Texas Tommy is also called ‘Apache’ or ‘Hand Shake Behind the Back.’ We ultimately don’t care what you call it. We predominantly use the name Texas Tommy because if pays homage to the fact that the orginal Texas Tommy dance came out of San Francisco, California and traveled to New York City via two visiting dancers during the early Jazz era. In good lindy hop tradition, the key element of the dance was then borrowed/stolen for Lindy Hop. Now we have a ton of variations based on the original concept. The most important thing is that ithe way it looks is different than how it feels. That illusion is part of the magic, but also part of the danger. It’s too easy to make this a painful move so focus on the friendly/soft technique from the beginning to really make this move work on the social floor.
This is a great shape of a move that can easily interchange 3 major ryhthms we use in Lindy Hop (half time, full time & syncopated). Start by getting the shape with each ryhthm independently before you move on to intermixing the rhythms. Once mastered, you will have the ability to be more musical with your dancing becasue you will be able to instantaneously adjust your rhythm during a social dance to match the music more precisely and creatively.
A fun cross hands hold position that can use the 3 major ryhthms we use in Lindy Hop (half time, full time & syncopated). This Challenge will give you a lot of variations that you can create with your partner and the ability to be more musical with your dancing.
A variation of the Shim Sham as performed by Al Minns and Leon James, two famous original Lindy Hoppers who were part of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. No prior knowledge of the original Shim Sham is necessary. It’s great for expanding your personal jazz movement and very versatile for incorporating into larger lindy routines.
Originally choreographed by Dax Hock and Kevin St. Laurent in 2007 at Herrang Dance Camp, the Slip Slop Shim Sham is a fun way to push your sliding skills. It uses the same structure as the Shim Sham, but involves tricky slide moves. Proper shoes and a proper floor can make all the difference with this short routine. It’s also great to dance simultaneously while the rest of the room is dancing the traditional Shim Sham.
A classic short piece of choreo (32 bars) from the famous Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. This is a must know for any lindy performer or competitor. As the story goes, the Savoy Ballroom based lindy troupe from Harlem, New York City was hired to be in a movie that was being filmed in Hollywood, California. So they spent time rehearsing in NYC before departing. They had to practice the routine they were going to use in California. You know, the “California Routine.” It’s now a classic and several versions exist. Level 5 is the primary version Kevin and Jo use. Level 3 & 4 are adapted versions for lower tempos and for when you don’t have a partner you can do aerials with.
A short 4 eight count routinelette that has some challenging spinning for the follower. You can technically spin as little or as much as you’d like, but whatever you choose…fill the musical space. This might be a good motivator to work on one’s solo spinning skills as they will be required.
A 6 eight count routinelette with some tricky footwork.
Moves Moves Moves! At some point every dancer goes through the “how many moves do i know?” stage. It’s a crucial part of the learning process. Even if you don’t like the move, it’s important to know that they exist. This can especially be true when in the following role as a way to avoid injury when dancing with a leader who might be dancing beyond their abilities.
Anyone can jump in and learn theses jazz steps even if you haven’t learned all the simpler ones. However, primarily use these videos as a reference point in learning these steps. It’s important that eventually they become your own, but at the core the timing and general principles will be timeless.