What Is Lindy Hop?
The Lindy Hop is a dance that was born in Harlem, NYC in the late 1920s. This dance is called the “Grandfather” of all swing dances, because all swing dances that came after it were directly influenced by it. The Swing Out is the Lindy Hop move that is familiar to most. Lindy hop utilizes six and eight-count basic rhythms in combination with Charleston steps. It also uses single-time Charleston rhythms in combination with triple-time rhythms. Lindy hop is the most popular dance that we teach. Lindy Hop is always moving and feels very connected. It can be danced very fast and athletically, but also slower and more chill.
Lindy Hop is all about expressing yourself and enjoying the music.
What Is Balboa?
Balboa was a dance done in the 1930s almost exclusively in Southern California. The dance is danced chest to chest with your partner, with the connection pressing inward between the two dancers, which is unlike the other swing dances of the time. The rhythms of this dance are very similar to Charleston, foxtrot, rhumba, and salsa. The footwork in this dance is very very small, and that enables dancers to dance this dance very very fast with many intricate but sometimes subtle variations.
What is Bal-Swing?
Bal-Swing is just like Balboa, except in pure Balboa, the dancers never break apart, or do turns or spins apart from one another. Pure Balboa is all just footwork done in closed (body to body) position. Bal-Swing (called just Swing, by the SoCal dancers in the 30s) breaks away from your partner, and does turns, spins, and tricks, utilizing an “away” connection similar to the connection used in the Lindy Hop.
What Is Charleston?
The Charleston is a dance that was done in many different forms, with a partner or without, through its heyday in the 1920s. This dance immediately preceeded the Lindy Hop on the East Coast and the Balboa on the West Coast, so you’ll see some similarities in these dances. Because the dance was such a hit all over the country, each region ended up with different variations upon the dance, and therefore, there are many ways to do the Charleston.
What Is Solo Jazz?
When you’re dancing to jazz music without a partnered connection we call it solo jazz. It’s a vocabulary and style of rhythm-heavy movement that evolved alongside jazz music. It’s heavily influenced by tap, Charleston, humor, as well as a variety of local cultural dances of the time. There are a few classic jazz routines that swing dancers love and have passed down through the ages, like the Shim Sham, Trankey Doo, and the Big Apple.
What Is East Coast Swing?
East Coast Swing is a simplified type of swing dancing. Its roots in Lindy Hop are clear by its syncopated rhythm. The dance can be danced in triple, double, or single time, but regardless of how you’re doing the dance, the basic is always six-counts. Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick. The triple, double, single variations are achieved by syncopating the ‘Slow’ part of the dance. If you step three times on the slow (tri-ple-step), that’s triple time. If you tap and step on the slow (or kick step), that’s double time. If you just step, that’s single time.
Long story short, ECS has a easy-to-learn basic rhythm that makes for a great gateway into dancing to swing and jazz music, and the patterns come from Lindy Hop so it is totally compatible.