Things You Need to Know About Jive

‘Jive an international dance form can be describe as a lively version of Jitterbug’ .

It was developed in the early 1930s in the United States of America. In this blog, we’ll explore its history, characteristics, and tips for mastering this exciting dance style. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or a newcomer, this blog will provide valuable insights into the fascinating world of jive.

What is Jive Dance? 

“Jive is considered to be one of five Latin dances’. It is basically a dance style that is rhythmic and is performed at a speed of 176 beats per minute. At times, however, it may also be danced at a slightly reduced rate of 128 to 160 beats per minute. Furthermore, this dance style is referred to as “Swing” in America.

Characteristics of Jive Dance

Here are some of the qualities that differentiate jive dancing from other styles of ballroom dancing.

  1. Fast-Paced: Jive dancing is one of the fastest styles of international Latin dancing. Competitive jive dancers practise at a tempo of 176 beats per minute. Jive is often performed to rock music, giving it a faster speed and higher energy.
  2. Bouncy: Jive dancers move more quickly than other types of dancers. It is an energetic dance that is characterized by footwork full of small jumps and kicks.
  3. Energetic partner work: There is a heavy emphasis on jive dancing, which must include sharp changes in direction, quick spins, and a partner lifting the following partner and throwing them around.

4. Using a small part of the floor: Jive dancers stay within a small section of the dancefloor, while other ballroom dancers and dance styles involve a lot of wide movement throughout the floor.

Who started the Jive dance?

It was during the 1930′ (post the Great Depression) that this dance was first created in the United States of America by the ‘Afro-American’ community. However, it was in the year 1934, that a Jazz singer named Cab Calloway popularized this style of dancing throughout the country.

Is the jive a hard dance?

The jive is considered a moderately difficult dance. It requires a significant amount of energy and stamina due to its fast-paced tempo, and it involves complex footwork and movements that can be challenging to master. However, with proper training and practice, the jive can be learned by dancers of all skill levels. It’s also a highly enjoyable dance style, and its energetic and upbeat nature can make it a lot of fun to perform. Overall, the jive may require some effort to learn, but it is a rewarding dance style that is worth the effort.

How to Dance Jive: 

“Jitterbug,” a form of swing, is the basic dance style that has inspired the creation of this rhythmic dance. So, for the males, here is an explanation of the basic steps as follows:

  1. Step backward using the left foot.
  2. Lift the right foot and place it on the floor.
  3. Step to the side with the left foot.
  4. Merge the right foot with the left.
  5. Step to the side with your left foot.
  6. Transfer weight back to the right foot.
  7. Step to the right with the left foot.
  8. Step to the right with the right foot.

The basic steps involved for the Female are as follows:

  1.    Step backward with the right foot.
  2.    Transfer weight back to the left foot.
  3.    Step to the side with the right foot.
  4.     Move left foot with the right foot.
  5.     Step to the side with right foot.
  6.     Transfer weight back to the left foot.
  7.    Step to the left with the right foot.
  8.    Step to the left with left foot.

Costumes used for Jive dance:

The costumes worn by men during Jive include an overcoat, shirt, trousers, and a pair of dancing shoes. A colorful short dress and a pair of high-heeled shoes are required for the female performer.

4 Basic Jive Dance Steps

  1. Basic jive: The basic jive step is a 6-count step performed with the dancers’ hands closed. It starts with a rocking step, where both dancers step back and forth over two counts, followed by a chassé step to the side and another chassé step back to the other side.
  2. Throwaway: A throwaway is similar to a basic jive step, except that the dancers switch to an open position during the second chorus.
  3. The American spin: begins with the dancers attached in an open position. The dancers perform basic jive steps, then the leading partner spins the following partner. The following partner during the spin holds their partner’s hand at the end.
  4. Chicken walkers: First, take four steps with both partners. The partners together place their feet towards each other as they turn their hips. The move is done with an open position hold, with the leading partner traveling backwards as the following partner steps towards them.

Jive dance Youtube Video: 

Performed in many parts of the world today, Jive is a dance form filled with lots of ‘oomph’ and requires the performer to possess ‘high energy’.

After having read the information about Jive above, if you want to watch a performance, then checkout the Youtube Videos given below:

Basic Jive Workshop for Beginners

Learn to dance the Jive dance : Jive dance Tutorials

How To Dance Jive
How to Do Basic Jive Steps in Ballroom Dancing
Basic Jive Exercises – Swing and Jumping Style
Jive Sugar Push
International Jive Bronze Routine
Jive routine
Jive Tutorial: Kicks and Flicks
Kick Ball Change in Jive
How to Dance Jive Basic & Basic Routine
How to dance Jive – Change of Hands behind Back
How to Dance Jive – Miami Special and Sugar Push

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons

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