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Transcription: [00:32:15]
{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
So then I went to- goin' to the Savoy Ballroom. I was shinin' shoes downtown and goin' to the Savoy Ballroom.

So that's when I started to Lindy Hop dance, with Whitey Savoy Lindy Hoppers out of New York City.

{SPEAKER name="Host"}
So, first of all what we're talking about is the tradition of the circus and carnival;

Leaving there as a worker, going on up north into Atlantic City, then joining troops who were working the Black Vaudeville Circuit, what was known then as the T.O.B.A. Circuit.

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
That's right.

{SPEAKER name="Host"}
Now T.O.B.A., officially stood for Theatre Owners Booking Association.

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}

{SPEAKER name="Host"}
Now that's not exactly what folks used to say it stood for was it Willie?

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
No, we didn't anyway.
[[Host laughs]]

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
We always had Tough On Black Actors.
[[Host and audience laugh]]
{SPEAKER name="Host"}
It was a black circuit, a vaudeville circuit that ran primarily down the east coast, and you had black travelling troops who would go from theatre to theatre working on the circuit.

Willie started off as a young snake-hip dancer, and you were only how old when you started that?

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
Oh I was 'bout 16 when I really started that.

{SPEAKER name="Host"}
Worked his way all the way down south where the show let him go, more or less, or where he left the show when he was relieved of performing duties.

So then, he joined another show with the great blues singer Ma Rainey and the comedy team, Butterbeans and Susie, working his way back up north until they got to Atlan- to New York City.

There he became, a dancer-- specifically a Lindy Hop dancer-- with what is certainly the most well known of all the Lindy Hop troops in the United States at that time, Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, working out of the Savoy Ballroom.

Now what was it that was so unique about Whitey's?

{SPEAKER name="Willie"}
Well they were just like, break dancing today. We rehearsed it, if you wanna be a good break dancer, you just don't get out there and do it, you have to rehearse and know what you doing.

So Lindy Hop, we know what we were doin' and we rehearsed it and that's what made it different from other people doing it.

Everybody Lindy Hop, but they couldn't Lindy Hop like we could and we had fast music. For the next thing was real fast, and years ago all dance floors was slick. All good dance floors was waxed.

And we would go there with a pair of sneakers, and when we get there we would change our shoes and put on sneakers.

And we could stand up on the floor where other people couldn't.

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