The California Routine was originally choreographed by Frankie Manning for the movie Hellzapoppin. Frankie interspersed quite some aerials (“air steps”) in the routine, which not everyone can duplicate. That is why even though it’s become one of the main stays of Lindy Hop choreographies, you’ll encounter variations as the dancers replace the aerials with other steps.

The routine is often danced to “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” by Count Basie, although it can be (and frequently is) performed to other (slower) songs as well.

Steps

Aerial steps (where you’ll encounter most variations) are indicated in bold.

  • Three swing-outs and a Circle
  • Kick-ups (Skip Ups); Tuck turn; Side pass; 6-count stop
  • Throw out into crazy legs
  • Tango choreography with 2-count frog jump
  • Tuck turn to the back
  • Barrel turn to the front
  • around-the-back or swing-out with jump ending
  • Slip slops; run-run; frog jump+small kick
  • Charleston transition into tandem Charleston
  • Tandem Charleston x2
  • A-frame (Charleston frog jump)
  • Tandem Charleston
  • Front flip
  • Push-out and turn into pancake aerial
  • Exit vigorously

Detailed online instructions

Lindy Hop Moves: California Routine.