These dance styles originated in the 1930s, with Lindy Hop being the oldest. Named for Charles Lindberg (Lucky Lindy was the nickname that he acquired after his historic solo plane flight across the Atlantic Ocean).
The Lindy Hop is an eight (8) count dance. which is done to a ‘blusey’ dance number. It was derived from another dance that was popular in the 1920s, the Charleston. It was popularized in Harlem, NY, by African-American youths of that era. The first part of the dance isn’t all that complicated, but it does require the Leader to be proficient in his ability to lead his partner, through the series of lifts, turns (Lindy Circle) and other off-balance movements, such as ‘throwing the woman over his back or between his legs’ (known as ‘aerials’). You may have seen some of these ‘moves’ in the movies of the 1930s.
Mr. Frankie Manning (1914–2004) was a member of the Jivin’ Lindy Hoppers. He was still teaching Lindy Hop ‘moves’ well into his 80s. I did get to a few of his workshops when he was in town. I have a photo of him, in my studio, doing one of his ‘classic’ moves.
This dance style became popular during the Big Band era of the 1940s. It is still popular today. Even our younger generation will be seen doing some form of Jitterbug, and they attend Swing Dance events, sometimes. They ‘caught the bug’ with the Swing revival of the late 1990s.
Swing/Jitterbug is a derivation/modification of the Lindy Hop. Both dance forms start the same way, but Swing/Jitterbug is a lot less energetic than the Lindy Hop–no lifts or anything that has your partner ‘airborne’. I teach Swing/Jitterbug as a six (6) count dance, which is the style I learned in my youth. I tend to like teaching my classes using 50s-60s rock and roll. It is easier to follow the beat with this music.
• I give Private and Group Lessons in both styles. Check the Blue Sidebar for more info.
• I am available to host your event with Swing Dancing and a dance lesson is included.
• I can do ‘live’ or recorded music for your event.