Welcome to Oxford Lindy Hoppers (OLH): a group of enthusiastic swing dancers in Oxford, UK!!!

OLH is a not-for-profit dance society which has been running since 2008. We hold regular Swing and Blues dance events of all sizes in Oxford including two successful weekend festivals: The Oxford Swing Festival and the Oxford Lindy Exchange which attract dancers from all over the UK and internationally. You can get in touch with us via:

What is Lindy Hop?

Lindy Hop is a partner dance that originated in Harlem, New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, which was danced to swing music. It is an African-American jazz dance that evolved from several earlier dances, notably the Charleston. It gained world-wide recognition in the late 1930s after being featured in several well-known Hollywood films, but it was the American soldiers who brought Lindy Hop to Britain in the early 1940s. By then the dance was known as the ‘Jitterbug’, and it was an instant hit in Britain.  Lindy Hop is the grandfather of all jive dances, including Rock ‘n’ Roll and Modern Jive.

Check out this You-Tube video to see classic Lindy Hop taken from the film Hellzapoppin (1941) (nb: if you don’t see embedded videos you need to make sure that your browser is up-to-date).

Eventually, by about 1960, partner dancing died a quiet death as people twisted and mash-potatoed their way around the dance floor. Over several decades this evolved into some very interesting head-bangy grunge moves that a few of the members of the Oxford Lindy Hoppers would like to forget. However, deep in the heart of the 1980s Lindy Hop was being reborn.

It has grown enormously since then, going through a revival in the mid to late 1990s, and again around 2010. Today there are just as many people dancing the Lindy Hop as there were in its heyday in the 1930s! However, instead of all the dancers being in based in New York, the dance is now world-wide, with everyone from Sweden to Singapore getting their swing on!

How are us young’uns doing? Check out this footage!

Lindy is traditionally danced to swing music. If you’re looking to become acquainted with some wonderful tunes, check out the classic big band sounds of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Artie Shaw or Tommy Dorsey. Also, listen to some of the great singers of the day – Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Billy Holiday – for a solid beginning.  There are also a slew of new bands playing classic swing and swing-inspired sounds. Electroswing is also making inroads into the Lindy/Balboa scenes. You will certainly run into a few of them as you go out social dancing!

Are you excited yet? Come and learn this fun , fabulous and joyful dance with a bunch of friendly folks at the Cowley Cotton Club or Swing Fix.  No dance experience or partner necessary!

For more on the history of Lindy Hop, check out the following links:

History of Lindy Hop on Wikipedia

Lindy Hop History at The Lindy Circle

Archives of Early Lindy Hop