Teaching Guide: Exploring Swing Dancing
This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, Jitterbugs, Swing Kids, and Lindy Hoppers, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.
- Using the items in this collection, compare and contrast jitterbugs, Swing Kids, and Lindy Hoppers with members of contemporary music-centric cultural movements (i.e. hip-hop, rap, alternative, etc.).
- Using the photographs in this collection, discuss the significance of swing dancing during the 1930s and 1940s.
- Using the book Popular Ballroom Dances for the Student of Social Dancing, compare and contrast the varying forms of swing dancing in the 1930s.
Divide the class into pairs. Traditionally jitterbugs and Lindy Hoppers were male and female, but any pair of students will do. Using the book Popular Ballroom Dances for the Student of Social Dancing, teach students one of the many social dances. Have the class perform for another class or invite parents to a dance recital. Ask students to dress for the era and have fun!