Showgirl Story Time: Defining “Line Captain” & “Swing”

Welcome to another Showgirl Story Time!! In this video, I am answering the question, “What is a line captain and a swing?”

I made this video as a result of the conversation I had with my friend Rachel Zinn during the chat for her episode, Under the Microscope. Make sure to watch this video and then listen to the podcast!

Enjoy this video!
? Athena

Costume: 

Crown and body chain by Athena and Phelyx

Feathers, bra, hair and makeup by Athena

Hey there, welcome to another showgirl story time. I’m going to be defining some of the Showgirl terms that we’ve been using in my Showgirls Life podcast. If you haven’t heard my podcast yet. First of all, why haven’t you. Second of all, go to showgirls dot life backslash, podcast, and all of the episodes will be listed right there. So go check it out after you listen to this video.

Alright so I have already talked about the different lines that Jubilee had. And there was, there was the line captain for every line, and then swing. So, what a line captain is, is the person that’s kind of in charge of that group of girls or boys or singers or dancers whatever you want to call them.

And that person was responsible for teaching the new, the new kids the choreography, making sure that everyone in the line is doing their job. Kind of like a manager in a way. And every night before the show, the line captains would go to Fluffs office, Fluff was the company manager at the time, and get the notes for the show. So they would talk about who was out, and who would be filling in for that person for the whole night. Which numbers, who was doing which numbers and if there were any changes. So the line captain’s would find out, what, what we’re doing in the show tonight. What’s different than what we did last time.

The show stayed the same, but they had to make sure there was extra bodies available, if somebody was sick, somebody was injured or somebody was on vacation. So the line captain didn’t have a permanent spot in the show. That line captain did everyone else’s spots when they were out of, out of the office. The line captain also had a swinger, so it was like the co-captain or, or the backup captain. And the swing, did exactly what the line captain did didn’t have a permanent spot in the show, and got to do everyone else’s spot when they were out of the office. So, they also, the line captain, and the swing, were responsible for keeping their swing books, accurate.

Now, I talked a little bit about this with one of my guests, because she was a swing, and she had a fantastic swing book, and I am going to travel all the way to Las Vegas, just to do an entire video about her swing book, because this was a big deal.

Now, the swing book was a notebook, eith and a half by eleven sheets, and it was about this thick. The reason it was that thick, was because for every single formation on the stage, there was a schematic. And it were little x’s for everyone’s place, who was standing here for this formation. And then there were arrows showing which way they traveled to get to their next position.

The captains of the swings each had their own book. And then they would use it if other people were swinging somebody else’s spot because of a very short cast that usually happened around the holidays. Sse a lot of people were sick, or on vacation for the holidays. And so they had to bring the, the dancers in closer together so if somebody from the center was out, then they moved everybody over two spots, so that it looked full instead of just the hole in the middle of the formation.

So, that was the line captain’s job is to maintain that. And of course also the line captain was responsible for teaching the new, new kids. And so every contract change, they would find out how many people were being let go or how many people were leaving the show. And how many new dancers, they were going to be teaching. And it would be about two weeks of rehearsals, during the day and they would still be performing every night. And doing their line captain duties. And so it was, it was tough to be a line Captain when around contract change. Because it was a lot of rehearsal, all day eight hours a day. And then they got to pass their showgirl information on to the next group of girls.

So, that is the story about line captains and swings. I hope you enjoyed this little vocabulary lesson. And I will see you next time, go listen to the podcast. It’s a blast. Bye.


1 comment

  1. I’m a writer in Henderson currently getting background info on Jubilee dancers. I’ve been interviewing one Bluebell and find your podcasts explain a lot of what she talked about (i.e., the swing book). I’m still trying to figure out the layout of the dressing room level…but this is fiction and I really can’t mention Jubilee or have photos of Jubilee costumes on the cove or Caesar’s will have a team of lawyers on my doorstep. So, thank you for informative videos/transcripts that will fill in blanks in my mind and add to the information I’m gathering as background.

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