So what is Savoy Style Lindy Hop? First we have to ask what is Savoy? The Savoy was a ballroom in Harlem on Lenox Avenue between 140th and 141st Streets. By this I mean it literally stretched the entire block. Known as "the home of happy feet" the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors March 12, 1926 operating almost continually until 1958. The Savoy was so popular that there coatcheck served 5,000 patrons and the dance floor, known as "the Track" had to be replaced regularly every three years. While dozens of dances came and went from the first day the Savoy was in business to the day it closed, the Savoy was always dominated by one dance, and one dance alone... the Lindy Hop. Herbert White A.K.A. "Whitey" an ex-boxer, purported gangster, and head bouncer at the Savoy, formed and developed a troupe of young lindy hoppers, dividing them into three main teams, and booked them into tours across America and around the world. Whitey's assistant, head choreographer, and captain of the troupe Frankie "Musclehead" Manning, still travels around the world teaching this dance and spreading what is known as "Lindy Love". Frankie's style of the Lindy Hop was visibly different than nearly everyone else on the dance floor. Frankie performed the foundation/basic move of the swing out/whip at an extreme angle which made his body look as if he was stretched horizontal. What we call the Swing-out (also known as the lindy turn during this time period) was an eight count pattern where the follower is brought forward they revolve around each other and the follower is sent back out. IT was related to the break-away step in the Texas Tommy Swing, a popular dance from the teens. When Frankie started teaching this dance professionally (brought out of retirement by Steven Mitchell and Erin Stevens) in the mid-eighties, his style was dubbed "Savoy Style" Lindy Hop, to differeniate this vintage style of dance, rooted in the music and culture of the Savoy Ballroom, from the various styles of swing dance that had evolved out of it in the last thirty plus years. Frankie will be the first to tell you there was no one style at the Savoy. "You had as many different styles as there were dancers, man," says Frankie. There are numerous branches of style in the Lindy Hop tree, Smooth, Hollywood, Groove, L.A., Hip Hop, New School, Classic Savoy (also refered to as Harlem or Old Skool), etc. The one thing that links them all together visually is the same base pattern... that original breakaway dating from the turn of the century, and it's two standard variations, the swing-out/whip/lindy turn, breakaway/swing out from closed, and the lindy circle. The dynamic and aesthetic will differ from one style to another, but these three moveshave served as the foundation of lindy hop since the twenties,and can be lead and followed by any lindy hopper regardless of their prefered style by using the exact same techinques they use day in and day out. The most confusing thing about Lindy Hop as a name is that as the dance spread and decades passed the dance changed. It was simplified to match the the more simplistic rhythms of Rock and Roll music and Jump Blues. The dancer's from New York continued to refer to this new and simpler dance as Lindy while the rest of the country had switched to the term Jitterbug, Rock and Roll and/or East Coast Swing (which became the codified ballroom name). An excellent example is to check out the dancing by Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in Hellzapoppin' and Day At The Races and those done in Don't Knock the Rock and Rock Around The Clock. It isn't just a different style, the actual moves have changed, utilizing a different basic step and different base rhythm.