Jive Dance: Learn About Its History And Characteristics


During the early 1930s in the United States, jive dance was a fun, fast-paced dance style. It has since become a competitive ballroom dance. Take a look at the rest of this page to learn more about this type of dance.

Dance called “Jive.”

Swing music led to many different dance styles in the early twentieth century. Jive dance is one of them. In this dance, one partner leads, and the other follows. Jive dance is about kicking and spinning, which makes it like East Coast swing dance.

There was a lot of jazz music in the late 1920s and early 1930s in the United States. This dance style comes from that time. There are five types of ballroom dances called “International Latin dances” in dance shows. Modern Jive is one of them. One of the five ballroom dances is “International Latin dances.”

History of Jive

In the early 1900s, Jive became popular as a social dance for Black people in jazz dance halls and swing clubs in the United States. If you were a black person at the time, you might have heard “jive talk,” which was a common term for “deceptive talk.” Big band venues like the Savoy Ballroom in New York City in the 1930s swing musicians like Cab Calloway drew many people who liked to jive dance.

Later, the word “jive” was used to describe many different types of swing dancing, such as the jitterbug, the boogie-woogie, and the Lindy hop. East Coast Swing and West Coast swing stood two different types of swing that spread across the United States over time. As time went on, Jive made its way to Europe, and “jive” became a word for “swing.” In 1968, Jive became the fifth Latin dance used in competitive ballroom dancing. In the late twentieth century, a new version of Jive called French Jive came into existence.

4 things about Jive dancing:

Jive dance is very different from other types of ballroom dancing. Here are some specialties that create it differently. Jive dancing is one of the fastest dance styles in the International Latin dance group. Dancers who are good at Jive perform their routines at a speed of 176 beats per minute. Jive is often danced to swing or rock music, giving it faster and more energy.

The jive dancers move more quickly than many other dancers. It is a fast-paced, energetic dance full of small jumps and kicks on the ground. People who learn to jive dance work very hard with their partners, making quick changes of direction and spinning quickly, and having the lead partner lift and throw their partner around. Jive dancers stay in a small floor area, while other ballroom dance styles move all over the floor.

Jive Action

If you’re looking for an energetic dance that’s a lot of knee-lifting and hip-shaking, then Jive is the one for you! In the Jive, there are a lot of kicks and flicks, as well as twirling moves for the woman. It doesn’t carry around the prom floor like other dances. Jive dancers may look like they’re moving their feet in every direction, but their feet are well-controlled under their bodies with their knees close together.

4 Fundamental Jive Dance Steps

In the basic jive step, the dancers are closed and move their bodies together for six counts simultaneously. It starts with a rock step, where both dancers step back and forth over two counts. Then, they chassé to one side and back to the other side. It is the same as the basic jive step, but the dancers move to an open position during the second chassé. This is called a “throw away.”

American spin: The American spin starts with the dancers connected openly. The dancers start with a simple jive step; then, the lead partner spins the follower into a spin on the second chassé. During the spin, the next person lets go of their partner’s hand. In the end, they hold on to their partner’s hand.

People who chicken walk start by taking four steps with each other. Two people have one free foot, and they point it toward each other as they move their hips. With an open position hold, the movie is done. As the leading partner moves backward, the following partner moves closer.

Music and Rhythm are important in Jive

Dancers can jive to swing music and jump blues with about 200 beats per minute. Based on what kind of dancer you are, Jive can be done to various upbeat songs like Boogie-Woogie or Swing or Rock and Roll. It’s very important for people who are just starting to learn how the music moves. In this case, listen to the drumline rather than to the melody. The drum is what makes the beat.


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