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Lindy—

4 beats/measure; 30-36 meas/min

Lindy came out of the swing, jive, and jitterbug of the nineteen -teens and -twenties. In 1926, the Savoy Ballroom opened in Harlem. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight or "hop" across the Atlantic and so provided the perfect name for this lively style of dance. The story is that it was named the Lindy Hop by a Harlem dancer named "Shorty George" Snowden.

In 1935, Frankie Manning created the first big "aerial" step, called Over-the-Back. In aerials or airsteps, the woman is acrobatically guided through the air in time to the music, and the Lindy acquired all sorts of lifts, flips, throws, and slides. I remember seeing some of these aerials in Steven Speilberg's 1979 movie, 1941, and there was some of the real thing in Public Television's History of Jazz. However, Round Dancing isn't quite that athletic .

Our Lindy is smooth and easy. Stay down. Bow to your partner during the rock step and kid with her. This rhythm is fun and crazy.

Figure Name, Roundalab Phase Level, & Timing

q=quick, 1 beat
s=slow, 2 beats
&=1/2 beat; a=1/4 beat

Steps and Actions That Make Up the Figure

Each description focuses on the man, with the woman's footwork in parenthesis. If a woman's step is not given, it is the natural opposite or follow of the man's. Help: basic dance positions and steps, actions, directions, and abbreviations. Non-standard punctuation: a comma separates two beats of music, a semi-colon marks the end of a measure, and a slash (/) indicates a split beat, two things occurring in a single beat.

Here are some sequences to help you visualize the figure in context.

Basic

1,2,3/&,4;

Begin in a facing position with lead hands joined and held over toward the man's right side. On the first count, lower in the right leg and step back left with a smooth dip or bow to the body, a back sweeping motion with the right arm, and move lead hands to the man's left to lead the woman to swivel RF and step forward right, toes pointed out. On count two, recover on the right, crossing right in front of left to get out of the woman's way. Move lead hands to the man's right again to lead her to swivel LF and step forward left, again toes out. Blend to closed position, and chasse turning 1/2 right face: fwd L/cl R, fwdL; the woman does a little turning chasse to end in closed position. The Basic is the first measure of a number of the two-measure figures and in those figures is not separately cued.
Swing Out

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In left open facing position, lead feet free, start with a Basic (see above): rock back on left and swing right arm back in a bowling backswing motion. Move your lead hand to the left, and the woman will swivel right face on her left and step forward on right, toe out. On the second count, the man recovers, and the woman swivels left face and forward on the left. Blend to closed position and turn right face 1/2 with a sd/cl, sd; she does her triple: perhaps, crossing right in front of left and turning 1/2 right face/back, recover still in closed; The second measure is a hook turn: hook right in back of left and turn 1/2, releasing the woman from your right arm, and step side. She steps fwd, fwd, turning 1/2. She ends with a little side triple, and he does a bk/cl, bk; to left open facing again.

Remember to release the woman on count 5 and then end the figure with lead hands to the man's right so he can lead the next swivel.

In Bahr's Saturday Night Lindy, part A starts with a Swing Out to face the wall;; Kick Away to a Swing Out;; and then a Lindy Circle;;
Kick Away To A Swing Out

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

A variation of the Swing Out. If you end the previous figure in a left open position (instead of left open facing), you can replace the rock/recover of the standard swing out with a kick: kick the lead foot across the supporting trail leg, and then bring the lead foot back and touch, no weight change. Continue with the remaining 1 1/2 measures of the standard swing out.
Heels To A Swing Out

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

A second variation. In left open facing position, both rock back on heels, with legs straight, bend at waist, and let the trail arms swing back. Recover to balls of feet with soft knees; no real weight change. Then complete remaining 1 1/2 measures of standard Swing Out (above).

You can do a Heels to a Lindy Circle or most any other figure that begins with a rock-recover.


Swing Out With Jump Ending

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

Do the first 1 1/2 measures of a Swing Out, and instead of the final triple, both jump a little apart and land on both feet with knees soft. Hold and freeze in position for the fourth beat. The second measure, then, times out like this: hook RIB of L woman fwd L, sd L turning 1/2 woman fwd R turning, both jump apart, -;
Swing Out With Inside Turn

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In left open facing position, lead feet free, start with a basic (see above): rock back on left, bow, and swing right arm back in a bowling backswing motion. Move your lead hand to the left, and the woman will swivel right face on her left and step forward on right, toe out. On the second count, the man recovers, and the woman swivels left face and forward on the left. Blend to closed position and turn right face 1/2 with a sd/cl, sd; she does her triple: perhaps, crossing right in front of left and turning 1/2 right face/back, recover still in closed;

The second measure is a hook turn for the man: hook right in back of left and turn 1/2, releasing the woman from your right arm, and raising your lead hand leading the woman into a LF turn (W turns LF & crosses LIF of R). On beat 2, step side L ( W turns and steps bk R). He ends with a bk/cl, bk (W triple to face); to left open facing position again.

In Murder He Says by Lamberty & Halbert, part A begins with a swing out;; swing out with inside turn;; swing out with outside turn;; glide to the side;;
Swing Out With Outside Turn

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In left open facing position, lead feet free, start with a basic (see above): rock back on left, bow, and swing right arm back in a bowling backswing motion. Move your lead hand to the left, and the woman will swivel right face on her left and step forward on right, toe out. On the second count, the man recovers, and the woman swivels left face and forward on the left. Blend to closed position and turn right face 1/2 with a sd/cl, sd; she does her triple: perhaps, crossing right in front of left and turning 1/2 right face/back, recover still in closed;

The second measure is a hook turn for the man: hook right in back of left and turn 1/2, releasing the woman from your right arm, and raising your lead hand leading the woman into a RF turn (W turns RF & steps sd L). On beat 2, step side L ( W turns and steps fwd R). He ends with a bk/cl, bk (W triple to face); to left open facing position again.


Tummy Swing Out

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In left open facing position, rock back L, rec R (W swivel walk R, L), sd L turning RF/cl R dropping W's R hand and placing R hand on W's R hip catching her in a "tummy check" (W hitch fwd R/cl L, bk R no turn); hook RIB of L, sd L turning and releasing R hand (W bk L, R), back chasse R/L, R to end in starting position;

Woman may throw her hands up and forward waving her fingers as the man catches her.


Lindy Circle

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

Begin with a Basic: In left open facing position, line of dance, lead feet free, rock back on left and swing right arm back in a bowling backswing motion. Turn your lead hand a bit to the left, and the woman will swivel right face on left and step forward on right, toe out. On the second count, the man recovers and turns lead hand a little to the right, and the woman swivels left face and forward on the left. Blend to closed position and turn right face 1/2 with a triple. In tight closed position, XRIB of L woman fwd L, step side and back L woman fwd R, triple to semi-closed position facing line of dance.
Inside Turn To Lindy Circle

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In general, if a turn is cued before the figure name, then we do the turn during the first measure of a two-measure figure. If the turn is cued after the figure name, then we do the turn during the second measure (see swing out with outside turn above). So, here, we do a lindy circle but incorporate an inside turn into the first measure.

In left open facing position facing line of dance with lead feet free, rock side & back L, beginning to turn, bowing to the lady, and raising lead hands beginning to lead W to turn LF (W swivel RF & step fwd R). Recover R turning (W swivel LF & step fwd L turning LF under joined lead hands), step sd L/cl R, sd L turning to face RLOD (W bk R/cl L, fwd R turning to face LOD blending to CP); hook RIB of L (W sd L), sd L (W recover R) turning, bk chasse R/L, R (W L/R, L) to end in SCP facing LOD;

In Murder He Says by Lamberty & Halbert, part B begins in left open facing position man facing COH with a lindy circle to SCP facing wall (underturned);; inside turn to lindy circle to SCP facing COH (overturned);; swing out with outside turn;; glide to the side;;
Texas Tommy

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

A "texas tommy" was (and might still be?) a prostitute (probably with a heart of gold). As with other figures in this list, we get a feel for the loose, jokey gaity to be found in Lindy.

In left open facing position lead feet free, rock back L, recover R (W swivels R, L), sd L turning RF/cl R blending to CP, sd L turning and placing W's R hand behind her back and into M's R hand (W crosses RIF of L/sd L, cross R); hook R behind L releasing W from CP but keeping R/R handhold leading W to roll RF (W sd L and spin LF), sd L turning (W fwd R turning), bk chasse R/L, R (W curving chasse L/R, L) to end in handshake position facing partner and starting direction;

This figure, with slightly different character, also shows up in Jive and in West Coast, and is often cued Whip With Hand Change Behind the Back.


Side Break

&/1,

Step side with lead feet and quickly side with trail. The feet should be about shoulder width apart, the arms straight down at sides, with the palms facing partner. Do a side break, hold, hold, shorty george;;
Hip Smack

q

Step side so that weight is on both feet and with open palms smack your own 'tushy' cheeks. Don't get excited and reach for those of anyone else.
Shorty George

4;1,2,3,4;

Draw left to right, change weight to L, on ball of foot lower left shoulder and point left index finger straight down to floor. On count 1 of next measure, lower onto R, bend knee, lower right shoulder, and point right index finger to floor. On 2, bend left knee a little more and lower onto ball of left foot, lower shoulder, and point left index finger. On 3, start rising. In place, step on ball of right foot, lower right shoulder and point. Finally, continue to rise, step on ball of left, lower left shoulder, and point. So, you are stepping, tilting shoulders, and alternately pointing toward floor: down, down, down, up, up.

May be done starting with trail feet. May be done with other timing.

Then repeat side break, hold, hold, shorty george; -; starting with the trail feet.
Glide To The Side

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

I left open facing position, facing the wall, do a Basic: rock back on left and swing right arm back in a bowling backswing motion. Turn your lead hand a bit to the left, and the woman will swivel right face on left and step forward on right, toe out. On the second count, the man recovers and turns lead hand a little to the right, and the woman swivels left face and forward on the left. Blend to closed position and turn right face 1/2 with a triple. The man will be facing center; leave a little room between you. Second measure: step side with trail feet, XIF, sd/cl, sd; Repeat to face wall again.
Chicken Walks

s,-,s,-; q,q,q,q;

In left open facing position, the man walks backwards with sharp, ball-flat steps, his right hand on his right hip, fingers together and pointing down. The woman swivels forward, swiveling right face when stepping forward on the right, toes out, and left face when stepping forward on the left, again toes out. Both lean back, pulling with the joined lead hands. The woman can swing quite a bit of hip into this walk.
Slip Slop

&q,q&q,q;

In a facing position, lead feet free, lift the lead knee and crunch the tummy to cause a slight hop and slide backward on the trail foot, close the lead foot, and repeat with the trail foot; In the Bahrs' Sugar Blues, there is a lindy circle;; syncopated side chasse [a1a2a3a4a]; slip slop; swing out with woman outside turn;; lindy circle;;
Flea Hops and Side Chasse

1&2&3&4;

In a facing position lead feet free, lift the lead knee to cause a slight hop and slide sideways on the trail foot/step small side L (W sd R), hop on L/sd R, side chasse L/R, L (W R/L, R);
Boogie Chasse

1234; 1234;

With R palm on R hip cheek (W L palm on L hip cheek), with lead arm raised and waving, and perhaps with evocative hip movements (you choose), step sd L (W sd R), cl R perhaps slowly curving away from partner, sd L, cl R; sd L, cl R, sd L, cl R;

Position, orientation, directions, and number of steps may vary.


Charleston Kicks

1234; 1234;

In SCP, rock bk L (W bk R), rec R, kick fwd L, step fwd L; kick fwd R (W kick L), tuck R by bending knee under body, kick bk R, step bk R;

Note that the first measure is a comfortable rock, recover, kick, step; but the second measure is all done with the inside foot: kick, tuck, kick, step, for a total of 4 weight changes over the two measures. These kicks can be done in about any position and with either foot.


Hand To Hand Charleston Kicks

1234; 1234;

In SCP facing LOD, rock bk L (W bk R), rec R, kick fwd L, step fwd L; kick fwd R (W kick L), tuck R dropping trailing arms and turning RF (W LF) to face partner, turn and kick R (W L) toward RLOD, step fwd R to left open position facing RLOD;

Notice that we have changed from SCP where we are joined most closely with trail hands to left open position where we are joined with lead hands, but to make this sequence feel even more "hand-to-hand"–like, the choreographer will likely call for one or two more measures. We would then do the kick, tuck, kick, step back to open position facing LOD, and then maybe a kick, tuck, kick, step back to open position facing RLOD.

These kicks can be done in about any position and with either foot.

In Murder He Says by Lamberty & Halbert, there are hand to hand charleston kicks to face RLOD;; hand to hand charleston kicks to face LOD (the second measure doesn't turn);; and then charleston kicks facing LOD;;

In the Bahrs' Sugar Blues, part C begins with a texas tommy transition to a right hand star and right feet free, man facing DLC;; hand to hand charleston kicks and set down;;;; heels to lindy circle;;

In the Bahr dance, the "preparation" measure of hand to hand charleston kicks—the rock, recover, kick, step—is omitted, and the figure in this part consists only of the "kick, tuck, kick, step" to a L-hand star man facing DLW, then back to R-hand star DLC, to a L-hand star DLW, and then to face. Clearly, the "kick, tuck, kick, step" is the distinctive part of the figure, and it can stand alone.

Pecking

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In semi-closed position facing line of dance, rock back on the lead foot and recover. On beat 3, step forward on the left and hold, head up and back. On beat 3, the woman steps forward on the right, turns left face, closes on the left facing the man, and steps side and back. The man has taken three steps: bk, rec, fwd, -; The woman has taken five steps: bk, rec, fwd R turning LF/cl L, bk; Both have the trail feet free. In the second measure, the man steps forward R pushing his chin forward like a chicken pecking, and the woman steps back. Repeat the pecking with the left foot, and again with the right. On the & count, close L turning left face to semi reverse, and step back on count 4. The footwork for the man during the second measure is fwd, fwd, fwd turning/cl turning, bk; and he needs to make an effort to catch up with the woman and get in semi-closed position. The footwork for the woman during the second measure is bk, bk, bk/cl, bk;

During the actual "pecking," it would be appropriate for the woman to register some surprise at this behavior in her man. As it continues, her feelings might change to bemused humor, perplexity, impatience, even disgust … or she can peck right back at him.

Repeat to reverse, and then swing out.
Lindy Wheel

1,2,3/&,4; 1,2,3/&,4;

In a R/R handshake with lead feet free, wheel one full turn stepping forward and swiveling on each step and perhaps waving the L hands.



dingbat




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