Popular Swing Dance Styles
Have you always wanted to learn to Swing dance? Why not!? It’s exciting, versatile and so much fun! Did you know that there are formally 24 Swing dance styles? And that doesn’t even include the most popular of them all… Country Swing dancing! Here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona, we teach Jitterbug Swing, Country Swing, and West Coast Swing, as these are the most useful for social dance situations, from weddings to nights around town here in Phoenix. Crazy enough, each Swing dance style has its own characteristics and history, but they all come from the same root dance, the Lindy Hop. Swing dancing originated almost a century ago in the 1920’s. Here’s a bit more information on the three Swing dance styles that we can offer you:
Jitterbug Swing: Jitterbug is a dance that moves in a circular fashion, which makes it a “spot” (non-traveling) dance. You can dance the Jitterbug Swing to all of your favorite oldies, including Rock and Roll, and Big Band music. It is a modified version of East Coast Swing (or Triple Swing) that evolved from Lindy Hop in the 1940s. Jitterbug is the single-rhythm version of East Coast Swing. It uses mostly six count patterns, although there are some variations that use eight counts. The most important piece, and the constant piece, in this dance is the rock step, which is what creates momentum!
Country Swing: Country Swing is avery trendy dance in Arizona today. It is fast-paced and furious, not to mention lots of FUN! Country Swing dancing is very similar to Jitterbug Swing in terms of the moves you can dance, but the styling of the Country Swing is what sets it apart from other Swing dance variations. Put a little Cowboy or Cowgirl twist on your Jitterbug dance steps and you’re on your way to becoming a great Country Swing dancer. This is a must-have dance if you live with us in Arizona, so get started on your Country Swing dance lessons today!
West Coast Swing: The West Coast Swing is a smooth style of Swing dancing that started in California in the 1950’s. It is also known as the Hollywood Swing. This style is danced in a slot style – the follower has one track that is used to go back and forth on, like a balance beam. There are quite a few speculated ideas as to where and why this style originated, but it is not pinpointed to one time or place. West Coast Swing dancing is very flirty and can even be considered sensual, so when you learn this medium-tempo dance, get ready for a really cool experience.
Besides the shape of the dance-circular, a slot dance, etc…music is a big definer that determines which Swing style to dance. The nice thing about Swing dancing overall is that there are many different genres of music that you can dance to. The most common Jitterbug music includes early swing era jazz tunes, 40’s music, Doo Wop 50’s, 60’s Surf & Beach songs, Rockabilly, R&B, Blues, Motown music, Disco and Neo-swing 90’s and 2000’s music. Country Swing is preferably danced to Country music. It also mixes nicely with the Country 2-Step. Country Swing can be used to to some of the styles of music mentioned in Jitterbug as well. West Coast Swing can also be danced to a wide variety of music styles (R&B, blues, soul, rock, pop, ballads, C&W, and other contemporary music), but it is generally a little slower than typical Swing music.
All three are extremely fun, versatile dances! Come learn how to get down with beginners Swing dance lessons at Dance FX Studios today!