The Tranky Doo (brought to you by The Southside Stomp – Carolina Invasion)

We’re delighted that Abigail Browning and Adam Speen will be returning to teach a 2 hour class on The Tranky Doo as the intermediate/advanced lesson during the Carolina Invasion from 5:30 till 7:30.

The Tranky Doo is a vintage jazz dance routine choreographed by Pepsi Bethel. It first appeared at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem during the 1940s. At that time, it was danced to Tuxedo Junction, however many modern day performances of the dance use other swing jazz songs.

Here are Al Minns, Leon James and Pepsi Bethol dancing the Tranky Doo in “The Spirit Moves” (the music, “Dipsy Doodle” by Ella Fitzgerald, was laid over the video later but has since become the popular choice)


Here are contemporary dancers Dax Hock and Jojo Jackson dancing the routine to that same recording. Notice how they’re able to slip from the routine to social dancing and back to the routine again.


In comparison, here’s a version with Shesha Marvin, Mikey Pedroza and Jo Hoffberg dancing to Bud Freeman’s Tia Juana

The transcription of this version was captured by Mike Faltesek and can be found here

Meanwhile, Manu Smith and Ria DeBiase took it down a bit with their version to Jump Session.

Here’s yet another contemporary interpretation set to Kid Ory’s “The Creole Song” with dancers Natalya Gomez, Adam LaMontagne, Sarah Elias, and Alex Abdoulaev.

Here are Kevin St. Laurent and Shesha Marvin performing a version with “hat tricks” at Swing Brother Swing 2011.

Lastly, here’s our Abigail Browning along with Bobby White and Kate Hedin performing the routine at Lindy Focus.

As you can see, the Tranky Doo is a popular and versatile routine that allows you a lot of freedom to interpret the basic moves so as to best fit your personal style. All in all, a great bit of solo choreography to toss into your bag of dance tricks!

Hopefully we’ll see you all out on May 21st from 5:30 till 7:30 as two of our favorite instructors, Abigail and Adam, show us how they “Doo” the Tranky Doo.


One Response to “The Tranky Doo (brought to you by The Southside Stomp – Carolina Invasion)”

  1. Great post! 🙂 Can’t wait to Tranky Doo it in Norfolk!

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