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Do the Lindy Hop

Free swing dance lessons and dancing Wednesday nights


Want to relive the roaring 20s and dance to the music of the Jazz Age? Head over to MIT’s Stratton Student Center tonight for free swing dance lessons, followed by a dance. Novices and experienced dancers alike will perform the Charleston, the jitterbug, and the freestyle moves characteristic of the Lindy Hop.

Lindy Hop, a style of swing dance that originated in 1920s Harlem, focuses more on having fun and developing unique dance moves than on strictly choreographed steps. It’s a combination of several dances that combines both partnered and solo dancing. Most popular during the 30s and 4os, the Lindy Hop has made a comeback in the last couple of decades and been featured in music videos like Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” and the popular TV show Dancing with the Stars.

Hosted by the MIT Lindy Hop Society, the weekly event typically begins at 7:30 p.m. with an informal 90-minute lesson taught by volunteers. Participants learn traditional swing moves including the jelly roll, tuck turn, and cuddle step, and get a chance to develop their own rhythm and movements. Following the lesson, novices and regulars take part in a social dance that runs from 9 to 11:30 p.m., with a rotating cast of DJs providing a mix of classical jazz and more contemporary swing music.

MIT’s Lindy Hop Society began in 2001, when a group of MIT students interested in swing dancing got together. One of the founding members, Ken Takusagawa, is now an instructor with five years of experience; he’ll be teaching tonight’s class. The club includes people all ages. Beginners are welcome, as are dance professionals. No partner is necessary, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

The MIT Lindy Hop Society dance classes are held every Wednesday from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., usually in the Lobdell Cafeteria on the 2nd floor of the MIT Stratton Student Center (Building W20), 84 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. To get there via public transportation, take a MBTA Red Line train to Kendall or Central Square. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged. For updates and room changes, visit the MIT Lindy Hop Society blog here.

Ashley Jones can be reached at ashjones@bu.edu


One Comment on Do the Lindy Hop

  • Tam Francis on 05.27.2015 at 11:49 pm

    Nice write-up of the Lindy. There are some basic moves that are choreographed, but the Lindy Hop does allow for a lot of creativity within the Lindy box. In recent years there has been an influx of adding Latin and other moves to the dance, but it’s always been innovative.

    My fave is when dancers dress the part and really go for the authenticity! I just can’t get enough of the grand big band music. Great article!

    ~ Tam Francis ~

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