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Stage Name

Birth Name

Shorty George

George H. Snowden

    Who Was Shorty George ? ... Some say 'Shorty George' is credited with renaming the Breakaway the Lindy Hop at a dance contest in 1927 at the "Inn at the Park" aka Madison Square Garden contests ( Later to be named Harvest Moon Ball) with 'Mattie Purnell', and later would do it again at the Manhattan Casino ( Some say the Rockland Palace ballroom) in New York in July of 1928. Charles Buchannon of the Savoy Ballroom also laid claim, but it was Shorty who actully named the dance, not Buchannon. Snowden's name also applies to a timeless dance step called 'the Shorty George' ( A.k.a. Boogie Walks,) which was originally said to be a variation of the Baltimore Buzz.... Shorty was an avid Ice Skater as well as a dancer and had high aspirations untill he broke both his legs.

    Shorty George danced at the Savoy Ballroom In New York and like Chic Webb was titled the 'King of the Savoy'. His dance troupe The

' Shorty George Trio' would inspire many dancers as well as lead to other dance troupes, namely the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in the 1930s. However there was a rivalry between the money makers at the Savoy and Snowden whom they couldn't totally control  for their own profit which would eventually make him find greener pastures in other clubs. Shorty and his dancers would later dance in many shows at the Cotton Club and Small's Paradise with Small's eventually becoming his main home base.

    'Snowden danced up to the early 1940's, but had to retire his dancing due to bad knees and feet caused by his dancing. However he could still be seen out social dancing well into the 1950's. And as far as I know ( Was told) he passed away due to emphysema sometime in the 1980's ( Dates not verified.) Fred Astaire paid homage to Shorty by using the song "Shorty George" in two of his films, "Cover Girl" and "You Were Never Lovelier" and also sung the version in "Gilda." However the song was not written for this Shorty George.

    'note: I have also listed the various Shorty George songs and artist's because many of you have e-mailed me asking for variations to the original so to save us both the time of having to search them out on Amazon, I have added them here, the pages have preview clips..

Birth Place

Birth Date



Manhattan, NY. 7/4/1904-5/1982 Was Married, yes n/a
  (died in Rockaway, Queens, NY.)    

Dance Types

Related Dancers

Music Titles

Acrobatic Dances Beatrice Elam (Little Bea) w/ Leroy and Shorty MP3: Doing the Shorty George ( Astaire)
The Apache Dance Beatrice Gay (Big Bea) w/Shorty MP3: Introduction to Shorty George ( Sinatra)
Ballin' The Jack Esalene (w/Shorty) MP3: Shorty George - Golden Greats ( Astaire)
The Baltimore Buzz Freddy ( W/Madeline) MP3: Shorty Georges ( Rita Hayworth)
The Black Bottom Jolly Fellows, the MP3: Shorty George Blues ( Sippy Wallace)
The Breakaway Jordan and Jordan MP3: Shorty George Blues ( Tiny Franklin)
The Cakewalk Leon James MP3: Shorty George Cut-Down ( Lipscomb)
The Camel Walk Leroy Stretch Jones ( W/Little Bea) $ The Shorty George ( Best of Big Bands)
The Charleston (was One of the Fastest) Lily Yuen (Yeah Man) MP3: The Shorty George ( Buddy Rich)
Collegiate dances Madeline ( W/Freddy) MP3: The Shorty George* ( Count Basie)
The Lindy Hop Mattie Purnell (Shorty's 1st partner) MP3: The Shorty George ( Harry James)
The Shimmy Nicholas Brothers ( Tappers) MP3: The Shorty George ( Leadbelly)
The Texas Tommy Pauline Morse (Shorty's 2nd Partner) MP3: The Shorty George ( Lester Young)
Shorty was also an Ice Skater Snowden's Group ( Shorty Snowden Trio) MP3: The Shorty George ( Quinn Lemly)
      'Twistmouth George' Gannaway & Betty MP3: The Shorty George ( Smith Casey)
      Whitey's Lindy Hoppers MP3: The Shorty George ( Xavier Cugat)
          Worked with the Chic Webb Orchestra
     Worked with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra
    Saboo (Erkstine Hawkins)

Dance Contests, etc.


     Harvest Moon Ball (seperately)
Shorty George       Manhattan Casino Marathon (7/4/1928)
Jassdancer    Savoy Ballroom Dance Contests

Night Clubs



Cotton Club ( NY) Frolic Theater* (1927) Cotton Club Parade
Manhattan Casino ( NY) Lincoln Theatre - Harlem (1928) Cotton Club Revue's ( Chor)
Renaissance Ballroom ( NY) Park Lane Theatre (1932) 1927 - Off Col'uh*
Paradise Ballroom    1931 - Singin' The Blues (Shorty's Group)
Rockland Palace Ballroom (NY) 1928    1932 - Yeah Man!
Savoy Ballroom ( NY)    Harvest Moon Ball Contests (1941)
Small's Paradise Club      


Films / Clips


Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.1929 - After Seben 6/20/1928 - The World Newspaper
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.1934 - Ask Uncle Sol 1930s - Cotton Club Menu
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1943 - Reveille With Beverly (Dance step done at 1:59) Book: 1996 - Swingin' At The Savoy ( Norma Miller)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.1947 - Hi-De-Ho Book: 1994 - Jazz Dance ... Vernacular ... ( Stearns)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1993 - At The Jazz Band Ball ( Features the whole Seben Clip of Shorty 1930) Book: 1999 - The Swing Book ( Penner)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. Dancing - New Worlds, New Forms ( PBS)   
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. National Geographic - Jitterbug ( TV)      
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. Watch Me Move ( TV)   
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. Fred Astaire Tribute      

  • NOTE: Some reports say the Manhattan Casino contest was 7/4 and 6/17... plus a few others, the confusion is mainly because this was a Marathon dance contest that could (and did) last for months, however it has been reported to have lasted 80 days.