The swing community is very large and varied, full of different cultures, styles and histories. In any social dance you can find different ways of dancing to the same theme and it is not surprising that, since its birth, hundreds of swing dance styles have emerged.
At present we could say that the most popular styles internationally are Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Charleston and Solo Jazz.
Below, we tell you a little more about the styles we dance most often in our local scene.
It was born as an evolution of Charleston in Harlem in the late 1920s. From there it spread throughout the U.S. and has since become by far the most popular swing dance style in the world.
It is said that its name is a tribute to Charles Lindbergh's famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Lindy is the diminutive of Lindbergh and the hop would refer to the jump between the two sides of the ocean.
Lindy Hop can be danced socially to fast or slow rhythms and is perfect for all ages and physical conditions.
Balboa was born in Southern California in the 1920s and became popular during the following two decades. It began to be danced in small halls where the kicks and jumps typical of Lindy Hop could not be practiced. That is why it is usually danced in a closed position and with small steps.
The Balboa is a purely social dance (it is hardly used in shows) and is ideal for songs with fast tempos.
Solo Jazz (also called Jazz Steps) is danced individually and has its origins in the dances that emerged with the birth of jazz music in New Orleans in the 1920s.
It can be danced in a free and improvised way or as part of a routine such as the "Shim Sham" or the "Tranky Doo".
It is a perfect style for footwork and rhythm and will help you improve your Lindy Hop.