What Is Lindy Hop?
“Get down! Get low! Get sassy! Stay low to the ground! Don’t be afraid to bend your legs! Lower! This ain’t no Riverdance, people!”
Lindy hop is the granddaddy of all swing dances, a blend of African and European dance influences that is both uniquely American... and now spans the globe.
Lindy hop takes its name from the Charles Lindbergh's flight to Paris in 1927.
If Tango is sultry, and Ballroom dancing is aloof, lindy hop is joyful and playful. Lindy has a grounded, flowing style that closely reflects its music -- from the late 20s hot jazz to the early 40s big bands.
Harlem, New York, and in particular the Savoy Ballroom ("The Home of Happy Feet") is where the dance was developed and innovated from the 1920s onward.
Based on earlier dances such as the Charleston, the Black Bottom and the Breakaway, the dance evolved and spread over the decades along with the new swing music.
And while the dance continues to evolve today, contemporary lindy hoppers still strive for that same spirit, inventiveness, and musicality of the pioneers of lindy hop like Norma Miller, Dean Collins, Frankie Manning and many more.
Lindy is at its heart a social dance, with each step improvised on-the-fly on the dance floor. But is also a popular competitive and performance dance, with competitions and shows taking place all over the world.
The air-step, created by the late Frank Manning, is one of the most iconic images of lindy hop. Demonstrating the most athletic, energetic side of Lindy, air-steps were first seen globally in such movies such as “Hellzapoppin” and “Day at the Races.”
Lindy hop as a movement continues to grow internationally, with vibrant dance scenes in as far flung places as Taiwan, Mozambique, and Brazil. Just like the newspaper headline of 1927, lindy has hopped the Atlantic, the Pacific, and every other ocean there is.