From the very beginnings of Lindy Hop, part of the dance has always involved the dance partners losing contact with each other and dancing independently—known as "breaks" or "breakaway". These might involve the dancers each doing their own thing, or it might involve the dancers performing in a synchronized manner.

Because the partners have no physical contact during a break, it is impossible for specific breaks to be led. Instead, breaks are likely to be pre-arranged, choreographed sequences of jazz steps that are indicated in advance (verbally or otherwise).

This book covers social Lindy Hop, concentrating on moves that can be led and followed by any dancers (assuming a certain minimum level of experience). With this focus, breaks are somewhat beyond the scope of the book. However, because of their historical importance to the dance, this section includes a few specific breaks that are (or have been) in widespread use.

On a social dance floor, a dancer should only initiate a choreographed break if they are sure that their partner also knows the break and is ready to perform it—it's unfair to leave your partner standing on the floor looking awkward while you perform a complicated sequence of jazz steps around them.

It's also worth noting that some of the breaks are also unsuitable for a crowded dance floor. The Flying Charleston Break and the Skating Break in particular need a fair amount of space for their execution; trying to perform them with less space will spoil their effect and interfere with neighbouring dancers.

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