A special birthday dance occuring at any time during a Lindy Hop dance party. Everyone stops social dancing and the birthday boy or girl gets all the dances for the next song or two. The person celebrating their birthday becomes the center of attention.
Here's how a birthday jam works:
The band or the DJ finds out who's celebrating a birthday by making an announcement between songs.
The person whose birthday it is goes to a central location on the dance floor.
Leads and follows temporarily stop social dancing and form a circular perimeter, clearing space on the dance floor as well as surrounding the birthday dancer with a human circle. Then the swing music starts and everyone starts clapping their hands to the beat.
Whoever's celebrating their birthday starts in the middle of the circle, dancing with a partner of their choice. After the music starts, though, leads and follows from the circle start cutting in and stealing the birthday boy or girl for at least a few dance moves.
Birthday jams are a great place for advanced dancers to show off their best Lindy moves, because they only get to dance until someone else cuts in. Jams, as well as exhibitions and non-crowded social dances, are probably the only places that Lindy hop aerials are even appropriate.
Dances like Lindy in the Park and The 9:20 Special include out-of-towners with the birthday dancer(s) in their weekly jams.