OUT to Dance offers fun swing and lindy hop dance classes at West Roxbury School of Dance:
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.
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.