Sonny Watson's Homepage
Ballrooms | Blog| Burlesque | Contests | Dances | Dancers | Dance History | Marathons | Movies | Music | Posters Store | Sheet Music | Troupes || Refresh Page
Dancers: INDEX
Music Lists: Contemporary WCS| Trad'l WCS| C/W Swing| Big Band| Disco| Gospel| Holiday| Hustle| Late Night| Latin| Latin WCS| Mash-Ups| NC2S| Techno
You Are here: Search Streetswing Site Site Search --->

a scene from Hellzapoppin' featuring Whitey's Lindy Hoppers

Stage Name

Real Name (s)

Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, plus others Whitey's Lindy Hoppers

   Pre 1930 they were originally called 'Whyte's Maniacs,' then 'Whitey's Hopping Maniac's' and was later renamed to 'Whitey's Lindy Hoppers.' The group consisted of many Lindy dancers over time. Hubert 'Whitey' White was the groups founder and booker. The Hoppers were officially started in the early 1930's at the Savoy ballroom in Harlem, New York. The main
<-- Pic is from Hellzapoppin')

Competition for White was the Shorty George Snowden Trio, who most of the dancers followed at the time... as his group was the first performance group in Lindy Hop.

   The Hoppers would go on to dominate the Lindy Hop scene in contests and exhibition's for quite a few years to come with even Shorty George working with them from time to time. The Lindy hoppers incorporated the Flash Acts or "Acrobatics" called Air-Steps into many of their routines. These acrobatics were being performed by many dance stars previous to the Lindy Hoppers for over 30 years prior, especially the Russian based vaudeville dancers of the day, although Frankie Manning claims to have invented them, he only helped introduce them into the Lindy Hop along with legendary dancers Leon James and Al Minns ( Who were the kings until they passed away) and Shorty Snowden.

   There are some negative stories about Whitey and his 'Strongmen' and the ethics he used to get dancers to dance on his team from intimidation to strong arming and even murder among rival "Gangs," how true these stories are today are anyone's guess ( But there are a few newspaper pieces that lend some credence.) Marshall Sterns book entitled Jazz dance gives a good view of some of this. However, historically, this was to change the Lindy dance itself over time and the dance scene for the better over history. The Whitey's Lindy Hoppers did more for Lindy Hop than any other group in the world, ever.

   There were a few sub groups that would dance when the main group was booked elsewhere, such as the 'Hopping Maniacs, The Congeroo Dancers, Harlem Maniacs, The Congeroo's, Savoy Lindy Hoppers, White's Steppers, The Big Appler's, The Big Apple Dancers, etc. Two of the best WLH Lindy scenes are in the movies: 'Day At The Races' with the Marx Brothers and Olsen and Johnson's 'Hellzapoppin'. The Lindy Hoppers also danced in a few Broadway musicals such as the "Hot Mikado" with Bojangles, Black Rhythm [1936] and the 1938 show at the Cotton Club Called the 'Cotton Club Revue' with Cab Calloway leading the number called "A Lesson in Jive" - in which Whyte's Lindy Hoppers danced in this show and the Boogie Woogie was said to be introduced in the show as well.

Various known troupe members


Birth Place

Birth Date



Ali ? n/a n/a n/a n/a
Al Minns See Page   ??     ??     ??  
Al Daniels ??   ??     ??     ??  
Alnora Dyson ??   ??     ??     ??  
Ann Johnson ??   ??     ??     ??  
Billy Ricker ?? D.1987 Wila Mae-Ricker   ??  
Billy Williams ??   ??     ??     ??  
Connie Hill ??   ??     ??     ??  
Dot Johnson ??   ??     ??     ??  
Eddie Davis ??   ??     ??     ??  
Eleanor Watson ??   ??     ??     ??  
Ella Gibson ??   ??     ??     ??  
Esther Washington ??   ??     ??     ??  
Eunice Callin ??   ??     ??     ??  
Francis Jones ??   ??     ??   ??
Frankie Manning Jacksonville, FL b.5/25/1914   ??   Chazz Young
Frieda Washington ??   ??     ??     ??  
George Grenidge ??   ??     ??     ??  
Harry Rosenberg ??   ??     ??     ??  
Helen Daniels ??   ??     ??     ??  
James Brown ??   ??     ??     ??  
Jerome Williams ??   ??     ??     ??  
Joe Daniels ??   ??     ??     ??  
Joyce James ??   ??     ??     ??  
Leon James ?Texas? ?10/17/1916 - 11/1976? Hazel James   ??  
Louise Andrews ??         ??     ??  
Lucille Middleton ??         ??     ??  
Maggie McMillan ??   ??     ??     ??  
Mickey Sayles ??   ??     ??     ??  
Mildred Cruse ??   ??     ??     ??  
Mildred Pollard* ??   ??   Albert Gibson   ??  
Naomi Waller ??   ??     ??     ??  
Norma Miller ??   ??     ??     ??  
Pepsi Bethel ??   1919 - 8/30/2002    ??      aka: Alfred Bethel
Russell Williams ?? (deceased)   ??     ??  
Ruthie Rheingold ??   ??     ??     ??  
Sandra Pollard-Gibson* (see Mildred)   ??   Albert Gibson   ??  
Snookie Beasley ??   ??     ??     ??  
Tiny Bunch ??   ??     ??     ??  
Thomas Lee ??   ??     ??     ??  
Wilma Crawford ??   ??     ??     ??  
Will Downes ??   ??     ??     ??  
Willa Mae Ricker ?? D.1960s Billy Ricker   ??  

Related Dance Types

Associated Dancers

Music Titles

Apple Jacks Big Apple Dancers (Whitey's) All God's Chillin' Got Rhythm
Ballin' The Jack Bojangles "Shorty George"
Big Apple Buck and Bubbles Stompin' At The Savoy
Black Bottom Clark Brothers (Tap)      
Break Away Congeroo's      
Breakdown Dean Collins      
Cakewalk Edna Mae Harris      
Charleston Harlem Congeroo's      
Fox Trot Harlem Maniac's      
Funky Butt, The Grind, The Mess Around Jackie "Moms" Mabley      
Jitterbug Lenox Lindy Hoppers      
Lindy Hop Mama Lu Parks      
Little Apple Martha Raye      
Lowdown Nicholas Brothers      
Mambo Slim and Slam      
Mooch and Sugar Shorty George Snowden      
Peeling' The Peach       Swingin' At The Savoy by Norma Miller
$ Swingin' at the Savoy
Praise the Lord ( Aka Praise Allah)      
Rumba A Day at the Races features the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers! vhs
$ Day At The Races
Savoy Style Lindy
Shim Sham
Suzi - Q
The Shimmie
Tap Dance

Night Clubs

Theaters etc.


Cotton Club (NY) Earle Theatre /w Count Basie Band & All Sepia Show (1/9/1942) 1936 - Black Rhythm (SLHBA)
Moulin Rouge (Paris) Madison Square Garden- Harvest Moon Ball 1937 - The Spirit Of Youth
Renaissance Ballroom Worlds Fair - "Hall of Music" (1939) 1938 - Cotton Club Revue (WHM)
Savoy Ballroom (NY)       1938 - Hollywood Hotel Revue
            1939 - Hellzapoppin' (Play)
          1939 - Hot Mikado
          1939 - Swingin' The Dream

Swing Dance Films



1937 - Day At The Races (WLH) 1960 - Dupont Show 12/28/1936 - Life Magazine
1937 - Jitterbugs (Short)       4/8/1938 - Pic Magazine
1937 - Manhattan Merry-Go-Round       8/23/1943 - Life Magazine
1938 - Jittering Jitterbugs (Big Apple)       Cotton Club Advertisement
$1938 - Radio City Revels       $ Swingin' at the Savoy
1939 - Keep Punchin' (WLH)          
1941 - Hellzapoppin' (WLH & Dean Collins)            
1941 - Hot Chocolate (WLH)          
1941 - Ride 'Em Cowboy [Three Congeroos]          
1942 - Outline of Jitterbug History (Whitey's)          
1942 - Sugar Hill Masquerade (Whitey's)      

Lindy Hop Related

1946 - Boy What a Girl (Maniac's & Int'l Jtrbugs)       $ Big City Swing - (Beg Level)
1948 - Killer Diller (Four Congeroos)       $ Open Class with Paulette
$ Groovie Movie - plus others (Hlywd Style)       $ Let's Lindy Hop V1
$1950s - The Spirit Moves (WLH)       $ Let's Lindy Hop V2
1991 - PBS- Nat. Geographic - "Jitterbug" (WLH)       $ Sonny's EC/WC Swing dvd's
1993 - At The Jazz Band Ball (w/ Shorty George)       $ 1940's Hairstyles
            $ 1940's Fashions

Other Lindy Videos, DVD's etc.

      $ 1940's Fashions of the Decade
$ Malcolm X DVD       $ Rosie's Riveting Recipes
Swing Kids DVD       $ Sears 40's Fashionable Clothing
Juke Joint (Jitterbug Johnnies)       $ Vintage Face (1920's-50's Makeup)
            $ Swing! Swing! Swing! ( Great Shag)

All Known Swing Dance Groups (Lindy, Jitterbug, Big Apple etc) prior to 1960. Listing all spellings of troupes

Big Apple Dancer's Jivin' Jacks and Jill's Swing Maniacs
Big Appler's Jungle Jivesters, The Three Congeroos
Congeroo's Lenox Lindy Hoppers White's Hopping Maniacs (Cotton Club)
Congeroo dancers Ozzy Malone's Jitterbugs Whitey's Lindy Hoppers
Harlem Maniacs (Boy What a Girl) Ray Rand Swingers (Los Angeles Dancers) Whitey's Steppers (Hellzapoppin')
Harlemaniacs, the (Harlem Cavalcade) Savoy Hoppers Whyte's Hopping Maniacs
Hopping Maniac's Savoy Lindy Hoppers and Big Applers Whyte's Maniacs
International Jitterbugs (Ann Cornell's) Shorty Snowden Trio  
Jitterbug Johnnies (Savoy dancers 1950's)    
  • NOTE: These are how they are billed in the Program's, Flyers or Poster's, doesn't really mean that's what they should have been called. Also see other styles like Jitterbug, East Coast, Jive, Harvet Moon Ball, etcetera as there are additional Swing Films listed there (some are Lindy Hop rather than the named dances - but are listed as such, so they go there.)

Site Map| Disclaimer| Privacy Policy

©1999 - 2013