WHAT IS LINDY HOP?
Glad you asked. Lindy is the form of swing dance that grew out of the Savoy Ballroom in Manhattan New York back in the 1940's. A group of black dancers known as the Whiteys, one which was the amazingly talented Frankie Manning, tore up the dance floor with their fast eight count moves and air steps. A clip of the movie Hellzapoppin features the Whities at their break-neck best.
in the late nineties, New York swing dancers learned that Frankie was still alive and dancing and through him the lindy hop was reborn to a new generation! Thank God for Frankie! (In fall of 2003 I got to dance/train with him myself!)
Today there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lindy hoppers all over the world. Almost ever major city has a lindy hop scene, and large scenes delight in hosting lindy hop exchanges at least once every two years. Exchanges involve hundreds of dancers converging into one city for a full weekend of all-day/all-night dancing. Local dancers host out-of-towners who crash on their living room floors for the few hours we do manage to sleep.
Today's lindy varries a lot in speed, though most of us tend to prefer slow-medium speeds. .
LINDY VIDEOS: These video clips show lindy hop at varrying speeds, both competition pieces (some with air steps/aerials) and social dance
1. moderate speed lindy hop
2. Sommers and Dorry, typical medium-slow
3. Yuval & Natalie, world champions = Lindy Hop competition at its BEST - complete with arials. (I trained with them! They rock!)
4. It's not lindy, but who could forget the classic GAP khakis commercial from 1998 that rebirthed the swing dance craze:
5. More lindy videos:
- www.eiraneiran.com - www.youtube.com>You Tube" search "lindy hop"
WHY I LOVE LINDY HOP:
There are as many reasons why a person gets hooked on dance as there are dancers. Until the dance bug bites and claims a piece of you too, it would be hard for me to truly convey to you why I love swing dance as much as I do.
But let me try:
As a follower, I can only describe the incredible sensation by comparing it to flying. My feet move, but if I’m connected and fully submitted to my partner's lead, he moves me and I just go along for the ride. It’s like doing a three-legged race with both of your feet and bodies unattached but still in perfect sync. It just feels fluidly good.
As a lover of music, dance to me is also a celebration and active participation in a musical piece. When I let myself really feel the music, I start to dance with it rather than to it...As though somehow my body had become a piece of the melody or an accent on the trumpet blast, if that makes any sense.
Swing dance allows me to manifest my truest self. I can feed off the energy of the music and release even more of it as I let myself go nuts with delight. The music often dictates the emotions that my theatrical self will convey through the dance, ranging from melo-dramatic to goofy, right down to teasingly sexy when I feel like playing around.
I’ve been swing dancing off and on since spring of 2000. If you’d seen me then, you never would’ve believed that I’d be dancing like I am today. You’ve heard of “two left feet”? I thought I had THREE! I knocked the glasses off the face of one of the best leaders, on my first night at the Ottawa Swing Dance Society… in short, I was a terrible dancer and I knew it! But I loved it so much that I promised myself I would learn to do it right, whatever it took.
Six years later I’m finally starting to be able to afford lessons and lindy-hop exchanges (local dance scenes take turns hosting a full-weekend of dance - all day and all night, until 5 am or so). I want to learn more, more, and more. I’m learning to lead lindy now, and one day soon I really hope to find a partner to take aerial classes with… (ahh the good old days of having a swing dancing boyfriend/guaranteed partner…).
MY LINDY HOP LIFE:
I have now lindied in the following cities/swing dance scenes:
- Ottawa, Ontario (includes CREX exchange, July 2003)
- Wakefield, Quebec (on the covered bridge)
- Montreal, Quebec (includes MTLX exchange, Aug 2005)
- Toronto, Ontario (includes TOE4 exchange, Sept 2006)
- Kingston, Ontario
- Quebec, Quebec (includes QSRV exchange/wrkshop, Feb 2006
- Chicoutimi, Quebec
- Washington, DC
- Fairfax, Virginia (Virginia State Championship/exchange, Oct 2003)
I have lindied under the following conditions:
- in the rain
- on grass
- in a dry and very dusty farmer’s field
- in water (doesn’t work very well)
- on a boardwalk under the stars
- in a grocery store
- bundled up in winter gear
- on ice (perfect for shag)
- _______ metres (______ feet) above ground level (CN Tower, Glass Floor)
- after 48 hours without sleep
- with various injuries
- at a party playing nothing but techno
- in a country swing dance competition (with borrowed cowboy boots!)
PICTURES AND VIDEOS!(COMING SOON) Pictures and Videos from all my exchanges and swing dance events.