The Dance and the Music
Swing dancing envelops a number of dances that are best suited to swing music. One of the most popular is the Lindy Hop, an African-American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. Lindy Hop, nicknamed the Jitterbug for its bouncy and energetic nature, was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. The Lindy Hop reached its peak in the 1940s with Big Bands led by the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Count Basie. These Bands had the dancers jumping and jiving in dance halls across the world.
In its development, the Lindy Hop combined elements of both partnered and solo dancing by using the movements and improvisation. It is known for its inventiveness and fluidity on the social dance floor.
It is alleged that the name Lindy Hop came about as a result of aviator Charles Lindburgh taking his first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris in 1927, rising immediately to popularity.
Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues, Tap, Waltz and solo jazz are all part of the amazing dances that originated and were danced, represented and developed in the Savoy Ballroom from the 1920s onwards, to the accompaniment of colourful Jazz music.
If you like jazz you will love Swing music! Syncopated rhythms, dynamic variations, and a sheer variety of tempos and moods is what typfies the music we love to dance to.
Sitting under the jazz umbrella, the upbeat Swing rhythms evoke the big band days of the great Glenn Miller that your grandparents danced to during the 40s—songs such as In the Mood and Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing!
Swing music encompasses everything from frantic 300 pbm ragtime to the slow and smooth rhythms of blues.
And Swing still lives on today! With a huge revival in the late 1990s and early 2000s of classic swing from the 30s and 40s together with contemporary rockabilly, neo-swing has taken off with artists such as Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, and Michael Buble regularly hitting the charts, and some say there are more people dancing Swing today than back in the 40s.