An Historical Look at the Evolution of Single Dances (1890’s-2000’s)
In Ballroom dancing, Jive is a dance style in 4/4 time that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930’s. It was originally presented to the public as ‘Jive’ in 1934 by Cab Calloway. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance. Glenn Miller introduced his own jive dance in 1938 with the song “Doin’ the Jive” which never caught on.
Many of its basic patterns are similar to these of the East Coast Swing with the major difference of highly syncopated rhythm of the Triple Steps (Chasses), which use straight eighths in ECS and hard swing in Jive. To the players of swing music in the 1930’s and 1940’s “Jive” was an expression denoting glib or foolish talk. Or derived from the earlier generics for giouba of the African dance Juba dance verbal tradition.
American soldiers brought Lindy Hop/Jitterbug to Europe around 1942, where this dance swiftly found a following among the young. In the United States the term Swing became the most common word used to describe the dance. In the UK variations in technique led to styles such as Boogie-Woogie and Swing Boogie, with “Jive” gradually emerging as the generic term.
After the war, the boogie became the dominant form for popular music. It was, however, never far from criticism as a foreign, vulgar dance. The famous ballroom dancing guru, Alex Moore, said that he had “never seen anything uglier”. English instructors developed the elegant and lively ballroom Jive, danced to slightly slower music. In 1968 it was adopted as the fifth Latin dance in International competitions. The modern form of ballroom jive in the 1990’s-present, is a very happy and boppy dance, the lifting of knees and the bending or rocking of the hips often occurs.
- Leader: Normally the male
- Counts 1 & 2 – Chasse to the left (Triple step).
- Counts 3 & 4 – Chasse to the right.
- Counts 5 6 – Rock step: left foot step back, right foot. The follower’s steps are mirrored. Normally the female.
Overall Jive is a dance and is the faster version of the swing. A lot of kicks are used in jive with a bouncy type movement using the balls of the feet a lot. It is an American dance originated from the Jitterbug dance, and it is danced without the lifts and acrobatic elements. Jive is a fast and energy-consuming dance. It is normally the last dance danced at competitions because of the energetic style.