Jive (dance)

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This article is about the ballroom dance style. For other dances that go by the name "jive", see jive.

In Ballroom dancing, Jive is a dance style in 4/4 time that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s. 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.

Jive is one of the five International Latin dances. In competition it is danced at a speed of 176 beats per minute, although in some cases this is reduced to between 128 and 160 beats per minute.

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 1930s and 1940s "Jive" was an expression denoting glib or foolish talk.[1] 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.[2] In the UK variations in technique led to styles such as Boogie-Woogie and Swing Boogie, with "Jive" gradually emerging as the generic term. [3]

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 1990s-present, is a very happy and boppy dance, the lifting of knees and the bending or rocking of the hips often occurs.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development. by Gunther Schuller. 1968. Oxford University Press. page 379. ISBN 0-19-504043-0
  2. ^ How to become a Good Dancer by Arthur Murray 1947 Simon and Schuster. revised edition. page 175.
  3. ^ Paul Bottomer. 1997. Black Dog & Leventhal. page 157. ISBN 1-57912-049-0