was spent in rehearsals.  To make it look that effortless is a sign of a true professionals.  The gowns that Ginger wore really accentuated the dance moves.  They helped to make every move appear flowing and flawless! 

May 15, 2011
1:05 pm
empirestate
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I agree with a lot of what this topic says. It is coming back, maybe less seriously, but people are actually swing dancing again! Swing dancing is such a fun thing to do, and on top of that, great exercise!

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