Swing dance is a bucket term that refers to any dance style traditionally done to the swing style of jazz music. These include
- Lindy Hop
- East Coast Swing
- Collegiate Shag
- St. Louis Shag
Swing is a partner dance, where two people connect with each other and nonverbally give each other cues, allowing each partner to respond to what the other is doing. Everybody dances differently, making each dance you share different and unique. As such, everybody dances with everybody…you can show up by yourself, and you’ll be able to dance with the whole room by the end of the night.
Swing is a street dance… it evolved in practice spaces, at parties, and on the social dance floor, instead of being taught in a dance studio. As such, there isn’t a set of guidelines defining what “is swing” or “isn’t swing”. If you move your body to the music, you’re swing dancing!
Swing can also be a performance or competition dance. The original dancers in the 30s and 40s often had competitions among themselves to see who had the best moves, and this tradition carries through to this day. During performances you can also see the “air steps” that are very popular among dancers and non-dancers alike, which involve dancers jumping, flipping, and flying through the air (although you won’t see these on the social dance floor for safety reasons).
Finally, swing is a social dance. Although swing dancing went into hibernation in the 50s, it began to revive in the 80s, and there are more people swinging out today than ever before! Every day new people learn to dance and make new friends with their dance partners. There are swing dance communities in almost any city around the world and dancers frequently travel from one scene to another to visit and dance with the locals.
Why wait? Learn to swing dance today!