History of the Lindy Exchange

A cold dark December day found a dozen or so dancers about to take off for a weekend that would live in history, and change how current day swing dancers of all stripes would spend weekends of their lives from that point on.

December 4th was the very first time 2 cities of dancers came together solely for the purpose of exchanging dance styles, ideas, moves, music, joy and friendship. Chicago took to the skies and was greeted with open arms by San Fransisco just a few hours later. Almost 4 months to the day after that, San Fransisco hopped on a plane, and came to see what spring was like in Chicago, and remind us of the lifetime friends we had made. And so “the Exchange” was born.

The rest is history.

"Two dancing worlds merged this past weekend after having exchanged glances before to dance and to form something far greater than the sum of its parts; San Francisco and Chicago "danced" their first dance to the music of a 72 hour-long tune called "friendship". The dance was one of the most beautiful and most satisfying dance two cities have ever danced together. Throughout the dance the connection between these two dancing worlds was awe-inspiring, they experienced "one-ness" and it was felt in each fiber of their two bodies and though they both knew it was going to be a long tune in the end both felt that it had past all too quickly. Now after our first dance, physically demanding as it was, we feel energized and longing for the next dance knowing how amazing and incredible the first one was."

Twas "The Weekend"...

By Julie H.

Twas the 4th of December, and all through the plane
Windy hoppers were stirring - the excitement insane
The Bleyers were packed in travel bags with care,
in hopes that a swing-out soon would be near

It was hard to stay nestled all snug in a seat
with visions of new follows and leads that we'd meet
With punk gear intact and attitudes on hand
the countdown expired - we were off to San Fran...

When at thousands of feet there arose such a clatter
we sprang from our seats to see what was the matter
The pilot had turned off the buckle-up light
so the Mile High Lindy Club was established that night

Away to the isles we scrambled about
we gave a twist twist, and then a swing-out
Between seats, by the restrooms...we didn't care
we just needed a fix, we'd swing-out anywhere

Then over the intercom, the pilot of the flight,
"please buckle up dancers...landing is in sight"
We gazed out the windows, our breath taken away
at the glow of the lights from the city by the bay

The touch down signaled it, "Yes, we're here!"
we gathered our belongings and let out a cheer
As the door swung open, they exited us all
we rounded the corner and headed down the hall

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear
but Peter dressed up in hip hop gear?!?
And Marc right there waiting, familiar face with a smile
He gathered us up, to indulge us in style

With a welcome sign in hand and waiting in coats
we knew in a moment, they must be our hosts
With open arms, from all over they came
Marc thanked them all and introduced us by name

"Now Mary! Now Kevin! Now Helena! and Jodi!"
"Now Young Jin! Now Karen! Now Kristin! and Corey!"
"Now Colette! Now Ray! Now Riley you see!"
“Now Gimi! Now Margot! Now Scott! and Julie!"
"On Lindy hoppers... on we go..."

To Ashkenaz! To the Dog House! to Spencer's!
To Mike Lin's and Lori's! To Lindy @ the park!
To Jive@5! To the Top of the Mark! And don't forget the Hi Ball.......
now DANCE Lindy Hoppers-DANCE AWAY ALL!!!!!

Monday snuck up on us, say it isn't so
We're departing today from our beloved 'Cisco
It's six in the morning and we're saying good-bye
after an incredible night of dancing, no one can deny

With memories of the weekend still fresh on our mind
the video we watched while trying to unwind
From "the weekend" we all were loooooving and thought was the best
an inner dilemma, to lindy or rest

A few dozed off as we took to the air
dreaming of jams and new moves shared
Others too tired, stared off in a daze
overwhelmed by what happened, that wild swing craze

With visions of birthday dances floating about
and James' swing nasty to still figure out
Could it really be monday, it went by so fast
a weekend with friends and the dance from the past

The dance that we love, the hop that can melt
two cities together with love that is felt
Twas that first weekend of December, we'll never forget
a huge thankyou goes out to the new friends we met

You opened your home and you opened your heart
that's half of what made it so hard to depart
(and the fact that Ken and Erik wouldn't let us go)
So SF Lindy hoppers, we want to thankyou again
for what will go down in history as just..."THE WEEKEND"!

For more information, check out what Wikipedia has to say about Lindy Hop Exchanges.

Please also visit us at Galaxie Chicago for information and details about the Chicago Green Light Exchange weekend, dance instruction, and social dancing in Chicago.