I chose the top 20 videos by views (including aggregating the views from more than one copy of the film) that feature a reasonable amount of lindy hop or authentic jazz dance content (i.e. if it’s “the swing”, it ain’t included). All these videos can be considered ‘popular’*** to some extent given their large audience.
There’ll be plenty on this list that’s familiar – and maybe some that aren’t:
1. Fast Swing Dancing – ULHS 2006 – 6.9 million views
The first video in YouTube search results for lindy hop comes from 2006 edition of the most influential lindy hop competitions in the contemporary scene. This is far from the only badass ULHS video on YouTube (ULHS also features two other videos in the top twenty) but it has been up there for 8 years and sure accumulated a lot of views over that time.
2. Denver Airport Holiday Flash Mob – 4.0 million views
3. Hooked On Swing Dancing – 2.7 million views
4. Whiteys Lindy Hoppers .. Hellzapoppin – 2.6 million views
5. Charleston — Original Al & Leon Style!! – 1.9 million views
6. Swing Dancing from the Movie Twiced Blessed (1945) – 1.8 million views
7. Lindy Hop funny instructional video : Groovie Movie (1944) – 1.6 million views
8. Lindy Hop Dance – Charleston meets Lindy Hop – 1.5 million views
9. 1920s Charleston – 1.2 million views
10. Shim Sham – 1.2 million views
11. Swing Dancing to Bill Haley and the Comets (1956) – 1.2 million views
12. Caravan Palace – Dramophone [OFFICIAL VIDEO] – 1.1 million views
13. Gap Commercial – Khaki Swing – 1.0 million views
14. Slow Club – Two Cousins – 1.0 million views
15. Tricks & Airsteps for Swing – Dance Clip – 800,000 views
16. ULHS 2006 Charleston Finals Dance-Off – 800,000 views
17. ILHC 2013 – Invitational Strictly Lindy Hop Finals – 700,000 views
18. ILHC 2011 – Champions Strictly Lindy – Finals – Spotlights – 700,000 views
19. The Basics of Lindy Hop – 700,000 views
20. ULHS 2005 – awsome!!! charleston-finals – 700,000 views
* YouTube doesn’t make it terribly easy to search for old videos. This was the first one that I could find that hasn’t subsequently been deleted. Yehoodi’s 7th Anniversary Red Carpet celebrations was a close second.
** I worked this out by gathering data on youtube views of “Lindy Hop” videos of the top 10 search results and then the 20*k th search result (for k=1:25) fitting a power law function (R^2=0.99) and integrating this function between 1 and 200,000 (approximately the number of search results). The 70 million is the mean number whilst the upper bound was based on the standard errors. I figure that the loss of videos without “lindy hop” in the title or description will be made up for by the false inclusion of “the swing” videos.
*** As I noted above the distribution of views of lindy hop videos appears to follow a power law (at least for videos with more than 10,000 views) so there doesn’t appear to be be any sort of threshold, above which one can call the video popular. I also use the term popular here rather than viral, which typically denotes a rapid accumulation of views.