Lindy Hop: The Original Swing

The Lindy Hop is often described as the original swing dance. Solidly grounded in African American culture, the Lindy Hop evolved at the Savoy Ballroom and in the streets of Harlem, New York during the late 1920s and 1930s.

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Learn to Dance the Lindy Hop

The Lindy Hop (or Lindy) is a partner dance that originated in 1920’s and 30’s Harlem, New York. The Dance itself consists of both 8 and 6 count steps and it includes footwork borrowed from the Charleston and Tap. The Ragtime Jazz and big band music of the 20’s and 30’s provided rhythms and tempos made for the fast footwork and kick outs of the Charleston, and the Jazz and Tap patterns of the Black Bottom. In early competitions, the Lindy Hop dancers efforts to out shine one another on the dance floor led these coupled dancers to “break-away” from their coupled embrace and perform their fancy steps. While it is not known exactly who it was that performed that first break-away, we do know that whoever it was, gave birth to modern swing dancing.

Several different styles of Lindy Hop existed. The two main styles of Lindy Hop which would continue after the swing era ended are: Frankie Manning’s “Savoy Style” and Dean Collins’ “Hollywood Style”. During the 1940’s and 1950’s other styles of swing dance would evolve out of Lindy Hop, including West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Rockabilly Swing, Boogie Woogie, Jive, Shag, and Balboa.