"720 Breakfast" - The Lindy Hop 

Interview with Rusty Frank

Presenter: Eoin Cameron

Friday, 23 April  2004 



From the radio station:


What is it?
Why's it booming?
What's it's history?

All is explained by a visiting expert.

An American Lindy Hop expert visits Perth for a major hopper festival. What's the Lindy Hop we want to know ? : "the Lindy Hop is the name of the original American swing dance... a specific 1930s,40s dance" explains Rusty Frank.

She tells a fascinating tale of its history. It takes its name from Charles Lindbergh's famous crossing of the Atlantic. At the time , people referred to the feat as 'Lindy's hop'. Around then, says Rusty, "one guy Shorty Snowden was in a dance back in 1928 and he was doing this new-fangled dance and when they asked him what he was doing he said 'I'm doing the Lindy Hop'."


Our Eoin asked whether there were strict guidelines for the Lindy Hop ( also known as the Jitterbug ). Rusty Frank compares it to jazz - it has structure with internal freedom. "It's like a three minute menage a trois between you, your partner, and the music", she says.

Swing dancing is experiencing a worldwide upsurge...and Australia is one of its biggest supporters. Ms Frank reckons its because it's so much fun , and simple to learn , yet challenging to master. "You basically see the same smile on the person who's on their first day, as you do on the person who's been there for ten years."

Rusty also makes a couple of strong points relevant to health and wellbeing. She sees great benefits as an exercise program. In combination with its "really really happy music", she says swing dancing can facilitate the release of "endorphins" - the body's self manufactured happy pills .

(Eoin is happy just to look at Rusty's Lindy Hop garb. He begins the interview by commenting that she looks fantastic)

http://www.perthswing.com: For further information related to this interview and swing dancing in Perth.

As heard on "720 Breakfast".

Eoin Cameron, ABC Radio Host


Rusty Frank (left) with fellow Lindy Hoppers
Rob Howarth & Liz Crothers.