Steal dances or cutting in ~ Swing, jazz and blues - Dance to the music

Friday, July 6, 2007

Steal dances or cutting in

Steal dances or cut-in dances are dances where your dance partner get stolen away from you in one way or another.

Here is a steal dance performed at the Thursday night cabaret at Herräng Dance Camp in 2003 by Tommy Blacharz, Andrew Sutton and Rabéa Lahlou. The song they dance to is (of course ironically chosen) "They can't take that away from me" performed by June Christy.

Andrew Sutton often teaches techniques for steal dancing and has written an article about steal dancing.

There is some information about "Cut-in dances" in Ralph G. Giordano's book Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference Volume 2 Lindy Hop to Hip Hop, 1901-2000.

In the section "Fashion, flappers and the great Gatsby" on page 59 Giordano writes about 1920s college campuses:

"The Charleston and the Varsity Drag were quite popular on college campuses. Also popular on campus was the "cut-in" dance. The idea was that more men than woman would be invited to a dance. The men were expected to "cut-in" during the course of a dance as many times as possible with a different female during an evening."

On page 96 he writes about American movies during the second world war:

"Many [movies] had a dance scene with a slow Foxtrot that also had an individual "Cutting In" on a couple. The scene was especially prevalent during World War II when there simply were not enough women partners at military dances. Although the custom could be annoying to leave a partner that you were enjoying dancing with for either a partner you did not like or possibly no partner at all, it was continually reinforced that it was a patriotic thing to do. "

What do you think of the video clip with steal dancing? Tell me.


Lindsey said...

This clip was fabulous! It was fun to watch and quite educational. I actually was at a party at my dance studio tonight and during a Merengue I went through several different partners. By the end of the dance I was getting pretty good at it! Thanks for sharing, this was a great post.

Henrik said...

Hi Lindsey, I'm glad you liked the post :)