“Shorty” George Snowden


“Shorty” George Snowden

(July 4, 1904 – May 1982)

“Shorty” George Snowden was an American dancer in Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. He is popularly credited with coining the name “Lindy Hop” for a popular partner swing dance of the day. He is also often credited with inventing the dance, though this is unsubstantiated.

[The Legendary George "Shorty" Snowden and his Parter Big Bea in 1937. He was a first Generation Lindy Hopper first captured on film in the 1920's in the short "After Seben". Shorty George is not only credited for giving the dance it's name "The Lindy Hop" but also the name in which the Jazz vernacular step "the shorty george" came from.]

Snowden was a popular dancer at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York, in the United States and appears in the film After Seben (1929), in which he performs the breakaway, a variation on the Charleston, which later developed into the Lindy Hop. He can also be seen in the film Ask Uncle Sol (1937), dancing with his most famous partner Big Bea.

The Shorty George in the Lindy Hop repertoire is named for Snowden. A man of diminutive height, he used his size for comic effect. With his partner Big Bea, Snowden would often out-dance other couples in dance competitions of the day, and was a member of a number of significant dance troupes, including the Shorty Snowden Dancers, which has been credited as the first Lindy Hop dance troupe.


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