The Lindy Hop grew out of the cultural mix of Harlem’s ballrooms and crossed American cultural border before jumping international borders, picking up new influences on the journey. Evolving from it’s late 1920’s birth to populate the planet, it embraces Charleston and Black Bottom as well as influences from Ballroom, Tap and popular ‘animal dances’. Some branches of Lindy Hop are separately identifiable as Boogie Woogie, West Coast Swing, various types of Jive, etc. Meanwhile many dancers combine their Lindy with other styles depending on the music and Charleston and Jazz steps remain an important element in the mix.
The Lindy Hop a is fun, freestyle, flexible way to let yourself go to swinging music from the last 100 years and can be danced to all types and tempos of swinging music.
It is often described as the Rolls Royce of swing dancing – classy, powerful and stylish. However, many of us prefer a smooth Citroen, a flash Ferrari or a low maintenance Nissan. The freedom of Lindy Hop means that there is room for many different looks, different speeds and a wide selection of optional extras.
Lindy Hop is not a dance of regimented conformity and dance communities and individual dancers have their own character. The common factor is playfulness. Here are two videos contrasting top class Lindy Hop danced socially with then competitively.