What is Vintage Swing ?
The Charleston began in the early 20th century and became firmly established by the Ragtime-Jazz period of the 1920s. It is the foundation of Lindy Hop, and the two dances developed together in the 1930s and 40s. Charleston is both a solo and partnered dance mostly characterized by its kicking motions and is danced to mid-tempo to faster music. Adding this style to your vintage swing dance vocabulary is essential!
Lindy Hop (Lindy) came from Charleston and began in Harlem, New York in the 1930s. It is the "granddaddy" of all swing dances. The signature move of the dance is called the "Swing Out" and the techniques and moves from Lindy Hop easily transfer to many other dances! It is suitable for various tempos and sometimes includes aerials.
Lindy is one of the most versatile of all swing dances!
The video to the right is an example of Lindy Hop.
Balboa (Bal) began in California during the 1920s. It supposedly arose due to crowded ballrooms.
With limited space, Charleston and Lindy Hop were less practical. Balboa combines two dances, Pure Bal and
Bal-Swing; it's known for fast and fancy footwork, but is enjoyable at slower tempos too. This smooth dance focuses on partner connection and includes kicks, dips, spins, slides, etc., which make it the dynamic dance it is today!
Collegiate Shag started in the 1920s and 30's.
It's a partnered dance done mostly to mid-tempo or faster music and it combines different rhythms, including
6-count and 8-count moves. Shag is equal parts grace and energy and will give you a fun workout!
The vintage jazz dances are solo routines danced by swing dancers all over the world. You can think of them as swing line dances. There are too many to list them all here, and we teach many of them, but the ones you'll most frequently encounter are the Big Apple, Shim Sham, and Tranky Doo. Swing dancers love these routines because they can take the moves and add them to their partnered social dancing, which creates more improvisation and fun. The following videos are of the Shim Sham, the Big Apple, and the Tranky Doo.