September 20, 2010

Swing Dancing


Jitterbug is a six-count dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop into its own dance during the 1940’s. This is the style that is perhaps the most well known the world over. Jitterbug is also referred to as East Coast Swing.

Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop is the original form of swing dancing that began in the ballrooms of Harlem, NY in the late 20s/early 30s. It is done in 8 counts rather than the Jitterbug’s 6 and therefore allows you to match the music much better. It is a bit more linear versus the circular Jitterbug. For examples of the Lindy, check out the dance scenes in the movies “Swing Kids” and “Malcolm X”.


Balboa and Bal-Swing are dances that originated in the crowded ballrooms of Southern California and were most popular in the mid 30s. The Balboa is most loved for its fancy footwork, finesse, subtleties, and ability to be done quite easily at fast tempos. Balboa is done with a closer torso-to-torso type connection and is the perfect dance for working on leading and following body leads.

Tandem (or In Line or Back) Charleston

The Charleston, a dance named for the city of Charleston, South Carolina was popularized in the United States by a 1923 tune called “The Charleston” by composer James P. Johnson. This song appeared in a Broadway show called Runnin’ Wild. Developed in African-American communities in the United States, the Charleston became a popular dance in the 1920s. It started out as a twisting of the feet. The Charleston in the 30s and 40s became more linear with new variations and moves added such as 8 count patterns and the trademark Charleston kicks.