Retired Faculty, Ithaca College & Cornell University, Ithaca NY
Wiliam H. Johnson "Jitterbugs"
short list of some of the major USA swing dance variations :
Lindy, Jitterbug: Harlem, NYC
Carolina Shag: Myrtle Beach, SC
'50s Rock & Roll: Philadelphia,PA
West Coast Swing: Southern California
Balboa, Bal Swing: Southern California
Bop (Beach Bop): Jacksonville, FL
DC Hand Dancing: Washington, DC
St. Louis Imperial: St. Louis, MO
Dallas Push & Houston Whip: Dallas, TX & Houston, TX
Jumpswing: Long Beach & Redondo Beach CA , Ithaca NY
Performance vs. Social Style: They can be quite different! Of course, everybody likes to show off once in a while (or more often, in some cases!) on the social dance floor, so there is an undeniable "performance" element in social dance. However, "real" performance not only involves many unleadable moves, but also extremely difficult, and even dangerous moves, the kind that one would never attempt in a social dance context, even with one's regular partner. Still, performance profoundly affects social dance. Creative perfomers pride themselves on unveiling totally new and neat moves; they will be immediately copied, made safe, or otherwise adapted to social dance by those so inclined. "Dance like no one is watching?" And why do all our dance studios have wall to wall mirrors?
In general, social dance is more about "feel" than about "look". Hence, social dance has more repetition, more "grooving" to the beat. Social dance also has more experimentation: spontaneously creating and attempting moves that may or make not work! Not only does performance swing dance have many more diverse moves in the space of a 3 minute dance (less repetition), but also an excess of flair, a greater abundance of dramatic moves than social swing. The adage "A mountain on stage looks like a mole hill to the audience." is relevant.
Swing Dance: Personal Styling
Swing Dancers: the author and Kelly Douglass
|balboa music||fast lindy music||jumpswing|