Social Ballroom Dance

Topics: Dance, Ballroom dance, Social dance Pages: 11 (3632 words) Published: February 17, 2013

Emmylou Cortez Nicolas
BS Biology 1A

Prof. Felipa Oliquino
PE 2


The swing dance is not a single form/kind of dance but a group of various dances which developed in the earlier half of the twentieth century. These dance forms flourished with jazz or swing style of music. The origin of these swing dances can be traced back to the vernacular African-American dance forms. Today, the most popular form of swing dancing is Lindy Hop. In fact, many of the swing dance forms have descended from Lindy Hop. Other dances included in the category of swing dancing are Shag, Blue, Balboa, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Rock and Roll, Hand Dancing, Modern Jive, etc.

History of Swing Dancing
The art of swing dancing is influenced by many cultures and traditions. Apart from the Lindy Hop, various swing dancing forms have evolved from Charleston, Fox Trot, Tango and Waltz. The close dancing forms, Tango and Waltz were introduced in USA in the beginning of the twentieth century. Earlier, these dances were not accepted by the society; however, with rise in their popularity in Paris, the Waltz and Tango became instant hits in America. The dances like Truckin', Shim Shammy and Black Bottom are known to have preceded the swing dancing craze in the US. Variations that occurred in swing dances were numerous. Out of them, the West Coast Swing used a pattern of 6 beats. One can perform the West Coast Swing with any form of music. The East Coast Swing is similar to the West Coast Swing in terms of beats (6 beats are used). This dance includes stepping side-to-side. One has to take a step backwards after every three steps.

Swing Dancing of 1930s
The 1930s history of swing dancing is presented in the paragraphs below. Balboa: This form of dance evolved in Southern California; it was generally performed as a ballroom dance. The Balboa swing dance is performed in a close embrace and quick footwork is its specialty. Lindy Hop: This form of dance evolved in a period between late 1920s and early 1930s. It is an 8-count dance and gives more importance to improvisation. The 'jazz' or 'blues' rhythm is used for this dance and it is adaptable to any form of music. Collegiate Shag: This dance form originated in the '30s decade in New York. It is said that the prefix, 'collegiate' was added to the name for attracting the youth to dance halls and studios. During the later half of twentieth century, the name collegiate shag however, became standard. This form of swing dance was performed with a 2-beat rhythm.

The 40s Decade Swing Dancing
Swing dancing history of the 40s decade is given in short in the following paragraphs. Boogie-woogie: The boogie-woogie dance developed in the 30s. This dance-form became popular with the rise in boogie-woogie music. Boogie-woogie dance is also known as the European form of East coast swing. Originally a six-count dance, the boogie-woogie has undergone many changes; it is now performed with 8-count variations. The boogie-woogie and various forms of rock music are used to perform this swing dance. Carolina Shag: During the 1940s, the Carolina Shag was performed between the Myrtle and Wilmington beaches. This form of swing dancing is associated with beach music. The different forms of swing dances were popular amongst the youth. The college going crowd used to throng nightclubs for learning swing dancing in the 40s and 50s decade in the US. Since, there were no fixed or specific rules, various styles of the swing dance emerged. The 'New York Society of Teachers' began the work of documenting various forms of swing dance in the early 1940s. Thereafter, the Arther Murray Studios started teaching swing dance.

The swing dancing history is marked with changes and variations. Swing dancing was largely influenced by different types of dances and different dancing styles. Thus, one can see a lot of variety in this form of dance.

History of Tango Dance...
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