This post was written by Lindy Shopper.
Lindy Hoppers like to draw things out of hats – maybe it’s a contest partner, maybe it’s an ice-breaker, maybe it’s a pop quiz, but what if this evolved into something more? That’s what happened with Ron Smits, an instructor in the Netherlands and founder of Key Town Swing, who evolved a draw from a hat game in his Lindy Hop classes into a full-fledged card game and learning tool.
Ron ran a successful Kickstarter to bring this game to life, here’s what he says about the game:
“In our classes, we tend to see the dance not as a sequence of moves, but as a series of movements and techniques. All moves can be deconstructed into smaller building blocks, most of which fit together in many different ways. This deconstruction led to a number of Positions and Movements, which make up the two base decks of Shuffle ‘n Swing…To help us build a single move, we draw two Position cards (yellow) and three Movement cards (green). The objective is to work your way from one Position to the next, using all drawn Movement cards…Of course, no game is complete without extra challenges. Draw Styling cards (purple) to add flavour and attitude to your moves, jazz things up with Solo Steps (blue), or increase the difficulty for yourself through Handicaps (red). The cherry on top is our Follower Hijacks deck (orange)! These cards are the followers’ little secret. The deck contains ten cards with various ideas for a follower to surprise the leader during their dance. Taking control, redirecting the leader or deciding to hijack the dance by putting in as little effort as possible, and more…”
You can read more about how the game would work on the Kickstarter page, but I love that this would work with a one-on-one situation as well as for a large group class. Part of Shuffle ‘n Swing’s mission is to encourage and support dancers at all levels and to honor and and continue Lindy Hop’s legacy through diversity and inclusion. The deck is a rainbow, the cards use gender neutral language, and the characters are designed to be equally dark and light skinned with simple outlines of features and clothing. You can also opt in for a Frankie Manning card and all proceeds from that card go to the Frankie Manning Foundation‘s Black Lindy Hoppers Fund.
I’ve caught Shuffle ‘n Swing at a sort of odd time, where the Kickstarter has wrapped, but they are still setting up their website. If you’d like to order a deck, have questions, or want to reach out, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, message via Instagram @shuffleNswing, or contact through the Kickstarter page. The basic deck is €25, XXL deck is €35, VIP Signature deck is €50, and the Frankie Manning card is €10.
Enjoy this game now or add to your post-pandemic stockpile – the end is in sight, can’t wait to dance with you all again!