Swing Dancing - Intro to Lindy Hop | Paul Riding | Skillshare

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Swing Dancing - Intro to Lindy Hop

teacher avatar Paul Riding, Dancer and Twitch Broadcaster

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Dance Demo

    • 3. The Steps

    • 4. The Patterns

    • 5. Connection

    • 6. The Cutoff

    • 7. The Promenade

    • 8. The Lindy Circle

    • 9. The Swingout

    • 10. Swingout From Open

    • 11. Putting It Together

    • 12. Class Demo

    • 13. Class Project

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About This Class

This is a dance class designed for all levels, including beginners and "those with two left feet."  It is an introduction to lindy hop, one of the original swing dances.  Paul and Laura teach lindy hop in Southern California and are very excited to bring classes to a global platform.  Paul also live streams a lot of his social dancing and competitions on twitch.  You are welcome to stop by there, say hi, get a feel for the dance, and ask questions.

Lindy hop is a partnered dance that came about in the late 20s in Harlem, New York.  It was danced to jazz and big band music predominantly by black dancers in clubs like the Savoy and Alhambra Ballrooms.  By the 1940s, swing music and dancing took the world by storm.  Today it is danced all over the world and continues to bring joy to dancers of all ages, ethnicity, and backgrounds.  We suggest learning more about lindy hop, the classic dancers that helped create and define this dance, and more.  This site and the Lindy Hop Wikipedia pages are great places to start.  


Meet Your Teacher

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Paul Riding

Dancer and Twitch Broadcaster


Hi!  My name is Paul and I'm a dance instructor and twitch streamer from Southern California.  In September of 2019 I quit my full time desk job to pursue my dreams of opening a ballroom in my local area.  I believe we can make the world a smaller place when we dance and create art together.  Swing dancing has brought me so much joy in my life and I'm passionate about passing it on to others through lessons and live streaming.  

I am live streaming my creative journey and experiences in the world of lindy hop. Utilizing twitch.tv, I work to share, inspire, educate and invite people to the lindy hop community. My regular broadcasts include my competitions, rehearsals, social dancing, dance lessons, travels and other entertaining segments.  P... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi there. I'm Paul. I'm Laura, and you are taking a swing dance class on skill share. Swing dance is a umbrella term that has a whole bunch of different dance styles under that umbrella. But today we're teaching you Lindy Hop, which is kind of the grandfather of all the swing dances. Laura is gonna tell you a little bit about the history. So let me hop. Came out of Charleston, which was popular in the twenties on get started in a community of black answers in Harlem , New York, and they were dancing in the Savoy Ballroom and they from the Charleston, they created this dance that we're gonna teach you just let me up and so that's cool. It started in New York, and now it's dance all over the world and its dance to thirties and forties big band style jazz because it's a vintage thing we like. Teoh. Make sure that we show appreciation before those dancers back then we've actually included the link below where you can learn a lot more history about this dance before you over. After you get started with a few tips on how to take this class number one make sure that the best way to do this is actually on your feet, whether you have the video on mobile or whatever, but just have some space to move around cause you're gonna need some space. Um, a partner is not required, but it would be helpful. T gain a little bit more understanding of what we're doing because we'll be displaying the dance together and it is a partner dance on. Then feel free to. I would start at the very beginning, watch everything through, will participate everything through and then feel free. Teoh skip around and revisit because we will be calling back to lessons throughout throughout the class. Enjoy the class and let us know comment on enjoy the project. And at the end, you can also see us dance on twitch TV slash pole dances that we do live streaming of our social dancing and it's a lot of fun. Thanks. Enjoy 2. Dance Demo: - Yeah . 3. The Steps: through you'll India experience. You're going to get really familiar with these three different steps. So take each one, practice all of them, breakfast them on different feet, starting on different feet and just get really, really familiar with us. You don't have to think 1st 1 we're going to do is a simple weight change on we're going to do just step, step. You should be pretty familiar with this, as it's what used to Well, most likely used to walk around. Okay, Walk, walk or step, step, step. It's important what? We're doing this just to make sure that we're changing. Wait. So if at any time if we stopped, we are committed to that foot, okay? To it's you. Okay, Next one. Our next step is called Rock Step, so it's very similar to our step step. But we're gonna take a step and then quickly change direction so we can do it. We'll start by one word. Remembered Step rock step. You go. We could also take it and go forward. We can run forward and then go back. Whether are expected to step forward, step back stuff as much speaking no step and get familiar with all four of those next one we've got. This is probably the most difficult for most people on its the triple step. Okay, the triple step. It is not an even rhythm. So you here. That's not exactly what we're looking for. It's not. It's not actually as kind of a trainer to get into this one thing that I like to do this. Take this and just a lot and good. Okay, so try that a few times, and the idea is to get it to kind of fall into the ground and do two beats triple step. So it looks like this one. And 23 and four and 23 and 41 into three to And can we also want to try to take those forward and backwards so we can take it and go 123 10 for one in 10 3 and 4123 and four, also with the other foot forward? Six. A one anti 3 10 4 and 23 And now know this what we're doing? This it's not a gallon, so we're not going right. It's not up in the air. We'll give you a little secret hint to get this to happen is if you charge up the triple step at the very beginning. Should be done. Should be. Should. Should be okay, So raises up and releases anyone. And those are your three steps that we're gonna be utilizing in this class. 4. The Patterns: Yeah. So now that you've learned are three different rhythms that we do in our footwork, we're gonna go ahead and combine them in different ways to different patterns. We have an 86 and for this next section when you saw stands in the beginning we have two rolls In this dance we have lead and follow Paulus During the lead role I was doing Follow roll Go ahead and choose one and stick to them for the rest of the classes. You feel free to go back and switch at the end of you want to you But for now, choose what? So for the camp out we're gonna combine our Roxton and our triple step and you're following You're going to start with your right foot If you're leading, you're going to start through love. We start with the rock step which will take behind us with the rock step and then we're going to triple to the side. So next do a triple, then we're gonna do another rock step Trouble to the side So we alternate are rock subsidy . So get together. We're gonna go rock step No. And we can also do it in a slightly different configuration. We can do it going forward. So if you were still started, follows on Brexit leads left. We're gonna rock back. Drop triple forward. Now we're going to do that. Interesting Forward One step with their next puts Ready to go rock step and triple. So it looks like this if we do all the way through. Right? All right, Readership. Here's to our six count pattern. We're going to do that. This change is the order of what? We're doing the steps. So this one, we're still taking our rock step at the beginning, so nothing changes there, Rock step. And then we've got a triple step, just like normal trip pull step. But then we're gonna take back and do another triple step right after that, cutting out one of the rock steps so altogether it looks like rock step trip, Full step, Rob. Step, full step, step. Yeah, I would say the only thing that I try to keep in mind with these wrong steps is I kind of think of them as kind of powering the rest of it. Rock, That's it. 5. Connection: All right, let's talk a little bit about the communication of this dance. I want to tell a little story. Hopefully you've been to Disneyland or some kind of amusement park, and you've had a rogue stroller come towards somebody that you're that you're walking with . Okay, In that scenario, I would never go. Are you saying that watching out for the road stroller okay, What I would do, though, is take myself and engage with my partner and get out of the way. Okay? And that's what we want to do with this. With this whole dance is make it as natural as possible. So what's happening here is as we step around as we walk around leaders, I want you to think not about moving your partner, but moving yourself, and then your partner choose to come. Okay, so if I'm moving myself should be done. Shoot. Pete and Laura comes along with That's what we're after making nice, natural, nice and clear, as in your spare, our responsibilities different little bit. Because leads are choosing the direction that we're going with. The foot work and the patterns we've learned follows your responsibility is to assume that you are doing everything in place underneath you. And if you feel your lead going somewhere, it's your responsibility to tackle as you are. So you just assume that everything happens under you, you're prepared to move any direction that you might get asked Sideways Ellie stuff. Now you could actually probably create the whole dance from this next exercise. Try this exercise out and really over doing is doing the patterns that we just learned and moving around the dance floor. It doesn't matter where. Doesn't matter if you're turning whatever keeping those patterns walked underneath you and moving around like so. 1231 345678136781234567812345678 We really can create kind of a rough draft of the dance that get really waken Also do our six counts steps there won t 345612346 four Okay, so go ahead and try that I would start out. If you're not familiar with this, start out with just six count first and try going in a circle, remember, leads to move yourself powers. So did you notice to a lot of times, Triple steps just having bread and they didn't move? Um, yeah, thanks. 6. The Cutoff: Okay, so now that we've done some traveling across the floor, we're gonna show you a few common shapes that become cross in London. The 1st 1 we're gonna talk about his cutoffs. Gonna do a leader and the followers so they look like this. The leaders is 12345678 And the followers cut off is 123 and 4567 and eight Will do both of those head assigned to just agency it. 123456781234567 and eight. All right, So what's happening here? We'll break leaders first. The years I want you to think about on your rock step you're gonna think about. Hey, I'm gonna come across and standing right in front of my partner, okay? Be bold about that choice. 12 three and a or triple step for step across. We've got 123 And now we've got this three or four and we're going to do our romp step, Brock, Step triple step and come and me are all back in. Okay, Watch it full again. What? Through And pull 567 and eight. Okay, follows. This is nice for you. Your footwork doesn't change at all. It's the same Mazar A count higher from that. The only thing that changes is your arm, Mike, slide a little lower down release arm because we're a little bit far away. It feels really offered, but to bring down kind of follows our body. It's a little bit. Yes, actually. And talking about arms leaders when you do this cut off, it's OK to adjust this arm if this arms days across my follows back here. And I did this here gets into, like, Tripoli smelling territory. And we want Teoh adjust. It sounds a little bit more natural. Okay, So as we do that next, I'm gonna go one to adjust the okay. Now? Yes. Now, on this 56 This is the other common mistake that I see Paul leads getting to is that when we go into that 56123456 Make sure that six is driving for leads. I know there is a human being in front of you and, you know, step on them. But your follow will respond by stepping back. So no one will be in danger. Okay, We'll do it this way too. 1234567 and eight. Make sure that six is changing directions. All right, so let's talk about the follow. So we have to. But the difference is we're not. The ones making of are going to do it. It's actually led through. Your leads are. So since we're connected in the back after rocks up, he's gonna invite us out here and invite us back into position. Were the leads. Justin, so leads again on that one to just start thinking ahead on that one. To your thinking. Hey, I'm gonna ask my father where to step in. Okay? And it really is just an ask your not like shoving them in front of you. It's just Hey, let's step in front. This way. Okay, so this arm comes forward on that three and four, 6123 and 45678 Again. Leaders, make sure that that my six we're bringing a partner. Okay, Watch it one more time from this direction as well. 123 and 456 states. Does it 7. The Promenade: All right. So from here on out, if you hear any background noise, will we apologize? There's a kid's class going on next door. People learn another dance. It's awesome. We support that. I just have no control over the bleeding noise. Eso next, we're gonna move into prominence. Okay? This is actually very similar to our leaders and followers. Cut up. We're just going to continues the movement through. So let's watch it. A couple of times will do the leaders from the followers from We're gonna go leaders. 5681 to 6. Okay. 1234567 and eight. And the followers. 123 and 4567812345678 All right, so if you noticed we're still doing that cut off. But instead of our rock step, remember back to our first talk about the different steps we're gonna replace those wrong steps with steps, steps moving through this space leaders first, I'm sure. So this is where we kind of break things up and combine things. So first in the leader, then he continues his momentum that step step and then invites me to join him. Okay. Watch that again. 123 and four. So it's kind of a combination, herbal. I'm going. But then inviting my followers to join name. We do the same thing with follows. Going first. Okay, So that follow off one too. Three and four, and then I don't join full steps. Okay, One more time. 123 and 468 8. The Lindy Circle: All right. The next shape we're going to do across the dance floor is called the Lindy Circle. Okay, It's a little bit of a modified kind of cut off type of dealio. Watch it once and then we will break it. It looks like this. We're gonna go. 1234567 Take 12 Besides, well, 123456 All right, So similar to the cut off. We're going to start out with leaders going for the leaders to through now. This time, instead of standing right in front of my partner leads, I'm gonna aim for moving past them a little bit. Okay. 1234 And what that does is it kind of starts off that circular. Now, we're used to doing our rock step here, but we're going to change it, just like the promenade and you are. Step step. Okay. We're moving through this space, so it's like, come through here, rocks and whole partner road hold. Partnership rotates and follows for this being given our rock star in the beginning. So you still do your foreign and your back forward rocks. But then after that, everything pretty much stays in place right underneath me. So I decide number before we're just simply doing everything. Record 61 36 Step due to the side of a couple kinds. Six step Step. 12345 All right, the 9. The Swingout: all right. It is now time for the swing and swing out is more or less the basic of this dance. So everything leading up to this point is somewhat of an exercise slash moves? Yes, this eso don't get intimidated by the swing out because it iss a lot to digest. And it's one of those things that's like a gulf sweet. You never perfect it. You just keep getting better. So take that into consideration when you're working on this. Okay? Eso we've got our Lindy simple that we just 1234567 and eight. All right, now we're gonna take that many circle and leads. I want you to think about releasing the follow after. Okay? So I want you to think of hoops after five. Any time after five. Well, right after five. And that's fine. So think about it like this. 123 and four by Woakes. Set up. Okay. We'll do it off to the side here, saying see what's going on. 12345 works. Okay, those are happen. This is to continue the momentum in whatever direction we got. Set the lady. Certainly going. Let me, sir. Makes sense. But if you're leave, decides to end this circle and just let it go and you continue moving in that direction. So when he does his little groups, like go on five, I'm gonna keep traveling backward because that's the direction. Okay, watch it again. We've got 123 clothes lead. Remember that? Right hand that whoops. Right hand releases. We go into a linear shape. And remember this your connections class. This is our differences just connected here. But it's still the flexed hand. Or, like Arab monkeys. And then released, Released are Okay, watch it one more time. 123458 10. Swingout From Open: All right, we're gonna talk about our swing out, But now, from open position, we have not experienced this position yet in our partnership, aside from the beginning, when we're connected here. So we're gonna drop hand, and it still should be the same connection fleshed hands and not flexed arms. Okay, Now, leaders and followers are doing similar, but just a little bit different things here. These I want you to rock step. And this The intention of this rob step is to ask our follows to come forward. Take this one too. Okay. Now, after that one to what we're doing is getting back into our cut off position that we already know. OK, so we're gonna get that one to cut them off this same cut off position and then guess what from There. Continues on like normal. I won't all the way through. Looks like this. 123 and 47 So follows. We're doing something slightly different instead of up until now, most of the patterns have started with rock step. This is a little different. When you're really takes his rock step backward, it causes me to step forward. So it's going backwards. like this, We're gonna step forward. It's gonna look like all right. For when did you notice on the triple step? Usually we wanted to happen right underneath their bodies. But since we're moving around and changing direction, I find it a little bit easier to step in and across a little bit. And then we're here is like the rest of this. So we put together 123 and 46 Yeah. 11. Putting It Together: All right, that concludes all the moves for for this lesson. So we're gonna talk a little bit about connecting them, and then we're gonna show you all of those that we did connected to music. So we've got here. We're here in this open position to for 67 and eight. Now, the only thing we haven't done is come back together. Okay? With this, I want you to think leaves. I'm gonna go and do a Lindy Circle, but for hoping So we've got beginning. Swing out one do three and four Now instead of the oops moment, we're going to just keep attached by six. And this brings you back into closed this close position here, we can execute all those way. Did. Almost today. We did it in a count pattern. But don't forget. Forget your six. Okay? We have this six down pattern on, then transfer it to your A Okay, and that is led and followed. Just pretty organically leads. Choose what you're doing, executed and then follows. Your job is to stay balanced and keep your footwork right. And underneath you and move where you're asked you and it's 12. Class Demo: boss can breathe every hope of spring. That's my I say you. But you're wrong. My here cold. If you're smart, you want you most. 13. Class Project: all right. It is homework time. We want to see you dancing. We recognize that if you've never danced before that this is definitely a hard eps to film yourself. Moving to music is not a comfortable thing, and seasoned dancers aren't even necessarily comfortable with. But because this is an online platform, we wanna watch dance, and we want to give you feedback and root yang. So let's get into the actual logistics of the project. You talk about what they'll be doing. Sure. So you've got all the videos. Find out, hopefully believe practice, then you've studied them and you worked on a little bit. So when we social dance, we don't necessarily do the same thing the whole time. We integrate everything in different patterns. So your project is to social dance using the moves and patterns that you've learned so kind of like you saw in our devil or we'll see you can combine all the moves you learned into one dance, and we want to see that you can execute all the moves in the span of one song. So perhaps it's okay to break it up and do a basic and then a circle basic and then a cut off. That's fine, but we want to see different patterns and see that you are able to do everything. Yep, that's that's about it. Even if you need to do multiple takes, we don't We're not asking that. You do like a full on like Oh my gosh, I have to remember all every single one of those moves do multiple takes, Do whatever you want We just want to see you dance And we want to see it Be a communication instead of just like a choreography So dance together most most importantly, have fun with this We are here to share the stance into this. To us, this dance means joy like the number one we want to put a smile on your face And we hope that that you're smiling now and continue also notes on continuing So we will be uploading more classes as we continue this project on skill share. But the heart of this dance is the social dance. OK, so a good thing to do would be to look up Lindy, hop in your local area and find evening dance. Hopefully it's not too far finding evening dance And once you've got this also all practice and ready to go get out there and take a lesson in person as well on get on the social dance floor and meet people. We should actually talk about a few things on social dance for just Teoh just to give people an expectation. Talk about sure. So let me up. The lineage community is very welcoming and people are generally very friendly and very open. And it's totally fine for anyone to ask anyone to dance. So it doesn't matter. Your follower lead. You can ask anyone else to dance. Usually if I was gonna ask dance. Hey, would you like to dance? Yes, I would. What? Do you like to leave? Uh, sure. Yes. And then you go for it. Okay on, then. With that, it doesn't have to. We don't have to know each other on this isn't only couples that are doing this. We're going out. And it's kind of a non committal. Spend three minutes of your time getting to know somebody and dancing with them and having fun. Yeah, when you're out there, if you run into somebody on God forbid you run into somebody stop what you're doing. Hey, are you OK? Yeah, OK, cool. Let's continue to boogie. Okay. And then lastly, make sure that don't don't be afraid of, like, experimenting with herbs and stuff. As long as you're keeping your partner safe and considering your partner's experience, if you want to get out there and like group, this isn't one of the official moves that we talk today. But hey, we're grooving to the music. Feel free to do that. Anything else? That about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed. We'll see you on the dance floor.