Learning The California Routine

April 18, 2016 by Joo-Lee

This classic routine was originally choreographed by Frankie Manning for the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. There is a great deal of discussion about its origins as today’s version bears no resemblance to the original showing in Hellzapoppin’.  I’ve been reading a blog post on its origins on Swungover and if you’d like to know more I’d suggest you read it too.  I also came across this video which also shows how the dance has evolved over the decades a bit grainy, but still fun to watch.

For most dancers it is the social dancing that attracts us, so why do we bother to learn the routine? It is a great way of improving on the basics and also gives you some great combinations of moves for the social dance floor.  As a high-energy and dynamic dance it will also bring confidence to your social dancing. Then, as you get more confident it is also a great opportunity to take part in performances and show off your skills.

Our California Workshop on the 8th of May is a good way to either start learning or tweak your technique. We have structured it so that all levels of dancers can gain something from the day. Simply choose the classes that you best suit you. Although do bear in mind that this workshop is not for complete beginners. However, if you’ve been attending classes for about 12 weeks then you’ll be fine as in the improver-intermediate workshop we will be breaking everything down for you.

For those of you who may need a little more confidence in dancing the routine or maybe aren’t sure if you can remember all the steps in the right order, then why not come for all the sessions? Just think, by the end you can polish off those moves with the advanced dancers.

Hopefully those of you who consider yourselves as advanced dancers have been practicing the routine regularly and will be ready to put the icing on the cake for each of those moves as well as the jam circle.

The California routine traditionally includes aerials, but we’ve replaced these with alternatives and will leave these to another day. Have a look at this video for a version without the ‘proper’ aerials.

For some inspiration, here’s our final example with aerials!

Ready to tackle this iconic dance and wanting to book your slot? Or want more detail on how the workshops will be run? Just ask us during class or head over to the website.


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