The Big Apple Swing Dance

MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
in History Posts: 6,155
This discussion was created from comments split from: Eastman Gypsy Guitars Coming.


  • Rob MacKillopRob MacKillop Edinburgh, Scotland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 201
    Oh, I think you are a lot better than you make out. Your band puts a smile on peoples faces and feet. Thats all that counts.
  • It's actually the dancers that make people smile! We're lucky enough to have a Swing Dance Association in town that comes to see us play and sometimes is actually a part of our show. Also, little known fact: there's an historic building in town called The Big Apple that was originally a synagogue but became an African-American jazz/dance club. It's where NYC got the nickname The Big Apple, based on the dance of the same name. It was dance craze that rivaled the Charleston early on, but since it was non-white, is lesser known. South Carolina has a rich history in such stuff, so maybe you should come stay on my couch!
    The current owner was actually my high school teacher!
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    edited September 2018 Posts: 360
    Years ago, a grandmotherly lady from South Carolina gave a talk at Augusta Heritage Center's Swing Week about how the social dances of African-American kids made their way north to New York City. She recalled the segregated venues of the South and a kind of field trip to New York City, where white kids got exposed to what black kids were doing. And I remember my mother telling me about how black and white teenagers could mix a bit in the late 1930s in upstate NY dance venues. (She lived in Mohawk Valley towns--Canajoharie, Schenechtady, Amsterdam).
  • You hit it on the head, Rob. It's the dancing that gets people. We are fortunate to have a Swing Dance Association who follows us to most venues. There's also an historical background in that kind of dancing. The Big Apple Club in my town is where the other early 20th century South Carolina dance craze originated. It's lesser known than the Charleston as it was predominantly an African-American thing, until white kids,sneaked into the club and ripped it off. A team went to NYC to demonstrate the dance and the city went crazy over it, as well as most of the country doing so for short spell. It's actually where NYC got the nickname The Big Apple.
    Don't forget that the Twist is also a SC dance as it's Chubby Checker's home state. Freddie Green, Dizzy Gillespie, Eartha Kitt, and so many others came from here.
    Maybe you should come stay on my couch!
  • Rob MacKillopRob MacKillop Edinburgh, Scotland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 201
    I could do with the schooling!
  • There's a rich musical history in the South. I've studied it and been involved with it my whole life. I also did a weekly radio show on PBS for over a decade that focused on Americana music too, so that helped!
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