30 December 2013

World championship boogie-woogie dancing

Finals of the competition held in Fauske, Norway in 2012.  This is high-quality video that looks great on full-screen.
The origin of the term boogie-woogie is unknown, according to Webster's Third New International Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the word is a reduplication of boogie, which was used for rent parties as early as 1913. However, Dr. John Tennison, a San Antonio psychiatrist, pianist, and musicologist has suggested some interesting linguistic precursors. Among them are four African terms, including the Hausa word "Boog" and the Mandingo word "Booga", both of which mean "to beat", as in beating a drum. There is also the West African word "Bogi", which means "to dance", and the Bantu term "Mbuki Mvuki", which means, "Mbuki—to take off in flight" and Mvuki—"to dance wildly, as if to shake off ones clothes". The meanings of all these words are consistent with the percussiveness, dancing, and uninhibited behaviors historically associated with boogie-woogie music. Their African origin is also consistent with the evidence that the music originated among newly emancipated African Americans.
Via Nag on the Lake.


  1. Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing this ~

  2. Booggie-woogie comes a little later in the dance world and is more closely aligned with ballroom and jive but if you like the style check out lindy hop.

  3. I want to add a little context to the two videos linked above, since I have taken lessons from several of the dancers in the lindy hop video linked by anonymous.

    The boogie-woogie competition is a round where the dances are routines choreographed to a song chosen by the dancers. The lindy hop video is a round where they are mostly improvising dance sequences to live jazz music (which is also being improvised). There are some phrases that are choreographed, but overall it is done lead and follow.

    It is not all that strange that boogie-woogie is popular in Finland. Lindy hop was preserved through the 1980's to today at Herrang dance camp in Sweden (www.herrang.com) and by the Rhythm Hot Shots performing troupe.

    Finally I have to give a shout out to some internationally known Lindy Hop instructors based in the Twin Cities. Cindy and Terry Gardner (tcswing.com) and Peter Strom (uptownswing.net). Peter was the Master of Ceremonies for the Lindy Hop competition linked above.

    You can also search "Harvest Moon Ball" on youtube to find clips of similar competitions from the 1940's or so for comparison.


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