Let’s Learn the Lindy

A recent dance class with the SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club

Diana Wille

Have you resolved to be a bit more active and fit this year? Or would you just like to get out and have some fun? How about attending free dance lessons offered by the SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club (SBDC)? In February, SBDC instructors Lee and Diana Wille will offer free Lindy Hop lessons on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Mariposa Room at the DesertView Performing Arts Center.

What’s Lindy Hop?

It’s a partnered social dance that originated in New York in the 1920s and 1930s. It was named after Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris in 1927, when a newspaper headline read, “Lindy Hops the Atlantic.” It evolved with the swing jazz music popular at the time. Improvised sets of moves made their way into social dancing and competitions in the Savoy, a grand, two-tiered ballroom in Harlem, famed as a social nightspot and dance hub. Eventually, the Lindy evolved into jitterbug and swing dancing. Hop is in the name, but there’s no hopping, bopping, or prancing in the dance. Instead, it’s smooth and solid, with a steady rhythmic 8-count pulse.

When everything old is new again.

Lindy Hop peaked in the 1940s. In the 1950s, other styles became more popular as the sounds of bebop, cool jazz, and rock and roll began to change the music and dance landscapes. Luckily for us, Lindy Hop began a major popularity uptick in the 1980s. New dancers sought out original dancers such as Frankie Manning and Norma Miller of Whitey’s and asked them to share their knowledge, kicking off a global resurgence that continues to this day.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

Swing dancing and swing music go hand in hand, and the rise of Lindy Hop was intertwined with the popularity of swing music that we still enjoy. If you’re looking to explore the wonderful world of swing music, from wailing big bands to classic jazz standards, try listening to the work of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman, all performers whom you will hear our DJs playing at SBDC dances and events.

SBDC lessons are for members, but if you aren’t a member yet, you are welcome to attend a class before you join to see if it’s a good fit for you. Email [email protected] to register.

Where can you use the Lindy Hop steps you will be learning?

SBDC holds dances, dinner dances, theme dances, practice dances, and lessons to help you enjoy the wonderful world of dance! Please join us for an adventure! Members are on an email list that keeps them updated as to where and when events will occur. Email [email protected] for more event and membership information. We are looking forward to meeting you in the SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club, where the learning continues and the fun never ends.