When to Level Up?
If you just finished all of the minimum requirements of a level within our Lindy Hop Classes and you are wondering if you should move up to the next level of classes then this resource is for you! While this guide is a useful tool we always recommend talking to a Boston Lindy Hop instructor before/after classes as well so you can get an informed second opinion of which level of classes will help you progress the most.
Moving from Level 1 to Level 2
Level 1 is our introductory class series to Lindy Hop and has six or more hours of class. It is recommended and common among students to take this class multiple times because it contains foundational concepts and material that the rest of our classes build upon.
Lindy 2 Minimum Requirements
- You have taken all six hours of class of a Level 1 series and are comfortable and confident with the material and concepts in the class.
Concepts in Lindy 1
- History of Lindy Hop - Lindy Hop comes from the Black community in Harlem, New York and developed to jazz music during the Harlem Rennisance in the 1920s/30s
- How to respectfully ask people to dance
- Comfortably dancing with your partner and prioritizing that over "being right"
- Closed Position and Open Position
- Rock steps and Triple Steps
Material in Lindy 1
Below is the list of the required material in Lindy 1. Teachers are provided with additional optional material that may be covered during Lindy 1 as well.
If you cannot consistently do the material listed below on time with the music and good rhythm it is highly recommended to retake Lindy 1 or work with a BLH instructor in a private lesson.
8 Count Material
- Jockeying (step-hold, step-hold)
- Basic in closed
- Circle from closed
- Circle from open
- Swingout from closed
- Swingout from open
6 Count Material
- Basic in closed
- Send out
- Side pass/Pass by/Underarm turn
- Tuck turn from closed
- Circle from closed
- Circle from open
- Boogie Stomp
Moving from Level 2 to Level 3
Level 2 consists of three seperate series; Lindy 2: Rhythm, Timing, and Music, Lindy 2: Connection, and Lindy 2: Momentum which can be taken in any order.
We strongly recommend consulting a Boston Lindy Hop instructor if Lindy 3 is a good fit for you before registering. Due to Level 3 is currently the highest level of classes Boston Lindy Hop offers the instructors are asked to teach to the top portion of students in class and not review any Lindy 2 material.
If you cannot consistently demonstrate the concepts and material listed below comfortably, on time, and with good rhythm it is highly recommended to retake the Lindy 2 class containing the concepts or material you struggle with or work with a BLH instructor in a private lesson.
If you have not been out social dancing a few times it is also highly recommended to do that before registering for a Lindy 3 class. While class is an excellent tool, it is not a substitute for the experience gained from social dancing.
- You have taken all six hours of class of each Level 2 series and are comfortable and confident with the material and concepts in all three series.
- You have taken all six hours of class of a Fundamentals series or a Lindy 2 you have taken previously.
Lindy 2: Rhythm, Timing, and Music - Concepts
This Lindy 2 series focuses on rhythm (a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound), timing (the choice, judgment, or control of when something should be done in relation to music), and having ones' dancing reflect the music.
- Consistently dancing on time to the music
- Swinging/syncopating triple steps with clear weight shifts and rhythm
- Having ones' dancing be a reflection of the song being played
Lindy 2: Rhythm, Timing, and Music - Material
- Minnie dip a.k.a the Minneapolis Dip
- Kick ball change
- Swivels (for follows)
Lindy 2: Connection - Concepts
This Lindy 2 series focuses on the ability to communicate non-verbally with your partner a.k.a. connection.
- Ability to feel the difference between 6 and 8 count movements
- Honest/responsive following
- Ability to communicate the difference between 6 and 8 count movements
- Clear and comfortable leading
- Becoming a comfortable dance partner
- Taking your partner with you when you are doing something
- Communicating when you are changing something about your connection
Lindy 2: Connection - Material
- Jig walks
- Sugar push
- Pop turns
- Double tuck turn
Lindy 2: Momentum - Concepts
This Lindy 2 series focuses on the creation and transfer of momentum within a patnership and refining movements to be more efficient to allow that to happen.
- Moving to the end of your lines
- Following in a way that is comfortable for you - where it is ok and advisable to exert control
- Understanding turning while maintaining linear momentum down a line
- Understand redirection
- Understand creation of more or less momentum
- Understanding the flow of the dance (i.e. in terms of the flow between linear and rotational momentum)
- Knowing what linear and rotational momentum are
- Creating and communicating clear momentum
- Using tension/tone appropriately
Lindy 2: Momentum - Material
- Swingout with an inside turn
- Swingout with an outside turn
- Texas Tommy
- Glide to the Side
Moving beyond Level 3
Our Level 3 series is a continuous set of classes. Class topics are always changing to better fit the needs and interests of the community. Common Lindy 3 topics include Continuing Charleston, Fast Dancing, and Competitions/Jams. However, if you are looking for addtitional oppertunities to take your dancing further, we encourage you to check out the options below.
- Special Topics Classes: We occasionally have Special Topics classes which occasionally have requirements of taking multiple Level 3 class series. These often feature challenging material and concepts that are not in our curruiclum.
- Starlight Pass: Starlight is a BLH program for our advanced students who are interested in having a roadmap for improvement at the Lindy 3 level and beyond. Finishing the program earns you a consultation with a BLH instructor and a BLH track jacket. Learn more at this link.
- Private Lessons: Private lessons can give you new ideas and goals to practice and work toward in your dancing journey. Many students beneffit from this kind of individualized attention. Email us at email@example.com to request a private lesson. You can request a specific instructor or we can find one that best suits your needs.
- Local Workshops: Boston is lucky enough to have several workshops with international, professional dance instructors such as Kind of a Big Deal, Boston Tea Party, and Beantown Camp. These are great opportunities to work on concepts and material that may not be offered locally.
- Out-of-Town Workshops: If you have the travel bug and want to further your swing dance education, there are Lindy Hop workshops held all over the world. Feel free to ask a BLH instructor or an experienced dancer about out-of-town events if you are curious or take a look at this resource.
- Lessons in other Dances: Other dance traditions, solo and partnered, expose you to new ways of learning, challenge your body to move more precisely and efficiently, and expand your conception of what is possible. Remember, every dance tradition has its own culture, practices, language, and values. Make sure you show respect to your teachers and fellow students in any dance class you attend!
I have previous swing dance experience
If you have taken classes from a different organization in Boston or other parts of the world we encourage you to ask a Boston Lindy Hop instructor which class would be a good fit. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate this. Different organizations emphasize different material and concepts and our levels beyond the first have an assumed previous levels of comfort and confidence with our own set.
Experience has shown that having an in person conversation with you coupled with some dancing is the best way to accurately help select the class that will be the best learning environment for you.