**Justin’s Quick Lindy Tips

for group instruction in a social or festival environment (last updated 1.29.2023)

Quick Lindy Hop/Swing history

- Lindy Hop started in the 1920s in Harlem, NY and was at the height of popularity in the ‘40s.
- It is a historically Black American dance, and has evolved through the years as the progenitor of dances like disco, and country dances.
- Lindy Hop is named after Charles Lindbergh, who “Hopped” the Atlantic ocean in 1927. It has gone through many different names, including: Jitterbug, Jive, East Coast Swing, Swing, and more.
- Today, it is danced throughout the entire world with weekly local dances and international festivals all year.

Suggested Teaching Order Jukin’ in closed > Basic in closed > in open > Follows inside turn > (Lead’s belt turn)

  • Start with a syllabus “Today, we’re going to learn a bit of basic swing. Here’s a quick demo” 15-30 seconds
  • Teach closed position. Play some slow swing.
    • Swing dancing is just doing what the music asks you to do, if the music asks you to slow dance you do it. You already know how wow!
    • This is perfect for any slower song, because then you can chitchat.
  • BONUS Tenet Number 1: When you turn, turn underneath your hands
  • Teach an inside turn in slow dancing
  • Teach 6-count in open. Play some medium swing.
    • Count “Rock Step, Groove, Groove”
    • Can also use direction steps “Rock Step, Side, Side”
    • AVOID “Rock Step, Step, Step” (causes semantic satiation)
  • Since the song is faster, we fill in the space a bit more with this pattern. (Maybe a triple step, but probably not)
  • Teach then dance between closed and open for the rest of the song
  • Teach 6-count transition into closed
  • Dance a song in 6-count, transitioning between open and closed.
  • Introduce or Reiterate Tenet Number 1: When you turn, you turn underneath your hands
  • To help this, Leaders have to put your hands across (check watch) and draw a halo.
  • Things that can help Leaders: “Check Your Watch” “Draw a Halo” “Start the turn, then she finishes it”
  • Things that can help Follows: “You finish the turn” “Turn slowly, and make him catch up” “Keep on dancing!”

Final Notes

  • Try to teach-by-dancing. Dance with the attendees after the lesson lead/backlead-as-a-follow to teach shape.
  • Couples will be slower to learn than individual dancers. Be patient.
  • Say the rhythm out loud as much as you can.
  • Encourage them to come back again after dancing for the first time.
  • Wait, Don’t forget to have fun. That. It’s cool. It’s a non-profit!