The Lindy Hop is considered a cultural phenomenon that broke through the racial barrier while segregation was still the norm. Although much of the history of Lindy is unclear, it is certain that it was born from the blending of European structured dance with African rhythms and movements.
Said to be derived from an early version of the Foxtrot, Lindy still demonstrates influences of the Charleston and Tap, as well as older dances such as the Cakewalk, Texas Tommy, Black Bottom and popular "animal" dances such as the Turkey Trot and the Buzzard Lope. Many of these dances were created when African American slaves imitated and mocked the formal dance structure of the white Americans for their entertainment routines. Ironically, the white spectators would then copy the entertainers, and a dance emerged that bridged the social divide.
It was during the 1920s Jazz era, when Dance Marathons were popular, that Lindy apparently got its name. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh achieved the first solo non-stop flight from New York to Paris, and people were absorbed with his "Hop" across the Atlantic. At the end of a long dance marathon, a great dancer called George "Shorty" Snowden was asked what this crazy dance was called. His quick-witted answer was the "Lindy Hop", and the name stuck.
The dance contains both 6-count and 8-count steps. It can be wild and spontaneous, with frenzied kicks and body movements, or it can be cool and sophisticated.