Lindy hop – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Terminology Glossary

I. What is Lindy Hop?

Lindy Hop is a style of dance that originated in the African American communities of Harlem, New York City, in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It is a partner dance that is known for its energetic and playful movements, as well as its improvisational nature. Lindy Hop is often referred to as the original swing dance, as it laid the foundation for many other styles of swing dancing that followed.

The dance itself is characterized by a combination of both 8-count and 6-count steps, as well as a unique connection between partners that allows for a great deal of communication and creativity on the dance floor. Lindy Hop is typically danced to jazz music, but can also be danced to other styles of music as well.

II. History of Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop was born out of the vibrant jazz scene in Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. The dance was inspired by a combination of African American dances such as the Charleston and the Breakaway, as well as European partner dances like the Foxtrot and the Jitterbug. Lindy Hop was named after Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, as it was said to be as exhilarating and daring as his feat.

The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem is often credited as the birthplace of Lindy Hop, as it was a popular venue for dancers to showcase their skills and compete in dance contests. Lindy Hop quickly spread across the United States and eventually around the world, becoming a popular dance style in the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s.

III. Basic Steps and Movements in Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop is a dynamic and improvisational dance that allows for a great deal of creativity and expression on the dance floor. The basic steps of Lindy Hop include the swingout, the lindy circle, the tuck turn, and the sugar push. These steps can be combined and varied in countless ways to create unique and exciting dance sequences.

The swingout is often considered the signature move of Lindy Hop, as it involves a circular rotation of partners that allows for a smooth and flowing connection between them. The lindy circle is another fundamental step in Lindy Hop, which involves partners moving in a circular motion around each other while maintaining a close connection.

IV. Musicality in Lindy Hop

Musicality is an essential aspect of Lindy Hop, as the dance is traditionally performed to jazz music with a strong emphasis on rhythm and improvisation. Dancers must be able to interpret the music and respond to its nuances in order to create a dynamic and engaging dance experience.

In Lindy Hop, dancers often use the rhythm and melody of the music to inspire their movements and footwork. They may choose to syncopate their steps with the music, or play with the tempo and dynamics to create a sense of musicality in their dancing. Musicality in Lindy Hop is about more than just following the beat – it is about interpreting the music and expressing it through movement.

V. Lindy Hop Styles and Variations

Over the years, Lindy Hop has evolved and diversified into a variety of different styles and variations. Some of the most popular styles of Lindy Hop include the Savoy Style, Hollywood Style, and Frankie Manning Style. Each style has its own unique characteristics and influences, but all share the same basic principles of connection, rhythm, and improvisation.

The Savoy Style of Lindy Hop is known for its fast and energetic movements, as well as its emphasis on musicality and connection between partners. The Hollywood Style of Lindy Hop, on the other hand, is characterized by its flashy and theatrical elements, as well as its smooth and elegant movements. The Frankie Manning Style of Lindy Hop pays homage to the legendary dancer and choreographer Frankie Manning, who was known for his innovative and playful approach to the dance.

VI. Lindy Hop Events and Competitions

Lindy Hop has a vibrant and active community of dancers around the world, who come together to celebrate the dance through events and competitions. Some of the most popular Lindy Hop events include dance workshops, social dances, and competitions such as the International Lindy Hop Championships and the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown.

These events provide dancers with the opportunity to learn new moves, connect with other dancers, and showcase their skills on the dance floor. Lindy Hop competitions are often judged based on criteria such as technique, musicality, and creativity, and can be a great way for dancers to challenge themselves and push their boundaries.

In conclusion, Lindy Hop is a dynamic and exciting dance style that continues to captivate dancers and audiences around the world. With its rich history, diverse styles, and emphasis on musicality and connection, Lindy Hop remains a beloved and timeless dance that continues to inspire and delight dancers of all ages.