Swing Dancing Resources

African-American Dance

Lindy Hop evolved in the 1920s from several dances including the Cakewalk, the Breakaway, Black Bottom, Texas Tommy and partnered Charleston. It was an African-American dance from Harlem that developed in the Savoy and Alhambra ballrooms. Chick Webb, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman performed there and as the big band sound started to really swing, dancers including “Shorty” George Snowden, Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and Norma Miller created an exciting new style of partnered dancing that spread throughout the country and world.

Herbert “Whitey” White formed the the professional dance troop Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. They were the most talented social dancers picked from social dancing at the Savoy Ballroom. They performed routines at private parties and venues such as the Cotton Club, in Hollywood movies, as well as touring overseas.

Lindy Hop was particularly popular duing the 1930s-1940s. Many well known Lindy Hop dancers and famous musicians fought in WWII. In America, as Lindy Hop was influenced by dance styles that preceded it, Jive, East Coast Swing and Rock and Rock evolved from Lindy Hop in the 1940s and 1950s. Black musicians continued to forge new styles of Jazz and moved into playing Bebop.

In the 1980s some Swedish dancers came across some VHS tapes of old Hollywood movies of Lindy Hop dancers and tracked down original dancers including Frankie Manning and Al Minns in America to show them how it was done. From 1986 Frankie Manning taught Lindy Hop around the world, visiting Australia numerous times, and still taught until his early 90s.

Perth Swing Dance Society
History Blog By Bobbie White
Frankie Manning’s Book
Great Beginner’s Introduction to Lindy Hop; Videos And The Music
Jazz at 100 – 100 years of Jazz History
Lindy Hop Moves and Video Links
World Swing Events Calendar