In this article, we include swing dance videos from around the world. In addition, we feature all of the major swing dance styles. Swing dancing has a kind of allure that is enduring, which is why it has been popular since it originated in the early part of the twentieth century. Moreover, it has spread to all corners of the globe and can be seen in Australia, Japan, Russia, Romania, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and the United States.

Swing dancing

(Photo Susanne Sandberg & Thorbjorn Urskog YouTube)

(French Open West Coast Swing 2014 – Alexandre & Irina)

Check out this video blog of some of the 23 countries, 78 cities and over 3000 dancers that participated in the International West Coast Swing Flash Mob in 2014.

Swing Dance

The term “swing dance” is an  umbrella term for all the swing dance genres including: Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Jitterbug, Shag, Jive,  West and East Coast swing. In addition, the other dance genres that are included in the Swing Era dances are Balboa, Bal-swing and Lindy Charleston.

Swing dancing started in the early twentieth century during the Swing Era that evolved parallel with the Jazz Age. In addition, the musicians added a triple rhythm to the music and the swing dancers incorporated it into their dancing in the 1920’s, read more about the Evolution Of Swing Dancing here!

Lindy Hop (Swing Dance)

The International Lindy Hop Championships ILHC 2014
Pro Showcase ft. Dax Hock & Sarah Breck

Lindy Hop is the original swing dance that developed in the 1920’s during the Swing Era in New York. Moreover, some of the earliest filmed Lindy hoppers were Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers including Frankie Manning. Eventually, the Lindy Hop evolved over the years from Savoy style to smooth or Hollywood style, then into other forms like East Coast swing. Finally, it disappeared all together until it was brought back in the late 1990’s by a group of swing dancers who brought Frankie Manning out of retirement to promote it. Additionally, the “Swing Revival” of the early two-thousands introduced many new swing dancers to the Lindy Hop. Hence, this period is sometimes called the Neo-swing era. It has lasted for over a decade and a half and is still going strong. One can still find Lindy Hop dancng and dancers across the globe.

Carolina Shag (Swing Dance)

Brennar and Autumn dancing Carolina Shag@ Grand Nationals 2014

The Carolina Shag is a slotted dance that has elements of both West and East Coast swing. It is danced in a slot upright and smooth like the West Coast swing but moves toward and away from the partner similar to East Coast swing. The Lead part is more prominent in the dance unlike most of the other swing dances where the Follow part is highlighted. Carolina Shag is popular mostly in the Carolina’s and other parts of the East Coast more so than on the West Coast of the United States.

Boogie Woogie (Swing Dance)

Susanne B. Sandberg & Thorbjørn S. Urskog

Boogie Woogie is the European form of swing dance that is similar to the East Coast swing in the United States. The music is fast and the dancers incorporate Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, aerials, slides, drops and other acrobatics into the dance, particularly for competition. It is sometimes called Rock & Roll in some countries in Europe.

Jive (Swing Dance)

The Jive originated in the United Kingdom and is included in the Latin dance division of the International Latin dance competitions. The Jive is danced to fast swing music averaging 160 beats per minute.

Sometimes the competition variety of Jive is called Ballroom Jive since the development of Modern Jive, Ceroc, French Jive and the other forms of swing that are popular in Europe. Watch this amazing videog of Riccardo & Yulia dancing jive!

Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko dancing Jive WSSDF 2014

Balboa (Swing Dance)

Balboa dancing started on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach in the early twentieth century.  Unlike other swing dances, it uses a close embrace and is danced in a more upright position and closer to ones partner. Some dancers mix Lindy Hop or swing movements into the Balboa and call it Bal-swing, which uses both closed and open positions

Mickey Fortanasce & Kelly Arsenault dancing Balboa at Prague Spring Swing Festival

West Coast Swing (Swing Dance)

French Open 2014 Showcase Arnaud Perga & Maëlle Jacoulet

West Coast swing evolved from the original swing dance, the Lindy Hop. This tool place on the West Coast of the United States in the 1960’s. In addition, it was originally called Western Swing but the name was later changed to West Coast swing. In 1978, the West Coast swing became the official dance of California.

Ekow & Sarve – West coast swing performance at the London ZoukFest 2014

There are three distinct arenas of West Coast swing: performance, competition and social dancing. In its classic form it uses predominantly two rhythm variations: six and eight count patterns in walks (doubles) and triples. Also, there is a lot of room for rhythm variations including delayed single and syncopations.

FOWCS 2014 2nd place showcase

(French Open 2014 – Alexandre Biesse & Irina Puzanova, 2nd Place showcase)

Skippy Blair and the Golden State Teachers Association have been crucial in the development of this dance genre. Also, this is one of the few dance genres that continues to evolve with contemporary music. Consequently, it is sometimes called a “living” dance. Check out 25 West Coast Swing Dancers To Watch in 2015 and read more about the West Coast swing here!

Watch/read more swing dance articles & videos here!