learn at your own pace
Whether you've been to one of our routines or solo classes and want to brush up, or you've seen a classic routine at a social dance- this page has class notes so you can recap at your own pace and be the first to the floor next time! If you'd prefer to join in the next routines class, keep an eye on our events page here
Shim Sham Class Notes
About the shim Sham
The Shim Sham is one of the classic swing-era Jazz routines, choreographed by Original Lindy Hop dancers. There are a few versions of the Shim Sham that will be added to this page in future.
On this page, you'll find a link to T'aint What You Do, the song often used in Mersey Swing, as well as two helpful videos that break down the routine so you can refresh your memory. Other songs it's commonly danced to are: Tuxedo Junction, 1989 Remastered: Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra and The Shim Sham Song, Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra.
#1: The Steps
Here are two breakdowns of the classic Shim Sham routine. The video on the left features Frankie Manning teaching, one of the original Lindy Hoppers, and a well regarded ambassador of Lindy Hop. The video on the right is a tutorial from our own Cat Foley!
Once you've got the moves down to a pat, it's time to make them your own. Here are four examples of the Shim Sham, one featuring some of our Mersey Swing lindy hoppers and other featuring dancers from around the world. You'll see lots of different styles, what could you do?
Tranky Doo Class Notes
About the Tranky Doo
The Tranky Doo is one of the classic swing-era Jazz routines, choreographed by Original Lindy Hop dancers. Its origins aren't as well documented as other classic routines such as the Shim Sham or Big Apple. You can find out what we 'doo' know about the Tranky Doo over on the Swungover blog here.
On this page, you'll find a link to the Dipsy Doodle, the song we teach the Tranky Doo to, as well as two helpful videos that break down the routine so you can refresh your memory.
We've also included footage of original swing dancers dancing the Tranky Doo from 'The Spirit Moves' as well as examples of contemporary swing dancers performing the routine.
#1: The Steps
Here are two breakdowns of the Tranky Doo routine, the first is a straight breakdown to the Dipsy Doodle. The second, from dancer Laura Glaess, gives a more detailed breakdown, alongside the history and variations of the routine. Both are worth a watch and we hope you'll find them helpful.
Once you've got the moves down to a pat, it's time to make them your own. Here are four examples of the Tranky Doo, the first video is from Spirit Moves and features original dancers, the others are from swing scenes around the world.
Big Apple Class Notes
About the Big Apple
The Big Apple is an energetic routine choreographed by Frankie Manning. It appeared in the film Keep Punchin' in 1939. There's a longer history of The Big Apple which Laura Glaess gets into in her video below. The short story is that a 'Big Apple' was a dance where a caller would shout out moves and everyone would dance that move- similar to a barn dance or Ceilidh.
Unlike routines such as the Shim Sham and Tranky Doo which repeat half-way through the song, the first part of the Big Apple is danced in a circle, and the second in lines so it can feel like a lot to learn- and it often results in joyous chaos when the song comes in during a social.
#1: The Steps
The Big Apple is a great routine and it's well worth the time to learn it, why not make it even more fun- do it with a mate, or 12! The video on the left is the complete routine with counts, and Laura Glaess's run-down is a two-parter so be sure to click through to YouTube to catch the second part!
Once you've got the moves down to a pat, it's time to make them your own. Here are four examples of The Big Apple. The first one is from the documentary 'The Spirit Moves' and the second is from the film 'Keep Punchin' both feature original dancers of Lindy Hop.