Lindy Hopping and the Marx Brothers

[I may have put in too many video clips, just take a dip or two]

Important questions first. What is Lindy Hopping? It is basically Swing Dancing, it started in  America in the 1920s and gathered pace with many variations through the next twenty years. To see the genuine article watch this clip from the Marx Brothers Day at the Races. The Lindy Hopping sequence doesn’t start until about 3.25 mins in, and the Lindy Hop dancing really starts about 5 mins in, but I love the section with Harpo and Who Dat Man that precedes it.

And no, I can’t dance like that.

Here’s a modern version of it.

I can’t dance like that either – but I try (the front couple in this demo were my first teachers).

In the last twenty years there has been a massive revival of Swing Dancing, particularly Lindy Hop and some of the original dancers were still with us until very recently. Most famous and beloved was Frankie Manning (d. 2009). Here he is age 90 doing the Shim Sham (a group Lindy dance)

(and if you want to be cheered and moved watch these two clips of villagers in India doing the Shim Sham in honour of Frankie on his Birthday).

Lindy is a partnered dance for all ages and everyone dances with everyone, you are either a lead (traditionally male) or a follow (female), but both men and women try the other roles. There are clubs in most big cities across the world run by enthusiasts. It is the best and most enjoyable exercise I know and I swear it has given my knees a new lease of life.