If you’re not falling, you’re not learning. Get the right shoes on the right floor and start finding your limits.
The best part of side slides is the ride. If you do the proper preparation, you can enjoy long smooth rides across the dance floor.
Although helmets are optional, these slides can still be quite dangerous. Beware of over practicing and muscle fatigue as some of these might help you discover muscles you didn’t know you had.
Seemingly simple, these short drills when done properly will prepare you to be a fun partner to dance with as opposed to a laborious partner to sturggle with. Focus on your weight, body pulse and relaxation.
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 were we push the boundries of a traditional Swing Out. We use the basic shape of a Swing Out, but then vary the counts and the rythms to create new variations. We hope you will take these concepts and create your own.
This Challenge incorporates standard charleston figures and lead and follow partnered charelston figures. We suggest you move through this progressively so that the higher level figures make more sense. Many of these moves take inspiration from orignal 1920’s Charelston and work well for Great Gatsby and Prohibition themed parties and performances.
Follow slide variations. You will need a slippery floor and slippery shoes to make these slides impressive. In general, these slides are independent from your partner so they are great for being musical and flashy even when your leader is boring and not leading interesting variations.
Leader slide variations. You will need a slippery floor and slippery shoes to make these slides impressive. In general, these slides are independent from your partner so they are great for being musical and flashy even when your followerer is boring or not ready for fancy variations.
Orignally taught to the invitation group at Lindy Shock (a dance event in Budapest, Hungary), this seemingly simple exercise combines a ton of skills that are difficult to accurately execute. The first 3 videos show the basics of each ryhthm used. The 4th video goes indepth on the technique reguired to lead and follow rate of roation and be 100% accurate with this move shape. Both sides of the body should be drilled equally to make you a more wholistic dancer.
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.
Jo breaks down some sweet variations for followers to use during Swing Outs. It’s important to practice the movement solo initially before attempting with a partner. Once you have a willing Leader, ask them to lead short sequences of just Swing Outs so you can really burn into muscle memory each variation.
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.
This is specifically a version of the Big Apple routine as choreographed by Frankie Manning for Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. It can be seen in the film Keep Punching. The music used here was transcribed by Solomon Douglas from the film clip and recorded by the Solomon Douglas Swingtet. This routine can be used as is for performance gigs and/or played as a line dance during a social dance. It has a solo and partnered sections. This might be Jo’s all time favorite routine. She has been spotted running enthusiastically from conversations, waiting for a drink at the bar, from the middle of dinner and even from the car as it pulls up to the social dance when she hears this song.
A nice 8 eights routinelette that has some bigger moves. The first two eight counts are a shout out to the Madison line dance originating out of Columbus, Ohio and danced in the late 1950’s into the 1960’s.
This 4 eight count routinelette can be used on almost any 32 Bar Swing section of music. The swivels on the end work really well at the end of phrases.
This 8 eight count routinelette incorporates partner charleston with an upbeat tempo.
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 beyone their abilities.
Now comes the flashy moves. Theses are the type of figures that seem to fit better when only be done once in a social dance. Basics should be repeated and they ground the dance. Dips and Tricks add the occasional excitement and flavor, especially useful during musical climaxes.
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.
Crawls are simultaneously basic and really complex. So many elements of solo and partner dancing rely on these skills. So jump in and go for it. Depending on your previous movement training/practice these steps might seem easy and fun or difficult and frustrating.