The Music Is Infectious
By definition, swing dancing just means dancing to swing music. “Swing music” means swinging jazz, the pop music of the late 1920s through to the 1940s.
Swing was made for dancers, it’s irresistibly toe-tapping! When you hear this, you’re going to want to dance, and Lindy Hop is the dance to do.
Sometimes there’s a DJ, and sometimes a live jazz band. Swing dancing to live music is an intoxicating experience – the horns blaring, the rhythm section driving, the dance floor bouncing. Experience it once and you’ll be hooked.
It’s For Everyone
Lindy Hop can be danced to fast or slow tempos. It can be wild and energetic, or it can be smooth and sexy. You’ll find all ages on the dance floor – twenty-somethings, sixty-somethings, all dancing together. Lindy Hop is perfect for all levels of
Lindy Hop is all about tactile communication with your partner – meaning, it’s time to touch somebody! Human contact is good for the soul and sorely missing in modern social scenarios. Since the 1960s, popular dances have been done solo, but partner dances are now making a comeback.
In Lindy Hop there is a leader, who controls the dance, and a follower who follows the moves and footwork initiated by the leader. Traditionally the leader is male and the follower female, but today Lindy Hoppers often do both.
Once you’ve learned some fundamental lead/follow techniques, you can dance with anyone. This connection and communication is hugely satisfying, and every dance becomes a physical conversation. It’s the language of dance.
Just Like Magic
People seeing Lindy Hop at a party for the first time, often presume it must be a routine. The moves are so complex, the footwork so synchronised, there are so many different positions, yet the couple is so together – surely it’s a choreography that they’ve practiced for tonight.
Not so! In a show you might see a Lindy Hop routine, but at a party everyone is social dancing, meaning it’s totally improvised. The dance you are watching is being spontaneously created, in that very moment, like magic.
All those steps, that fancy footwork, the spins and turns and kicks and breaks – the leader is thinking it up on the spot, leading it through the connection, so the follower can feel what to do. He can even lead her to do a step she has never done before! Magic.
10 great tunes to swing dance to
Shufflin and Rollin – Buddy Johnson
Bill Bailey – Ella Fitzgerald
Lindy Hopper’s Delight – Chick Webb
Snake Hips – Mills Blue Rhythm Band
Savoy – Lucky Millinder
Cross Patch – Willie Bryant
Jump Session – Slim & Slam
Ballin The Jack – Red Nichols
Splanky – Count Basie
Cottontail – Duke Ellington