Swing is a very energetic and unique dance. It can be simple or complex, but you can be assured it’s always fun. There are many different styles or versions of it, each with distinct characteristics. As its name implies, it is known for its swings, lifts and spins that can sometimes be quite complicated. It’s a quick dance that requires a considerable degree of physical fitness. In this article we’ll take a quick look at its history.
The history of swing begins with the history of Lindy hop. Lindy hop originated in the late 1920s in New York and reached huge popularity in the 30s and 40s. It has its roots in the Charleston and Foxtrot and was danced to what was at a time called jazz music. Jazz music was also known as swing music and the dances danced to it became known as swing dances. Lindy hop got its name after Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator. It is still danced today.
In general, the term swing refers to a group of dances that were developed in the 20s, 30s and 40s of the last century. With the rising popularity of jazz music many different forms of dances like Lindy hop evolved: Jitterbug, Balboa, East coast and West coast swing, Boogie-woogie, Collegiate Shag, St. Louis Shag, and Imperial Swing, just to name a few.
Although originally danced to the swing style of jazz music, you can dance to a wide variety of music styles, from country and pop to rock and roll. As music changed from the 1920s so did the dances. Rock and roll music brought, well, rock and roll. Rhythm & Blues music brought Imperial Swing, Carolina shag, and so on.
Like jazz, swing grew out of the African American communities. With the help of American soldiers during the WWII, it spread all around the world. Today, it is one of the most popular dances enjoyed worldwide.