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California Routine

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The California Routine is Lindy Hop's most famous partnered routine.

It's fast and furious and feels like a dream.

It was written by none other than Frankie Manning, Lindy Hop's greatest dancer and innovator. Frankie wrote it in 1941 for a movie called Hellzapoppin'. It was part of a larger sequence which started out with individual couples showing off their moves at the beginning. After the couples do their thing, they all join together in ensemble dancing, and that part is known as the California Routine.

Hellzapoppin' runs at breakneck speed however, with many death-defying aerials, so the California Routine has been simplified meaning you don't need to be Frankie Manning to be able to do it!

This is a generally accepted version of the California Routine that anyone can learn, and is what we teach in classes.

Phrase 1

Swing Out

Swing Out

Swing Out

Lindy Circle

Phrase 2

Skip ups

Tuck Turn (6-count)

Pass-by (6-count)

Turning Bring In (6-count)

Jump Out (6-count)

Phrase 3

Tango Pop (10-count)

Tuck Turn (6-count)

Barrel Roll (6-count)

Hammerthrow (or Swing Out)

Phrase 4

Slip Slop, Run Run, Step Tap, Rock Step

Kick Around

Tandem Charleston

A-Frame Jump

Azza Gee.

Azza is a lifelong swing dancer, the founder of Swingtopia Dance in Perth, Western Australia, and a lover of Bubble Tea. Sign in to comment below, or send your thoughts to

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