Swing dancing is a broad umbrella term that covers a range of dances that have evolved over time to suit changing popular music.
Swing dancing began in the US in the 1920's with the
Charleston and the
Lindy Hop. In the 1930's a smoother style - the Savoy style of Lindy emerged, and in the 40's, this more laid back style became the basis for what is still known as
West Coast Swing.
At the same time (1940's) social freestyle ballroom studios adapted and 'refined' these dances into forms that were easier and more practical for students. This collection of swing dances comprise
East Coast Swing and include single, double and triple rhythm styles.
The double rhythm style is often recognized as '
Rock n Roll' while the triple rhythm style is often recognized as '
However, Jive was largely a 1940's English adaptation integrating East and West Coast Swing styles into what became the standard style used in International Competition.
While all these dances/styles can be captured under the umbrella of Swing dancing the interchangeable use of terms can be confusing. As a basic guide:
Triple Rhythm Swingalso known as
8 step Jive is the dance most people generally recognize as
'Jive'. This can be danced East Coast style where it is laid back and best suited to medium tempo music or Competition Style where it is very fast and bouncy.
Single Rhythm Swingalso known as
4 step Jive is often associated with
Rock n Roll and is best suited to faster Rock n Roll music of the late 50's and 60's.
Double Rhythm Swing also known as
6 step Jive is most closely associated with
Rock n Roll and is best suited to slower to medium paced Rock n Roll music of the late 50's and 60's.
Le Rock, Le Step and Rock a Billyare all recent hybrid blends of these dances.
The great thing about Swing dancing is that it is so adaptable at a social freestyle level.
Most step and turn patterns can be blended and interchanged between styles making swing dancing spontaneous, creative and just great fun!
DanceFix primarily teaches East Coast Swing, but has a range of Lindy Hop and Charleston moves that can be used alone or in combination with East Coast Swing for variety and a challenge.