Put on your best vintage dress and brush the dust off your dancing shoes – it’s Lindy Hop time.
Lindy-what? Lindy Hop is a dance style that goes back to the 1930s, when young people gathered in New York’s ballrooms to swing to the latest Jazz music. Since the late 1990s, the Lindy Hop fever is back and people all over the world move to the vibrant Swing tunes.
We asked our friend Gregor Hofbauer, who is not only our official hotel photographer but also a talented Lindy Hop dancer and Swing DJ, to tell us a bit more about his passion.
Why did you start with Lindy Hop?
I discovered Lindy Hop in my late twenties. Like most people, I had my first dance lessons at school, where you learn the classic dance styles like Jive or Waltz. But all standard dances come with many rules and strict classifications based on your knowledge. Lindy Hop is different – everyone can join, partners of all levels can mix and match. There are a few basic steps to learn in the beginning and everything else is up to you and your imagination. I loved the fact that there was no judgement among participants, you can exaggerate, cut loose on the dancefloor and just have fun.
What makes Lindy Hop so special?
The great thing about Lindy Hop is the high amount of improvisation, true to the motto “There is no wrong in Lindy Hop.” Jazz is an improvisational music style and so is the dance. The dancers adapt to the music, but also the other way around – the band reacts to the rhythm of the dancers sometimes. It’s like the dancers are an additional instrument to the band and all unite to a big shaking crowd.
The other thing I love about Lindy Hop is the community-aspect. It was originally invented as a social gathering open for anyone, no matter if black or white, rich or poor. Lindy Hop really kept its openness. The community is very strong all over the globe, which is why travelling is an important part of Lindy Hop. You will find Lindy Hoppers in every big city in Europe (and around the world), there’s always a festival taking place somewhere and you can easily get in contact with like-minded people.
How can you join this community?
The number of clubs where you can learn the basic steps are almost endless throughout Europe. Vienna for example has several great options:
Beginners can also simply join a Lindy Hop event like Bring the Swing at Ruby Lissi Bar. There’s always a Taster Class before the actual social dance where you learn the basics so you can practice them right afterwards. Every dancer loves to share his or her knowledge and there will always be someone around to help you.
Bring the Swing at Ruby Lissi Bar
To all of you who’d love to try out this vibrant dance style and listen to some great live swing music by The Cotton Lickers – join the new episode of our popular event series Bring the Swing at Ruby Lissi Bar. And in the (unlikely) case you find that you don’t like it, we also have a great selection of drinks.
All pictures were taken during our Bring the Swing event in May, of course captured by Gregor Hofbauer.