Most Popular Lindy Videos of 2012: Halftime Report

Major edit: Thanks to Jim Thorp who caught a major error and noted that I missed The Black Swamp Village video. In the process of verifying that, I noticed that I also missed the Carsie Blanton as well as the I Charleston Tel Aviv and Montpellier Swingjammerz videos. Much apologies from me for my lazy journalistic standards. At least, this still supports my conclusion that you need to make friends with an indy musician or better yet, be one.

While procrastinating on so many other things, I wondered what were the most popular Lindy Hop related videos so far in 2012 since we’re just past the half way point of the year. I thought you may be curious too, so I thought I’d share. That’s the kind of guy I am.

The most viewed Lindy Hop video so far this year with 64,500 views is . . .

Carsie Blanton’s Baby Can Dance – OFFICIAL VIDEO

And the rest as of Monday, July 9, 2012:

40000 views Black Swamp Village – the Speakeasies’ Swing Band! (Official Music Video)
34000 views The Ball & Chain FEAT. Rhythm Junkies – Tearing Up The Dancefloor
28000 views I Charleston Tel Aviv
25000 views Sh*t Lindy Hoppers Say
20800 views Montpellier SwingJammerz Festival Puppets show
18600 views ESDC 2012 – Classic Lindy Hop Showcase Dax Hock & Sarah Breck
15600 views The Snowball 2011 – Lindy Hop Strictly – Spotlights
14800 views GNSH 2012 Max Pitruzzella & Maeva Trunzer
12800 views MWLF 2011 Skye and Naomi
11800 views Hippocampus Jass Gang – Blue Drag
9700 views Lone Star Championships 2012 – Invitational Strictly Lindy Hop
9500 views 2012 Lone Star Championship – Blues Strictly Finals 
9100 views Project Q — Lindy Hop and science
7500 views Shit Lindy Hoppers Say in LA
7200 views The Snowball 2011 – Performances – Two Cousins
7100 views Lindy Focus X Performance: William & Maeva
7000 views Lindy Hop Steps Made Easy: Swivels! (solo jazz dance moves)
7000 views ESDC 2012 – Classic Lindy Hop Showcase (William Mauvais & Maeva Truntzer)
6600 views Lone Star Championships 2012 – Invitational Jack & Jill – Peter Strom & Evita Arce
6600 views Lindy Hop Steps Made Easy: Suzie Q (solo jazz dance moves)
6200 views Ben Morris & Naomi Uyama 1st Place Boston Tea Party 2012 Crossover Jack and Jill

A few notes:

  • In case you’re wondering, I used the same criteria in determining the top videos of 2011.
  • The numbers for the Ball & Chain video are combined from the official video and the “teaser” they posted before it. The teaser actually has more views (21,100) than the actual video (14,000).  I’m not even sure why they bothered with a teaser since that’s just the full video cut off about 2/3rds in. The marketing genius at work here escapes me.
  • The Lone Star video numbers are the combined views of two or three videos posted by the usual suspects: Patrick Szmidt, David Soltysik, and Jonathan Jow.
  • The Evita & Peter Lone Star numbers are weird because each person who recorded it uploaded it differently (either combined or separated the two songs of the spotlight. Jonathan also posted it as part of one video of the entire thing). I arbitrarily decided to count all those views of all the videos of each couple (with the exception of the long one of the whole Invitational J&J division).
  • The Naomi & Skye video is another odd one since it was performed in 2011, but it wasn’t uploaded until January of this year. My general guideline is that it should be posted within the time frame, regardless of when it was actually done.
  • The Project Q video was an interesting project that ended up being a TEXx presentation in Canada.
  • I wasn’t going to include the Blues video from Lone Star because it wasn’t Lindy, but then I realized the Two Cousins routine was solo jazz, and the Shit Lindy Hoppers Say videos have only minimal actual dancing in them. Then there’s the West Coast Swing in the Naomi & Ben spotlight and whatever Peter & Evita were doing at Lone Star. I could call it a list of Vernacular Jazz Dance related videos, but that would be stupid.
  • I counted the Lindy Focus and Snowball stuff even though they technically occurred in 2011. I usually do my year end re-caps in December, so I don’t include stuff at the very end of the year. I just roll them over into the following year.
  • I find it weird that I’ve done this enough times to have several precedents for that.
  • I could have kept going, but then we’d just have to keep watching videos of Rebecca Brightly in her house and that would be kinda creepy.
File this under “Things that make you go hmmm . . .” The last Lindy Focus featured a “Tri-Swing Tournament” which had finalists doing different dances in consecutive rounds. I tallied up the view totals for the different videos of the different dances and noticed this:

Interesting . . .

Moving on. I have no other insights on how to get your video to go viral other than:

    1. Dance really well in a big time event
    2. Be a really big time event
    3. Bandwagon a meme before it gets beaten to death.
    4. Make friends with your local indy band.*

Now you can either sit and watch all of these or start planning your own video. Half of last year’s top videos didn’t get posted until the second half of the year, so there’s still plenty of time. If you need more incentive, the deadline for the Jazz Dance Film Fest is August 2nd where you can win fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and Glory.

*Or at least one that has a bigger following than there are Lindy Hoppers.


  1. Rebecca Brightly said,

    July 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

    6,600 people now know how to Suzie Q better. I won’t be winning any fortune and glory, but dang that’s pretty cool. 🙂

  2. Shawn said,

    July 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    And now these 18 videos will all get a bump 🙂

  3. Ryan Lemar said,

    July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Regarding ESDC 2012 Dax and Sarah. I’m a bit mystified. I have many, many friends who love this routine, but I find that it feels a bit over-choreographed. I wish that there was more breathing room, less material, more repetition to allow patterns to emerge and evolve. Just mentioning, because I can’t get this clip out of my head. Maybe it’s like Stravinsky… and by next year I’ll think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Honesty curious, what do you think? Thanks!

    • Jerry said,

      July 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      I tend to agree actually. The choreography is a bit too westified for my tastes. It also reminded me of this performance in 2001, which is the kind of style that the scene veered away from not long after that.

      That being said, they did rock it out.

      • ryan lemar said,

        July 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

        That makes a lot of sense. I’m new to Lindy and don’t have much understanding of contemporary Lindy Hop history. Very informative. Thanks for the knowledge!

  4. Jim Thorpe said,

    July 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    D’awwww, edged out of the top spot by a technicality! Heh. Well, we’re just thrilled to be on the list, amongst such awesomeness 🙂

    • Jerry said,

      July 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Yeah. The original list had the “Shit Lindy Hoppers Say” on top until I noticed the 2nd Ball & chain video. I almost “overlooked it,” but my tenuous sense of journalistic integrity got the better of me. This time.

  5. breannaperry said,

    July 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I remember watching the Blue Drag video earlier this year and enjoying it, and I just rewatched and enjoyed, except that I noticed this thing: the very first time that the trumpet growls/breaks into a solo/whatever, the camera is focused and stays focused on the clarinetist. What the hell?

  6. Hannah said,

    July 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Does anyone know of any more videos from the 2012 Boston Tea Party Crossover J’nJ? I love seeing those. It’s something about the loving send up of both WCS and Lindy Hop, and seeing high level professionals dancing outside of their normal comfort zone… but I can only find the (awesome) one of Ben Morris and Naomi.

    • Jerry said,

      July 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      You won’t see any more of those online. For free at least. They’re one of the last events in either lindy or west coast that still makes people pay for access to their videos.

      • Hannah said,

        July 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        Bummer!! Here’s to hoping they change their tune in the next few years. I feel like it would go a long way towards improving Lindy-Westie relations…

  7. Benedikte said,

    July 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I’m really surprised this one didn’t make it into the top ten. So far it’s been the lindy/authentic jazz highlight of my year:

    • Jerry said,

      July 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Well the list is based purely on number of views according to YouTube, and as of yesterday didn’t have more than the lowest one on the list above. Had I thought about it, I may have combined the numbers with their performances at Plenty Hot, but that would be a stretch since it really isn’t the same routine especially without the third person in the later performances. Still good stuff. Get more people to watch it a lot between now and the end of the year, and maybe it’ll make the list by the time I do my final round up.

  8. Jim Thorpe said,

    July 11, 2012 at 4:11 am

    Not that I wanna push myself further down the list, but doesn’t this video take the cake for view count?

    • Jerry said,

      July 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Yes it does. Somehow I completely missed it when I compiled my list. Good catch. I’ll have to update now.

  9. Tena Morales said,

    July 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Hey Jerry, how does events like Lindy Focus and ILHC take into the equation? The events are at the end of the year, thus less time to develop hits. How do you adjust for that, if at all? For example, I would think an event like Lone Star would be at an advantage making the list because it is January.

    • Jerry said,

      July 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      In terms of numbers I just look at the total views accrued within a particular time frame. The public stats for videos don’t really allow you look at them in any detail, so I don’t calibrate for how long they’ve been out. As I noted above, actually half of the most popular videos of 2011 didn’t hit the web until the 2nd half of the year, so I don’t think there is much of an advantage to getting posted earlier.

      Lindy Focus I count towards the next year. So the last Lindy Focus videos will be counted for this year’s list even though most of the performances are technically in 2011. That’s because I do my year end round up in early December.

      I was actually not being that facetious in my conclusion to this post. Brand names matter. If you look at last year’s most popular videos, you’ll notice that most of them are associated with recognizable names: ILHC, Harlem Hot Shots, Skye & Frida, Herrang. The exceptions are the really well done professional to semi-professional quality videos that also appeal outside of our scene like the Black Coffee, the flash mobs, the Slow Cub video, and the Mario Brothers routine. This year’s list follows the same pattern more or less.

      I actually started analyzing the ILHC 2011 video numbers about 6 weeks after the event, but I got distracted. I’ll try to find those and email them to you when I have a chance.

  10. July 12, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Interesting list Jerry. Thanks for taking the time to setting this up!

  11. Lewi Gilamichael said,

    July 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Here’s one that makes it next to last on your list.

    Thanks so much for the awesome compilation. I hadn’t seen some of these videos at all before you posted them here.

  12. July 18, 2012 at 12:39 am

    […] my last post, I compiled this list of most viewed Lindy related videos. It was a relatively straight forward […]

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