Swing dance | Swing dance history | Swing dance wiki


Swing dance | Swing dance history | Swing dance wiki

Swing Dance

“Swing dance” may be a cluster of dances which was developed with the swing variety of jazz music inside the 1920s-1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular “swing era”. throughout the swing era, there are several forms of swing terpsichore, but people who have survived on the so much facet that era includes:

Terpsichore, Balboa, collegial Shag, and Charleston. Today, the foremost well-known of these dances is that the Terpsichore, that originated in Harlem inside the first Nineteen Thirties. whereas the majority of swing dances began in African yank communities as vernacular African yank dances, some swing era dances, like Balboa, developed outside of these communities.

Somewhat astonishingly, “swing dance” wasn’t unremarkably accustomed establish a bunch of dances till the latter half the twentieth century. traditionally, the term “Swing” spoken the fashion of jazz music, that impressed the evolution of the dance. Jitterbug is an associate umbrella term that denotes all types of swing dance, although it’s typically used as an equivalent word for the six-count spinoff of social dancing known as “East Coast Swing”.

it absolutely was conjointly common to use the word to spot a sort of dancer (i.e., a swing dancer). A “jitterbug” may favor dancing social dancing, Shag, or any of the opposite swing dances. The term was magnificently related to swing era bandleader Cab Calloway as a result of, as he places it, “[The dancers] appear as if a bunch of jitterbugs out there on the ground owing to their quick, typically bouncy movements.

Forms of swing dance The term “swing dancing” is usually extended to incorporate different dances that don’t have bound characteristics of ancient swing dances: West Coast Swing, geographic region Shag, geographic region Swing, Hand terpsichore, Jive, Rock and Roll, trendy Jive, and different dances developed throughout the Forties and later. Jazz Woogie and Rock ‘n’ get into native swing dance cultures.

Original forms of geological dating from the Nineteen Twenties and early Nineteen Thirties
Lindy Hop evolved within the early Nineteen Thirties.

it’s a dance of African Yankee origin characterized by a high degree of physical vigor. it’s characterized by associate 8-count circular basic or “swing out” and has a stress on improvisation and also the ability to simply adapt to incorporate different steps in 8-count and 6-count rhythms.

The name “Lindy Hop” is usually attributed to “Shorty” George Snowden throughout associate interaction with a communicator World Health Organization asked him what reasonably dance they were doing. as a result of Lucky Lindy had simply created his known solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Shorty George is alleged to own replied, “the social dancing.”

whether or not it absolutely was Shorty George World Health Organization coined the name is controversial by some writers, but, in any case, the name stuck. The head cabbage room in Harlem was the house of the social dancing. As its quality redoubled, skilled troupes were fashioned. The earliest style of the dance (often known as “Pure Balboa”) evolved within the principally conservative dance halls of southern Calif.

Wherever area was restricted and strict codes of conduct were implemented. These dance halls typically prohibited the wild kicks of the Charleston and social dancing. Pure Balboa is characterized by associate upright posture with partners standing chest to chest and pineapple. There aren’t any spins or turns and also the dancers stay in-tuned through the higher chest the least bit times.

Not exploit abundant scope for variations, pure Balboa is associate in and of itself terribly easy dance. The few step variations typically play with the rhythm or look and feel (style) from below the knee down and manage changes in direction. Balboa is commonly danced to fast jazz (usually one thing from 100 and eighty to 320 gait beats per minute), though many want to Balboa to slower (170-190 BPM) tempi. whereas most dancers differentiate between pure Balboa and Bal Swing, each area unit thought-about to be a region of the dance.

Bal Swing evolved from Balboa once original Balboa dancers experimented with admirer variations of the dance that forced the chest to chest association to be broken. in this style of Bal a range of spins, turns, dips, tricks, and even air steps area unit introduced. These improvisations area unit permissible provided the vogue and framework stay true in spirit to the initial dance and area unit combined with original Balboa footwork.

Collegiate Shag (or “Shag”) is completed primarily to uptempo swing and typically pre-swing jazz music (185-200+ beats per minute). it’s believed that the dance originated within the Carolinas within the Nineteen Twenties, later spreading across us throughout the Nineteen Thirties. The shag continues to be danced these days by swing dance enthusiasts worldwide. Shag is believed to own been the primary and most well-liked swing dance of the initial swing era

Lindy Charleston is extremely almost like the initial Charleston of the Nineteen Twenties, solely the heartbeat of the dance is lowered (the up-and-down motion within the pulse emphasizes the downward movement) to match that of the social dancing. this way of Charleston includes the variety of positions, as well as side-by-side, close, and tandem. In “jockey position”, the closed position is opened out in order that each partner might face forward, while not calling it off.

In side-by-side Charleston, partners open the closed position entirely, in order that their sole points of association area unit at their touching hips and arm contact, whereby the leader’s paw and arm bit the follower’s back and also the follower’s manus and arm bit the leader’s shoulder and arm. each partner then swings their free arms as they’d in solo Charleston. In each jockey and side-by-side Charleston, the leader steps back onto his left foot, whereas the follower steps back onto her right.

In cycle Charleston, one partner stands before of the opposite (usually the follower, although the arrangement might vary), each face within the same direction to start out, and each begin by stepping back onto the left foot. The partner behind holds the front partner’s hands at the latter’s hip height, and their joined arms swing backward and forwards, as within the basic step.

Forms of geological dating from the late Nineteen Thirties and early Forties

St. Joe Louis shag (or “Shag”) could be a dance that evolved out of the Charleston. As its name suggests, it’s recognized as having started in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Joe Louis Shag options a stationary 8-count basic that’s most typically composed of triple-step, kick, triple-step, kick. it’s an awfully quick closed position dance that’s typically done to stomp, jump, and blues music.

The dance that eventually became called the massive Apple is purported to are created within the early Nineteen Thirties by African-American youth terpsichore at the massive Apple Club, that was at the previous House of Peace house of worship on Park Street in Columbia, South geographic region. The house of worship was reborn into a black juke house known as the “Big Apple Night Club”.
Little Apple This dance was a partnered version of the massive Apple, that is additionally believed to own originated within the Carolinas of the Southern us.

Derivatives of swing dance from the 40s and Fifties

East Coast Swing may well be a simpler 6-count variation that spawned from the six-count variations of the Terpsichore. It evolved with the swing-band music of the 40s and additionally the work of the Arthur Murray dance studios inside the 40s. It is jointly referred to as Six-count Swing, Triple-Step Swing, or Single-Time Swing.

geographical region Swing has really simple structure and footwork at the side of basic moves and styling.it’s well-liked for its easy nature and is usually danced to slow, medium, or quick tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll. often, Rockabilly, aka Rock-a-billy, is mistaken for geographic region Swing, however, popular music genre is a lot of closely associated with Western Swing.

West Coast Swing was developed in the Forties, as a rhetorical variation on the l. a. type of the social dancing. it’s a slotted dance and is completed to a good sort of music including blues, rock and roll, country western, pop, hip-hop, smooth, cool jazz, R& B, and funk music.

It’s well-liked throughout us and North American nation, however, was uncommon in Europe and far from Asia till the twenty-first Century. West-coast-swing communities area unit growing in Australia, Brazil, France, India, New Island, Ukraine, Romania, the UK, et al…

Western Swing has long been the name for the jazz-influenced western music of the Forties and, by extension, two-step, line terpsichore or swing dance done to such music. modern twenty-first century Country Swing or Terpsichore or “Country Western Swing Dancing” (C/W Swing) contains a distinct culture, with categories and educational videos on YouTube and videodisk teaching dips, lifts, aerials, and flips.

It adds variations from different country dances, swing designs, condiment and a lot of. because the name suggests, it’s most frequently danced to country and western music.
Boogie-woogie developed originally in the Forties, with the increase of jazz woogie music.

It’s well-liked these days in Europe and was thought-about by some to be the ECU counterpart to geographic region Swing, a 6-count dance standardized for the Yankee room business. it’s danced to rock’n’roll of varied types, blues or jazz Woogie music however typically to not jazz. because the dance has developed, it’s conjointly taken to 8-count variations and swing outs almost like social dancing, whereas keeping the initial jazz Woogie footwork.

Carolina Shag was danced on the strands between Myrtle Beach, South geographic region, and Wilmington, North geographic region, throughout the Forties, however, throughout the Nineties and later, has enlarged to several different places.

It’s most frequently related to beach music, that refers to songs that area unit rhythm-and-blues-based and, in line with Bo Bryan, a noted shag student and resident of Beaufort County could be a term that was coined at geographic region Beach, North geographic region.
Imperial Swing could be a cross between geographic region and West Coast Swing because it is completed in a slot and within the spherical.

It started at the Club Imperial in St Joe Louis. George Edick, World Health Organization in hand the club, let teenagers dance on the lower level and also the swing dancers of the time tutored them what was learned from their visits to the geographic region. As individuals traveled around, they adscititious components of West Coast, bop, and geographic region shag to enhance the dance and create it distinctive.

“The Imperial” has parts of “East Coast”, “West Coast”, “Carolina Shag” and “Bop”.
Jive could be a dance of International vogue ballroom dance. it’s an awfully upbeat dance within which the performers look to be hopping off the bottom.

It at the start was supported by Japanese swing taken to England by Yankee Troops in War II and evolved before changing into the currently standardized style of these days.
Skip Jive could be a British variant of the Jive, well-liked within the Fifties and Sixties, danced to jazz.

Modern Jive (also called LeRoc and Ceroc©) developed within the Eighties, seemingly from a French style of Jive. trendy Jive is not technically of the Jive family, that sometimes use a 6-count pattern of various combos of walking and triple steps (Ballroom Jive – back/replace triple-triple; Swing Jive – triple-triple back/replace), etc.

It’s pared all the means right down to a straightforward box step and concentrates on the easier sorts of couple dance styling, gauged to provide a social atmosphere rather than technical ability.

There area unit debates regarding whether or not it’s a style of swing terpsichore owing to lack of syncopations, pulsing footwork variations, a static partner dynamic, and lack of swinging music, amongst the swing community at massive, however, they are doing take into account themselves a mode of swing.

Rock and Roll – Developing inside the Fifties in response to rock and roll music, rock-and-roll is very a la mode in Australia and danced socially still as competitively and in performances. the style contains a protracted association with dancing in this country, as many of the earliest social dancingpers inside the first Nineteen Nineties enraptured to Lindy Hop from a rock-and-roll tradition.

There square measure in progress debates regarding whether or not rock-and-roll constitutes swing saltation, significantly in regard to the music to that it’s danced: there’s some dialogue on whether or not or not it swings.

Acrobatic popular music genre – in style in Europe, active popular music genre is popularly related to Russian gymnasts World Health Organization took up the dance, although it’s in style throughout Europe these days. it’s a performance dance and sport instead of a social dance, although there square measure those who take away the active stunts to bop it on a social level.

Washington Hand saltation originated around Washington, DC in the mid-1950s, and a brand new generation of dancers started innovating and saltation to port music. From its really beginning, DC Hand-dance was same and stated as “DC Hand-Dance/Hand-Dancing”, “DC Swing”, “DC Style” (swing) and “fast dance” (meaning DC Hand-Dance).

This may be the first time a version of “swing” dance was termed “hand-dance/hand-dancing”.DC Hand-Dance is characterized by terribly swish footwork and movements, and close-in and complicated hand-turns, danced to a 6-beat, 6-count dance rhythm.

The additional trendy footwork consists of swish and continuous floor contact, slippery and gliding-type steps versus hopping and jumping-type steps of the older vogue that stylistically still control parts of its Jitterbug/Lindy Hop roots, and there are not any aerials.

Push and Whip square measure American state types of swing dance developed in the Forties and Fifties. they’re slotted swing dances, danced to a good style of music as well as blues, pop, jazz, and rock and roll.

almost like geographic area Swing, they emphasize the closed position, double resistance/rock step, and lead-follow and conjointly incorporate Byzantine arm work. Slow Whip could be a variation on Whip/Push that’s danced to slow blues music, usually sixty M.M. or slower.

Swing saltation these days

Swing saltation was most well-liked within the Thirties and Forties, however, it still continues these days. Dance moves have evolved with the music. Swing saltation designs square measure the muse of the many alternative dance designs as well as ballroom, country line saltation, and hip-hop. Swing saltation clubs and contests square measure still control around the world.


Traditionally, distinctions square measure created between “Ballroom Swing” and “Jazz Dance Swing” designs. geographical region Swing could be a standardized dance in “American Style” social dancing, whereas Jive could be a standardized dance in “International Style”; but each of those is the “Ballroom Swing” umbrella.

Jazz Dance forms (evolved in dance halls) versus room forms (created for room competition format) square measure completely different in look. Jazz Dance forms embrace social dancing, Balboa, collegial Shag, and Charleston.

Types of competition

Dance competitions specify that forms square measure to be judged, and square measure usually offered in four completely different formats:

Strictly: One couple competitory along in varied heats, to indiscriminately elect music, wherever no pre-choreographed steps square measure allowed.

Jack and Jill: wherever leaders and followers square measure indiscriminately matched for the competition. In initial rounds, leaders and followers typically vie one by one, however in final rounds, rating depends on the power of the partner you draw and your ability to figure therewith partner. Some competitions hold a Jill-and-Jack division where leaders ought to be women and followers ought to be men.

Showcase: One couple contending on for one song that has been previously choreographed.
Classic: almost like Showcase however with restrictions on lifts, drops, moves wherever one partner supports the burden of the opposite partner and moves wherever the partners aren’t in physical contact.


In {west coast|West Coast|geographical square measurea|geographic area|geographical region|geographic region} Swing the competitions are divided into sections by level of expertise. the degree square measure Newcomer, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. there’s no official system within us to confirm that couples dance at the acceptable level of expertise.

Competitors ought to keep track of their own points and register consequently at competitions. Once you earn seven points in an exceedingly level, you’ll be able to now not dance at that level. There is no points system for the bulk of social dancing competitions.

Judging criteria

Swing saltation falls underneath the yank Rhythm class. There square measure many completely different classes of competitions counting on what variety of dance you are doing. every style of Swing Dance and every organization among those forms can have varied rules, however, those most frequently used square measure force and tailored for room usage.

Judging for the competition is predicated on the 3 “T’s” (below) still as attainment (unless the competition in question designates the audience because of the deciding factor). The 3 “T’s” consist of:

Timing – associated with tempo & rhythm of the music.

Teamwork – however well a frontrunner and follower dance along and lead/follow dance variations.
Technique – however clean and precise the cooperative saltation is dead.
Showmanship consists of presentation, creativity, costumes, and problem.

Lindy Hop’s most prestigious events haven’t used these criteria, typically having the straightforward judgment worth as World Health Organization was the best/most-impressive social dancing couple. The full moon Ball competition in the big apple town, The yank Vernacular Jazz Institute’s Hellzapoppin’ Competition, and therefore the final social dancing encounter all represent this class.


Most competition dance floors will solely hold regarding twelve couples saltation at a time. If the quantity of participants is larger than what the ground will hold, the competition can hold qualifying rounds. Once they get to twenty-four couples there’ll then be the match spherical (2 separate rounds of regarding twelve each), then the match (1 spherical of regarding 12), and eventually the ultimate spherical (1 spherical, typically half dozen or seven couples).

Team formations

Additionally, a “Team Formation” division may additionally be given at a contest. underneath this category, a minimum of 3 to 5 couples (depending on individual competition rules) performs a pre-choreographed routine to a song of their choosing, where the cluster dances in synchronization and into fully totally different formations. This division is in addition judged victimization the three “T’s” and showmanship; however, the factors presently apply to the team as a full.

Social swing saltation

Many, if not most, of the swing dances listed on top of square measure in style as social dances, with vivacious native communities that hold dances with DJs and live bands that play music most acceptable for the popular dance vogue. There square measure often active native clubs and associations, categories with freelance or studio-/school-affiliated academics and workshops with visiting or native academics. Most of those dance designs — like several alternative designs — conjointly feature special events, like camps or lindy hop exchanges.


The historical development of express swing dance styles was sometimes in response to trends in the music genre. for example, the Twenties and solo Charleston was – and is – generally danced to 2/4 ballroom music or ancient jazz, Terpsichore was danced to jazz (a quite swinging jazz), and social dancing Charleston to either ancient or swing jazz.

Region Swing is often danced to Pop, R&B, Blues, or Funk. Western Swing and Push/Whip square measure typically danced to country and western or Blues music. There square measure native variations on these musical associations in every dance scene, usually wise to by native DJs, dance academies, and bands.

Modern swing dance bands active within the U.S. throughout the Nineteen Nineties and 2000s embrace several modern jazz massive bands, swing revival bands with a national presence like Lavay Smith and Her hot dog cooking pan Lickers (based in San Francisco),

and local/regional jazz bands that specialize in 1930s-1940s swing/Lindy musical genre, just like the Swingout dance band, hotness Swing Orchestra, and city Swing Orchestra (Boston), The Boilermaker dance band (Pittsburgh), the Southside Aces (Minneapolis), Gordon Webster Septet (New York), apple Stout and His field five (Los Angeles) and so the apple Stout Orchestra that features Hilary Alexander (Los Angeles),

The Flat Cats (Chicago), traveller Crytzer and his Syncopators (Seattle), the male monarch politician Swingtet (Seattle), The Gina Knight Orchestra (Chicago and explorer, IL), the male monarch politician Swingtet and so the Tom performing artist Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Sonoran Swing (Arizona), and so the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra (Los Angeles).

( Shahinul Islam Uzzal)