Lindy Hop is the original swing dance, from the 1930s and 40s. I teach and perform all over the world with my dance partner, Juan Villafañe from Argentina.
The term “swing dancing” is an umbrella term for any dance done to swinging jazz music, from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The most popular (and spectacular) of these dances was the Lindy Hop.
Lindy Hop is a partnered swing dance, that evolved out of the Charleston in the late 1920s, in the ballrooms and on the streets of the African-American district of Harlem in New York City. The dance evolved alongside swing music itself, emerging in the late 1920s when hot jazz (born in New Orleans) was transforming into swinging jazz, and died out (as we know it) in the late 1940s as the swing era gave way to bebop and rock ‘n roll. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, as swing music spread across the USA and the world, Lindy Hop spread with it.
Legend has it that Lindy Hop earned its name in 1927 when one of its original dancers, George “Shorty” Snowden, was asked its name by a reporter, and dubbed it Lindy Hop after aviator Charles Lindbergh and his famous solo flight across the Atlantic that year (newspaper headlines read “Lindy Hops The Atlantic”). It is sometimes simply called The Lindy, and some parts of the world knew it as The Jitterbug.
While the acrobatic aspect of Lindy Hop is perhaps most familiar to many people, Lindy Hop has many characters. Though it can indeed be danced wild and fast, with spectacular airsteps, it can also be slow and smooth, elegant or sexy.
Lindy Hop is the mother of a variety of other dances, that evolved out of Lindy from the 1950s onwards, including Rock ‘n Roll, Boogie Woogie, Jive, Ceroc and West Coast Swing. Lindy Hop is the original swing dance!
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