[UPDATE: I forgot to include the MOVITS! - Sammy Davis Jr. (Official Video) which along with it's English subtitles gives it about 255,000 views. No Lindy, but some quickly cut in Charleston. The dancers are Pontus Persson and Daniel & Asa Heedman of The Harlem Hotshots] For the past couple of years I’ve done end of the year round ups of my favorite videos, but I decided to do something different this year.
The reason for those round ups were for me to share stuff I found over the course of the year, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing on the Facebook page for this blog since February. That was not the original intention for the FB page, but it's how it has worked out. It’s also been a very convenient way for me to keep pseudo-blogging since I haven’t been able to pull together my own full blog posts. That’s for a lot of different reasons. I’ve been writing quite a bit actually; mostly in terms of unfinished posts or lots of long emails to friends because they tend to be more forgiving of my poor grammar and editing. I like the FB page because it’s pretty low maintenance and the character limitation provides me with a good excuse not to go into too much detail. So basically I don’t post because I have too much to say about stuff, but not a lot of time to write it all out, edit it, and format it all nicely.
However, my latent OCD compelled me to go through that FB page and figure out what were the most popular items from the past year. But that is not this post. This post is the part where I decided to do a not very easy search for the most viewed Lindy Hop related videos on YouTube. It wasn’t easy because the search filter on YouTube doesn’t allow you to search a specific date range. Plus, people like tagging their random crap with the words “Lindy Hop.” I have a feeling that is how stuff gets tons of views because users will tag their videos with all kinds of unrelated words to get suckers like me to pull them up in searches.
But you probably don’t care about details, so here’s the list. More details after.
As noted above, I compiled all these totals just today.* And yes, I did round all the numbers for simplicity’s sake especially since they keep changing. That Denver Flash Mob accumulated a couple thousand views in just a few hours this afternoon. The internet is a fast and scary place.
Also, I did tally all the numbers from multiple videos of the same performance which was an issue for a few of them especially the stuff from the International Lindy Hop Championships.
I’ll admit that I was incredibly arbitrary in what I included in this list. By far, the most popular video from this year tagged with Lindy Hop is The Jive Aces’s music video for their song “Bring Me Sunshine” with 1.6 million views. I left it off because while there are Lindy Hoppers in the video, the editing doesn’t actually make it clear that they are doing Lindy Hop. This is not helped by a lengthier section previous to them that focuses on a couple obviously doing Boogie Woogie. When the Lindy Hoppers hit the screen you can see the last two counts of two swingouts plus what looks like the Califonia Routine. But like I said, the video cuts so quickly and frequently, that it’s more of a suggestion of Lindy.
Of course, I completely contradict myself by including Black Coffee on this list since that only features half a second of Lindy Hop. In my opinion, it’s made up by some fine solo dancing by Adam Boehmer and Josh Welter.
I don’t make it any easier on myself with the inclusion of William and Maeva’s ESDC performance. I’m of the opinion that it’s a Boogie Woogie routine. The comments on that video seem to lean that way as well. But they won what was labeled a Lindy Hop Showcase, so I let it slide.
You don’t like it? Well, put your own list together on your own blog. The internet is a big place.
A few things other things I noticed while compiling this list:
About half of the videos, including the top four, are professionally filmed. I mentioned in my introduction to my video round up last year that angles, editing, and video quality matters. Even the non-professional ones are still very high quality. The numbers support that it doesn’t just matter to dance geeks like me. The bottom line is that dance is meant to be seen, and seen in the most well filmed, high definition way possible.
Speaking of angles, Skye & Frida’s demo at Leapin Lindy in Switzerland is a good example of the fact that I am not the only obsessive compulsive video watcher in this community. There are several videos of this performance but there are two videos with over 13000 views each. One is linked in the list. The other is recorded from above. This is super odd because with most videos of the same performance, there is usually only one which has a lot of views while the rest only have a relatively small number.
I should also note that this is the only non-competitive social dancing video on this list. If you combine it with their ILHC performance, that’s almost 100,000 views of people watching them dance to that song (“Wham” with Teddy Wilson). Counting the Harlem Hot Shot videos, Frida is in five videos on this list. That’s 1/3rd of the most viewed Lindy videos online. Make it six if you want to include the Herrang promotional video. She doesn’t appear in that, but she is one of the main organizers of the camp.
I find it amusing that after the 3 viral videos, the only "regular" lindy video that beats out Skye & Frida's individual performances is one that features them and all the other top dancers from the ILHC Champions Strictly division. For the record, they are, in order of appearance:
- Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau (ILHC 2010 Showcase & Champions Strictly winners)
- Todd Yannacone & Naomi Uyama
- Stephen Sayer & Chandrae Roettig (2011 Camp Hollywood Pro Division winners)
- Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei (ILHC 2010 Classic winners)
- Pontus Persson & Isabella Gregorio
- Jeremy Otth & Laura Keat
- Skye Humphries & Frida Segerdahl (ESDC 2011 Champions Strictly winners)
- Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg
- Juan Villafane & Sharon Davis (ULHS 2011 winners)
- William Mauvais & Maeva Truntzer (Camp Jitterbug 2011 Strictly Lindy Hop winners)
Back to the top three videos. I think it’s interesting that those are runaway hits mostly because of factors not related to the dance. The Denver flash mob video is part of a big marketing push by Denver International Airport, and is a juggernaut right now. It beat out every other video despite being online for only three weeks. It also explains how all those people didn’t get tasered within the first 10 seconds of the music starting. Congratulations to cmDance for getting the Denver dancers organized and to Ceth Stifel, Heather Ballew, Joseph DeMers, & Lark Mervine for choreographing the whole thing.
I have a confession: I’ve played about two and a half levels of a Mario Brothers game in my entire life, so I knew enough to understand the references in Morgan and Emily's performance, but I honestly didn’t think it was that big of a deal when I first saw it. It ended up being a good example of the power of tapping into cultural touchstones. It reminded me of the One2Swing Jitterbugs’ team performance from the team division at ILHC 2009. At the very beginning, they pay homage to an animated short film done to Benny Goodman’s “All The Cats Join In.” I know of at least one judge that year who didn’t see the original, so that part made no sense to that person. Some stuff, you just have to be there to get.
On the other hand, I don’t follow very much music outside of traditional jazz, so I had never heard of Slow Club before their video featuring Remy Kouakou & Ryan Francois. However, I still found the video very powerful, and I still get a lot out of it from repeated viewings. Seems to be a two way street since a cursory search indicates that it’s their most widely viewed video.
Enough rambling. Watch the videos. I’ll be back with more year end observations soon. Maybe even by the end of the year. I hope.
*Funny story. To me at least. I didn't get home until 7 am this morning after dj'ing a dance in Baltimore.** As I got ready to go to sleep, I got the idea for this post, and started looking things up for almost two hours before forcing myself to go to bed. I had a lot of ideas running through my head and only slept a few hours before I gave up and started working on this again.
**Just to show you how they roll in Baltimore, this is one of my sets (I alternated with two other DJ's, Mike Marcotte & Rayned Wiles) coming out of a performance break
- Shake That Thing, Wynonie Harris
- Just One Look, Doris Troy
- Honeysuckle Rose, Gordon Webster
- Sister Kate, Kid Ory & his Creole Jazz Band
- Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5
- S&M, Rihanna
- I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song), The Ikettes
- I Ain't Got Nuthin But The Blues, Meschiya Lake And The Little Big Horns
***I like lists.