The Lindy Hop is a jazz dance or “Swing” dance that originated in Harlem, New York at a popular club named the Savoy ballroom. How the Lindy hop received its name is debatable. Many believe the name came from a headline in the newspaper about Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight to Paris in 1927 and others believe it was named after a woman named Lindy. Regardless of how the Lindy Hop received its name, the new fast paced dance quickly became an American phenomenon. By the mid 1920’s the Lindy Hop became known as the Jitterbug .The Lindy Hop was created by African Americans whom added their own tap dance style and Charleston style into a new joyful dance. Not only was it fun to perform, but spectators enjoyed watching the best Lindy Hop dancers. During the late 1920’s, Harlem, New York, was a predominately African American area in New York, although managed to bring white people from other parts of the city to the Savoy ballroom to watch African Americans perform the Lindy Hop. The entertainment factor added an even wilder, energetic, and spontaneous moves which eventually evolved into the overall dance. The Lindy Hop consisted of a 6 or 8 count steps but also “shine” steps which allowed the dancer to improvise.
The Savoy Ballroom opened its doors on March 12, 1926 in Harlem, NY on Lenox Avenue. Owned by a Jewish man named Moe Gale and managed by an African American man named Charles Buchanan, the two businessmen created the first racially integrated public places in the U.S. during a time when the country was very segregated. Nicknamed the “World’s finest Ballroom” the Savoy was equipped with lavish amenities like plush carpeting large mirrors, and luxurious lounges that stretched throughout the venue. Located in a two story building the main floor housed the entrance or lobby. Upstairs contained the ballroom which included two bandstands, spring loaded wooden floors, and colored spotlights. A staff of 90 employees could serve up to 5,000 patrons on a busy...
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