ALWAYS LEARNING

LIBRARY

Welcome to the Jiveswing Library!  Swing dancing originated in Harlem amongst the African -American Community. It is steeped in history, and we hope that in time, this will serve as an online learning resource centre, to provide you with online learning videos, as well as historical content and video footage from the Savoy Ballroom to the more current swing dance events around the world.

If you would like to contribute to the library, have a suggestion or feedback on how to improve the library, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

FRANKIE MANNING

Frankie Manning Jiveswing.com

Known as one of the founders of swing dance, and a vital character to lindy hop, Frankie’s radiant spirit lives throughout our classes, and featuring many of his original moves.

NORMA MILLER

Norma Miller Jiveswing.com

Some of our Jiveswing teachers had the privilege of meeting and working with the ‘Queen of Swing’, who has an extraordinary, charismatic legacy we continue to teach throughout our classes.

AL MINNS

Al Minns

Al Minns was a prominent American Lindy Hop and jazz dancer. Most famous for his film and stage performances in the 1930s and 1940s with movies such as Hellzapoppin’ & ‘Day at The Races’.

DAWN HAMPTON

Dawn Hampton Jiveswing.com

An American cabaret and jazz singer, saxophonist, dancer, and songwriter. Hampton began her lifelong career as a musical entertainer as a three-year-old member The Hampton Sisters in the late 1930s.

THE SWING DANCE STYLES

Want to know your Shim Sham from your Tranky Do? Here’s a quick overview of what’s what in swing dance with some of the dance styles and routines you may encounter at JiveSwing.

THE LINDY HOP

The granddaddy of all Jive and Swing dances. The Lindy Hop is an African American dance which was created in the late 1920s, using inspiration from numerous dances that preceded it, such as the breakaway, the Charleston, Shimmy, Texas Tommy etc. The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York, was home to the best Lindy Hoppers, where it developed throughout the 30s and 40s. It was danced to the sounds of Big Band Swing.

The dance declined in popularity during the 50s, existing primarily in small black communities and was revived in the 1980s. Today it is fast becoming one of the most exciting dance forms in the world. JiveSwing.Com founders, were fortunate to learn directly from Savoy Ballroom dancers and continue to share their knowledge in classes.

1920’s CHARLESTON

Commonly recognised by the flapper dress and a feather in the hair, the Charleston dance became a popular craze in the 1920s via dancers such as Josephine Baker and the musical Running Wild (1923), although it has its roots in African dance. This energetic style has had phenomenal influence on the development of dance, particularly Lindy Hop. The Charleston featured on BBC’s Strictly and is taught and performed by JiveSwing teachers throughout the UK and Europe.

Social Dancing Jiveswing.com
Aerials Jiveswing.com

BALBOA

The Balboa is a swing dance that originated in Southern California during the 1920s and enjoyed huge popularity during the 1930s and 1940s. Balboa is primarily a close hold dance with intricate footwork patterns. Check out the greats such as Maxi Dorf & Willie Desatoff. 

COLLEGIATE SHAG

The Collegiate Shag (or “Shag”) is a partner dance done primarily to uptempo swing and pre-swing jazz music. It belongs to the swing family of American vernacular dances that arose in the 1920s and 30s. It is believed that the dance originated within the African American community of the Carolinas in the 1920s, later spreading across the United States during the 1930s. There are 3 different styles and rhythms of Shag Dance: Collegiate, St Louis & Carolina, all quite different. In the swing dance community, it is primarily Collegiate and St Louis that are danced.

Blues Dance

The Blues is a rhythmical dance, originating in the African American and Jamaican dance communities years ago, which can be very up close and personal! When you’re feeling a little tired and lacking energy, the Blues is ideal. It can be slow, smooth and highly rhythmical and improvisational. You don’t even need to smile. In fact it often looks better if you don’t!

RHYTHM TAP

Rhythm Tap, originally called buck dancing, was developed in the US during the late 19th Century and peaked around 1900. Mixed with African American wing and Jig dancing, this style of tap was made popular by the likes of John Bubbles, Berry Brothers, Nicolas Brothers and Bill Bojangles.

STROLLS AND ROUTINES

THE SHIM SHAM

The Shim Sham is a Jazz line dance routine that all swing dancers perform at events. It was originally called the Goofus and choreographed as a short tap routine by Leonard Reed (1907 – 2004) and Willie Bryant (1908 – 1964). However, the 80s – 90s it was adapted into a line dance for Lindy Hoppers by Savoy Ballroom dancer Frankie Manning, using additional Jazz Steps. JiveSwing learnt this routine from Frankie Manning and teaches both versions.

THE AL & LEON SHIM SHAM

The Al & Leon Shim sham, is an alternative jazz routine, which we believe was danced in the Savoy Ballroom during the 1940s. It was created by the famous Jazz dancers Al Minns and Leon James, who were part of Whitey’s Lindy Hopper performance group.

Jiveswing Hoppers Aerial

THE CAKE WALK

The Cake Walk is a traditional African American form of music and dance which originated among slaves in South America mocking their white slave-owners’ dancing. Typically, couples would link elbows, lined up in a circle, dancing forward alternating a series of short hopping steps with a series of very high kicking steps. Slices of cake were offered as prizes for the best dancers, giving the dance its name. The phrase ‘a piece of cake’ also come from this practice. Jiveswing’s Joseph Sewell  has been teaching and performing the Cake Walk across the UK and Europe.

TRICKERATION I

Trickeration is a short Jazz Routine, known for it’s tricky jazz symmetry, that the black chorus girls used to perform, amongst their weekly acts at the cotton club. When they asked for a $5.00 raise, the manager let them go, leaving them with nowhere to perform their repertoire. At this point, Norma Miller adopted their routines and taught it to her own group, Norma Miller and her Jazz Men. Chazz Young, Frankie Manning’s son and one of Norma’s Jazz Men used to teach this, at GNSH – Goodnight Sweetheart, a UK event.

TRICKERATION II

Trickeration II is a much longer and complete version of the trickeration jazz routine, with some partnered moves, choreographed by Norma Miller in 2009, with the support of Frankie Manning , Chazz Young and finalised by Chester Whitmore. JiveSwing was amongst the first to learn this routine, which they performed with Chester Whitemore and Chazz Young in 2019 for Norma Miller’s 100th Birthday Celebration.

THE BIG APPLE

Choreographed by Frankie Manning for a show featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in 1930’s, this routine features a series of fun, but complex vernacular jazz steps performed in a large circle, as featured in the movie Keep Punching (1939). Several versions of the Big Apple existed in the 1930s, as part of a Big Apple dance craze. It is believed that the dance took its name when a group of young African American’s were discovered dancing it in a club called The Big Apple! This is a must know for all swing dancers!

THE JIVESWING STROLL

The JiveSwing Stroll is a modern solo Jazz routine, developed featuring Vernacular Jazz steps that were used in the Swing Era, including in the Big Apple. It’s a great routine to use as an introduction to Authentic Jazz. 1930s Savoy Ballroom Dancer Norma Miller stated that she loved watching everyone dance the JiveSwing Stroll, so we use it as a warm-up and ice-breaker at every class, workshop and event. Simple, yet effective, the stroll is perfect for dancers of all levels, as you can improvise.

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