Home // Archive by category "history"

A Lindy Hop Bibliography

[Updated for works published to June 2017]

SwingNation featured a new thesis on the Savoy Ballroom on a recent show and it led me to wonder what other scholarly work on Lindy Hop is out there. So I went looking.

It turns out that there’s a surprising amount of scholarship out there about or using Lindy Hop. Much of it is by key figures in the community who were important during the ‘revival’ period or are active in scenes across the world today.

Many of these are behind the paywalls of academic journals, so unless you’re a university student or academic or are willing to fork over exorbitant fees you’re probably not going to be able to access them.* I’ve added hyperlinks where a work is publicly available.

I’ve mainly concentrated on scholarly works and books, generally more reliable in terms of their accuracy. I’ve steered clear of blogs, but I should include Jerry Almonte’s Artistry In Rhythm series which I would say probably has the same (or more) amount of work found in a typical masters thesis.

I’ve grouped the works into some basic categories and ordered them alphabetically by author.

If you’re aware of any other works I haven’t included, or you have published one yourself, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update it.


Fuhrer, Margaret. 2014. American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History. Voyageur Press.
Giordano, Ralph G. 2006. Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference, Volume 2, Lindy Hop to Hip Hop, 1901-2000. Westport, Conn: Greenwood.
Kealiinohomoku, Joann. 1970. “An Anthropologist Looks at Ballet as a Form of Ethnic Dance.” Impulse 20: 24–33.

Manning, Frankie, and Cynthia R. Millman. 2007. Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop. Temple University Press.

Miller, Norma. 2009. SWING, BABY SWING!. Self published. http://www.blurb.com/b/1160083-swing-baby-swing.

Miller, Norma, and Evette Jensen. 2001. Swingin’ at the Savoy: The Memoir of a Jazz Dancer. Temple University Press.

Nott, James. 2015. Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960. Oxford University Press.

Pugh, Megan. 2015. America Dancing: From the Cakewalk to the Moonwalk. Yale University Press.

Stevens, Tamara, and Erin Stevens. 2011. Swing Dancing. ABC-CLIO.

Willis, Cheryl M. 2016. Tappin’ at the Apollo: The African American Female Tap Dance Duo Salt and Pepper. McFarland.

X, Malcolm. 1966. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. London: Hutchinson.

African American Dance History

Anderson, Jervis. 1983. This Was Harlem: A Cultural Portrait, 1900-1950. Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

DeFrantz, Thomas. 1996. “Simmering Passivity: The Black Male Body in Concert Dance.” In Moving Words: Re-Writing Dance, edited by Gay Morris, 107–20. London and New York: Routledge.

Dinerstein, Joel. 2003. Swinging the Machine: Modernity, Technology, and African American Culture Between the World Wars. Univ of Massachusetts Press.

Emery, Lynne. 1972. Black Dance in the US from 1619 to 1970. Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books.

Gilroy, Paul. 1997. “Exer (or) Cising Power: Black Bodies in the Black Public Sphere.” In Dance in the City, edited by Helen Thomas, 21–34. London: Macmillan.
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. 1996. Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts. Greenwood Press Westport, CT.
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. 1995. “Stripping the Emperor: The Africanist Presence in American Concert Dance.” In Looking Out: Perspectives on Dance and Criticism in a Multicultural World, edited by David Gere, 44:95–121. New York: Schirmer Books.
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. 2002. Waltzing in the Dark: African American Vaudeville and Race Politics in the Swing Era. 1st Palgrave paperback ed edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. 2005. The Black Dancing Body: A Geography from Coon to Cool. 1st edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Griffin, Sean. 2002. “The Gang’s All Here: Generic versus Racial Integration in the 1940s Musical by Sean Griffin.” Cinema Journal 42 (1): 21–45. doi:10.1353/cj.2002.0021.
Hazzard-Gordon, Katrina. 1985. “African-American Vernacular Dance Core Culture and Meaning Operatives.” Journal of Black Studies 15 (4): 427–45. doi:10.1177/002193478501500405.
Hazzard-Gordon, Katrina. 2010. Jookin’: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture. Temple University Press.
Humphries, Skye. 2006. “Liberating and Regimenting the Body: Taming the ‘Animal’ Dances.” Washington DC: George Washington University

Jackson, Jonathan David. 2001. “Improvisation in African-American Vernacular Dancing.” Dance Research Journal, 40–53.

Knight, Arthur. 2002. Disintegrating the Musical: Black Performance and American Musical Film. Duke University Press.

Malnig, Julie. 2009. Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader. University of Illinois Press.

Malone, Jacqui. 1996. Steppin’on the Blues: The Visible Rhythms of African American Dance. University of Illinois Press.

Marsh, Lucile. 1935. “A Survey of the Social Dance in America.” The Journal of Health and Physical Education 6 (9): 34–62. doi:10.1080/23267240.1935.10625734.

Martin, Carol J. 1994. Dance Marathons: Performing American Culture of the 1920s and 1930s. Univ. Press of Mississippi.

Stearns, Marshall, and Jean Stearns. 1994. Jazz Dance: The Story Of American Vernacular Dance. 2nd edition. New York: Da Capo Press.

Stovall, Maya. 2015. “African American Cultural Technology: The Lindy Hop, the King of Pop, and the Factory Worker’s Experience.” Journal of the Association of Black Anthropolgists 23(1): 1-13. doi:10.1111/traa.1204

History of Lindy Hop

Back, Les. 1997. “Nazism and the Call of the Jitterbug.” In Dance in the City, edited by Helen Thomas, 175–97. London: Macmillan.

Batchelor, Christian. 1997. This Thing Called Swing: A Study of Swing Music and the Lindy Hop: The Original Swing Dance. London, UK: Original Lindy Hop Collection.

Batiuchok, Margaret. 1988. “The Lindy.” New York: NYU. http://www.scribd.com/doc/36181005/The-Lindy-by-Margaret-Batiuchok-NYU-Masters-Thesis-16-May-1988-History-of-Swing-Dancing.

Brown, Tamara. 1998. “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Harlem Swing: Social Dance and the Harlem Renaissance.” Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 22 (1): 41.

Card, Amanda. 1998. “The ‘great Articulation of the Inarticulate’: Reading the Jazz Body in Australian and American Popular Culture in the 1960s.” Journal of Australian Studies 22 (58): 18–28.

Crease, Robert P. 1988. “The Lindy Hop.” Proceedings of the International Early Dance Institute 1 (1): 1–11.

Crease, Robert P. 1995. “Divine Frivolity: Hollywood Representations of the Lindy Hop, 1937-1942.” In Representing Jazz, by Krin Gabbard. Duke University Press.

Given, William. 2015. “Lindy Hop, Community, and the Isolation of Appropriation.” In The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater, edited by Nadine George-Graves. Oxford University Press.

Jones, Chris. 2001. “The Lindy Hops the Atlantic: The Jitterbug and Jive in Britain.” In Cord 2001: Transmigratory Moves: Dance in Global Circulation: Conference Proceedings, 174. New York University, New York, New York: Congress on Research in Dance.

MacDonald, J. Frederick. 1972. “‘Hot Jazz,’ the Jitterbug, and Misunderstanding: The Generation Gap in Swing 1935–1945.” Popular Music and Society 2 (1): 43–55. doi:10.1080/03007767208591000.
Milkowski, Bill, and Tim Hauser. 2003. Swing It: An Annotated History of Jive. Diane Pub Co.

Miller, David, Nicole Zonnenberg, and Rebecca Strickland. 2013. “Lindy Hop and Jitterbug: The Development of American Swing Dance in the United Kingdom.” Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence, January. http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/undergradresearch/33.

Monaghan, Terry. 2004. “Remembering ‘Shorty’ – A Few Thoughts on the Beginnings of Jive and Lindy Hop on George Snowden’s Centenary.” Dancing Times 94 (1127): 49 – +.

Monaghan, Terry, and Mo Dodson. 2003. “Fractured Legacy: Why Did the Irish Contribute So Much to American Tap Dance and So Little to the Lindy Hop?” In 2003 Society of Dance History Scholars Conference. University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland: Society of Dance History Scholars Conference.

Skinner, Jonathan. 2012. “Globalization and the Dance Import-Export Business: The Jive Story.” In Dancing Cultures: Globalization, Tourism and Identity in the Anthropology of Dance, edited by Helene Neveu Kringelbach and Jonathan Skinner, 29–45. Berghahn Books.

Spring, Howard. 1997. “Swing and the Lindy Hop: Dance, Venue, Media, and Tradition.” American Music 15 (2): 183–207. doi:10.2307/3052731.

Tucker, Sherrie. 2014. Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen. Durham: Duke University Press Books.
Unruh, Kendra. 2011. “From Kitchen Mechanics to‘ Jubilant Spirits of Freedom’: Black, Working-Class Women Dancing the Lindy Hop.” Journal of Pan African Studies 4 (6).
Unruh, Kendra. 2012. “‘Jubilant Spirits of Freedom’: Representations of the Lindy Hop in Literature and Film from the Swing Era to the Swing Revival.” Purdue University. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/dissertations/AAI3544546.

Wallace, Claire, and Raimund Alt. 2001. “Youth Cultures under Authoritarian Regimes The Case of the Swings Against the Nazis.” Youth & Society 32 (3): 275–302. doi:10.1177/0044118X01032003001.

The Savoy

Abdoulaev, Alexandre. 2014. “Savoy: Reassessing the Role of the ‘World’s Finest Ballroom’ in Music and Culture, 1926–1958.” BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Engelbrecht, Barbara. 1983. “Swinging at the Savoy.” Dance Research Journal 15 (2): 3–10. doi:10.2307/1478672.

Monaghan, Terry. 2005. “The Chicago and Harlem Savoy Ballrooms.” In Proceedings: Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 17-20 June, 2004; Twenty-Eight Annual Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 9-12 June, 2005, 155. Society of Dance History Scholars.

Moran, Delaney. 2014. “‘Never Looking at Your Face, Only at Your Feet’: Race Relations at the Savoy Ballroom: 1926-1958.” Concord Review 24 (3): 13–38.

The Rendezvous Ballroom

Delaney, Jeff. 2007. Newport Beach’s Balboa and Balboa Island. Arcadia Publishing.

The ‘Revival’ and Contemporary Lindy Hop Culture

Carroll, Samantha. 2006. “The Lindy Binge: The Social and Cultural Functions of Lindy Exchanges.” Continuum 20 (4): 447–56. doi:10.1080/10304310600987262.

Carroll, Samantha. 2006. “Hepfidelity: Swing Dance and the Role of Digital Media in Embodied Practice.” La Trobe University.

Carroll, Samantha. 2007. “Hepfidelity: Digital Technology and Music in Contemporary Australian Swing Dance Culture.” Media International Australia, no. 123 (May): 138–49.

Carroll, Samantha. 2008. “The Practical Politics of Step-Stealing and Textual Poaching: YouTube, Audio-Visual Media and Contemporary Swing Dancers Online.” Convergence 14 (2): 183–204. doi:10.1177/1354856507087943.

Doane, Randal. 2006. “The Habitus of Dancing Notes on the Swing Dance Revival in New York City.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35 (1): 84–116. doi:10.1177/0891241605280585.

Hancock, Black Hawk. 2007. “Learning How to Make Life Swing.” Qualitative Sociology 30 (2): 113–33. doi:10.1007/s11133-007-9059-8.

Hancock, Black Hawk. 2008. “Put a Little Color on That!” Sociological Perspectives 51 (4): 783–802. doi:10.1525/sop.2008.51.4.783.

Hancock, Black Hawk. 2013. American Allegory: Lindy Hop and the Racial Imagination. University of Chicago Press.

Humphries, Skye. 2007. “Progressive era progressions: dancing and parading in a modern imperial age” Washington DC: George Washington University

Lakes, Kimberley D., Shesha Marvin, Jessica Rowley, Malia San Nicolas, Sara Arastoo, Leo Viray, Amanda Orozco, and Frances Jurnak. 2016. ‘Dancer Perceptions of the Cognitive, Social, Emotional, and Physical Benefits of Modern Styles of Partnered Dancing’. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 26 (June): 117–22. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.007.
Lin, Han-Wei. 2014. “Exploring Relationships between Happiness and Stickiness: Swing Dance as an Example.” Masters Thesis, Taipei: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

Michalowski, Raymond Joseph. 1997. “Swing Dance as Subculture: Managing Symbolic Crisis in a (post)modern Age.” Arizona State University.

Monaghan, Terry. 1999. “New-York Celebrates Lindy-Hop and Tap (Highlights of Performances at National-Tap-Day Commemorating the Birthday of the Late Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson While Frankie Manning’s Birthday Was Marked by Lindy Enthusiasts).” Dancing Times 89 (1067): 1004–5.

Monaghan, Terry. 2001. “Why Study the Lindy Hop?” Dance Research Journal 33 (2): 124–27. doi:10.2307/1477810.

Monaghan, Terry. 2002. “Stompin’at the Savoy–Remembering, Re-Enacting and Researching the Lindy Hop’s Relationship to Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom.” In Dancing at the Crossroads: African Diasporic Dances in Britain: Conference Proceedings. London, UK: London Metropolitan University.

Monaghan, Terry. 2003. “British Dance Company Lindy Hop All the Way to the USA (Jiving Lindy Hoppers).” Dancing Times 93 (1112): 39–39.

Monaghan, Terry, and Mo Dodson. 2001. “Fusion: Globalising the Local and Localising the Global – The Case of the Lindy and Other Fusion Dances/Musics.” In Cord 2001: Transmigratory Moves: Dance in Global Circulation: Conference Proceedings, 220. New York University, New York, New York: Congress on Research in Dance.

Parish, P. 1999. “The Lindy-Hop – A Revival in Full Swing (The Signature Dance of the 1930s Is Back in Style).” Dance Magazine 73 (9): 50–52.

Park, JB. 2014. “Dressing the Alter Ego: Swing Dancers with Day Jobs.” International Journal of Costume and Fasion 14 (1): 47–62.

Renshaw, Scott W. 2002. “Postmodern Swing Dance and the Presentation of the Unique Self.” In Postmodern Existential Sociology, by Joseph A. Kotarba and John M. Johnson, 63–85. Rowman Altamira.

Renshaw, Scott W. 2006. “Postmodern Swing Dance and Secondary Adjustment: Identity as Process.” Symbolic Interaction 29 (1): 83–94. doi:10.1525/si.2006.29.1.83.

Samuels, S. 2001. “Love, Life and the Lindy Hop (Jenny Thomas and Ryan Francois).” Dance Magazine 75 (2): 53–53.

Sekine, Anais. 2011. “T’ain’t What You Do It’s the Way That You Do It – Body Representations and Transculturality in Lindy Hop Dance.” In International Conference on Body Image and Identity in Contemporary Society. CUNY, New York, USA.
Sekine, Anais. 2013. “In the Footsteps of the Jazz Patriarchs: An Intersectional Analysis of the Lindy Hop and Jazz Dance Revival as Interpreted by Women.” In NWSA 34th Annual Conference. Cincinnati, OH.
Sekine, Anais. 2013. “The Worlds of Lindy Hop—Cultural Appropriations and the Politics of Joy.” In NOFOD/SDHS 2013 Proceedings. Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Society of Dance History Scholars.
Strickland, Michael. 2014. “Swing Dancing: How Dance Effectiveness May Influence Music Preference.” Florida State University. http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/etd/9253.

Tiegel, E. 1997. “Steps from a Bygone Era + Lindy Hop and Jitterbug.” Down Beat 64 (12): 60–60.

Unruh, Kendra. 2009. “Swingin ‘Out White: How the Lindy Hop Became White.” West Lafayette, Indiana. https://www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/idis/american-studies/documents/unruh_603_paper.pdf

Usner, Eric Martin. 2001. “Dancing in the Past, Living in the Present: Nostalgia and Race in Southern California Neo-Swing Dance Culture.” Dance Research Journal, 87–101.

Vale, V., and Marian Wallace. 1998. Swing!: The New Retro Renaissance. V/Search.

Wade, Lisa. 2011. “The Emancipatory Promise of the Habitus: Lindy Hop, the Body, and Social Change.” Ethnography 12 (2): 224–46. doi:10.1177/1466138111398231.


Bennett, B. Cole. 2011. “Swing Out, Studios, and Safety: Writing as Dance.” Academic Exchange Quarterly 15 (4): 83.

Broth, M., and L. Keevallik. 2014. “Getting Ready to Move as a Couple: Accomplishing Mobile Formations in a Dance Class.” Space and Culture 17 (2): 107–21. doi:10.1177/1206331213508483.

DeMers, Joseph Daniel. 2012. “Frame Matching and ΔPTED: A Framework for Teaching Swing and Blues Dance Partner Connection.” Research in Dance Education 14 (1): 71–80. doi:10.1080/14647893.2012.688943.

Research Utilising Lindy Hop

Gentry, Sommer. 2005. “Dancing Cheek to Cheek : Haptic Communication between Partner Dancers and Swing as a Finite State Machine.” Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/33207.

Gentry, Sommer, and E. Feron. 2004. “Modeling Musically Meaningful Choreography.” In 2004 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 4:3880–85 vol.4. doi:10.1109/ICSMC.2004.1400950.

Gentry, Sommer, and E. Feron. 2004. “Musicality Experiments in Lead and Follow Dance.” In 2004 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 1:984–88 vol.1. doi:10.1109/ICSMC.2004.1398432.

Hsu, Eugene, Sommer Gentry, and Jovan Popović. 2004. “Example-Based Control of Human Motion.” In Proceedings of the 2004 ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation, 69–77. SCA ’04. Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, Switzerland: Eurographics Association. doi:10.1145/1028523.1028534. and video here

Lukšys, Donatas, and Julius Griškevičius. 2017. ‘Quantitative Assessment of Dance Therapy Infulence on the Parkinson’s Disease Patients’ Lower Limb Biomechanics’. Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis 8 (6): 583–86. doi:10.3846/mla.2016.978.

Selbach-Allen, Megan, Kevin McIlhany, and Sommer Gentry. 2011. “Optimization and Pose Selection for a Lindy Hop Partnered Spin.” In 2011 American Control Conference, 3831–36. New York: Ieee.

* Though there are other means such as using #ICanHazPDF on twitter, emailing the author or asking a friend at uni that you could have luck with, though book chapters might be more tricky.

Swing dancing on Australian screens

I found a video today through Yehoodi of some jitterbug dancers in 1961. The poster expressed a bit of surprise to find footage of swing dancing in the 1960’s. This got me thinking about the history of lindy hop in Australia – something I have an interest in but have never had the time, and still don’t, to go research properly.

I thought I’d turn to the intertubz to see what I could find…

Although there’s record of Lindy Hop making it’s way to Australia before World War II (The Big Apple was being taught in Sydney in early 1938 and Frankie Manning and a troupe of Harlem dancers performed in Australia in 1938 and 1939) it seems that it wasn’t caught on film until 1940.

I’ve done some searching on the National Film and Sound Archive website and come up with a list of clips that I’d be interested in checking out. Unfortunately the majority of the holdings of the NFSA are very difficult to access and impossible to reproduce without permission from the copyright holder. I’ll put this on the list of longer term projects and see what I can come up with…

The British Pathé does have a few clips available. This one features a couple of young swing dancers and a bunch of kids joining in – reminds me of Groovie Movie

1943: This clip details the R&R experience of an American serviceman in Australia. It’s not clear where this was shot, but it certainly shows a rather different view of the War in the Pacific.

1944: This film show footage from a Jitterbug contest in July of 1944. It’s difficult to say where this was shot, contests were occurring in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, even Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Jitterbug Championships, which saw contestants from all over the country compete, were first held in the early 40s (probably 1940 or 41) and continued until at least 1954

Here’s a few more modern videos charting some of the Lindy Hop revival. There’s not a lot of information out there about how the revival got going in Australia. The prevailing assumption is that it first got going through groups of Rock and Roll dancers (who danced rock and roll back in the 60s when it was very popular) where it is still danced today – it’s also how I first started dancing. I need to go and do some more research and talk to some folk to learn more.

1995?: The early days of the revival in Australia

1997: Frankie Manning returns to Australia

2001: Competition Lindy Hop in Sydney

2003: The Today Show and ABC’s Stateline featured the return of the Australian Jitterbug Championships:

I’ve also tracked down the first group email newsletter from Swing Patrol in Sydney 

There’s plenty of other recent footage out there on the intertubz, but if anyone else knows of anything older, particularly vintage footage or clips from the 90s please let me know. I’m going to keep updating this post; it will be linked on my Lindy History page.