Lindy Hop is the ‘original swing/jive dance’. Lindy Hop developed as a partner dance from the Charleston and the Breakaway in the late 1920s and had its heyday during the 1930s and 40s when it was danced by black dancers, particularly in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. As it's popularity grew then the whites started to dance it as well. However because of the racial divide in America at that time they called the same dance Jitterbug. American culture was having an impact in Europe and as the Music of the era crossed the Atlantic so did the Dance.
During the 2nd World War years, American GI's came to Europe and brought this ‘wild’ form of partner dancing with them. There was little or no formal teaching of this street dance and so one learnt from your mates. This repeating of the teaching from person to person altered the dance minutely with each repetition. This alteration, added to the overtones and interpretations that each nation had from its own history, meant the dance diversified through Europe. As time progressed and the music changed then the dance adjusted becoming accessible in a different guise to succesive generations. In the Uk Jive and Rock'n'roll were all the rage. In France Leroc, Sweden Boog, Germany and Italy Boogie Woogie. However the diversification was even more complex than that and so Glasgow Jive, only found in that city, is just like Boogie Woogie. Once you have figured how that happened then remember that the thing that keeps this wonderful African-American dance alive is it's abiltiy to adapt, to borrow from other dance styles, and to change with the music. So pick the bits you like leave the bits you don't, but don't do that 'till you've got a grip on the basics!
Nowadays we have the benefit of all the music from the 20's to date and all the dance styles. Each style is a cousin to all the others and so many can be mixed together to make your dancing more exciting. So it's a huge jumble of fantastic shapes and ideas set to the soundtrack of the last hundred years. You know there's bound to be something in this play pen for you!!