Swing dance styles, history and information | Swingland Dance co.

About Swing

"Swing" describes both a genre and a way of playing music, as well as a group of dance styles generally danced to that music.

At Swingland we concentrate primarily on the swing dance styles from the 1920s to 1950s; from Charleston to rock 'n' roll, but especially Lindy hop.

The Savoy Ballroom

The Savoy Ballroom, Harlem, NYC, 1926-1958

"The home of happy feet"

The Savoy Ballroom was located on the corner of 140th Street & Lenox Avenue - up in Harlem, New York City. Known as 'the home of happy feet' - or locally as 'the track' - it was a whole city block long and boasted a large dance floor and two bandstands where the musical greats of the swing era did battle. The Savoy opened at the height of The Harlem Renaissance and was an integrated venue where people black and white were allowed to mix and dance together, and it's said that the only important question was "can you dance?". In this melting pot of cultures and dance styles, the Lindy hop was created in the late 1920s and taken to its greatest heights in the 1930s. The best Savoy dancers - including the likes of Frankie Manning and Norma Miller - turned professional and took the dance worldwide, on stage and in film, with the group Whitey's Lindy hoppers.

Savoy style

By "Savoy style" we mean the style that would likely have been recognised as Lindy hop at The Savoy Ballroom - particularly by the black dancers. Our inspiration is Frankie Manning, the "Ambassador of Lindy hop" who sadly passed away recently, but was still travelling and teaching around the world at the grand old age of 94! In the 1930s and 40s Frankie was a regular at The Savoy, going on to lead and choreograph the most famous swing dance group of all time - Whitey's Lindy hoppers - and he is credited with the first ever Lindy hop airstep. According to Frankie, everyone at The Savoy had their style, and our aim is to bring that out in everyone. Savoy style is your style, but it does have a fantastic - and unique - smoothness and quality of movement which we will show you!

Read the story of The Savoy at
Archives of Early Lindy hop
The Harlem Renaissance
Welcome to Harlem, The Savoy Ballroom
Also see The Savoy Ball

Lenox Avenue, Harlem, 1938Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

This rare photo shows Lenox Avenue, Harlem in 1938, just a few blocks down from The Savoy!