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Shake that thing with Lindy Hop

The room is filled with excited chatter. Over 40 people followed the invitation for a try-out of Lindy Hop. Marta Miklikowska and Olof Strand start with a little warm up for the body. – Don’t be shy. Just follow the steps and there is no right or wrong, Marta says loudly to drown the Music.

Lindy Hop is a dance created in 20’s and 30’s in America. It is danced in couples and the idea behind it was – back then – to invent something different and new, and maybe as a little rebellion against the predominant dance style “American Smooth” which includes Foxtrot, Tango and Waltz. The couples shake their hips, jump and do other movements – even improvisations. It is a mixture of Jazz, Stepp and Charleston. Since the 1980´s, Lindy Hop became very popular again in Europe and did not stop to even infect Sweden and Örebro. – We will show you now the basic step, it is very easy and most of the other figures are based on that one, Olof explains and at the same moment he grabs Marta’s hand and starts to dance. Both of them are dancing already for several years and managed to create their own association, called Shake that thing, where they give several Lindy Hop classes each semester.

Twenty couples start to imitate the basic step. For some people it is the first time to try Lindy Hop, others are already more experienced. Fredrik Söderqvist started this semester already with the advanced class. – I really enjoy dancing Lindy Hop. It is a great opportunity to get to know new people and to do something besides studying, he says while starting to move with the rhythm of the music.

After twenty minutes, the room is heated noticeably. Windows are opened and the music of the 30´s floats out into the dark city of Örebro. The group masters now the basic step, some turnaround´s and a figure called promenade. – Do you want to learn the “Frog-Jump” or something less difficult, Marta asks and the group responds enthusiastic that they want to learn the “Frog-Jump”. And suddenly, 20 couples are jumping into the air and bending their legs like a frog. The first tries are timid, but after some time the jumps are getting braver. One can hear surprised screams and laughter. The mood is intense and people want to see and learn more and more.

A little bit more advanced, but also very famous these days, Marta and Olof show even how to dance Lindy Hop with Electro-Swing. After 60 minutes of dancing, jumping and laughing the try-out is over, but many people stay for the after-dancing-mingle with Marta and Olof demonstrating how it can look like to dance Lindy Hop after a few years of practice. Several days later, Marta and Olof announce proudly that all their Lindy Hop classes are full for this semester – but next semester, new chance to shake that thing.

/ Luise Röpke and Amanda Ankarhem Writer and photographer

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