Discover the world of Lindy hop

The most common word you’ll hear when learning about Lindy Hop is:

FUN!

And it’s so much more than just fun. This dance was borne of hard times, of people creating something new, pushing past their stresses and troubles and finding joy. Today we try to keep that spirit going — the main goal of each Lindy Hop activity is to have you smile and laugh while fully immersed in this dance.

You might ask yourself why is this so fun? Is it comical? Are the teachers that entertaining? We believe that although both these things might be true, the reason why it’s so fun is because it’s truly adaptive, empowering and social!

How is it adaptive?

In classes you learn the basic techniques to communicate with your partner.  Part of what we teach is how to adapt to different situations within the dance – different lead-follow communications skills to use for different partnerships, skills to match your dance to the music, and to adapt to the dance floor around you.

Another great adaptive aspect of this dance is that there are so many different ways to express yourself. Lindy hop can be soft and easy, or it can be high power and energetic.  Do you want to have a relaxed soft dance while chatting a bit, or do you want to turn this into a workout and go for extreme movements that will make you sweat?  It’s up to you!

How is it social?

Come alone, come with a friend, or come with a whole crew in tow – anybody can join and find lots of people to dance and hang out with. The lindy hop scene is warm and welcoming, with lots of people from different walks of life.

In classes, we change partners regularly, so you automatically get to know lots of new people – frequently in class you’ll hear the teachers say “high-five and rotate!”, then everybody raises their hands to give each other a celebratory high-five and hop over to the next person to have a dance and to get to know a new person.
And at social dances you might realize that you actually already know lots of people, because you spent time dancing together in class. Plus, with such a welcoming scene you don’t have to stop there – as a lindy hopper you can walk up to anyone and ask for a dance. In fact this is a big part of the lindy hop scene: we like to dance with lots of different people during a dance night. The atmosphere is very casual so it’s easy to ask someone or take up an invitation; people at a swing dance party are there to dance – no strings attached. No matter your dance experience – from a beginner who just started learning to the most experienced teachers, and no matter your gender – anyone can have fun together on the social dance floor. 

How is it empowering?

Even though we have classic partner-dance concepts where there is a leader and a follower, the relationship is close to 50/50. We each have the power to decide what movements we want to do and how we want to do them, while still being fully connected to each other. It’s really a choice that you can express in the dance. Sometimes you might feel you want to be perfectly synchronized and match one another to the smallest micro-movements, and you can derive tremendous pleasure from feeling so connected to another person. And sometimes you might feel the music differently, or you simply want to explore your own creativity a bit more, and you can create and communicate a much more open and independent dance.  Very often the dance falls somewhere in between – a great balance of connection and freedom, both dancers having an influence of how the dance is expressed and where it’s going.

If you watch these two videos you’ll see what we mean:

Solo

Sometimes it’s slow and full of little nuances that you can play with, as you’ll see in this wonderful clip.

Team

Chase Festival 2019 Saturday Night performance “Man From Mars” by Fosse Bops

Goofy

Cirque du Solo is all about bringing together humans to celebrate the artistic fruits of authentic jazz music and dancing!


Here is what Romy said when she first discovered Lindy Hop:

„Lindy was?“ ist meine erste Reaktion, als mir die lockige Brünette atemlos erklärt, welchen Tanz sie gerade mit zwei Dutzend Mitstreitern inmitten der Heidelberger Innenstadt präsentiert hat. Es ist Samstag, der Uniplatz voll mit Menschen, und plötzlich hat sich aus dem Gedränge eine Formation von Tänzern gebildet, die zu energiegeladener Swing-Musik eine flotte Sohle auf’s Straßenpflaster legen. Junge Männer mit Hosenträgern wirbeln ihre hüftschwingenden Tanzpartnerinnen um sich herum, lederbeschuhte Füße kicken in die Luft, und bunte Röcke folgen der Fliehkraft. Was für ein Spektakel! Doch was mich am meisten begeistert, ist, was ich in den Gesichtern der Tänzer lese: pure Lebensfreude. „Lindy-Hop!“, antwortet die lockige Brünette, die sich als Caro vorstellt, „wir tanzen Lindy-Hop. Macht echt Spaß, probier’s auch mal!“ Tanzen? Ich? Bis auf einen etwas verunglückten Foxtrott beim Abiball bin ich in diesem Bereich nicht gerade erfahren, und außerdem habe ich gar keinen Partner. Aber Caro ermuntert mich: „Macht nichts, komm einfach am Dienstag vorbei und schau, ob es dir gefällt.“ Einen Dienstag und ein breites Lächeln auf meinen Lippen später weiß ich, dass Lindy-Hop wirklich Spaß macht und ich unbedingt dabei bleiben will. Was ich noch nicht weiß, ist, dass ich eine neue Welt betreten habe. Denn Lindy-Hop ist so viel mehr als ein Tanz!