"Swing is so much more than a dance, it's a way of life. The music gets stuck in your mind and the dance is in your heart and the whole scene is engraved on your soul. You can fly."
~ Nicholas Hope ~
A (very) short history of Lindy
The Lindy Hop is a partnered social dance that originated in the African-American communities of Harlem, New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. It evolved alongside the swingin’ jazz music popular at the time.
What's in a name?
The origins of the name ‘Lindy Hop’ are debated in swing history. One theory is that it was named after aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 ‘hop’ across the Atlantic ocean.
Lindy Hop's popularity reached its peak in the 1940's, before slowly starting to go out of style in the 1950's, when the sounds of Bebop and Rock and Roll began to change the music and dancing landscapes.
Luckily, Lindy Hop had a major revival in popularity in the 1980s. Dancers in the US, UK and Sweden sought out the original 30s dancers (such as Frankie Manning and Norma Miller) and asked them to share their knowledge, kicking off a global resurrection. Now, Lindy Hop even has vibrant dance scenes in places like Taiwan, Uganda and Groningen.
Do you swing?
There are several styles of dance that fall under the umbrella term of ‘swing dance’. At Sugarspin we mainly focus on Lindy Hop, Charleston and Solo Jazz (click for some examples of these styles).
Lead, follow & switch
Traditionally, in Lindy Hop the leader initiates the 'dance conversation' and the follow...follows. But if the leader asks all the questions, and the follower only gives short, expected answers, it will be a rather boring conversation. From early on, we teach people to dance both roles and switch roles, and we continue to encourage people in both roles to listen to each other, in addition to the music. In this way, the dance really becomes an interaction between two people and the music.