Jazz Roots

What is Lindy Hop?

Lindy Hop is a Black American dance that originated in Harlem, NYC in the late 1920s and is still enjoyed today, worldwide.

Lindy Hop was danced mainly in large ballrooms, such as the Savoy Ballroom in New York City, and evolved alongside the popular music of the day by primarily African American artists. The dance developed from a combination of earlier dances such as the Cakewalk, Texas Tommy, Tap dances, Black Bottom, Charleston, and Breakaway, among others. 


With deep roots in West African dance, music, and culture, these dances share common African American social dance values, such as individuality, improvisation, creativity, and rhythm. For example, the Charleston step was deeply impacted by the influence the Gullah/Geechie had on jazz. 


Lindy Hop first appeared during a period known as the Harlem Renaissance, which is considered the Golden Age of African American culture in music, stage performance, literature, and art. It was able to thrive in ballrooms like the Savoy or competitions and performances like the Harvest Moon Ball. By the 1930s it had made its way to the screen leaving us with notable performances in films like Hellzapoppin and A Day at the Races by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.

Crowd Outside the Savoy in Harlem

Following the Second World War, nightclub tax laws, among other things, cut into the big business of big bands in big ballrooms. This was by no means the end of lindy hop, but it ushered in an era of bebop jazz clubs.   

Lindy hop is one of many jazz-era dances, including Balboa, Shag, and Rhythm & Blues. While its popularity may have declined as many white communities moved on to Bebop or “Rock and Roll” styles of dancing after the war, it was danced continuously up through to today in Black American Communities, alongside the countless other dances it inspired such as DC Hand Dance, Fast dance, Carolina Shag, West Coast Swing, and others.

Today, lindy hop is danced worldwide. It continues to focus on connection, musicality, and rhythmical variations between the dancers while inspiring creativity, improvisation, and joy through conversation between the dancers and the music.

Hofstad Hop

Hofstad Hop was founded in 2018 by a group of lindy hop-loving dancers in The Hague who agreed that we needed more opportunities to dance to live Jazz music. Since then we have hosted countless monthly “beer dances,” a festival, and a workshop weekend. We have focused on creating a welcoming and inclusive community that inspires people to connect with good Jazz music, express themselves, and become better dancers together. 

Over the years we have grown with our recognizable welcoming committee, changing monthly workshops, DJs, and bands, and our festival organization team. Alongside our growing team, we continue to explore our love for this dance and be grateful to be a part of this community. 

Jazz music and the numerous dances it inspired are the product of African American culture. As we move forward, we are inspired by African-American music and dance culture in everything we do. As guests in another culture, the Hofstad Hop team approaches this rich cultural heritage with recognition and respect, and we ask our event attendees to do the same.

Hofstad Hop Dance