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Learn the Shim Sham

Dean Collins' Version of the Shim Sham
with Marcus and Bärbl

The Shim Sham originated as a tap dance choreographed by Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant in 1928. Intended for a show finale that could be done by all the performers it was adopted by many dancers and became one the most well-known and wide-spread routines of all time. It is danced around the world today!

One of those dancers was Dean Collins, the most influential Lindy Hop dancer on the West Coast. His non-tap version became very popular around the world. Based on the original Shim Sham he spiced up the footwork and extended the original routine with additional steps. This fun dance can be danced alone, next to a partner or with a huge crowd.

Dean Collins' Version of the Shim Sham
Price: $34.95

Leonard Reed's Shim Sham Shimmy

The Original Shim Sham (1927)
The Freeze Chorus (circa 1930)
The Shim Sham II (1994)

Leonard Reed's Shim Sham Shimmy, The Freeze Chorus, The Shim Sham II all on DVD at SwinginHepcats.com! Dance and Shine!If you've been tap dancing for years or are just putting on your first pair of tap shoes, you'll be able to learn the Shim Sham Shimmy. On this video, you will see a demonstration of the dance by a group of talented and ageless (7-75!) tappers and hear an introduction by Leonard Reed himself. Next, tap dancer and preservationist Rusty Frank breaks down the Shim Sham Shimmy, the Freeze Chorus, and the Shim Sham II, using the same accessible methods she's used in hundreds of tap classes.

Leonard Reed's Shim Sham Shimmy, DVD
Price: $30.95

DVD-R format (no region coding), PC/MAC Compatible




Leonard Reed's "The Revenge Of The Shim Sham,"
plus "The Joe Louis Shuffle,"
and 10-Year Anniversary Special Bonus Features

Tap Level: Beginner-Advanced

On April 5, 2004, Leonard Reed passed away. For 97 years, Leonard Reed was an amazing presence, born in a teepee and going on to become one of America's most prolific show business entertainers and producers. He has left a lasting legacy with his Shim Sham dances in both tap dance and swing dance communities through the world.

In 1927, two song and dance men, Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant, took four popular steps of the 1920's, strung them together and created the now legendary "Shim Sham Shimmy" - tap dance's "National Anthem." In the 1930's, the "Freeze Chorus" was popularized. Then in 1948, while on tour with Joe Louis (the World Heavy Weight boxing champ), Leonard Reed created a simple duet variation of the dance, which he called "The Joe Louis Shuffle." In February of 1994, at age 87, Leonard decided it was time to leave one more dance and created the "Shim Sham II." But that wasn't enough! In 2002, at age 95, Leonard Reed made up his final dance, "The Revenge of the Shim Sham."

This DVD is a true "labor of love" from writer, dancer, producer Rusty E. Frank. More than a simple instructional DVD of one dance, this DVD is a devoted homage to Reed's life and his life's work. In 2004, Leonard Reed passed on the torch of the Shim Sham to Ms. Frank. She embraced her role as "Torchbearer" and spent countless hours, weeks, and months on this tribute to one of America's greatest show business personalities. In addition to the two instructional sections, "The Revenge of the Shim Sham" and "The Joe Louis Shuffle" Shim Sham, Frank also included a host of Bonus Features. Among these are historical footage of Reed, recent performances of his dances, his last interview, and a beautifully edited montage by actor, dancer, and editor Gregory Gast under Reed's own song "Smile Up At the Sun" (recorded live at Reed's memorial service in Los Angeles, California).

Leonard Reed's Revenge of the Shim Sham Shimmy, DVD
Price: $30.95

DVD-R format (no region coding), PC/MAC Compatible

Save and purchase both Shim Sham DVDs:

Shim Sham Shimmy and
Revenge of the Shim Sham Shimmy

Price: $60.50

Three Shim Sham Routines with Joel and Alison Plys

The Big Apple DVD


Joel and Alison's Shim Sham DVD is one of the best out there - you will learn all three routines on one DVD. It has over 35 moves. You will learn these versions:

* ORIGINAL (Classic dance done by Lindy Hoppers around the globe)
* DEAN COLLINS (Cool variations on the classic Shim Sham)
* AL & LEON (Another cool jazzy version of the Shim Sham)teaches the infamous group line dance from the 1950s, plus a unique couple's version.

(120 m)
1. Original Shim Sham
a. The classic 8 Jazz steps: Shim Sham, Push & Crossover, Tacky Anne, Half Break, Break, Boogie Back, Boogie Forward, Shorty George
2. Dean Collins Shim Sham – 12 Jazz steps
a. 3 sections: Shim Sham, Boogie Routine, and Savoy Kicks
3. Al & Leon Shim Sham – 12 Jazz steps
**** The ONLY product on the market with ALL 3 SHIM SHAMs on one DVD…

All you need after that is the tap dance version!

The Shim Sham DVD
Price: $39.95

DVD-R format (no country code restrictions), PC/MAC Compatible

The Shim Sham (non-tap version)

Most commonly danced to "Tuxedo Junction" (on "Really Swingin' Frankie Manning's Favorites" CD) and also now to Bill Elliott's "Shim Sham Song" on Swingin the Century. However, it can be danced to any song with the same structure.


STEPS (this is not full detail, but an outline for you)


Shim Sham           R, L, R, R,    L, R, L, L,     R, L, R, R 

Break                    R, touch L, L, touch R, back R, Back L, Forward R, forward L

Pushes                  Push (to the R), Push and a - cross over, Repeat to L, Repeat to R

Cross Overs         3 times

Tacky Annies       Starts on AND (&), &-8 (R-L), touch R behind on 1, on 2 step R, on 3 touch L behind, etc.)


2 Breaks           Fall forward on 8 on R, back on L, then shuffle-ball-change (R, R, L). 2 in a row.


2 Breaks


Except: now on the Shim Sham shimmy your shoulders, and

Freeze on the Breaks instead of doing the breaks


4 Boogie Backs       Kick R, ball change (R,L) (count is 8 & 1) (Clap while you kick R). 4 in a row heading back. Takes 1 8 count.

Boogie Walk           Walk forward R, L, R, L. Takes 1 8 count.

Boogie Backs          same as above

Boogie Walk           same as above


Boogie Back            Again (for the third time)

Shorty George         Forward. Kick with R, ball change (R,L) (count is 8 & 1), R, L, R, L, R, L (last L is on 7 and you are ready to kick 8 on R again.

Boogie Backs         same as above

Shorty George         same as above





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