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Lindy Hop

OUT to Dance offers fun swing and lindy hop dance classes at West Roxbury School of Dance: see our current dance class schedule under Classes for Everyone. And we have LGBT dance classes on Sundays.

History of the Lindy Hop

Born in African American communities in Harlem, New York in the United States in the 1920s as the breakaway, the 'first generation' of lindy hop is popularly associated with dancers such as "Shorty" George Snowden, though perhaps the most famous surviving lindy hopper today is Frankie Manning. Al Minns and Leon James, as well as surviving dancer Norma Miller also feature prominently in contemporary histories of lindy hop.

lindy hop,a day at the racesLindy hop entered mainstream American culture in the 1930s, popularised by touring dance troupes (including the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, which were also known as the Harlem Congaroos, Hot Chocolates and Big Apple Dancers), dance sequences in films (such as Hellzapoppin' and A Day at the Races) and dance studios (such as those of Arthur Murray and Irene and Vernon Castle). Lindy hop's movement to the west coast of the United States is popuarly associated with Dean Collins, who brought lindy hop to Los Angeles after (according to popular opinion) learning it at the Savoy Ballroom in New York.

Lindy hop moved off-shore in the 1930s and 40s, again in films and news reels, but also with American troops stationed overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other allied nations. Despite their banned status in countries such as Germany, lindy hop and jazz were also popular in other European countries during this period.

Lindy hop disappeared from popular culture in the 1950s as rock and roll music and dancing replaced jazz, and jazz itself cooled and moved towards bebop. Though it was still danced in isolated pockets throughout the world, in the 2000s there are very few dancers still alive who were dancing lindy in the 1930s or 40s.

In the late 1980s American and European dancers from California, New York, and Sweden respectively, (such as Sylvia Sykes, Steven Mitchell, and the The Rhythm Hot Shots respectively) went about 'reviving' lindy hop using archival films such as Hellzapoppin' and A Day at the Races and by contacting surviving dancers such as Frankie Manning, Al Minns, Norma Miller, Jewel McGowan and Dean Collins. In the mid-to-late 1990's the popularity of neo swing music stimulated mainstream interest in the dance, and was in part stimulated by the popular movie, "Swingers," and television commercials for, The Gap. The popularity led to the founding of local lindy hop dance communities in many cities. Lindy hop is now popular in many countries around the world.

 

When joining our swing or lindy dance classes or private dance lessons, note that our OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury and Roslindale, are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns.

 

Swing and Lindy Dance 1

For info on the next session of Swing and Lindy Dance Classes at
West Roxbury School of Dance, see our current dance class schedule
under Classes for Everyone. And we have LGBT dance classes on Sundays.

Other dances you can learn in our OUT to Dance Classes

Swing/Lindy, West Coast Swing

 
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