Putting It Together

The moves that have been described in this part of the book are at the heart of Lindy Hop, but each move is not done in isolation. When the music is playing and the dance is flowing, each move is preceded by a move, and followed by another move.

This means that beginning Lindy Hop dancers need to practise the transitions between moves as well as the moves themselves. This is normal for dance classes—the teacher will typically string together a collection of moves and practise them as a sequence.

The table below gives an sequence of moves from this part of the book, which can be used as an example choreography for a (long) beginner's workshop. This sequence includes each of the different rhythms of Lindy Hop—eight-beat, six-beat and Charleston—and helps to illustrate the range of different positions and leads involved in the dance.

Move Count Music Count Start Position End Position Move
1–8 1–8 Closed Open Swing Out
1–8 1–8 Open Open Lindy Turn
1–8 1–8 Open Closed Lindy Circle
1–6 1–6 Closed Open Turn Under
1–4 7–8, 1–2 Open Behind Back Charleston Entry
1–8 3–8, 1–2 Behind Behind Back Charleston
1–8 3–8, 1–2 Behind Behind Back Charleston
1–6 3–8 Behind Open Back Charleston Simple Exit
1–6 1–6 Open Open Changing Places
1–6 7–8, 1–4 Open Closed Changing Places into closed position
1–6 5–8, 1–2 Open Closed Closed Basic
1–6 3–8 Open Open Closed Basic

Because this sequence includes moves that aren't all exactly eight beats in length, when it is performed to music the start of each individual move will not necessarily line up with the beginning of an eight-beat phrase in the music. The following table illustrates how the timings for the moves slides over the timings of a piece of music whose phrases are all eight beats long.

Music 12345678 12345678 12345678 12345678 12345678
Move Swing Out Lindy Turn Lindy Circle Turn Under Entry Back Charleston

Music 12345678 12345678 12345678 12345678 12345678
Move   Back Charleston Exit Changing Places Changing Places Closed Basic Closed Basic