Lindyfit is a website built to help fellow lindy hoppers and swing dance enthusiasts improve their fitness and performance on the dance floor by providing access to resources and workouts that focus on eight key elements of fitness: cardiovascular/muscular endurance, strength, power, speed, flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility.
I believe every vintage dancer is a “dancer-athlete,” and that they should train as athletes do if they wish to be, and remain, competitive. The physical demands on a swing dancer’s body are intense. Pulsing, jumping, throwing, spinning, and flying are just a few of the athletic and acrobatic demands dancers ask of their bodies on any given night. But while many dancers travel long hours to dance and practice for days and even weeks on end, few have learned how to incorporate some essential fitness regimes that athletes use to prevent injury, improve their skill, and increase their athletic performance. These elements include such things as mobility/flexibly work, mental performance training, periodization cycles, and cross training workouts.
This website seeks to fill this knowledge and resource gap for anyone interested in improving their fitness and enhancing the athletic side of their dancing. It also focuses on providing the most essential and time-efficient information to busy dancers who want to incorporate these elements into their daily fitness routine but feel doubtful they have the time. Having a full-time job and a full-time dance schedule myself, I know how rare free time can be, so these videos and blog posts are aimed to be efficient, informative, and fun.
Ever thought: “What’s that ‘rolling’ thing people keep talking about, and how does it work?” “How do I get the pain in my knee to go away?” “How do I get stronger to throw better aerials?” or “Where do I start if I haven’t ever really worked out before?” then this is the place for you. Trying something new or changing old habits can be hard and intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from giving this a try. If you are curious about the athletic side of dance training, want to prevent injury in the future, and/or just want a good laugh at some of my videos, then check out this website.
Here’s what you’ll find on Lindyfit:
Total Body Workouts: A list of total body workouts, most of which can be done anytime, anywhere, that focus on the different elements of fitness listed above. I will provide short video recaps of the workouts to explain the fitness elements incorporated, how to do the movements correctly, and to explain why those movements are important to our dancing.
Aerial-Specific Exercises: Videos of specific exercises you can do to improve your movement in many of the popular aerials done today. If you have a specific aerial request, let me know, and we’ll get a video out for everyone.
Mobility and Flexibility: Video recaps of tools and methods to keep your body pain-free and moving the way you want it to move. This goes beyond yoga and stretching, although I still incorporate those into my daily fitness routine. This page will give dancers the tools they need to address joint and muscle issues before they become chronic injuries and will highlight the latest trends in mobility and flexibility throughout the fitness and dance communities.
Core Exercises: Video recaps of core exercises and short workouts that will improve dancers’ core strength, body awareness, and coordination. For me, everything comes down to this.
Balance: Video recaps of balance exercises, tips, and website suggestions for tools that can be incorporated into your daily routine and will improve your overall center of balance.
Mental Health and Performance: A list of articles, tools, and blog-type posts that will address many of the mental barriers that hinder performance, whether on or off the dance floor. Mental training and discipline are critical components of any dancer-athlete’s successful competitive dance career and should be treated with the same level of attention we give to the physical side of our dancing.
Blog: I’ll post my thoughts on random topics such as competing, being an introvert in a seemingly-extroverted scene, maintaining a successful partnership, and/or whatever other fitness or life-related ideas that seem relevant.
Spotlights: This page will spotlight many of incredible dancers, performers, and aerialists who have graced our dance floors in order to give you a snapshot of how they train and approach the athletic side of swing dancing.
Quick Links: A list of books, equipment, and other websites that will equip dancers to better care for their health and bodies.
By bringing all of this information together, I believe we can make everyone a better dancer on the dance floor and an even healthier person off the dance floor. This is at least my sincere hope for this project. I hope you find it helpful, entertaining, and inspiring.
As a certified Crossfit coach, life-long fitness junkie, and law enforcement officer, Jennifer Runyan joined the lindy hop community in 2014 with an athlete's mindset and fitness-based approach to her dancing. Once she started seriously training and competing in 2016, she changed her fitness regime to incorporate workouts and daily practices that would enhance her dancing and competitive edge. Since that time, she has won first place titles and/or placed at the National Jitterbug Championships (NJC), the International Lindy Hop Championships, the Northwest Lindy Hop Championships, Fog City Stomp, the Arizona State Lindy Hop Championships, the California Swing Dance Championships, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, and made finals in many more. In 2016, Jennifer and her partner, AJ Howard, were also awarded the Golden Budgie Award at the NJC for exceptional performance and exemplifying the Spirit of the Jitterbug.
Mixing her love of jazz music, her passion for partner dancing, and her natural athleticism, Jennifer brings a fresh dynamism to the floor every time she dances. Jennifer continually focuses on the technical aspects of partner connection, movement, and musicality, but always strives to maintain the simple, but powerful joy, inherent in being a “Jitterbug.” Jennifer is a member of the two-time, current reigning national team champions, The Midtown Stompers, and in her non-dance time, she can be found at the gym, fighting crime, or hanging with sister and dog, Sherlock.