Home A brief History of Lindy Hop and Charleston

Lindy Hop, sometimes called Jitterbug, is the original 1930's and 1940's partner dance. Dancing to big band jazz music, swing preceded the rock and roll jive of the 1950's.

Jive is an energetic dance full of kicks, flicks and spins originating from American Swing.
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Charleston developed within the Black communities in the USA. It became a popular dance craze in the wider international community in the 1920s. Charleston is frequently associated with the prohibition era of that time, when it was considered to be quite provocative. It can be danced solo or with a partner.

 

 


Shim Sham Shimmy is the Lindy Hop equivalent of Line Dancing.

The legend says that the Original Lindy Hoppers at the Savoy Ballroom (who had a considerable background in Tap and jazz dance) used to warm up for dancing by doing traditional jazz and tap steps. In time, this warm up became standardized and a group of them could be found on the floor warming up as the band was tuning up.

That’s the Legend. Although it is disputed by many, including the great Frankie Manning, who when asked if the Shim Sham was done at the Savoy replied, ‘Yes, but not like we do them now. The Shim Sham actually originated in a night club. We would take it to the Savoy, and we would just start doing it. It wasn't organized or anything’.

It is undisputed that the Lindy revival of the late 1980s also brought back Shim Sham. People all over the world think that a Lindy event is not complete without a Shim Sham.