WHAT Are sWING AND BLUES dANCING?
Playful, fast-paced and musical, Swing dancing is the name given to a group of authentic jazz dances originating in Harlem, New York and created by African Americans in the 1920s-1940s. The Lindy Hop, Charleston and others are social dances that evolved on the ballroom floor in response to Swing Music. Swing dancing has been danced continously since its creation, however in the last 40 years its popularity has grown and grown. Today it is danced across the globe by dancers of all ages, as part of an ever-growing international community. Across the country there are community groups, like us, who meet regularly to learn and dance the Lindy Hop and Charleston. There are also frequent weekend events in which dancers travel to meet, learn, dance and party with their fellow Swing dance enthusiasts.
Examples linked below:
Blues dancing is another group of historic dances that developed in African American communities in the early twentieth century. Danced to blues music, its is a varied as the music its self, with strong emphasis on improvisation, rhythm and polyrhythms, solo movement and a grounded aesthetic. Like Lindy Hop it is usually danced as an improvised, partnered social dance. Two of the main families of Blues Dancing are Ballroomin' Blues and Jukin' Blues. In Ballroomin' Blues, the dancers travel around the space with emphasis on flowing lines and momentum. Jukin' Blues are more static dances, focussing more creating rhythms and shapes within the individual dancer's body.
There are communities and events nationally and internationally to learn and dance the Blues. Blues dancing is a close cousin to swing dancing and many dancers do both styles.
Example linked below:
INTERESTED IN THE HISTORY?
If you would like to learn more about the rich history and culture of Swing and Blues dancing these are some excellent places to start: