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Swing Dance Power Point

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Swing Dance
Types of Swing Dance
Lindy Hop
East Coast Swing
Big Apple
History of Swing & Jazz Music
пЃ¬ Jazz had two major offshoots: Swing and Blues.
пЃ¬ Blues Music was close to the original feel of the
Spiritual with its emphasis on storytelling vocals.
пЃ¬ Swing Music had vocals too, but concentrated
much more on the interweave of coordinated
пЃ¬ The most popular dance in America is usually
inspired by the most popular music (e.g., Disco
music created Disco dancing).
As Jazz Music became popular, suddenly America
had its first dance craze!
пЃ¬ With New Orleans as the "Cradle of Jazz", Dixieland
music, Ragtime, Blues, and Spiritual music had
been developing in the South for a long time before
and after the Civil War. As freed slaves migrated in
search of opportunity, they moved up the mighty
Mississippi to St Louis, then on to Chicago as well.
пЃ¬ Many musicians moved from the South to Harlem,
New York City.
пЃ¬ Harlem is given credit as the Birthplace of Swing
music, the Charleston, and then Lindy Dancing as
well during the 20's.
пЃ¬ However back in the 20s, there were no traditions in
partner dancing to draw from. People danced
freestyle as they looked for ways to express
themselves and from this came the CHARLESTON,
which fit the music to a Tee.
пЃ¬ A spirited dance characterized by swinging feet & outward heel
kicks, the Charleston probably goes back to Africa. Its American
origins began on a small island off the South Carolina coast.
World War I put everything on hold, but in the 20s the stage was
set to see the Charleston break loose with passionate abandon
as America's first dance craze. America had won the war, the
Yanks had returned from Europe, the economy was booming,
and now everyone wanted to party!
пЃ¬ In the beginning dancers went to the end of their arms, which
then stretched like rubber bands to snap the partners back
towards one another. After their arms got sore enough, footwork
like the backstep, the twist, the ball-change, & the rock step
became ways to stop momentum without having to use arm
пЃ¬ Recurring footwork began to develop as a natural way to keep
their balance at the end of a move. For example, some
basketball players know the exact number of steps a particular
move takes & the foot they must start with; one extra step will
allow a defender to catch up. Dance systems developed in the
same way as dancers discovered precise footwork to gracefully
accomplish their moves with an economy of effort.
Lindy Gets It’s Name!
пЃ¬ As Swing music developed in the 20s, so did a new dance,
which was part Charleston, part, something else.
пЃ¬ One night shortly after Charles Lindbergh's historic solo flight
across the Atlantic, a huge dance marathon was in progress
at the Savoy. A very talented dancer was doing jumps, leaps,
& somersaults followed by sky-scraping acrobatic lifts with his
partner. Impressed by the young man's skill, a reporter asked
him what he was doing. "Hey, man, take a look, I'm flying! I'm
doing the Lindy!" The airborne image clearly fit.
пЃ¬ Called the LINDY HOP in next day's newspaper write-up,
America had its first Swing dance.
 Interestingly, many of today’s Lindy patterns include all sorts
of variations on the Charleston. It was the addition of the
newer "Swinging" patterns plus the acrobatics and jumping
that signified the emergence of this newer dance form.
Inspired by the music, it almost seemed like the dancers were
indeed ready to fly!
Swing Dancing & The Jitterbug
пЃ¬ The term SWING DANCING came along five years after
the LINDY HOP got its name.
пЃ¬ The term JITTERBUG also appeared in the early 30s.
пЃ¬ "The Call of the Jitterbug", but its original meaning was
far removed from dancing. Back then the "Jitterbug" had
darker connotations.
п‚Ў A big band musician, had a trombone player who trembled from
alcohol abuse ("bug juice jitters").
п‚Ў Not long after the song came out, the meaning of "Jitterbug"
shifted to become a slang word for "hepcat" (a musician who
plays swing or jazz) and the type of music he played (i.e.,
Jitterbug music).
п‚Ў "Jitterbug" shifted again to signify a person who moved his body
well while dancing ("Shake, Rattle, & Roll").
п‚Ў By the late 30s the "Jitterbug" had joined "Lindy" to become yet
another popular name for Swing dancing.
WW II was the major reason that Swing
dancing became an American Dance
пЃ¬ The radio had already made Swing music enormously popular but
the spread of the dancing lagged far behind.
пЃ¬ Back in the 30's there was no television to spread images of the
dancing around the country quickly. However by the start of the war,
all of the large cities had become Jitterbug hotbeds. When GIs,
sailors, and flyers enlisted to fight for our country, they were sent to
major ports for a temporary stay before departure. These service
men & women headed straight for the USO dance halls since
dancing was by far the major form of recreation.
пЃ¬ As the 40s began, many GIs from all parts of the country now saw
the Lindy/Jitterbug for the first time. Once they saw it however, they
didn’t waste any time learning how since dancing was the quickest
way to break the ice in an age when time was very precious. Swing
dancing had arrived!
пЃ¬ The Lindy also acquired yet another name, "Jive", the British slang
word for "Jazz". Although its impact on England was the strongest,
as one country after another was liberated, the Lindy appeared in
France, Italy, the Philippines, Japan, and yes, Germany.
пЃ¬ American culture had found a very peculiar way to make its Swing
Dance international!
Modern Swing
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