Lindy Hop was born in the 1920s in Harlem, New York City and danced to the swing jazz music of the era. It was a fusion of jazz dances, charleston, breakaway and tap.
Ever wondered what it would be like to dance how they do in the movies in the 1930s and 40s? Like those old black and white films where you hear the sounds of some unbelievable jazz band, and then the camera pans from the band to the crowd and everyone’s swinging out like crazy? How do they actually learn how to do that?
You know, like this:
Then you think to yourself, ‘Where has this lost art gone? Nobody in this day and age seems to dance like that. Or, do they?’ So you Google it, and you find out they do, and that it’s right here in Cambridge. You find out that old dance style is called Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, or sometimes just Swing Dancing. Cool.
The story goes that Shorty George Snowden and Mattie Purnell invented the dance in 1928 during a dance marathon at the Rockland Palace Ballroom in New York. Snowden later christened it the “Lindy Hop”, possibly as a variation on the earlier (unrelated) “Lindbergh Hop”, named in honour of aviator Charles Lindbergh. During the 1980s and 90s there was a huge revival in interest in Lindy Hop, and today it is again danced by thousands of people all over the world.