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For those who have been thinking that there just aren’t enough reasons to cavort around a dance floor to the boisterous sounds of 1920s jazz, then you will no doubt become a fan of World Lindy Hop Day. After a decline in popularity in the 1950s, this form of swing music is back and infecting more and more followers with its undeniable vitality!

History of World Lindy Hop Day

The history of World Lindy Hop Day begins with this energetic dance that originated in black communities in Harlem, in New York City back in the early 20th century. This form of swing dancing is characterized by its opportunities for free form expression by the participants, offering plenty of time and space for unique movements that are improvised and stylized in a wide variety of ways.

The influences for the high energy Lindy Hop during these early days of the Harlem Renaissance were jazz music and dance, as well as other forms of dance such as The Charleston, tap and breakaway. The creation of the dance during the swing era stems from influences of African American music and culture as well as European partnered dances.

Some say that the name of this dance, the Lindy Hop, commemorates an important historical event that took place around this same time. That is, none other than American aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 ‘hop’ across the Atlantic in a plane – the first time that feat was accomplished alone – but let’s hope he wasn’t doing this dance when he was at the controls!

World Lindy Hop Day was established to commemorate dancer and choreographer, Frankie Manning, who many people consider to be one of the main creators of this unique style of dancing. The day is celebrated on May 26 in honor of Frankie Manning’s birthday.

How to Celebrate World Lindy Hop Day

Have a load of high energy fun by celebrating World Lindy Hop Day with a partner or a group of friends. Consider some of these ideas for making plans to enjoy the day:

Try the Lindy Hop

For those who want a true experience on World Lindy Hop Day, it might be fun to try to seek out a venue with live big-band jazz. It’s fun, frenetic, occasionally frenzied, and is likely to leave the participants feeling exhausted! But don’t worry: it only needs to be done once every year. Even better, though, because dancing is such good exercise, join a group of dancers that does the Lindy Hop and other dances as a way to stay in shape and enjoy life a bit more on a regular basis!

Visit Harlem in New York

Have a cultural experience by visiting the place where the Lindy Hop and other swing dances were started! Harlem, New York, offers a unique perspective on the history and background of not only the dances but the African American culture that was a vital pillar for the style of the era.

It’s even possible to book a special tour that is specifically cultivated to reveal the unique history of the Harlem Swing Dances, including the Lindy Hop. One important event of the day would be to visit the site of where the Savoy Ballroom used to be, the iconic place where all of this got started. So perhaps it would be fun to book and enjoy a special tour of Harlem in celebration of World Lindy Hop Day!

Watch Some Old Movies with Lindy Hop

One interesting activity in honor of World Lindy Hop Day might be to try to catch some Lindy Hop dances on classic films. Check out some of these old movies to get a taste of what the dance was like at the time:

  • A Day at the Races (1937) with the Marx Brothers
  • Hellzapoppin’ (1941) with Ole Oleson and Chic Johnson
  • Buck Privates (1941) with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

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