LINDY HOP

If you are going to call yourself a "Swing Dancer" then you need to learn the Lindy Hop! This dance is what optimizes the Swing Era. It is an 8 count dance that is taught with a pulse, moving down into the floor. It can be danced to any tempo with a (preferably) smooth feel to it. The posture has an African dance look and feel to it. Lindy Hop is usually danced to the music of the 1930s & 1940s or to any music that "swings".

 

Legend has it that the name Lindy Hop came about around 1927 when aviator Charles Lindbergh "hopped" the Atlantic. The famous pilot's name was "Lucky Lindy". When one of the dancers of the Savoy Ballroom, "Shorty" George Snowden was asked what dance he was doing he told reporters it was the Lindy Hop, connecting the headline "Lindy hops the Atlantic" with the new dance craze.

It has African roots and was primarily danced by Black people in Harlem, New York in the late 1920s in ballrooms like the Savoy. The Lindy was so different because it was the first dance that had partners break away from each other while dancing, unlike previous partnered dances like Foxtrot, Waltz and even Charleston. It was a joyous dance that helped people get through things like racism and The Great Depression.

The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem was the most famous home of the Lindy Hop! Chick Webb was the house band with other famous band leaders coming in to play such as Benny Goodman, Buddy Johnson, Lucky Millinder, and Count Basie. The greatest Lindy Hoppers in the world danced there such as Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Shorty George Snowden, and Big Bea. The first Lindy Hop performance troupe came out of the Savoy and called themselves Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. They would appear in many films of the Swing Era which helped to get the Lindy Hop more popularized.

The greatest thing to come out of the Savoy Ballroom was that it was one of the first ballrooms of its time to be racially integrated and had a no discrimination policy. Blacks and whites danced together nightly. Skin color didn't matter...they only cared if you could dance or not!