Discover something new. Fall in love with something once forgotten. And get inspired by some of these rare vintage swing and lindy hop clips.
Hellzapoppin’. Groovie Movie. After Seben. Keep Punching. Buck Privates. Maharaja Soundie. All the Cats Join In. Don’t Knock the Rock. These are just a few of the most well known vintage swing and lindy hop clips. There are a number of famous dance clips which we all love and regularly draw from for inspiration in our dancing and performances. But every once in a while, it’s nice to unearth a new gem or dust the cobwebs off of a forgotten vintage dance scene from an obscure movie to discover new dancers, new moves and new styling choices. Thankfully, there are individuals out in the world mining through film vaults to preserve and share these fractured and precious pieces of our history. An amazing dancer/teacher/writer from Washington DC, Bobby White, recently discovered some VERY rare stock footage of swing dancers from the 1940s which sent a number of dancers into a frenzy. The mystery of who is dancing in the clip continues, but the extended shots show moves that were known of but never before seen executed by dancers in their prime. In light of this discovery we at Atomic Ballroom want to celebrate the unique, rare, lesser known, and forgotten swing dance clips of yesteryear!
Check out these Rare Vintage Swing & Lindy Hop Videos!!
Jitterbugs (1943) – Laurel & Hardy Film
Ghost Catchers (1944) – Film
Dancers in the Dark (1932) – Film
Basin Street Boogie (1939) – Will Bradley Soundie
Boardwalk Boogie (1941) – Will Bradley Soundie
Juke Box Saturday Night (1942) – Glenn Miller Soundie
Swing Cat’s Jamboree (1938) – Film feat. Louis Prima
‘Break Dancing’ to A Night in Tunisia (30s?) – Mills Brothers Film
Jack You’re Playing the Game (1941) – Delta Rhythm Boys Soundie
WWII Sailors Jitterbug
Ragg Mopp (1951) – The Treniers Soundie
Rhumba Boogie (1950) – Chuy Reyes Soundie
‘Can I Steal a Little Love’ from Rock Pretty Baby (1956) – Film
National Library of Sweden (1944) – Check out this really cool clip of Swedes doing the lindy hop!
Rare Dancing Cartoons
I’m Just a Jitter Bug (1939) – Walter Lanz, Oswald Rabbbit
Poopdeck Pappy (1940) – Popeye the Sailor
Boogie Woogie Man (1943) – Walter Lanz, Swing Symphony
Jitterbug Jive (1950) – Popeye the Sailor
Some may relish the small details like shoulder shakes and hand gestures, while others may appreciate the opportunity to ‘try-on’ a variety of fashion and dance styles. But mostly, they’re really fun!
This is just a short list to get you started on your own adventure! So check out your local library, museum or film archive for more rare lindy hop and swing dance clips! If you have uncovered a rare vintage swing dance clip and would like to share it with the rest of us, please leave a link in the comments section!