So it seems I do Lindy Hop now

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#1
There's a strong Lindy Hop community here, although it's never been something I've been interested in. A friend dragged me to one of their dances a few weeks ago and I had to admit it was pretty fun. I was able to follow a little bit. Last night I decided to dip my toe a little deeper so I went to a monthly dance we have at my studio and took the beginning Lindy Hop lesson (the teachers know me as a ballroom pro and were amusingly surprised to see me in a beginning class, but hey...gotta start somewhere). I danced a few times, including with the guy who runs the dance, whom I've known for YEARS since we work at the studio together, but we'd never danced before. It was really fun...I had a blast.

So, now it's not enough that I divide my time between ballroom, tango, and WCS (and sometimes country)...now I'm going to add lindy to the mix?? I must be crazy. My friend says I absolutely must learn bal, too. sheesh! (it does look awfully fun...)
 

Siggav

Active Member
#2
Yay welcome to the swing side! :)

I've been dancing less than a year and am already juggling blues, lindy and balboa. I can't imagine throwing tango, ballroom and WCS into the mix. I'm really interested in the differences between the dances both in terms of the dances themselves and the cultures around them. Although I do realise that the culture will change depending on the place and the people involved.

Lindy is totally a happy fun dance for me. I love how playful it is.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#3
It is interesting to look at the different cultures. Ballroom and tango tend to be older crowds, IME, and WCS is pretty mixed. At lindy, there were some older people, but it seemed overall to be a younger crowd. There were several little kids running around. I think it's a more wholesome dance and lends itself to that...WCS can be on the sleezy side, plus it evolved in bars.

I don't think I can get into the lindy fashion, though. These legs do not do skinny jeans or short skirts!
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#4
As for juggling all the different dance styles...bear in mind I've been dancing for almost 18 years! I've slowly added them over the years. It gets easier to add them when you already have a solid foundation in movement and partnering. The hardest thing for most people is adapting your styling--the way you move in WCS is very different from lindy, ballroom is very different from tango, etc. It's a matter of taking the time to really focus on the similarities and differences and really stepping out of one style and into the other.
 

Siggav

Active Member
#5
Yeah that makes sense with the time spent. 18 years? wow. I think I'm managing ok at learning 3 dances at the same time because they are quite different, either in how the dance itself works i.e. on the balboa vs lindy axis or in the music and overall feel, lindy vs blues.

Lindy is definitely a pretty wholesome feeling dance. I don't think I could have started from not doing any dancing and straight to blues, hah. I mean I love blues and I like dancing in close embrace but I needed to have already gotten used to touching people in a dance context before I would have been comfortable doing that. Not that all blues dancing is close embrase either, but yeah.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#7
I started to dance Lindy earlier this year too: it's great fun. Like twnkltoz, I'm a BR pro, so the freedom and informality of Lindy is like a breath of fresh air.

I'm used to the technique of a dance style being standardised and wondered whether anyone can point me in the direction of any decent books that describe (something in the style of a Technique Manual!) the classic Lindy & Charleston moves. I started making my own notes, after classes, but realised that if there is a decent text already available, it would save me a lot of time, and I'm sure that there is already an established vocab. for describing the various moves, that I'm just not familiar with.

If you were describing an 8-count Charleston Basic, for example, it's easy enough to make a note about the first kick down on counts 3 and 4, but what about the double kick (and in particular the action on count 6). I think of it as 'kick and kick down' - what's a better way to speak of the action?
 

Siggav

Active Member
#8
UKDancer I don't think there is standard vocabulary, I've been taught by many different teachers and most of them have described the charleston basic slightly differently.

Some will go: rock step, kick step, kick, hitch, kick step. Others will say rock step, kick step, double kick, step etc etc. but you're never guaranteed that any other dancer will use the same vocabulary as you. Different scenes will often have slightly different names for similar moves. Quite often in class when there's a new guest teacher coming in they'll ask if we know a move, some people will say yes, others no, others are not sure. Teacher then shows the move and usually a bunch of the people who had said no or were unsure will go oh yeah that one! I know that one.
 

bookish

Active Member
#9
I wish more were written down about Lindy too. Not just footwork, though. It's ultimately about body movement. Usually I think the "correct" footwork is "support body." :p Oh, and all the different names for the same thing can get confusing too. If they even have names.

I don't have the total dance experience you ballroom types do :) but based on a couple workshops I've taken and what I've been working on, I think of a 30s Charleston basic in terms of the legs alternately swinging/kicking back and forth, with strong CBM. One side back, forward, then the other side forward, back. The CBM is effectively a half-time movement (1,3,5,7) which is part of why people use Charleston to faster music. The "rock step kick step" stuff is just descriptive. The rock step and a back kick are semi-interchangeable. Using rocks unifies the technique with basic Lindy. A double (forward, but really underneath the body) kick in the second half is a cool variation with less CBM.

OT: How much is really written down in terms of good ballroom technique? Is there a bunch I just don't know about? E.g. the Ballroom Technique gray book doesn't so much as mention (the other kind of) swing (just sway), plus a lot of other stuff that it takes all kinds of work to find out if you don't have $$$ for weekly privates to have someone tell it to you... just like Lindy...
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#17
Fun to have so many options, isn't it?
heck yeah!!
gets me a lot of followers too:eek::D

the mrs is as skilled and verryyy popular at our usa dance events

once she was sick and did not go I counted 15 leaders who asked about her absence

I was like "dang how many dances without me doesssssssssss she get?? "o_O
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#20
Well, I didn't get to go to lindy hop for a couple weeks, but I went last night and took the beginning balboa lesson. I got to practice that a bit at the dance, and I also learned the basic step for shag so I can practice that. I danced a ton and my legs are sore today! I was lucky enough to get dances with some really good leaders. What a lively, fun time. The music really jazzes me up. I'm going out again tomorrow!
 

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