Get in the Swing - Lindy Hop & Charleston (copyrighted logo)

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Get in the Swing - Lindy Hop & Charleston (copyrighted logo)

 

 

 

What's Lindy Hop

LindyHop is granddaddy of all forms of jive, a partner swing-dance that incorporates 6 & 8 count moves, Charleston variations & Jazz steps. The dance originated in America during the 1920's by the black community dancing to Jazz music. There is a large Charleston influence in LindyHop, as that was the dance of the Jazz age.

It was said that a dancer named "Shorty George" Snowden named the dance in 1927, after a newspaper reporter asked what the dance was called, he looked down at the newspaper beside him, the headlines read "Lindy Hops The Atlantic" referring to Charles Lindbergh's solo crossing of the Atlantic in his plane, (The Spirit Of St Louis) & said, "The Lindy Hop!"

The dance continued to grow in the 1930's and the Savoy ballroom in Harlem, New York City with its long dance floor & its raised double bandstand was the "in place". Here such great Swing Bands played included Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, and Duke Ellington all performed bringing the Lindy Hop to life.

Many Films were made in the late 1930's' early 1940's containing LindyHop & a dance troupe from the Savoy Ballroom (Whitey's Lindy Hoppers) featured in many of them. Films include "A Day at the Races"(1937), "Hellzapoppin"(1941), "Sugar Hill Masquerade"(1942) & "Killer Diller"(1948).

 
"Hellzapoppin"(1941)

 
"A Day at the Races"(1937)

There are 2 Styles of LindyHop. The Savoy style (Danced in the Savoy Ballroom) & the Hollywood style which is a smooth style LindyHop inspired by Dean Collins, a dancer that arrived in Hollywood in 1938. He danced in, or choreographed over 100 films in the 1940's & 1950's. More old LindyHop film footage can be found & presented for everyone to see in the Paramount, Universal & Pathe newsreels between 1938 & 1951.

During the Second World War the American GI's brought over to Britain a simplified variation of LindyHop they called the Jitterbug (named after the Cab Calloway song), which was made up of mainly 6 count moves.

After the Second World War the dance died off as bands got smaller and the music and dance styles changed. It wasn't until the early eighties with the help of Frankie Manning (one of the original Savoy Ballroom & Whitey's Lindy Hoppers) the dance has been revived. Today Lindy Hop is still evolving (new moves being created all the time in the original style & some in a more modern style) & is now danced all over the world in ever increasing numbers.

So go on give it a try. You could get hooked!