Lindy Hop

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Lindy Hop
Lindy hop dancing couple, Midtown Stomp, California, 2005
Lindy hop dancing couple, Midtown Stomp, California, 2005
Technology: unclassified
Type: Couple dance , ballroom dancing
Music: Swing , big band , jump blues ,
also rock 'n' roll , blues
Time signature : 4 / 4 -stroke (with exceptions)
Tempo: ~ 25-60 + TPM
Origin: United States
Creation time: End of 20s , 30s
List of dances

Lindy Hop is a dance style from the 1930s in the United States that is considered to be the forerunner of the jive , boogie-woogie and acrobatic rock 'n' roll dances . It is considered the original swing dance .

History of style

The roots of Lindy Hop are in Charleston , break-away and tap dance , but also other jazz , traditional West African and European dances. As ballroom dancing , he is mainly danced in pairs, with the joy of harmony, the exchange of ideas during movement of the dance and the music interpretation in the foreground.

The dance emerged in the late 1920s in the great ballrooms of New York to the music of the big bands who developed jazz music into orchestral swing music . The largest ballroom at the time, the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, is of particular importance . It was open to all walks of life and skin colors, a melting pot of the most diverse dance cultures, in which the Lindy Hop developed into a special attraction. He drew celebrities and high society to the Savoy, which brought him attention beyond Harlem.

Lindy Hop dancing couple at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, USA (2006)

The dance became known, among other things, through dance formations such as the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers , who brought the dance style to stages and cinema screens in the 1930s and 1940s. Frankie Manning was the dancing head of this troupe for a long time. Among other things, he developed the first “ Aerials ” (pair acrobatics and lifting figures synchronized with the music, seamlessly interspersed with the dance). An example of a staging is given in the film In hell the hell is loose! ( Hellzapoppin ' ) from 1941, in which the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers are named as "Harlem Congeroo Dancers" in the credits. Also in this film is Dean Collins , who is considered a key figure for the so-called Hollywood-style Lindy Hop , the adaptation of Lindy Hop to the taste of whiter Hollywood.


A couple's lindy hop dance to live 1920s music

Since the early 1980s, Lindy Hop has been gaining more and more friends in Europe. In 2005 there was already an insider group comprising several thousand dancers in London and New York, but also in other large cities, predominantly in the western world and elsewhere (e.g. Beijing, Tokyo), fans of the dance train regularly and organize public events Parties. The most famous annual Lindy Hop Festival now lasts five weeks, during which a total of well over a thousand dancers make a pilgrimage to the small Swedish village of Herräng : the "Harlem Hot Shots" (formerly: Rhythm Hot Shots), have been devoting there since 1992 to authentic Afro-American dance (and prominently the Lindy Hop) a dance camp. Contemporary witnesses from the 30s to 50s, such as Frankie Manning († 2009) and Dawn Hampton († 2016), are brought together with current protagonists of the dance form. Popular movies like “The Great Gatsby” and “Midnight in Paris” have brought the roaring twenties and the Charleston back to the screen as a dance in recent years.

Since 1998, Lindy Exchanges have taken place regularly in many cities to get to know each other and the typical dance style of another city.


Various stories are circulating about the name “Lindy Hop”, most of which refer to the New York dancer “Shorty George” George Snowden . Lindy Hop is the name of the dance supposedly after Charles Lindbergh , the first to cross the Atlantic on a non-stop flight from New York to Paris. According to the legend and lore of Frankie Manning, mayors and journalists celebrated that evening when the newspapers headlined: "Lucky Lindy Hops the Atlantic" in the Savoy Ballroom and asked one of the dancers what he was doing here, what he supposedly replied: "I'm doin 'the Hop ... the Lindy Hop!" According to Frankie Manning, the exhausted Shorty George simply went back to the current newspaper headline.

Another version reports that Lindy Hop was originally just called "Hop". The name "Lindy" was added to the "Hop" in the New York Savoy Ballroom in 1927 - allegedly to commemorate Lindbergh's famous flight across the Atlantic in 1927.


  • Astrid Eichstedt, Bernd Polster: Like the wild. Dances at the height of their time. Rotbuch Verlag, Berlin 1985.
  • Frankie Manning, Cynthia Millmann: Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop . Temple University Press, Philadelphia 2008.
  • Helmut Günther: Jazz Dance: History, Theory, Practice. Henschel Verlag, Leipzig 2005.

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