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The Lindy Hop
The Lindy Hop was the root of all Swing dancing and Jive dancing. It originated in the Jazz Age in Harlem, New York City. The individuals who created the Lindy Hop lived to dance and often did so day and night, seven days a week. Their passion for jazz music is reflected in the exceptional power, complexity and quality of the dance.
The personality of the Lindy Hop is one of irreverent good humour set in whirling, centrifugal motions, with flailing limbs and postures ranging from straight backs to protruding posteriors according to preference. The Lindy Hop incorporates Charleston steps and other 'character' moves like 'heels', 'kick-aways' and 'hen pecks' from other dances of the time.
The basic swing-out consists of a back step away from your partner and triple step towards your partner, followed by two steps in a close hold position followed by a triple step away from your partner in a swing rhythm. From there on in it is open to improvisation as long as the basic pattern matches the normal 32 bar structure of the music, or 12 bar if the musical composition being danced to is blues based. Although some argue that there is a single "authentic" way of dancing the Lindy Hop in terms of specific steps and sequences, it is as varied as the surviving film clips of original dancers indicates.
See Spotlight on Lindy Hop for a detailed history.