Lindy Hop, whose name was inspired by Swedish descendant Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, is the physical and often acrobatic incarnation of swing music. Lindy hop originated at the end of the 1920s and culminated in the decades that followed. In Sweden, where the dance was often called jitterbug, it was considered by cultural journalists of the time as leading to moral disintegration and as being generally unsuited to Scandinavian temperament.
Charleston in its authentic, Harlemesque form is a fast and horizontal dance. After gaining popularity in a Broadway production called Runnin’ Wild in 1923, the Charleston took the world by storm. Josephine Baker is said to have brought the dance to Europe through her banana clad and bare breasted version at the Folies Bergères in Paris.
Tap is percussion dancing in color and form. Its roots can be traced back to somewhere in the cultural synthesis of Africans and Brits in the USA during the latter part of the 1800s. The dance, which up to about 1950 was considered a must in the repertoire of any self-respecting theater or night club, is visual and extroverted as well as intricately detailed and full of feeling.
Black Bottom, a reference to the black mud on the shores of the Mississippi, is intimately associated with androgynous two-toned shoes and the sounds of howling trumpets in decadent small night clubs draped in jungle motifs. Al Capone is said to have been a fan of the dance, although he was seldom personally seen up on the dance floor. According to dance literature, the dance bears a kinship to other contemporary dance fads such as the shimmy and the shuffle.