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WHAT IS SWING DANCE AND WHAT IS SWING MUSIC?


Swing dance is all kinds of dancing to traditional swing music, but it's also an umbrella term that encompasses a great range of different dance disciplines, all primarily emanating from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Swing music is many different things to many different people, but it mainly refers to a form of syncopated jazz music, widely spread and distributed all over the world with the big band era starting in the late 1920s and continuing well into the 1950s. Among probably several hundreds of different dance forms popularized during the heydays, a reasonable amount of them have survived into our time, and among those are the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, Balboa, Slow Drag, Charleston, Shag, Solo Jazz, Tap and many more.

The popular dance we do here in Nottingham is Lindy Hop.

The Lindy Hop, named after aviator Charles Lindbergh and his solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927, is a rhythmical and groovy couple dance created to big band music in the Harlem ballrooms during the late 1920s and into the early 1940s. The dance form is based on a traditional lead and follow structure, but opens up for an endless amount of improvisations and individual interpretations. The Lindy Hop can be danced to all kind of tempos, offers both closed and intimate patterns, traditional open figures, solo steps, and occasionally it takes to the air.

Some clips

A Day at the Races (1937), Swing Fever (1943) and Jammin' the Blues (1944).


 

Source: Herrang Dance Camp website

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