The Lindy Hop is a dance that began in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and evolved with the jazz music of that era. It was also popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindy hop was a fusion of a number of dances that preceded it and/or were popular during its development. The main dance styles that contributed to Lindy Hop as we know it today were jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It is in fact often described as a jazz dance but is also a member of the swing dance family.
During its development, the Lindy Hop combined elements of both partner and solo dancing by using the movements and improvisation of black dances along with the formal eight-count structure of European partner dances. This is clearly illustrated in the Lindy Hop’s basic step, called the swingout. In the swingout step’s open position, each dancer is usually connected hand-to-hand; in its closed position, men and women are connected as if in an embrace.
Lindy Hop is sometimes referred to as a street dance, referring to its improvisational and social nature.