Lindy Hop Curriculum

Please also see my Practice Videos page.

I retired from running the Bees’ Knees Dance studio in Toronto. However, during my many years of teaching, running a dance studio, and teaching 12+ Lindy Hop classes a week, this is the dance curriculum that I honed and developed.


*There are 2 months of alternating material. It does NOT matter which month you take first. Start at the beginning of any month. Move on to level 1.5 after you’ve absorbed and feel comfortable with the material from the 2 months of Beginner curriculum.

8 COUNT MONTH – Beginner 8 Count Lindy Hop

  • 8 Count Send Out (Week 1 only, replaced by “Duck” by end of the class)
  • 8 Count into Closed/Basket Catch (temporary move used only until replaced by full circle aka. “Sumo” by end of the month)
  • Twist Around (for two 8 counts)
  • Double Break
  • Break & Hold with Pecking
  • “Duck” – Swingout from Closed with Leader’s Duck
  • Promenade
  • PromeNOT
  • Flip Flop
  • Rhythm Break Forward
  • Hopping Break Back
  • Swing & Roll (into closed with inside Turn)
  • “Sumo” – Closed Circle
  • “Full Sumo” – Full Lindy Circle
  • Swingout
  • Swingout from Closed (aka. Duckless Duck)
  • Extras: Frog Jump, Texas Tommy from closed, Promenade with an Inside Turn, Cross Overs, Low Downs, Point & Curls (save the Windmill for 1.5)

CHARLESTON MONTH – Beginner Charleston

  • Basic Charleston
  • 1920s Charleston
  • Entrance
  • Exit
  • “W” Touch Together
  • Follower’s Turn
  • Leader’s Turn
  • Repeater on a single leg/Hesitation steps
  • Traveling Forward & Back
  • Kick Through Charleston
  • Regular Exit
  • Kick Around Exit
  • Hand To Hand Charleston
  • Basic Tandem Charleston
  • Hopping Tuck Turn for Entrance
  • Simplified Hopping Butterfly for Exit
  • Skip Up
  • Extras: Tandem Windshield, Tandem turn the follower, Tandem both turn, side by side variations like the slide


*There are 3 months of rotating material.

Each month at the 1.5 level begins with a Jazz Warm Up (5 minutes) & practicing Frankie Phrases with straight Swingouts (10 minutes).

  • The Frankie Phrase is the name for a Swingout from Closed, Swingout, Swingout, Circle combination.
  • The Jazz Warm Up covers authentic jazz moves including Boogie Forward, Boogie Back, Boogie Drops, Fish Tails, Fall Off The Log, Suzy Q, Shorty George, Apple Jacks, Truckin’.

8 COUNT MONTH – 8 Counts , Footwork Variations & Charleston Integration

  • Frankie Phrase
  • Swingouts with:
    • Inside Turns
    • Outside Turns
    • Texas Tommy
    • Swingout with a Shuffle
    • Heels
    • Sweep & Shake
    • Al Minns kick in & twist away
    • Scissor Steps
  • Windmill w/ Point & Curls
  • Integration with Charleston
  • Bonus: Hand to Hand Charleston
  • Texas Tommy handshake into Hand to Hand Charleston
    • With a rock step in
    • With a jump in and no rock step
    • Hand to Hand Charleston with Kick Around

6 COUNT MONTH – 6 Counts, Jigs & 8 Counts – Structuring of the Music

  • 4 6-Counts with a break or an 8 count aka. “Norma Phrase”:
    • Under the Arch, 2 Change of Places, Inside Turn to Closed, 8 count break
  • Under Arch (w/ hand fix)
  • Change of Places
  • Free Pass
    • Leaders Duck
    • Armpit Pass
    • Inside Turn into closed (backing up)
    • Into Closed
    • American Spin & “Canadian” Spin
  • Frankie 6 Count Sequence (hand change, bring followers around to side by side position, travel, tuck turn exit)
  • Jigs
    • Traveling jigs forward & back,
    • Face to Face Jigs; heels & double rock
  • Bonus: Determining between 8 & 6:
    • Double Tuck Turn (8) vs. Under the Arch (6)
    • Swingouts (8) vs. Aborted Swingouts (6)
    • Change of Places (6) vs. Inside Turn into a Swingout (8)
    • NB: Sugar pushes are not taught until level 2.

CHARLESTON MONTH – Tandem Charleston Transitions

  • Chase entrance into Tandem
  • Butterfly Exit
  • 6 Count Change of Places on exit
  • Windshield
  • Follower Turn
  • Both Turn
  • Fake Exit
  • Whirly Bird
  • Switching in front & behind
  • Tandem Chase (also with Butterfly Exit)
  • Getting back on 1:
  • 6 Count before Chase entrance (1 basic Jig) and another 6 count after the Butterfly Exit (6 Count Inside Turn Into Closed)
  • Alternating between Lindy Hop and Charleston
  • Extras: Chase continuing in a single direction, Hand to Hand into Tandem


Elaborates and builds on all previous material. These months are a bit less structured, based more on themes than specific lists of curriculum, though there are benchmarks that are covered under each theme.

*There are 6 months of rotating themes.

5 to 15 minutes of Jazz each week including short jazz routines


Fundamentals are the best! Take it to the next level.

  • California Routine (1st part, no air step)
  • Polishing 8 Count & 6 Count basics
  • Polishing Charleston material


Listening to the music to enhance your dancing.

  • Listening
  • Structuring your dance
  • Playing
  • Picking out instruments
  • Footwork variations
  • etc.


  • 10 count moves
  • 4 count moves
  • Adding/subtracting extra steps
  • Non-moves – continuing a direction
  • Following the followers rotation
  • Using the followers frame to redirect and create new shapes
  • Pop Turns


Listening to the music to enhance your dancing.

  • Fast technique
  • Drilling very fast Frankie & Norma phrases
  • Charleston sequences including the Hacksaw
  • Sailor Step
  • Charleston Swingouts
  • Hand to Hand Chase (aka. airplane kicks)
  • Rag Doll
  • etc.

Dean Collins, Smooth Style & Leverage

  • Sugar Pushes
  • Rotating Swingouts
  • Leverage
  • Rocking forward vs. back
  • Responding to a change between “Savoy” and “Dean” techniques

Jazzin’ Up Your Lindy Hop

  • Adding Jazz steps
  • Led vs. not led
  • Classic patterns including Frankie figures
  • Jazz related ideas for creating your own variations.


Int/Adv Social Lindy Hop (2.5)

Our Intermediate/Advanced 2.5 level goes into the themes covered in level 2 but in much more detail and with more personal attention to help each dancer to prepare for Advanced level 3 class.


Lindy Hop Training Group (3)

Our Advanced classes extend beyond the reaches of our set curriculum list.

Basic Lindy Hop Steps – Quick Reference

  • Swingout from closed
  • Lindy Circle
  • Under the arch
  • Tuck turn
  • Swingout
  • Change of places (6 count)
  • Open pass
  • Basic Charleston
  • Skip up
  • Hand to hand
  • Jig Patterns
  • American spin
  • Texas Tommy
  • Outside turn
  • Tandem Charleston

Please also see my Practice Videos page.