Strictly: What even is a Lindy hop-a-thon?


Strictly Come Dancing dancers from 2018

On Strictly Come Dancing we’re used to seeing the Waltz, Rumba or Foxtrot but this year they’ve added a new dance into the mix.

The couples were asked to perform a Lindy hop-a-thon – it meant all of the dancers were on the floor at the same time and it was a chance for the couples to get extra points.

But what even is a Lindy hop?

Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers – and why last night the judging didn’t go quite to plan.

What is the Lindy hop?

It’s an American dance from Harlem, New York City. Described as an Afro-Euro-American style – whatever that means – it first emerged in 1928.

That was the time when jazz music was king, and it also crossed over into the 1930’s and 40’s when Swing was becoming increasingly popular.

Lindy hop is described as a jazz dance with elements of swing.

It’s a fusion of many dances, but even though there is hop in the name, there’s no hopping involved. That would just look weird.

Instead it’s fast-paced, with plenty of lifts, tricks and improvisation.

What happened in Strictly?

For the first time ever on Strictly all of the couples took to the floor at the same time for the Lindy hop-a-thon.

They had to start dancing as soon as the music started and couldn’t stop until it ended.

If any of the couples bumped into each other they would have been penalised.

Luckily that didn’t happen but when it came to the reading out the score things didn’t go quite to plan.

The judges had to score the dancers while they were on the floor and rank them from 1st to 7th place.

Technical fail

Image caption

Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev

As the head judge Shirley Ballas went to give the scores her iPad seemed to freeze and the scores disappeared so they resulted to good old fashioned paper instead.

But there was a bit of confusion when Shirley named Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev first – when she was supposed to be telling us who had come in 7th place. They were actually first.

Shirley also told Charles Venn and Karen Clifton they were in fifth place, but said “Charles and Dianne”, confusing things a bit more.

Strictly tweeted: “BEAR WITH US. WE’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE PEOPLE”, along with a laughing emoji.

Presenter Claudia Winkleman joked to the audience: “If you are watching at home, goodness – have a drink!”

The audience seemed to enjoy the moment and couldn’t help joking about it on social media.

The Lindy-hop-a-thon results meant that Ashley and Pasha now top the leaderboard. Before that dance they were in third place – the extra 7 points pushed them to the top.

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