Dan and Lainey’s first love is Lindy Hop. Lindy Hop is the name for the a dance that was invented around 1927, and has been danced since then, with major periods being 1927-1945 and around 1992-Present. Lindy Hop is primarily constructed of 6 and 8 count movements and “Lindy Charleston”, which is Charleston danced with the low, wide stance of Lindy Hop, and the rhythmic pulse of Lindy Hop. Although these are the major building blocks, you`ll find movements of all numbers of counts, as well as acrobatic steps called aerials or “air-steps” in performance or competition dancing, but not in social dance.
Lindy Hop can be danced to Jazz music, early Rock & Roll that swings (like Bill Haley or Elvis Presley) and some other kind of music that are reminicient of Jazz, although the vast majority of dancers enjoy the improvisation and movemements inspired by 30s and 40s hot small group or big band jazz. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton and Ella Fitzgerald are some common artists you will hear at a Lindy Hop dance, but there are thousands of great musicians whos music will inspire swingouts, passes, charlestons, airsteps, and all the wacky “made-up-on-the-spot” kind of steps you see a typical Lindy Hopper doing. It is worth noting that although many performances, competitions and movies feature the flips, throws and acrobatics, as they demonstrate the feeling of swing very well, but it is not common that people will be led or asked to do these steps in a social setting. It is reserved for people who have worked out the step with their partner. So even if you feel that airsteps aren`t a part of your capability, come out and learn swing dancing anyway. Its a social activity that never requires a partner. Just come, dance and there are always plenty of other beginners just figuring it out too, as well as many experienced dancers who love dancing so much, they are always willing to lend a hand.
Dan and Lainey teach Lindy Hop at dance camps, in local classes and in private lessons. Contact us for more info
Balboa originated in the crowded ballrooms of California in the 1930s. It is composed mainly of fast and flashy footwork, which gives the dance a very smooth look. Complicated footwork is stressed because the dance floors were too crowded for large movements. The economy of movement in this dance makes it easy to go faster, but Balboa can be danced to any tempo you enjoy.
Shag is much like Balboa in that the frame is very close to conserve floor space. It is also done to fairly fast music. Shag is unique because “trucking”, or breaking away from your partner and traveling all over the floor, is part of the dance along with crazy-legged footwork and other silly variations.
One of the more easily recognizable aspects of swing dancing is Air steps. They can be flips, jumps, lifts or drops. They are best done when they integrate with the dance as a “step” just like any other without pause or build-up. First invented by Frankie Manning, air steps were inspired by the popular Kung-fu movies of the early 30s.
Dan and Lainey teach over 100 different air steps along with a solid basis in safety, partnering and technique.
Dan and Lainey teach tap dance inspired by Fred and Ginger. They’ve broken down routines from old movie clips for recreation. They have also studied under former Broadway dancers for many years to get their movie-inspired style, focusing on Jazz-age rhythms to jazz and swing music.
In the 20s, 30s and 40s, a wide variety of tempos were common, and so were after-hours parties and “rent parties”. People danced slow and close with a hint of romance. Sometimes this is called Ballroomin’ (when influenced by dance hall styles), Blues, or Drag Blues. It’s a style easily mixed and matched with other techniques and often looks like Tango with its small movements and subtle connection between leader and follower.
If you are getting ready for your wedding, we can offer you lessons in improvised swing dance, a custom choreography, or a mix of the two. Typically these are private lessons sessions. Most of our time is spent in Seattle, the Bay Area, or New York City. If you live in one of these locations, contact us, and we’ll help you look fantastic on your wedding day!