Dance
3 men take the stage making all the women swoon when they start kicking their legs
I loved watching them!
Elijah Chan
01.26.22

These three lads just proved that old-school dance moves will never grow old, especially the fashion that came along with it.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

These dapper gentlemen, known as Arnas Razgūnas, Peter Loggins, and Heiko Heckerdorn show that even the simplest steps can make the crowd whistle in cheers. Donning their sleek dancing shoes and coats patterned from the era, they took their places on the side of the dance floor.

As “Opus No.1” by the Mills Brothers play, their feet tap and shuffle along with the rhythmic claps of the audience.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

Their movements are simple, it mostly involves feet taps, kickball changes, and leg crossovers. This style of dancing is called the Dean Collins Shim Sham, created and popularized by the dancer and choreographer of the same name.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

It takes influence from the original Shim Sham, which is a set of standard footwork from tap dancing.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

Dean Collins was born in Columbus, Ohio but grew up in Newark, New Jersey where he learned the swing style at the age of thirteen. A few years after, he was dancing to every ballroom from Atlanta to Harlem, New York where the Lindy Hop originated.

lindyland via YouTube
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lindyland via YouTube

He eventually moved west to Los Angeles, California to chase the Hollywood Dream. When he arrived, he saw that swing was virtually unknown to the western coast. They, instead, danced to Camel Hop and Balboa.

lindyland via YouTube
Source:
lindyland via YouTube

He then competed in local dance contests and it helped spread swing and jitterbug to the western states.

As for his Hollywood Dream, Dean Collins had his big break in 1939 when he was asked to choreograph sequences in “Let’s Make Music”, which led him to work on dozens of movies like “Hellzapoppin”, “Dance Hall”, “Playmates”, and “Buck Privates”. He stayed in Los Angeles in the ’50s and ’60s, teaching most of the dancers swing.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

When he passed away in 1984, his widow Mary Collins shared that whenever people insist that Dean was responsible for the west coast Swing, she’d say, “Dean insisted that there were only two kinds of Swing dancing – good and bad.”

Just like how Dean Collins intended for his shim sham to be danced, this routine involves three men standing in a line. This routine was originally created as a three-man performance that included Jack Arkin, and Johnny Mattox. But in this case, the trio and their routine were given new life by Arnas, Peter, and Heiko.

Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube
Source:
Basel Jitterbugs via YouTube

This deceptively simple routine has since changed from different choreographers who mixed their interpretations and styles. While other dancers may say that it’s not exactly Dean Collin’s version, we can all agree that they’ve made us get up on our feet and clap with the music.

These three veteran dancers not only look good as a trio, but they complement each other’s skill, pace, and style.

As they glide across the dance floor with sleek feet drags and fluid movements, they make sure that these classic dance styles will never see the dark of the limelight.

Watch how this trio made the crowd howl with the shim sham.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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