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Following my post of t’other day several people have been saying that I really must learn the lindy hop for my 1930s novel. And, in fact, if I don’t they won’t read my book.
I have several extremely sensible objections to learning the lindy hop. They are as follows:
Objection no. 1: My book is set in the early 1930s and the lindy hop was around later.
Tragically, this turns out not to be true. Multiple sources online say it began in the late 1920s in Harlem. *sigh*
Objection no. 2: I cannot learn how to dance.
This is absolutely true. I have physical dyslexia. I cannot folllow instructions. The instructor’s arm goes one way mine goes the other. It is not pretty. Or fun.
Objection no. 3: It looks dangerous.
I’m not sure if I have ever told you, my dear readers, about my sports curse. It has been the bane of my life. Every time I take up a new sport I damage something. I’ve broken a toe, many bones in my right wrist, the transverse process of vertebraes L1, L2 & L3 (bones in my back), torn cartilage, as well as mutiple sprained ankles. All of which has resulted in my having to have surgery three times.
And I haven’t even played that much sport!
I’ve not broken a bone since 1994. Or sprained an ankle since 2004. I fear that the lindy hop would take me back to the bad old days.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about. Here is the lindy hop. (The dangerous stuff is around the midway point.):
Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers performing the Big Apple (1939)
So do you still want me to learn the lindy hop? Even in the face of my extremely sensible objections? If so why? Is it because you hate me?
Update: If I do this thing proof will be as suggested by Yza: the say so of three reliable YA author witnesses.
Update the second: John Green has agreed to reliable witnesses. More on the challenge here.
Update the third: And learn it I did. You will find the proof here.
Posted by Justine at 0:19, 4 May 2009 under 1930s NYC novel, Research | 232 Comments »
John Green Says:
Well, for one thing, John and Sarah Green will give a thousand dollars to the charity of your choice (provided you choose a sensible charity) if you provide video evidence of having learned the Lindyhop.
May 4th, 2009 at 12:31 AM
At last, my evil plan finally bears its ultimate fruit.
May 4th, 2009 at 12:36 AM
David S. Says:
Do it. But finish the book first.
May 4th, 2009 at 12:39 AM
YES we still want you to learn it!!
And no it’s not cause we hate you, its cause we LOVE you and know that you will someday thank us… a far away day.. But still!
Since you already rebutted objection no. 1, I will help you with the others:
Objection No. 2 Solution: If you have physical dyslexia, and your arm goes the other way its supposed to, then dance while watching the instructor through a mirror, that way when you see the arm go one way, and you go the other, you‘ll actually be doing it right!!
Objection No. 3 Solution: It only LOOKS dangerous. You shouldn’t judge by the looks.
Also, John Green just gave you ANOTHER reason to do it!
Finally, if nothing works conjure your inner Jay-Tee!
May 4th, 2009 at 1:33 AM
I guess it won’t be so dangerous if you do it on your own… just weird … perhaps your video evidence could have multiple justines lindy-hopping … oh, no. that’s weird too.
I think in all honesty that your book will be better if you learn to lindyhop. Like papa said, the reader can tell if you’re fakin’
May 4th, 2009 at 6:34 AM
Lauren McLaughlin Says:
Take a basic swing class, and stick to a slow triple-step. It’s nowhere near as lethal as the high speed single step in that clip. And you can skip the aerials, though, for the record, they’re easier than they look. I was dancing with this guy once and he just picked me up and threw me over his shoulder. After that, it was all about aerials for me. I learned at Sandra Cameron Dance Center. So can you. If you want to go, I’ll definitely take a class with you.
Those dudes in the video are experts; you wouldn’t be. A little exposure as in a lesson or two would be fun. I’m a total klutz, I was always the last one picked in PE, heck, I couldn’t even walk well until I was 17, but I took folk and ballroom dancing in college (required PE credits) and found that there’s a reason people dance–it’s not only good exercise and romantic to look your partner in the eye, but it’s truly fun.
May 4th, 2009 at 8:20 AM
You should learn to lindy because if you agree to, we shall thereafter demand that you film yourself dancing it and post it here, too, which is a major bonus.
May 4th, 2009 at 8:49 AM
Well, now that Maureen has to go to trapeze school, I think you should be signing up for the Lindy Hop. You know you want to!
May 4th, 2009 at 8:50 AM
If you already broke back bones(?!) because of your sports curse, then I don’t think you should do it. That’s a crazy sports curse, man.
May 4th, 2009 at 9:01 AM
Justine, the Hellzapoppin number was performed by kids (the median age was 17) for a PERFORMANCE. I am a plump middle-aged lady with a bad knee who was so bad at sports that I didn’t even go outside at recess. At yet, I lindy hop at least one night a week, three if I can manage my time well.
Here is a little video of my favorite instructor and my favorite dance space. You may notice–midtempo music and no air steps! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODgOfjtiDos&feature=related
Lindy hop,to vintage music, with other dancers digging the scene, will give you a great perspective on the early to middle 1930s, I am SURE!
Plus, you’re in the town where it started! How cool would it be to learn in NYC?!
May 4th, 2009 at 12:25 PM
[random passerby reader] This totally fascinating article will let you argue that you feel learning the lindy hop would be an inappropriate act of cultural appropriation. (not that I’m saying it is, just that it might be a useful line to take). Really, it’s just a great article I couldn’t resist linking, though it may be things you already know.
Although, in general, I think all people should take dance classes.
May 4th, 2009 at 1:52 PM
Maureen Johnson Says:
YOU MUST! Can I go WITH you? YAY!!!!!
May 4th, 2009 at 4:34 PM
14. Justine Says:
John Green: That’s very droll. But, no, I won’t do it. It’s not the lindy hopping that is a categorical no, it’s being filmed. I don’t do that. So unless you’ll accept some other proof you get to save your money.
Katie & ProneToLaughter: You are my new best friends. Thank you!
May 4th, 2009 at 5:10 PM
As someone who cannot walk down the street without tripping over a crack in the sidewalk or a leaf or a blade of grass, I say the lindy hop is too dangerous to be attempted. About five seconds in I thought “this is the part where I would fall and break my neck” Because I would totally fall and break my neck. And I can’t see why I should make someone else do something I refuse to do, so don’t learn the lindy hop! Keep your life and limbs!
May 4th, 2009 at 5:11 PM
Justine, this has nothing to do with what you posted, but I just noticed your twitter feed and as I don’t have twitter I thought this was the best place to ask if you thought of “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady, or, as my dad calls it, “The Creepy Stalker Song”.
May 4th, 2009 at 9:35 PM
17. Justine Says:
Catherine: Thank you for being on my side!
Rachel: It is a very creepy stalker song. You’ll be pleased to hear that I am working on a creepy stalker song post.
May 4th, 2009 at 9:44 PM
Um. The scary stuff is part of the jitterbug contest, not the Lindy Hop. Which was, as someone pointed out up-stream, an exhibition by experts (and were they ever!). So, really, you haven’t a leg to, er, stand on.
On the other hand, why court disaster?
May 4th, 2009 at 11:21 PM
Judith Ridge Says:
Late to the party as always, but a.) I would love to lindy hop just once before I died (except I don’t really think it works like that…) and b.) when I was at the Smithsonian in 2001 they had an exhibition on the African roots of American dance, which had a wonderful image of lindy hoppers as the main promotional image. I think I still have the brochure, but I guess you could just contact the Smithsonian. Which you probably don’t need to do, because I am sure your research is well beyond ancient exhibitions. Anyway, no witticisms from me, but thanks for all the fabulous 30s links (my favourite period re style, fashion etc) and can’t wait to read the book.
May 5th, 2009 at 6:25 AM
It looks fun!
I honestly have no other reason for why you should learn this. If anything, you can say to Maureen Johnson, “Oh yea? You’re learning to trapeze? Well check out my moves! I learned how to Lindy! How’s that for dedication to my writing?”
May 5th, 2009 at 8:16 AM
Regina Doublemint Says:
Scary stalker song: “Don’t… don’t you want me? You know I can’t believe it when you say that you won’t see me… blah blah blah words words… and then you changed your mind. You better change it back or we will BOTH. BE. SORRY.”
p.s. no one will hurt you (or flip you) at an intro dance class. the first several months are spent basically learning to shuffle back and forth.
May 5th, 2009 at 9:28 AM
Would you do it just for those adorable shoes?? There’s a couple doing a nice slow version near the end!
(I’ll read you anyway.)
May 5th, 2009 at 11:29 AM
So I think you should do it too! Because as was pointed out above, the scary stuff was all jitterbuggy, not lindy hoppy! I do not have a sports curse, I have a klutz curse yet I too, can Lindy Hop!
I will sweeten the pot of a sort… I have not got pots and pots of $$$ but I will throw in $25 dollars to the sensible charity of your choice if you learn. I do not demand video proof (being the camera shy wench I am, I would not make such a silly demand.) But if you learn it and it is verified by three fellow YA authors (like, maybe Maureen Johnson, Scott, Libba Bray, any of the usual suspects really…) I too will donate.
So who is with us? Who will donate $$$ to Justine’s sensible charity of choice if she Lindy Hops in front of witnesses?
May 5th, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Ginny Mae Says:
I have not read all the previous comments so this may already have been suggested but, you could attend lessons for the lindy hop and not actually dance. That way you would know the theory in order to write but would receive no bodily harm.
May 5th, 2009 at 4:12 PM
Scott Harney Says:
Normal people can do lindy hop. Here’s an example.
May 5th, 2009 at 4:13 PM
26. Justine Says:
Yza: I could maybe come at that. Three YA authors to verify. And NO video footage.
Scott: Did you read the post? I am not a normal people. I is woman with a sports curse!
May 5th, 2009 at 9:54 PM
everyone should learn Lindy Hop
May 6th, 2009 at 12:40 AM
Yes, yes, learn to Lindy Hop! It is a skill you will use for the rest of your life. Obviously.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:21 PM
Lost Prophyt Says:
And now, with the Mel Brooks reference out of the way, my vote goes for “Go For It!”
May 6th, 2009 at 2:22 PM
Anyone can learn to dance! Do it, Justine! YOU MUST!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:25 PM
I think it would be totally awesome if you learned to lindyhop. But as someone who can not walk down a straight hallway without tripping, I will understand why if you don’t. (“Physical dyslexia” is the most awesome discription I’ve ever read, by the way.)
Jen Barnes Says:
I vote yes, because I’m mean.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:26 PM
Malcolm Tredinnick Says:
I did not know there would be voting. I am in favour (of the lindy-hopping, not the avoiding thereof). Having a happy dance, appropriate to the period you’re writing about, is important. You should do this.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:28 PM
I vote yes. It will be a good learning experience and at least it’s not trapeze school.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:35 PM
I want to see Justine lindy hop! Yay!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:39 PM
Jenny Moss Says:
Vote yes to LH
May 6th, 2009 at 2:40 PM
Yes! Learn to lindyhop!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:41 PM
Yeah, I would love to see some video footage of you lindy-hopping!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:42 PM
(wandering over from maureen’s twitter feed…)
you must you must! besides, the new york lindy hopper crew features lots of really nice people. i’ve not seen anyone die (or even come out injured) from a beginner lesson!
–another klutz-cursed lindy hopper. who fell a couple times when she switched to really slick shoes, but otherwise hasn’t had too many problems lindy hopping. no aerials except with solid health insurance, though!
I vote yes! Sounds like fun!
“At least it’s not trapeze school” – SERIOUSLY!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:43 PM
43. Justine Says:
Nichole: Can’t you read? There will be NO video footage.
Yes! And you must do it in one of those swell dresses!
You would need a partner too…just sayin’
May 6th, 2009 at 2:44 PM
As a lindy hopper, I vote yes! It is a wonderful, fun dance.
While it is very athletic, if you have a good instructor and find some nice friends in the dancing community, you will be very safe. For one thing, as a woman you will typically learn to FOLLOW – this means that your partner will be leading you in the dance and is, in some sense, responsible for your safety. They should only lead you in moves that you know and are comfortable with (again, this is assuming that you’ve gotten to know people a little – a random partner on the floor won’t know anything about what you can do unless they’ve been watching).
Also, the video you posted, while an awesome specimen of dancing, is not what you typically see on the floor. That’s what you see in competition and performance dancing. Look for videos of Frankie Manning (Frankie Manning recently died – he is a Lindy Legend and one of Whitey’s dancers) on YouTube at the age of 90+ and you will see what people are doing now (AND then – there is no way you can get away with arials on crowded floors, and that’s where they danced most of the time) ^_^ . It is much more gentle. For example:
What I said about following is really true for the Lindy Hop – if you can learn to let go of some of your control, because of the circular motions in this dance the leader really does control where you move and will keep you graceful and safe if you let them.
Just take things slowly and have faith in yourself. I firmly believe that everyone can learn to dance, even the rhythmically and coordination challenged people (I’ve seen people overcome some pretty amazing barriers in my time on the floor). You can do it!
You might also want to read Frankie Manning’s biography, if the dancing relates enough to your book to learn it. It has a lot of great information on the beginnings and evolution of the dance. It’s called “Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop” and is published by Temple University Press. It’s only about 250 pages and an interesting read besides.
Best of luck! Hopefully learning the Lindy will get you over your fear of “sports-related” activities
May 6th, 2009 at 2:45 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 2:46 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 2:48 PM
Steph Su Says:
100 votes here for lindy-hopping? Yes! I’d want to learn how to lindy-hop. And just think, you can then have something absolutely original for cocktail party conversations. How many people in the world actually lindy-hop? In fact, how many people in the world know what lindy-hopping is? (I didn’t before now.) So yes, if just for the fact that you can say proudly, “YES, I can lindy-hop and YOU CAN’T!” kind of like Maureen and her trapeze school deal.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:49 PM
VOTES YES AGAIN!
May 6th, 2009 at 2:50 PM
Oh yes, hop away…
51. Justine Says:
Maureen: This is NOT Chicago. There will be no double voting. Also I’m checking ISPs people.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:51 PM
I vote “yes!”
here via twitter, of course. <3
May 6th, 2009 at 2:53 PM
Dancing is not sports. Dancing is pretty and has music; sports is ugly and sweaty and causes injuries.
I vote yes on the lindy hop — but, as someone else mentioned, you MUST find a professional to be your partner. I had no lessons and was able to salsa like a champ when I was dancing with guys who knew what they were doing (all sorts of fancy twirls and turns and spinny-things). After a summer of salsaing with those guys, I danced with a sub-par partner and could not get one step right. The right partner makes a BIG difference! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Liz E. Says:
I vote YES! It’s really not that bad—just learn the basics and avoid doing any lifts.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:54 PM
I think you should definitely learn. Perhaps it will help you overcome your aversion to movement in general, but even if it does not, it will give you something to do with your feet other than pacing or tapping while you try to work out the lesser details of the next plot point. Besides, if you were good at it, it could be a selling point on a book tour – come see Justine lindy hop and buy the book while you’re at it! Then your career would open up to Dancing with the Authors (Season One), which you would win in a fury of foot-stomping madness, bringing further glory to your published and future works. Case closed. Lindy hop it is.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:58 PM
Pope Lizbet Says:
I vote for the Lindy Hop.
May 6th, 2009 at 2:59 PM
I am a man with a beard (forget whatever it says above this comment), and I think Justine should learn to Lindyhop! *nods with beard*
May 6th, 2009 at 3:04 PM
59. Justine Says:
Maureen: In addition to no longer being my friend, you are very close to being banned from this site. Go stand on the naughty mat! AT ONCE!
May 6th, 2009 at 3:05 PM
DO IT. DOITDOITDOIT.
And please record it in some way. Pictures at the very least. I mean, John stood on a table for you. Surely you can lindyhop on film? *winning smile*
May 6th, 2009 at 3:07 PM
Why are you yelling at that NICE BEARDED MAN?
62. Justine Says:
Marlena: I don’t do photos or video. If I do this you’ll have to settle for witnesses vouching for me.
May 6th, 2009 at 3:08 PM
Jo-Ann Burton Says:
You should learn how to lindyhop. Gwenda told me to tell you this and since I trust her completely with book stuff, I have to believe she has your best interest at heart.
May 6th, 2009 at 3:23 PM
I vote yes, sorry!!!
May 6th, 2009 at 3:26 PM
Please learn the lindy hop. It looks like lots o’ fun! And how many people can say they can do the lindy hop. Not many. It would be really cool if you did learn it cause my town’s nickname is Lindy!
May 6th, 2009 at 3:33 PM
Stephanie Perkins Says:
Yes, of course!
May 6th, 2009 at 3:49 PM
emmet, bennet, + rennet. Says:
yes, yes, + yes.
(we’re conjoined triplets who share a computer. we get three votes. it’s very legitimate.)
May 6th, 2009 at 3:52 PM
Sarah Cross Says:
I vote NO, because I hear you on the physical dyslexia. Some of us are just not meant to dance!
May 6th, 2009 at 3:55 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 3:58 PM
I vote yes. And I vote that Sarah Cross learn it with you (she can dance while reading Pride and Prejudice). And I’ll get JP to vote when he gets home. Do my co-workers get a vote too? They all vote yes (but are easily bribed and will switch votes for tuna or doggie treats — hard to find reliable help these days).
May 6th, 2009 at 4:11 PM
I have physical dyslexia too but I take modern dance anyway and it is the BEST THING EVER. I vote YES!!!!
I will personally make your bloomers. DANCE, WOMAN, DANCE!!!
*Is like Florida voting–counts more than once*
May 6th, 2009 at 4:31 PM
No. Goodness, if I expected writers to learn to do *everything* they wrote about, wouldn’t they be too busy to write?
May 6th, 2009 at 4:37 PM
74. Justine Says:
m.k.: You are a wonderful person.
May 6th, 2009 at 4:45 PM
Jonathan Strahan Says:
I vote no, cos a broken Justine is not a fun Justine. And, joking aside, cos I’d probably fall over and break my neck, my partner’s neck and the instructor’s too. Stay inside. Have a nice cuppa, read a good book and, if you have to, think about the Lindy. That’s sure to be enough.
May 6th, 2009 at 4:52 PM
I think the Lindyhop would be fun to learn! You shouldn’t say no to things you haven’t tried!
May 6th, 2009 at 4:54 PM
Andrew Kornfeld Says:
Yes yes yes yes yes. Yes.
May 6th, 2009 at 4:55 PM
Y. E. S.
Well, of course you should learn it. If not for the advancement of the story then for the amusement of people all over the inter-webs.
YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes. (Again! ^^)
May 6th, 2009 at 4:56 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 4:57 PM
YEAH! do eet.
I SAY YES.
May 6th, 2009 at 4:59 PM
Definitely definitely do it!!
For @maureenjohnson and @realjohngreen: YES. PLEASE.
My vote is YES!!!
Yes, because it will be amusing and John will give away 1,000 dollars to the charity of your choice if you do.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:00 PM
Yes. Yes. Yes.
YES!!! DO EEETTTTTT!!!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:01 PM
Well personally i think it looks like a heck of fun…Surely that is enough reason to learn it….plus how awesome would it be if ou were inexplicably at a 1930s themed party and the lindy hop came on, you would be the eny of every person there!
Richard B. Says:
A qualified yes. If it seems too dangerous, maybe you could wear padding and protective headgear?
May 6th, 2009 at 5:03 PM
YESH. Do it Justine
May 6th, 2009 at 5:04 PM
You must do it!
H. Brielle Says:
May 6th, 2009 at 5:05 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 5:06 PM
I believe you must do this.
16th President of the United States
I also vote yes. It looks like fun, and definitely something you could brag about. And the $1000 would help a charity, I’m sure
May 6th, 2009 at 5:08 PM
Hop to it, bay-bee! YOU CAN DO IT!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:09 PM
I vote YES! Learn it! It looks fun.
I vote yes too. I love Lindy, it’s so much fun!
i have to say i physically trip over people all the time … now that I’m married i trip into her (by the way i met my wife through Lindy Hop). if it helps, check out this website we put up recently and check out actual people who do Lindy Hop
May 6th, 2009 at 5:10 PM
YES! you should do it!
YES!! It will be fun
May 6th, 2009 at 5:11 PM
It would be wonderful if you learned! That would give a more realistic feeling to the novel, because you’ve actually experienced the dancing =D Instead of a potential disaster, think of it as something really fun & potentially thrilling instead of terrifying! =D
Yes, definitely go for it! Learning a dance can only come in handy…
May 6th, 2009 at 5:13 PM
i think it’s a wonderful idea!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:14 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 5:16 PM
YES! Totally learn it. Honestly, did you see what John and the Yeti are offering? Do it!!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:17 PM
Maureen says if we all vote yes we get Libba Bray to keep.
I vote Yes.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:22 PM
Yes, you should learn how to dance Lindyhop.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:23 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 5:24 PM
I would have said no. Just because I understand the pressures of being some one who can’t dance asked to do some increadibly compilicated dancing. However, with John Green’s promise of charitable donations, I just can’t say no. Thus my vote is YES!
You know she’ll say yes in the end…or else the assumption will be made that she doesn’t care about the less fortunate
(a little gilt trip? did it work? ;P)
May 6th, 2009 at 5:26 PM
By all means. Think of how you will wow the crowds at trendy New York Clubs! And saddle shoes! Think of saddle shoes, and how fashionable you will be!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:27 PM
Aww man, come on dancing is the ultimate. I mean it’s not like ballroom dancing or anything but that looks wicked cool. I say you should do it learn the Lindyhop!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:34 PM
127. Justine Says:
Maureen: You are not Abraham Lincoln!
I’m off to check IP addresses. Looks like there’s a suspicious amount of multiple voting going on.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:35 PM
YES. YES PLEASE.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:40 PM
Andrea Blythe Says:
Boo to your pithy objections. I say do it. It’s always good to learn something new.
Yes!!! It loooks fun.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:42 PM
I am neutral on whether you should learn how to lindy hop (in view of your sports curse, in general I am in favour of dancing, of course), but you must ABSOLUTELY get one of those skirts! they are quite devine.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:47 PM
Justine, having considered this matter thoroughly, I have decided that you should very definitely learn the lindyhop. This is because a) it looks completely awesome, b) you can get full body armour very cheaply these days, c) $1000 dollars being given to charity is a good thing and d) I have reliable evidence that Maureen Johnson will give me Libba Bray if I tell you to learn the lindyhop.
So please do it for me and I will send Libba to lindyhop with you?
May 6th, 2009 at 5:48 PM
It looks like a blast! When you go to dance class they’ll slow it down a lot at the beginning so you’ll have lots of time to learn. And there is big band music. Any excuse for big band music is awesome.
Are there dance schools that teach courses specifically on Lindy Hop though?
Best of luck!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:49 PM
Um, yes You should still learn the Lindyhop.
You see, I don’t have the same sense of compassion that the rest of humanity seems to posess.
Besides, John will give 1,000 dollars to charity if you do.
And It will be hugely entertaining on my part.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:51 PM
Dude, just do it.
May 6th, 2009 at 5:55 PM
You should do it. Sure, it looks stupid, and I’m willing to bet you’ll feel stupid, but it’ll be for charity!
May 6th, 2009 at 5:56 PM
Yes. Oui. Yah. Si.
May 6th, 2009 at 6:03 PM
DO IT. DOOO IT.
May 6th, 2009 at 6:04 PM
Of course you should learn to lindy hop! It just looks like a lot of bum wiggling, and I’m sure you can wiggle your bum… =)
May 6th, 2009 at 6:14 PM
Yes, you should, it doesn’t look THAT dangerous…I think
May 6th, 2009 at 6:15 PM
drag maureen and john along too if it makes you feel better!!!
oh, and if you need a place to learn, frim fram jam’s the big nyc social dance that even us southern lindy hoppers have heard of… i think they have beginner lessons beforehand. http://www.yehoodi.com/images/news_photos/1603.jpg
AND! looks like one of my favorite ny lindy hop teachers, evita arce, regularly teaches at dance manhattan – http://www.dancemanhattan.com she has super-duper infectious energy!
May 6th, 2009 at 6:17 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 6:18 PM
I vote yes it looks great, think of it as an adventure!
May 6th, 2009 at 6:22 PM
oh GOODNESS yes.
May 6th, 2009 at 6:23 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 6:33 PM
Katie C Says:
Yes! Lindy Hop! Yes, yes, YES!
Besides, if Maureen can (foolishly and accidentally) commit herself to TRAPEEZING, surely you can Lindy Hop! And while you do it you can think to yourself, “Well, at least I’m just dancing, and not falling very far and very quickly to my imminent death. Like, say, my good friend Maureen.”
May 6th, 2009 at 6:42 PM
I’m with John Green. I’ll donate what I can to the charity of your choosing if you post a video with proof you’ve done it.
May 6th, 2009 at 6:46 PM
Yes! You should LEARN! John will give to charity! Maureen’s already going to trapeze school, which is scarier! BE BRAVE AND CHARITABLE. =D
May 6th, 2009 at 6:48 PM
150. Justine Says:
DLDzioba: There will be no video-ing. No matter how much money people pay charities. I don’t do videos.
If I learn the lindy hop my having done so will be confirmed by three reliable YA author witnesses.
May 6th, 2009 at 6:56 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 7:07 PM
DOOO IT! Besides, it would be way fun to know how to do the Lindy Hop.
May 6th, 2009 at 7:16 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 7:21 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 7:24 PM
Is this really a question?
May 6th, 2009 at 7:28 PM
Yeah, do it!
May 6th, 2009 at 7:35 PM
YES! You should learn how to do it, if only to inspire other physically dyslexic Nerdfighters that IT CAN BE OVERCOME. Start a movement.
Make a bargain with, say, Maureen Johnson. If she learns Soulja Boy, you do the lindy hop.
May 6th, 2009 at 7:44 PM
As a dancer with slight coordination problems, though maybe not physical dyslexia, I say ABSOLUTELY YES!
Honestly, you’ll be glad you did it. Nobody told you you had to be GOOD at the Lindy Hop, you just have to LEARN it. The only people who hurt themselves dancing are the ones who EXERT THEMSELVES or try to do things they CAN’T DO.
You, I am sure, will take it waaaaaaay too slowly, and therefore you’ll be fine.
Besides, don’t you want to laugh at Maureen’s terror of trapeze-ing? You can tell her that your fans are much less cruel than hers. YOU only had to put on some loose clothing and move various body parts in various ways.
She has to do pretty much the same thing, but in the air.
Think about it.
May 6th, 2009 at 7:46 PM
what if the video footage was just of your feet (a la opening credits to footloose) then you could show off your boots
Maureen Johnson tells me to say Yes, so I say YES!
Furthermore, the Lindy Hop is awesome, and therefore should be learnt, regardless of what Maureen Johnson tells me to do.
May 6th, 2009 at 7:48 PM
161. Justine Says:
Simmone: You are Satan’s minion. No to any kind of videoing EVER.
YES. It’s really fun, so you should definitely do it.
May 6th, 2009 at 8:14 PM
Yes! Yes! DO IT!
May 6th, 2009 at 8:16 PM
Gothhic Goddess Says:
I say you should at least try. If it becomes too hard at that point, you can at the very least say you tried. But if you do give it up, you at least have some first hand knowledge, which may be of use to you later on in life. Plus, if you stick with it, then you have John & Sarah giving to charity, which is good for everyone. And, you know, because Maureen says so. (Not that I always let authors that I follow on twitter tell me what to do, but you know, you at least have someone to blame if it goes horribly awry!) lol.
May 6th, 2009 at 8:24 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 8:32 PM
and come on, you gotta try it before hating on us, what if you discover it’s like the amazing secret skill you never knew you had?
May 6th, 2009 at 8:34 PM
Yes! Pretty please?
May 6th, 2009 at 8:36 PM
YES.. YOU SHOULD.
Sorry for all caps, but I really, really want you to.
May 6th, 2009 at 9:01 PM
Maureen is BRIBING us to say yes but as another easily injured person I say NO. Unless you decide you want to. Then you should learn with abandon.
May 6th, 2009 at 9:13 PM
You absolutely should learn!!!!
May 6th, 2009 at 9:28 PM
yes! omg, totally! learn it! you cannot even fathom how amazingly awesomely cool that would be!
May 6th, 2009 at 10:03 PM
I would say YES! How can you not feel obligated to do this after what the Greens have agreed to do? Think of [insert charity here]!
(Am I too late? I do not love being away from the computer all day.)
May 6th, 2009 at 10:07 PM
I’m dyslexic as well, especially when it comes to right and left. I say that Justine should learn how to do something that scares her but that won’t hurt her brain. I don’t want to tax her writer brain.
So I’m going to be a sweetie pie and say no.
(Not that it matters. Cuz she’ll have to do it no matter what. Nerdfighters are monkeyfighting mean that way.
May 6th, 2009 at 10:20 PM
I vote for a dance from the 30s. Dancing is wonderful. The lindy hop is not a beginner’s dance. It’s like making someone write a short story when they haven’t learned the alphabet yet! How about an easier and almost-as-cool dance? (I want Justine to enjoy dancing, not try it once and assume she is all left feet.)
May 6th, 2009 at 10:26 PM
I think if Maureen has to go to trapeze school, then you should learn how to do the lindy hop. Clearly, this is Justice.
May 6th, 2009 at 10:47 PM
yes you should do it just to say you can
May 6th, 2009 at 11:02 PM
I lindy hop! It is the best! You must do this!
May 6th, 2009 at 11:03 PM
May 6th, 2009 at 11:33 PM
I say YES.
I like these challenges…*evil grin*
May 7th, 2009 at 12:28 AM
Yeeeeeeeee-ah! Yes, please. They Lindy-hop on So You Think You Can Dance… Justine, modern and multitalented woman that you are, you MUST dance. Is writing not about trying on different and never-before-worn shoes in the form of characters and their stories? Well maestro, you must dance. You’ll live forever…like on Fame. Life is pain, I tell you, pain. *raises fist in air*
May 7th, 2009 at 12:31 AM
Yes, please! John stood on a table for you and Maureen is going to trapeze school. Libba even went into a doll store! The least you can do is take one measly little dance lesson.
May 7th, 2009 at 12:51 AM
I think you absolutely have to do it. For authenticity’s sake, you know.
May 7th, 2009 at 1:07 AM
Dave H Says:
It’s my birthday (at least in California), and you agreeing to Lindy Hop would be a spectacular birthday present. I don’t even mind that we won’t get to see it.
Besides, Abraham Lincoln thinks you should do it!
May 7th, 2009 at 1:38 AM
Bill Laimbeer Says:
Of course you should not learn to Lindy Hop. You would only hurt yourself, because Liberty fans are not nearly coordinated enough to learn anything that complicated. Stick to walking and chewing gum at the same time.
May 7th, 2009 at 1:41 AM
Yes, you should absolutely learn to lindy hop. I didn’t pick it up ’til I was 31, and it’s brought a ton o’ joy to my life… even though I absolutely positively have been a klutz for most of my years . Seriously, if I can lindy hop (and yeah, I can actually passably lindy hop now!), then anyone can.
May 7th, 2009 at 3:58 AM
Yes! It looks AWESOME!
May 7th, 2009 at 4:43 AM
Yes, but be careful, I threw my back out just looking at the video.
Maureen did not ask me to do this.
May 7th, 2009 at 11:37 AM
Don’t do this. I don’t want you to get hurt and it does look like it could be dangerous.
May 7th, 2009 at 11:43 AM
Yes, you definitely need to learn how to Lindyhop, how could your research be complete without learning such a skill?
May 7th, 2009 at 5:49 PM
Alyssa V. Says:
Yes, please. And don’t forget to take video proof of it!
May 7th, 2009 at 8:01 PM
Total Yay! Sorry I did not get back to this sooner!
But I am still in if you do it, no videoing necessary. And if you dragged your three YAA witnesses to Lindy Hop Class that would be even more awesome! If I were closer (and not in a cast) I would so totally be Lindy Hopping with you… (No worries, it was not a dancing injury.)
psstt.. Mr. Lincoln, I hear you can Lindy Hopp to ABBA… I am just sayin’…
May 7th, 2009 at 9:19 PM
You should do it. For one, because you can help bring it back and from watching the video, the lindy hop needs to be brought back. I expect to see it in all the clubs within a year. Or at least the ones on the coasts. Also, if you learn how to do it, you can add it to your resume. And although I’m not involved in any sort of hiring process for any reputable companies, I would totally hire someone who had that they could do the lindy hop on their resume.
May 8th, 2009 at 12:15 PM
Okay, I can completely understand being dyslexic when it comes to dancing etc. When I was 5 my Nana wanted me to take ballet even at that age I knew it would be a disaster. However, the Brothers Green will donate $1000 to the charity of your choice. So here’s an idea borrowed from the sidewalks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Print out the steps to the lindy hop, then cut feet out of construction paper, tape them to your floor step carefully on the feet. Be very careful I once smashed my right ankle and tore everything imaginable jumping over the tulips in Albany’s big park.
May 8th, 2009 at 2:32 PM
yes, you should learn to lindyhop. because john green said so.
May 8th, 2009 at 2:53 PM
You should totally learn to lindyhop! I’ve seen people learn it who were also not so athletically inclined, and they had fun!
May 8th, 2009 at 3:01 PM
Eric Luper Says:
I see John Green’s minions have already arrived. Well, I for one vote NO to the Lindyhop. There is a reason it’s an antiquated dance. Now, if this were about hip hop dancing, I’d love to see that. Maybe you can fuse the two and call it the Larbahop. Maybe?
PS I got something really COOOOL from my UPS guy today!
May 8th, 2009 at 3:26 PM
197. Justine Says:
Eric Luper, I’m SHOCKED at you. This is about getting historical research right. And you of all people should know That there was no hip hop in the 1930s!
PS I wonder that that cool thing could be? Enjoy it whatever it is!
May 8th, 2009 at 3:32 PM
All right… If there is a scene in your 1930s book where a character actually LEARNS the lindyhop, then I vote yes. If not, watching it on YouTube should be enough. But weigh that with the $1000 charity that Green is going to give…
Think of all the quokkas you could save with that dough.
Can I change my vote?
May 8th, 2009 at 3:49 PM
Dance!!! Please dance. You must.
May 8th, 2009 at 3:56 PM
Of course you should! John says so. And he’ll give money. Now, usually I would say to do whatever John says anyway, but this case has an added bonus! Do it for charity.
May 8th, 2009 at 4:06 PM
You should try it! Looks like fun to me.
May 8th, 2009 at 4:52 PM
Justine, please give the lindyhop a try. It could potentially be for a good cause.
May 8th, 2009 at 5:46 PM
JUSTINE. You must learn the lindyhop. John Green has spoken. :]
C’mon, what’s to lose? (besides perhaps your dignity )
Seriously though. Think of what 1,000 dollars could do for a well-deserving charity!
May 8th, 2009 at 5:52 PM
John has spoken. You must (please) learn the lindyhop.
This would be so epic!
May 8th, 2009 at 6:34 PM
Heather S. Ingemar Says:
Dance dance dance!
C’mon, it would be fun, and a little bit isn’t going to kill you!
And besides. There’d be charity money!
May 8th, 2009 at 6:36 PM
Karen Smith Says:
I took a bit to think about this. After seeing the videos that you posted, and a few others from other readers, even I want to learn, and I’m uncoordinated and weigh quite a lot. And a donation from John Green to a charity of your choosing? I’d have to vote yes–LindyHop to help others! (And if any at all possible injury results, I’d work it into the agreement that JG would be responsible for that as well–fair’s fair.)
May 8th, 2009 at 6:55 PM
So I hear Abraham Lincoln told you to learn to Lindyhop? He’s quite old, so you should probably listen to him. Otherwise before you know it he’ll be drunk and waving his walking stick about in a way which is quite clearly hazardous to public safety, and going on about how people always did what he told them in the good old days, and young people today just have NO respect for their elders. So please do it Justine? The standing of your entire generation is at stake!
May 8th, 2009 at 6:56 PM
You most definitly must learn the lindyhop. It is the dance of all dances. And extremely hilarious.
May 8th, 2009 at 8:07 PM
Be aware Justine, John Green is rousing the hoards of nerdfighters against you. They will come, they will demand that you lindyhop, and they will not leave until you do. Be forewarned.
May 8th, 2009 at 8:44 PM
justine, we want lindyhopping, and we want it now!!!
May 8th, 2009 at 10:26 PM
May 8th, 2009 at 10:45 PM
Do it! Not because we hate you but because we love john. plus it’s super fun.
May 8th, 2009 at 10:54 PM
Karen Healey Says:
If you lindy-hop, Justine, I will bake you cookies.
I make extremely good cookies.
May 9th, 2009 at 12:06 AM
Tenley Nadine Says:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Seriously though, you really should do it.
May 9th, 2009 at 12:29 AM
We want lindyhopping and we want it now!
May 9th, 2009 at 1:09 AM
DON’T DO IT! I’m sure you love Maureen and John a whole lot, but if I were you, I’d value life more. It looks lethal, and I would not condone anyone attempting that.
May 9th, 2009 at 1:59 AM
Do it for charity!
May 9th, 2009 at 9:06 AM
I’m sorry (well, not really – it’s for a good cause, right?), but I have to agree with John and Maureen. YOU MUST LINDYHOP. SOON.
May 9th, 2009 at 12:08 PM
One thousand dollars could help a lot of people. Just think of the infinite positive reprecussion that your lindyhopping could have upon the world!It’s sort of ceased to be about you at this point. Besides, it makes a good story to tell at parties. I’ll even throw you a party!!! In the ever imortal words of Nike:
JUST DO IT!
May 9th, 2009 at 2:28 PM
Yes. Yes, you definitely should learn to lindyhop.
May 9th, 2009 at 4:52 PM
I am speaking from experience when I say that learning Lindy Hop is probably one of THE best decisions I have ever made. It’s fun, high energy, and a great social activity and a skill that you can show off to your friends- they will be very impressed I promise! That video you posted of the Big Apple is a very old vid from a movie called Keep Punching and the Big Apple is still performed today- however lindy hop is different from the Big Apple.
I’m getting all technical here, but what I’m saying is that once you learn I can almost guarantee that you will LOVE it and it will become a new hobby! As a swing dancer myself, I’ve met so many amazing people and some of my closest friends are people I’ve met through swing dancing.
So…I’ve hopefully done my part to convince you that it is truly something worth learning! If you’ve got questions I will try my best to answer!
May 9th, 2009 at 10:35 PM
melody platz Says:
John Green told us Nerdfighters to bug you about the Lindyhop. I say do it. It’s for a good cause. A couple of months ago I tried to teach myself the Charleston. I looked pretty silly, but people liked the video of me flailing around.
Do the Lindyhop. You know John and his legions won’t leave you alone until you do. : )
May 10th, 2009 at 7:59 AM
I say do it. I am severly athletically challenged. I’m terrible and hurt myself in everything. Yet I am a dancer. Dancing is so much different from the other sports. And if you have a good instructor, it doesn’t matter how terrible you are, you’ll learn it one way or another.
May 10th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
It is time to reverse the sports curse. Yes, you must learn to Lindy Hop (NOT to jitter bug). Start slowly, with a private instructor (group instruction will not do for the physically dyslexic). Reverse the curse! Do it!
PS: I am NOT Maureen Johnson
May 10th, 2009 at 9:07 AM
Christine B Says:
Yes. We want Lindyhop and we want it now.
May 10th, 2009 at 12:09 PM
Yes. We want Lindyhop and we want it now. Plus It looks like so much fun!
May 10th, 2009 at 12:13 PM
Yeah, you really need to DFTBA and just learn to Lindy. Did some research on this–it’s not that hard, even if you don’t know how to dance. You can DO this. You should also find yourself a partner for this one (John, maybe?).
May 10th, 2009 at 4:58 PM
Ok my second comment to get you to do this
Objection no. 1
- You are correct- Lindy Hop and swing dancing originated as a street dance in Harlem in the early 1920′s.
Objection no. 2
- This is not a good enough reason. I have taught plenty of people who claim to have two left feet and they have learned to lindy hop.
Objection no. 3
- I agree that it LOOKs dangerous but, if done properly, it is not dangerous at all. The lindy hop in that video was choreographed specifically for the movie- that means that it has a lot of aerials (which is when the guy maybe a turn or two and you should be perfectly fine.
May 10th, 2009 at 6:02 PM
Objection no. 3
Ok FAIL for some reason this comment thing didn’t post my entire comment. Lame. Anyways, here is the WHOLE thing:
- I agree that it LOOKs dangerous but, if done properly, it is not dangerous at all. The lindy hop in that video was choreographed specifically for the movie- that means that it has a lot of aerials (which is when the guy throws the girl up into the air) which is something that the professionals and dance teams learn for performances sake- you will never see aerials on a social dance floor. If you learn the basic 8-count lindy hop swingout, and maybe a turn or two and you should be perfectly fine! And you’ll have a very cool new skill to show off.
May 10th, 2009 at 6:04 PM
Do it! John and Hank probably won’t give up either, until you do
May 11th, 2009 at 3:39 PM
Justine, you CAN learn to lindyhop–take the money, give it to charity!
May 27th, 2009 at 9:24 PM
Tracy C. Says:
Learning a little swing dance is really quite fun, and will make you feel more graceful in “normal life”, even if you don’t feel all that graceful while dancing. Everyone should have a few moves in their arsenal
Also, it’s for charity!!! Do you despise hungry children and homeless puppies and literacy??!? Think of the good you could do for the world, and the joy you would bring your readers. You would be making significant contributions towards decreasing worldsuck.
I vote yes
July 27th, 2009 at 5:57 PM
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