What is Swing dance anyway? And what’s with all the counts? Six-count? Eight-count?

Brief history lesson: When people danced to big band music in the 1930’s and ‘40’s they danced to jazz music that they said “really swings.” They called their dancing the Lindy Hop, dubbed by a Savoy dancer named Shorty George Snowden in 1927 when Lindburgh hopped the Atlantic. When it started showing up on radio and in movies and moved across the country with band leaders like Benny Goodman, it picked up the name Jitterbug.

When Author Murray tried to teach it in his dance schools, he simplified it to a version he called Lindy but is most often associated now with East Coast Swing, or 6-count. When rock-and-roll came around, they jitterbugged to it. It is all swing, and Lindy Hop uses both 6 and 8-count footwork patterns, which is why we teach both as a foundation (see our beginner classes). Lindy Hop is one of the most popular and fun social dances and has a huge passionate following all over the world.

Return to FAQs Page →

Posted in