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History of Swing Dance

The Swing era began in 1920s and 30s America, when Big Bands took over
pop culture. Swing music has lived on ever since, influencing each new
generation of music. Swing dance is a broad term to describe a variety of
partner dances evolving from the 1920s to the present day. An exciting
evolution in jazz music broke out of New Yorks Harlem district in the late
1920s. With this new sound, a new dance was created, called the lindy hop.
Lindy hop developed from dancers mimicking other dance crazes of the time,
including the Charleston and the foxtrot.
Lindy hop was fast and intricate, to match the music being produced by the
big bands. But over time the bands got smaller and the dancing evolved with
the music. Over the following 30 years, the dance was re-branded (amongst
other names) jitterbug, boogie-woogie and rocknroll. The term jive was
originally used as a derogatory term by afro-american dancers, referring to
less talented white contempories who were dancing lindy hop very badly!
The term stuck when GIs brought jitterbug to Europe during WW2.

The term swing dancing can also includes solo jazz routines such as the Shim
Sham, which is thought to have originated as a warm-up for tap dancers of
the jazz era, and other dance styles that were crazes from the jazz era such
as Balboa and Collegiate Shag.
With the new dance crazes of the 60s, partner dancing went out of fashion,
until the 1980s when it re-emerged in French discotheques, and was labelled
French jive or modern jive. This dance was brought to the UK in the early
90s. Danced to contemporary chart music, there is still a strong Modern Jive
scene across the UK.
Separately in the 1980s, several groups of dancers from across the globe

decided to revive lindy hop, learning from the stars of the original era, such
as Frankie Mannings. They have recreated a fashion for dancing to swing
music. This led to an increase in exposure for lindy hop worldwide; most
notably there was a huge revival in the USA during the 1990s, spawning
breakthrough neo-swing pop acts such as Indigo Swing, Swingerhead and
The Brian Setzer Orchestra (Brian first came to prominence as front man of
the Stray Cats!).
A beginners swing dance class may take many different formats around the
world, but we hope to provide an easily accessible introduction to partner
dancing, which will enable you to boogie to some great music. We can also
offer plenty of challenging moves for those with the desire to advance!
"Swing dance" (sometimes called "Jitterbug") is a group of dances that developed with
the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the
popular "swing era". During the swing era, there were hundreds of styles of swing dancing, but those
that have survived beyond that era include: Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Lindy
Charleston.[1][2] Today, the most well-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, which originated in
Harlem in the early 1930s. While the majority of swing dances began inAfrican
American communities as vernacular African American dances, a swing era dance, like Balboa,
developed outside of these communities.
Somewhat surprisingly, "swing dance" was not commonly used to identify a group of dances until the
latter half of the twentieth century. Historically, the term "Swing" referred to the style of jazz music,
which inspired the evolution of the dance. When referring to the dance, most of the participants of
the original swing era would have used the term "jitterbug." Jitterbug is an umbrella term that
denotes all forms of swing dance, though it is often used as a synonym for the six-count derivative of
Lindy Hop called "East Coast Swing,". It was also common to use the word to identify a kind of
dancer (i.e., a swing dancer). A "jitterbug" might prefer to dance Lindy Hop, Shag, or any of the other
swing dances. The term was famously associated with swing era band leader Cab
Calloway because, as he put it, "[The dancers] look like a bunch of jitterbugs out there on the floor
due to their fast, often bouncy movements.[3] The Jitterbug consists of a bouncy six-beat rhythm.

"Swing dance" is a group of dances that developed with the swingstyle of jazz music
in the 1920s-1950s, the origin of the dancespredating popular "swing era" music.

The different types of swing dance styles include Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, East
Coast Swing, Collegiate Shag, Jive, Balboa, Bal-swing, Lindy Charleston,
Carolina & St. Louis Shag, D.C. Hand Dancing, Rodeo Swing, Ceroc,
Modern Jive, Boogie Woogie and West Coast Swing. The first swing dance
was the Lindy hop and the most recent is West Coast swing which is
always evolving along with contemporary music.


Stand facing your partner, feet
parallel- Fellow's left foot (usually
the lady) is pointing in between the
leader's feet. Lead should hold fellow's
hands in a loose hand-hold, where her
hands are folded over his. The lead
should hold the hands near the fellow's waist level, so the correct height will vary with
the follow. This position is Open Position.

Lead steps in place on his L foot,
Follow steps in place on her R. If you
forget which is which, remember that
the lady is always Right. Ha-ha, that old chestnut.


Lead steps in place on his R foot, Follow
steps on her L.


And now: the rock step! The follow rocks
on her R, the lead on his L. Pick up that
foot and place it right behind your
opposite heel, shifting weight behind you.
Step back on the opposite foot, so the
step goes: Right-left for follow, Left-right
for lead.

And we're back to the first step, so
move your rocking foot back to its
original position for the first count
of the second basic pattern.