Danny Kaye sings "Ballin' the Jack" ~ Swing, jazz and blues - Dance to the music

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Danny Kaye sings "Ballin' the Jack"

Have you ever wanted to learn to dance Ballin' the Jack? Here is your chance.

Danny Kaye shows you how it's done when he sings "Ballin' the Jack" in this video clip from the movie "On the Riviera" from 1951. The woman looking at him is actress Gene Tierney.

Ballin' the Jack is an old dance that according to the book Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference Volume 2 Lindy Hop to Hip Hop, 1901-2000 (page 7-8) was invented in California around 1901-1905 and then was popularised through the theatre production Darktown Follies in 1911.

"Another popular dance from the Darktown Follies was Ballin' the Jack. Historian Willis Lawrence stated that the term "Ballin' the Jack" was a nineteenth century railroad expression that meant "travelling fast and having a good time"."

If you know of any other sources of information about the dance, let me know.

What do you think of Danny Kaye showing how to dance Ballin' the Jack? Tell me.


Veronika said...

Stearns' Jazz Dance has some pages on Ballin' the Jack too, though I haven't found the time to have a look at them yet...

Henrik said...

Thank you Veronika, I'll look into that since they have the Jazz Dance at the library.

Judith said...

Hi Henrik, what a shame the clip is no longer available, I was looking forward to it. You have great site.

Henrik said...

Judith, I've changed to another version of that clip that works. Enjoy!