The Jive dance refers to several different dances including the ballroom swing style dance named Jive, the Hand Jive and the modern or French Jive. This article is about the ballroom swing dance called Jive.
Ballroom Jive, originated in the 1930's in the United States. It is one of the swing dances of the era that also included Jitterbug and Lindy Hop. Musicians like Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller were playing swing music appropriate for Jive dancing. Eventually, the Jive traveled across the United States and Europe. The term Swing replaced the name Jive in the United States and was used to mean all the swing dances including East Coast swing, Jitterbug, Shag and eventually West Coast swing. In Europe, the term Jive replaced other terms such as Boogie Woogie and became the most common name for the dance.
The Jive eventually was adopted as an International style Latin dance genre and is included in the five International dances used in competitions including Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba and Paso Doble. International style Jive is very popular in Dancesport among competition dancers for its exciting, high-energy movements and lively swing music. A newer modern version emerged in the 1980's called the French Jive or Modern Jive for younger dancers that wanted to swing dance to contemporary music. Occasionally, Europeans will use the term Jive when referring to dancing apart from one's partner
The East Coast swing and Jive originated from the same swing dance roots in the U.S. Jive and East Coast swing are triple rhythm swing dances that incorporate syncopations although each does so in a slightly different way. They also both incorporate a pulse or bounce that is created by flexing and straightening the knees and ankles. A swing hip action accentuates the movement of the hips and ribcage, which is designed to fit the lilting feeling in swing style music. Jive, like East Coast swing, is generally danced in a circular fashion using two triples (chasses) with patterns culminating in a rock step. It is often done in choreographed routines for performances or in patter sequences using required syllabus figures and creative content depending on the judging rules at various competitions worldwide.
East Coast swing is danced in American rhythm Dancesport competitions and socially at ballroom dance venues or dance clubs. Many swing dances have become very popular in the last few decades, particularly during the swing revival of the late nineties and two thousands like the Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Collegiate shag, Carolina shag and the West Coast swing. The most popular swing dance currently is the West Coast swing, which has traveled across the globe and is thriving because it is a living dance that continually evolves to fit contemporary music.
San Diego, California in the U.S. is a center of swing dancing where all forms of swing dance can be found. East Coast swing, Lindy Hop and Balboa have a large following of swing dancers that started in mostly in the mid-eighties with Pattie Wells at the Jitterbug Swing Dance Club and the late nineties with the swing revival when Frankie Manning came out of retirement. Also, there are numerous Dancesport dance studios that offer the International Jive dance genre for social or competition dancing. West Coast swing dancing can be found most nights of the week and a couple of dance studios offer lessons in classes, individual lessons, practice parties and actual West Coast swing venues like the weekly Double Deck Swing dance parties at the Pattie Wells' Dancetime Center every Sunday evening. San Diego also houses one of the largest West Coast swing dance championships in the United States, SwingDiego, every spring over the Mother's Day weekend.