STYLES OF DANCE
Swing: East Coast (or Eastern)
The East Coast Swing is one of the four "majors" taught in Social Series group class.

HISTORY

The eastern Swing, originally called the Lindy Hop, was born in the South of the U.S.A. and is the most famous American folk dance. The best forms of Swing included Charleston, Black Bottom, Shag and Lindy Hop. In the early 40's these forms consolidated into what was called the Lindy. The Lindy was first danced as a modified Box Step, with a slight shuffling movement. The shuffling movement of the original Lindy can be likened to today's single rhythm in Swing. As the shuffling, or single rhythm progressed, it evolved into both the Double and Triple Lindy, and today all three form the basis of good Swing Dancing. About 35 years ago, the Swing was danced in the Harlem section of New York City... At a time when such band greats as Chick Webb, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman were holding sway. It was in Harlem where the Swing took on most of today's popular steps and styling. For many years now the better establishments have frowned upon the wilder forms of the Swing because the acrobatics involved limited the number of people who could dance at one time. It is possible, however, to do a fine Swing in a relatively small area, providing the dancers are better than average and have an assortment of dance breaks. There is no question that the dance is here to stay, for in all parts of the country you will find dancers adding their own interpretations and changes of style. All dances, in order to survive, must be built up from a firm basic movement so that ad-libbing and complete freedom of expression can be interpreted into the dance. The Swing has there attributes.

TECHNICAL

The Bronze Swing music is written in 4/4 time and should be played at a tempo of 40 - 45 MPM for examinations and competitions. .


Swing: West Coast (or Western)

HISTORY

The Western Swing has quickly gained popularity across the United States because of its more sophisticated style and easy adaptation to today's modern Rock music. Originally a regional style popular in the West and Southwest of the U. S. A., the Western Swing made its bid as a nationally accepted style of Swing in the late 50's and has been gaining strength ever since. The Western Swing incorporates many forms of Swing including: Lindy, Shag, Whip and Push. Versatile dancers, eager to display their talents, are ever creating new and interesting movements in the Swing. In the years of its existence, the Western Swing has proven that it can endure the test of time. As with the Eastern Swing it is possible to dance the Western Swing in a relatively small area, providing the dancers have an assortment of dance breaks. There is no question that the dance is here to stay - for all dances, in order to survive, must be built up from a firm basic movement so that ad-libbing and complete freedom of expression can be interpreted into the dance. The Western Swing has these attributes.

The Western Swing is a spot dance not moving along the Line of Dance. Its slower tempo allows for freer rhythmic interpretation using Single, Double and Triple rhythms. Relaxed, sometimes shuffling movement and upright position are characteristic of the Western Swing. Occasional use of Hip Movement and/or Push Style are also used to enhance the style of the dance. The use of, SLOT dancing is, in most cases, a major part of this dance.

TECHNICAL

The Bronze Western Swing music is written in 4/4 time and should be played at a tempo of 30 - 35 MPM for examinations and competitions.


Source: Fred Astaire Training Guides