Lindy hop is one of the most popular social dances in the world. The number of people dancing it increases every year. The dance keeps thriving and evolving, taking in the elements of other styles and giving rise to new ones.
Lindy hop emerged as a mixture of several dance styles from various corners of the U.S. in the late 20’s in Harlem. That was the heyday of cultural life and the Savoy Ballroom was a bright star on its horizon. In a country as highly segregated as America, Savoy was admitting both white and black visitors allowing them to experience the joys of dancing together. It was a true magnet for dancers.
Between the 30’s and 40’s, Lindy hop reached the peak of its popularity. Benny Goodman’s legendary 1937 gig at the Paramount Theatre, New York, brought together over 3,000 swing lovers. They were so impressed with the fusion of music and dance that Lindy hop quickly gained fame in all big cities of the U.S.
The legend of the dance’s name is also very remarkable. It dates back to Charles Lindberg’s first transatlantic flight. Next day, American newspapers exploded with headlines, ’Lindy hops the Atlantic!’ The phrase was allegedly caught up by one of Lindy hop founders, George Snowden, who jokingly dubbed the style ‘Lindy hop’ in an interview shortly afterwards. The name stuck.
By the end of the 40’s, the popularity of Lindy Hop started to wane. It was replaced by boogie-woogie that borrowed a great deal from its predecessor, just like rock’n’roll had from jazz. In the 80’s, European enthusiasts rekindled interest in the dance. They contacted former Savoy stars and asked to teach them Lindy hop. The group founded a dance camp in Herr?ng, Sweden, that has grown into a major annual event for swing dancers from all over the world.
Today people dance Lindy hop everywhere jazz is played. To learn its basics, you don’t have to attend choreography schools for years - the incredible energy of the dance kicks in with the very first moves!