Lindy Hop – The Source Of Modern Swing

The Lindy Hop is said to be the grandfather of modern swing. This dance is a popular routine back in the 1920s, along the time when jazz music is the latest craze. Being a member of the Swing family, we can safely say that Lindy Hop originated as one of the branches of African American dance culture.


The history of Lindy Hop can be broken down into three stages — the peak of the Swing era from 1920 to 1940, its evolution in 1950, and its revival in the 1980s.

This dance routine is said to originate from the black community in Harlem, New Work back in the 1920s. In-depth study of this style has broken down its routines into a combination of Charleston, breakaway, hop, and Texas Tommy. Around the 1930′s, Lindy Hop is at the peak of its popularity.

This dance routine is quite popular in the many bars and dancing studios in various cities in the United States. However, it later stagnated when dancing was strongly disapproved due to the heavy tax sanction against bars and dancing halls.

Lindy Hop Today

Today, Lindy Hop is one of the few social dances performed in local regions. It did not reach the stage like other dances that evolved and accepted in various circles in modern society. This dance routine is performed mostly in private and public social events, dance competitions, and other dance performances. The maneuver can be done solo or with a partner.


Considering that Lindy Hop is part of the Swing family, many of its moves can be found in other dance styles popular today. This dance routine is defined as an athletic partner dance. As opposed to universal norm in partner dance where partners are supposed to stay upright and mostly connect through their hands, the Lindy Hop starts off with an athletic stance with emphasis on lower body movement or footwork.

Lindy Hop has 2 actual styles, though performers may integrate their own unique moves to give it a more unique style — these are the Savory and G.I. style.

The Savory-styled Lindy Hop places an emphasis on upper body movement — usually involving horizontal sways and jerks that define it as an active version of the dance routine. The second, the G.I. Lindy Hop, places its emphasis on upright body position with active lower body movement.

Footwork of this dance routine borrows some of the more commonplace techniques found in Charleston and Tap dancing. The steps use 6 and 8 counts for the rhythm and put an emphasis on the leader and weight changes during the routine. The music of the Lindy Hop is lively. Since this is an active dance where solo and partnered performers may integrate active movements to their routine, many of these dances are usually performed with an accompaniment of Jazz or hip-hop music in the background.

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