This first part of the book describes the basic moves that form the core of Lindy Hop. These moves are built from a succession of building blocks. At the lowest level, there is a comparatively small set of step movements that the dancers use most commonly. As these movements are combined, the rhythm structure of the dance begins to emerge; this structure is derived from the musical structure of the swing music that originally inspired the dance.

This book primarily focuses on social Lindy Hop, which is a partner dance. As such, it is important to understand how the dancers relate to one another as they dance—the common dance positions that they return to, the lead and follow that governs the improvisational aspect of the dance, and the hand holds that allow the leader to communicate his intentions to the follower.

With all of these pieces in place, it is then more straightforward to describe the central moves of the dance. These are divided into eight-beat moves, six-beat moves, and Charleston moves (although the Charleston moves are also eight-beat moves, they are sufficiently distinctive to warrant a class of their own).

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