New Lindy Hop club revives a retro form of street dancing

By Jessie Feldstein
Published: December 2010

In a school where risk takers are few and far between, a group of dancers congregate in room 1101 every Thursday J-Block to dance in a form called Lindy Hop.
Lindy Hop is a fast paced, yet relaxed street dance, which originated in the 1920′s when jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington performed.
English teacher Jodi Daynard, one of two supervisors, believes that “the dance is infectious and “a whole lot of fun.
A problem that the club has’€like many first year groups’€is that people are frightened by the idea; consequently, only three members have joined so far.
According to Daynard, however, people only need to be “ready to have fun and move to the music. Daynard has been dancing for over 10 years and believes that the club can offer a lot of information about African-American History in Harlem, as well as provide an excellent cardio workout.
Requirements¦there are none. Simply bring a good attitude and an inclination to “spread the joy.
Senior Leo Candido believes that “the club is great because it teaches people about the dance and also teaches people a new dance that they have never heard of before, and it’s something to do on Thursdays if there is nothing else going on.
Candido, who is the only male member, also feels that his prior experience was “ not exactly his strong-suit, but that in no way affects his ability to enjoy himself every time the group convenes.
When asked what her motivation was in starting the club, Daynard simply responded, “it might be something fun. Although the group is only in its early stages, members have high aspirations.
Daynard believes that if the member tally can rise to six, given there are at least three leads (male dancers), then the club will be able to put on a magnificent display at Tertulia. “Ultimately that is our goal, she said.
According to Candido, the club “is working on a routine, so we can display our hard work at the end of the year.
The club is definitely not lacking in the talent department, especially considering the addition of math teacher David Deutsch.
“Mr. Deutsch is a beginner, but he definitely displays some potential, Daynard said. “In little time we will get him spinning aerials all over the place¦He catches on quick.
When asked what Lindy Hop can be compared to, Daynard explained, “It is kind of like Hip-Hop, because it is truly an art form. It allows me to express myself.
Her most recent outlet for this self-expression was at a dance conference in North Carolina that she attended, much to the dismay of the members of the Lindy Hop club who were faced with a gloomy Thursday J-Block in her absence.
When asked what could make her travel to such great lengths for a hobby, Daynard replied, “I love dancing to the music, and I am sure all who dance with me can definitely empathize.
She wants other people to try out this new and exciting genre of dance because she believes they will find as much joy as well.
“You might also learn a thing or two, she said, “but first you’ve got to come.
For those interested,. Daynard suggests a “pair of good comfortable flat shoes, something that you can move around in while doing something kind of crazy.

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