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Jazz & Lindy Hop

A Note About Lindy Hop

Kim and David are big fans of jazz and lindy hop (also known as swing dancing). Here’s a little bit of info about lindy hop, and this section has our favorite jazz clubs and lindy hop events.

Kim and David are avid lindy hoppers (although with two kids, it’s hard to go out as much as we used to!) In fact, we met at The 9:20 Special, a popular weekly lindy hop dance here in San Francisco, when David was visiting from New York City for work.

Lindy Hop is the original from of “swing dancing”, originally danced to big band music in the 1920s in Harlem at places like the Savoy Ballroom. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a resurgence of lindy hop. Pop culture movies like Swing Kids and Swingers, commercials like the Gap commercial, and bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, made it popular among a younger generation. While the “fad” died a few years later, this sparked a whole new culture of enthusiasts who stuck with it and spread the culture all over the world.

Of course, we also have Frankie Manning to thank. He was the “godfather” of lindy, one of the original and most famous lindy hoppers. And when lindy became popular again, he was in his 80s and would travel the world teaching and spreading the lindy love to a whole new generation. He passed shortly before his 95th birthday, and David had the honor of being one of the producers for his 95th Birthday Festival, which turned into the most moving memorial celebration ever.

Today lindy hop is done all over the United States, and actually all over the world. When Kim and David traveled for a year, we met lindy hoppers (and stayed in many of their homes) in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Israel, all over Europe, India, Vietnam, and more!

San Francisco was arguably the most popular lindy hop scene in early 2000s when lindy was getting popular again, and it is still popular today. You can go dancing most nights of the week, and there are lots of free beginner lessons. One great thing about lindy is it is a social dance. You can go to a beginner lesson before the start of a dance, where you learn a few moves and you “rotate” / change partners over and over again. So it’s a great way to meet people, and then when the dance starts, you simply ask the other dancers you just met to dance. Men ask women. Women ask men. It’s a very friendly, low-pressure, fun environment, and a great way to meet locals! This section of the guidebook includes some of my favorite lindy hop events.

Here’s a brief intro about lindy:

Here’s an awesome collection of the Shim Sham, a jazz and lindy hop line dance, performed by lindy hoppers all over the world in celebration of Frankie’s 95th Birthday Festival

And here’s the man himself, Frankie Manning, in one of his most famous performances from the movie Hellzapoppin

Similar Recommendations

Woodchopper’s Ball – Lindy every Tuesday

Live music and free lindy class every Tue

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Club Deluxe

One of our favorite clubs, with live music – usually jazz – every night.

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Curious Planet

Wide range of jazz in beautiful outdoor location – every Thur

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Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio

Hidden gem in the middle of the city

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San Francisco Lindy Hop Facebook Group

Best update-to-date resource for lindy events

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The Bootleggers Ball – Lindy every 3rd Sat

Awesome atmosphere with great live music and free beginner “taster class”. A great way to spend a Sat night in the popular Mission neighborhood

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