You haven’t seen a dance battle if you’ve never been to a Lindy Hop dance-off.
Lindy hop, hailing from a family of swing dances, isn’t your usual social dance. Just like the jitterbug, this dance style is accompanied by big bands playing festive party jazz. The fanfare of the brass and the up-tempo beats of the piano resulted in a dance style that will make you wonder how these people are keeping up with the stamina to party like this all night.
You can feel that same energy when these couples took to the stage not only to flaunt their nibble and agile steps, but also the fashion and the confident attitude that go along with them.
The first few couples jived with high kicks followed by stomping so quick your eyes won’t be able to follow. Just watching them can tire you out, realizing that their flashy bounciness should also be precise and synchronized.
The next couples, upping the ante, brought in spins that can make a lesser dancer go dizzy.
Twirls, followed by quick shuffles, lead to another set of twirls. Dress hems fly as the dancers spun around to the beat of the clapping in the background.
It only gets more intense from there. A couple started with quick steps and bounced from one fight to the other. That is until the male lead flips his partner mid-air, and the female partner climbs and rolls on her partner’s back.
The audience howled to the sudden acrobatics, to which the couple ended with a drop-split.
The next dancers were undaunted though because, besides the flashy somersaults, Lindy Hop is all about losing your feet to the jazz fanfare.
A couple dressed in 1930s street fashion, responded with feet so fast you’d think they’re stepping on fire. The people were not prepared when the couple locked elbows and the guy flips the girl over his shoulders.
But they were not done. As the crowd howled, the woman jumps and spins mid-air then lands in her partner’s arms then he tosses her over his back. Talk about a big finish!
Lindy Hop was a popular party dance that traced its origins back to Harlem ballrooms. It took on heavy influences from jazz and the dances of that era, but it also gained fame through current events. During those years, an obscure air-post man did the first non-stop flight crossing the Atlantic from New York to Paris.
Overnight, songs, products, and businesses carried Charles Lindbergh’s name.
According to a story, when top swing dancer Shorty Snowden participated in a dance marathon at Manhattan Casino, he got tired of the same old steps and broke away through an improvisation. His moves caught the eyes of the people and when he was asked what he was doing, Snowden said “The Lindy.”
And while the Lindy Hop era is long gone, the highly energetic and restless style of swing persisted through competition dancers all over the world. The athleticism and creativity demanded by this style have pushed dancers to keep on reinventing their moves.
That was proved by this video viewed over 6 million times where duos from all over the country flaunted their interpretation of the timeless dance style.
Hip-hop dance battles are intense but the Lindy is on a whole other level.
Feel yourself run out of breath as you watch these couples going in full Lindy Hop in the video below!
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