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.
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).
Day at the Races"(1937)
There were originally 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 and the styles have
merged (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.