What Is Lindy Hop (and swing dances)?

Hague Hoppers’ dances

 

By 2020 we have had several groups of Lindy Hop (of 6 levels), Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Solo Jazz, and Jazz fitness groups. We have plans to add Blues and Boogie classes to our list. Enjoy the videoclips made on different social events of Hague Hoppers and demonstration different swing dance styles.

Origins of Lindy Hop

 

Lindy Hop is an American jazz dance from the early 20th century, the result of a blending of African rhythms and body movement with European partnered dance forms and techniques adapted to fit changing popular music.

Lindy Hop grew out of various fad dances of the 1910s and 1920s, like the Texas Tommy and the Charleston. Dance marathons, Broadway shows, and Hollywood films showcased the creative, fast-paced nature of the dance and the showmanship of individual dancers, making Lindy Hop not just an American fascination, but a global one.

The Lindy Hop and Swing Music

 

It is inarguable that the success of Lindy Hop is due not just to the dancer Shorty George’s flying feet, but to the popularity of swing music itself. Musicians such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Chick Web, and Count Basie filled ballrooms across the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. As jazz music evolved into this energetic, swung groove, the dancers of the time answered the call by creating a dance with just as much energy. As the “Home of Happy Feet,” the Savoy became the hottest ballroom in New York City, if not the world.

 

Today

 

Lindy Hop has experienced a tremendous revival around the globe. Swing dance groups can be found in most major cities across world; connecting people across language and culture barriers. Lindy hop remains a fun dance where two people relate to each other over a song to create a dance that can be both wild, improvisational, and full of showmanship, or simple, elegant, and focused solely on that magical connection. The most important aspects remain that you connect with your partner, to the music, and that you enjoy it!

Vernacular Solo Jazz

 

Our solo jazz classes are based on the vernacular jazz steps that originated from 1920-40s. We learn the routines choreographed by old and contemporary jazz dancers but also develop our improvisational skills. Vernacular solo jazz is a great way to connect with jazz music, express your style and creativity. We also meet regularly to practice our solo jazz routines and you see – it is good fitness!

Balboa

 

Balboa (and bal-swing) is a dance that originated in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. Modern Balboa dancers sometimes distinguish between two types of Balboa, “Pure Balboa” and “Bal-Swing.” In Pure Balboa, dancers stay in close embrace for almost the entire time, their torsos touching, doing variations based on footwork, turning as a couple, and moving as a couple. Bal-Swing, in contrast, incorporates movements in which there is more space between the partners and thus more latitude for dynamic movements, including turns for one or both partners, and so forth.

Collegiate Shag

Collegiate Shag is a partnered swing dance that originated in the 1930s. It’s usually associated with a 6-count basic, quick and flashy footwork and a chugging rhythm. It may be danced in the closed position, open position, or side by side but almost always to the fast tempo tunes.

Charleston

It is a famous social jazz dance that was highly popular in the 1920s and kept developing in the 1930s to be partly integrated into other swing-era dances like Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag. Charleston of the 1920s is characterized by its toes-in, heels-out twisting steps, it was performed as a solo, with a partner, or in a group. Charleston of the 1930s is much more kicks-based.