Wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time working on dancing? Rather than surfing the internet until you’re brain dead, trying to find a few morsels of nourishment to feed your dance addiction.

If only you had the top lindy hop web resources at your fingertips… Hey wait! You do!

These resources have been hand-picked by yours truly. These best-of-the-best websites will consistently feed your learning, listening, and networking needs.

Blogs

Wandering and Pondering – Jerry Almonte’s posts make you think deep thoughts about swing dancing. Jerry fearlessly gives his opinion on topics like fusion dancing, and for that I love him. Also follow his Facebook fan page, where you’ll get a daily selection of the best dance videos and blog posts.

Swungover – Being a top lindy hopper gives Bobby White a unique position as a blogger. He writes loads of in-depth articles on topics like history, the art of judging, and fitness. If you want to kill a few hours, check out this amazing list of classic swing dance clips. Also beware his excellent sense of humor.

Lindy Shopper – Laura Windley is dedicated to the art of vintage lindy hop fashion. For us energetic swing dancers, it’s not as easy as throwing on any old vintage-looking outfit. That’s just asking for a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor. Laura will help you figure out which brands perform best. Lucky for us, she finds the best deals online, too!

Music

Hey Mr. Jesse – Since 2006, Jess Miner and Manu Smith have hosted this monthly podcast all about swing jazz. They talk new music, old music, music news, and more.

SwingDJs.com – For nearly a decade, this forum has been the place for deejays to get together and talk about swing music. Have you ever wondered what music you should pick for practice? Here you can find out what deejays are actually playing at swing dances (and where to get it). A wealth of information is available. Try the “search” function if you’re looking for something particular.

DJ Chrisbe’s Song of the Week – If one new song per week sounds like your style of music discovery, check out Christian Bossert’s blog. For the past 2 years, DJ Chrisbe has explored each weekly song in an approachable and digestible way. He profiles both well-known and more obscure songs.

Jazz-on-line.com – Nothing beats Jazz-on-line.com when it comes to sheer volume of downloadable old jazz music. Oh, did I mention it’s all free? The owner, Michel, consistently adds to the collection, which now tops 35,000 songs. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself. Organized by artist or by randomized playlists.

Pandora – I highly recommend Pandora for two reasons. One, to listen to lots of jazz for hours on end, which will help you train your musical ear. And two, as a song and artist discovery tool. Hear a new song you like? Go get it. But where to start? Type in an artist you like, or browse their genres. I suggest building a station off of Fats Waller. Free with a number of great features.

Videos

Youtube – The first place most people go when looking for free dance videos. Youtube is indispensable. 48 hours of video are uploaded by users every minute. It can be overwhelming! Two tips: (1) Add the best videos to your favorites list, and (2) subscribe to users you like so you’re updated when they upload new videos. You can start with my lindy hop channel.

Video-Alerts.com – Automate your feverish searches for new dance videos! Go to Video-Alerts.com. Pick a Youtube search term. Get updates by email whenever that search pulls more results. I have an alert for “lindy hop” that returns 50+ videos at the end of the week. Imagine how little I get accomplished on that day.

RhythmJuice – For the last 3 years, Dax Hock has been developing a project I’m especially excited about. RhythmJuice is an online learning environment focused on connecting and inspiring serious dancers. With hundreds of members, an awesome staff of teachers, and both free and premium options, RJ is worth watching.

iDance.net – iDance.net is a treasure trove of inexpensive, downloadable dance lessons in many different styles (lindy, blues, balboa, salsa, and hip hop to name a few). The lindy hop instructors are top-notch and teach to every level. They also have a good number of free lessons available to their community members.

Free Swing Dance Lessons – Over the years, Dan Newsome (fellow Seattleite) has created a massive quantity of short educational and class review clips. Most videos feature him and his partner Gaby Cook. They have very crisp and clean movements which make learning more painless. To navigate most easily, I suggest using the search function.

Building the Swing Dance Community – Natasha Ouimet and Patrick Szmidt have put monumental effort into filming both educational clips and videos from major dance events. Often they’ll post event competition videos overnight, a happy surprise for those of us greedily waiting for the goods.

LindyHopMoves.com – A trio of European dancers (Ali, Eiki, and Claudio) brings you a great collection of educational dance clips. These videos are thoughtfully selected from Youtube and are arranged by dance level, total newbie to advanced. Tons of teachers, over 500 videos, totally easy to navigate. They also have an active Facebook page you’ll want to check out.

Discussion & Networking

Bug’s Question of the Day (Facebook page) – Every day, Bug Brockway posts a dance-related question for fans to answer.  Lindy hop and blues are especially well represented on her page, spurring many fabulous discussions with different viewpoints. Generally they’re kept quite civil since it’s on Facebook and decidedly not anonymous. Plus Bug takes question suggestions!

Yehoodi – Yehoodi is one of the last major lindy hop discussion forums. (Though there used to be many local lindy hop discussion boards, Facebook now fills that niche for most of us.) Yehoodi has been around forever, so there’s a ton of archived discussions which are basically gold. Yehoodi also has podcasts, Yehoodi Radio, a lindy hop event calendar, and featured articles.

Facebook – Think of Facebook as a massive, decentralized forum/network for swing dancers. Once you start friending dancers, you’ll hear about dance events, see cool dance photos and videos, become a fan of your favorite pages… And sometimes, there are still great discussions about dancing.

LindyCalendar.com – The most comprehensive online calendar of worldwide lindy hop events. The search function lets you either specify a date range or search on a particular term (like “Montreal” or “blues”). Or, say you have a free weekend and want to do some spontaneous dance travel? LindyCalendar.com will tell you where in the world to go.

Tumblr – Tumblr is a microblogging platform. Huh? You get an account, make short blog posts, connect with other peeps, share stuff you like, etc. You can be anonymous, or you can be your bold and awesome self. There’s a lotta lindy hop on Tumblr. It’s totally the trendy new thing. Check out this one and this one.

Bonus Links

For those who are still not satiated.

  • Spotify – Online radio site that’s quickly getting popular. I see it mentioned all over Facebook.
  • Rdio – More online radio.
  • Introduction to Lindy Hop History – A comprehensive survey of our history, 1800s to present.
  • #lindychat – A new Tweet Chat for lindy hoppers.
  • Westie Discussion of the Day (facebook) – Like Bug’s Question of the Day for west coast swing.

Know of another great online dance resource? Tell us in the comments below.