Born on the streets of Harlem and associated with the Savoy Ballroom in the late 1920s, the Lindy Hop is known as the original swing dance and would probably be best described as “partnered jazz dancing”. The name “Lindy Hop” was inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic solo airplane hop in 1927. Over the years the dance evolved into different forms and styles in different regions of the country. In the 1980’s it was given new life as young dancers connected with and learned from the original dancers.

The core of Lindy Hop is improvisation – you play, you improvise, you syncopate. Still, the dance does have a structure with some basic steps, patterns and moves, which serve as the basis for innovation. It is mostly characterized by a breakaway move, known as the “Swing-Out”, where the lead sends the follow out of closed position and allows both of them to improvise solo steps. Unlike most ballroom dances, where the dancers float or glide on the floor, Lindy Hop is danced “into the floor” – it uses a “pulse” that drives and connects the dancers. Depending on the music, Lindy Hop can be fast and energetic or smooth and groovy.

Lindy Hop is mostly danced to swing, blues, and jazz music, but is not limited to these styles. Although Lindy Hop is a partnered dance it offers a lot of room for individual expression within the partnership. Both lead and follow constantly communicate with each other through connection, movement, timing, harmony, and musicality. It is said that good Lindy Hop dancing is a perfect balance between structure and freedom.