Lindy Hop

History

The Lindy dance originated in the Savoy Ballroom in the Harlem section of New York City. The African American community created it by combining traditional African rhythms with traditional European rhythms and musical styles.

Swing Dance and Lindy Hop
 

Also called the Savoy Style, the Lindy Hop was not characterized by strict dance steps or a particular move while dancing. Rather, it took some basic steps and left the dancer to improvise and create new moves based on their own energy and enthusiasm. It was a very freewheeling and personally liberating style of dance. For many African Americans, it was one of the few ways to enjoy freedom of expression in a world dominated by segregation and racial stereotypes.

The popularity of the Lindy Hop spread beyond the African American community and found its way into dance venues all over the east coast and beyond. During World War II, it spread to Europe and beyond as American soldiers brought the style with them across the Atlantic.

Learn It!

Learning this is relatively easy- but takes practice to do smoothly. All it takes is a willingness to learn a few basic moves and then let your style come out. There are a variety of ways to learn the Lindy Hop:

In Person – There are numerous dance studios, community centers and social groups that offer Lindy Hop dance lessons. Many of these will not only teach you the basic steps, but also host periodic dances and social events so you can practice your dancing in a real-world environment. Some even hold dance camp from time to time, where you can immerse yourself in it and other dance styles every day for several days in a row.

Lindy Hop Dance Video or DVD – You might think it impossible to learn to dance using a picture or photo, but that is exactly what you will find on one of the many video and DVD “learn to dance” products. They typically include an instructor demonstrating various moves as well as still photos and freeze frame shots to illustrate posture, body position and other aspects of the dance. While it is always a good idea to take some lessons in person, this can be a great way to familiarize yourself with it beforehand if you want to know about it or if you are not able to get to lessons easily.

Online – One of the most rapidly growing ways of learning theis is through online sources. A simple search using Google or another search engine will turn up a wide range of options for online learning. In case it seems odd to think about learning to dance online, find a Lindy Hop online video clip and you will see for yourself how easy and fun it is to use internet technology to learn how to dance.

Dance For Exercise

Some people take up the Lindyhop for the fitness and exercise benefits. Some people find that while they won't go to a gym or do other "traditional" exercise methods, the music, fun and social interaction make it consistently appealing. While dancing may not seem like a lot of work, but try it and you will understand how it can give you a great workout. Some fitness clubs and gyms even offer Lindyhop and swing dance sessions on a regular basis as a fun, alternative way for members to vary their workout routine.

 
 
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