History of Swing Dancing

History of Swing Dancing

Swing Dance

Anyone has the power and ability to showcase his individuality as he is presented with various ways of expressing himself. This can be done through the written word or by orally articulating his thoughts and ideas. Some people can better express themselves through singing songs that touch the heart while there are others who would rather perform in front of an audience to exhibit their artistic skills. Dancing is one way of displaying one’s flare on the dance floor. Be it a professional or an amateur dancer; one thing is common in their experiences, that of an exhilarating feeling as one move to the beat of the music and doing the appropriate movements.

Swing is one of the more notable and enduring dances that have been developed. When you talk about Swing, it is very interesting to note that there are some dance forms falling under this category. The swing dance includes the Balboa, Bop, Charleston, East Coast Swing, Jitterbug, Jive, Lindy Hop, Push, Shag, West Coast Swing, and Whip.

It was during the 1920s, in the United States, that people took their first steps to swing music. Swing traces its roots to Jazz music as the dance originated from the African American community during that period. The swing fever went on to conquer the rest of the world. From the late 1920s until the 1940s, these years are referred to as the swing era. Even today, the dance steps in swing are still being performed to modern music.

The pioneer of swing dance was the Lindy Hop that was danced in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York. The Lindy Hop can be executed to any jazz or blues music. Then came the Jitterbug, Charleston and other variations of the swing dance. The basic differences with these swing dances involve the step patterns that may consist of 6 or 8 beat rhythm units. Some swing dance makes use of spinning and pushing moves mixed with some kicking moves, which makes this dance style truly quite energetic to accomplish. Swing may also be combined with other well-known dance styles. As an illustration, the dance “Swango” is a mix of swing steps as well as that of the tango, another favorite dance.

Ever since swing was first done on the dance floor, numerous competitions have cropped up showcasing the swinging prowess of its followers. Dancing contests distinguish between ballroom swing and street swing. The former follows strict step patterns as it is danced mostly during competitions for ballroom dancing while the latter is more flexible to interpretations. The type of swing dance performed should likewise conform to the music being played. Swinging jazz music is apropos to Lindy Hop, and ragtime music is most suitable to Charleston. Hip Hop Lindy, as the term implies is danced to the tempo of hip-hop music while Country Western Swing is apt to country and western music. Each state in America also have their respective popular swing dances that include the West Coast Swing in California, DC Hand Dancing in Washington, DC, Imperial Swing in St. Louis, Missouri, Supreme Swing in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Whip in Houston, Texas.

Swing dance is certainly one of the dance styles that will be passed on from one generation to the next as its steps continue to evolve.

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