Swing Dance Facts


What is Swing Dancing?

Swing dancing first originated in the 1920’s and evolved with big band and jazz music through to its height of popularity in the 1940’s. Swing dancing is an umbrella term for a number of dance styles including lindy hop, charleston, balboa, and authentic jazz which are danced to music with a lilting swing tempo. The dance was born from young people modifying their dance steps to grow with the rapidly changing music scene. This created a partner dance which emphasizes expression, personality, musicality, and lead/follow connection technique needed for unchoreographed social dancing. Moreover, this dance was meant to be shared with your peers at a music hall, and is not focused on competition technique. Popular films and soundtracks such as The Great Gatsby, The Notebook, Pearl Harbour, Chicago, and A League of Their Own feature period dancing and have helped to rejuvenate exposure to such a wonderful era of dancing and music.


What is Social Dancing?

Social dancing happens when you are dancing socially with your friends. This is true whether you foxtrot, krump, hustle, dougie, pirouette, or funky chicken across the dance floor. We provide the music, you bring the moves. In our case, we play big band swing and jazz music which is appropriate for swing dancing. Because swing dancing is generally a partner dance people start by asking one another for a dance when a song comes on. This is a good way to practice what you learn in class or learn some new moves. At the end of the song the dancers thank one another and continue on. This can be an intimidating step, but we have all been fledgling dancers at one time and it’s ok to let people know you are a beginner. Then just dance! That’s what we are all here for!