Dances Defined


EAST COAST SWING: This dance is frequently referred to as Triple Step swing due to the rhythm of the basic triple step. This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which require a rock step back by both man and woman to begin. It is a circular dance that is danced with a bounce and is very
grounded and not high in the legs. This bounce requires the dancer to stay very smooth and not jump around much. East Coast swing is the base for all swing dances.

WEST COAST SWING: This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which are done in a slot. The woman no longer rocks back as in East Coast swing, but instead she always walks forward on count one. This dance is usually done to medium tempo swing music, frequently slower than East Coast swing. However, those who achieve a high skill level in this dance can and do dance it to faster tempo music. This dance has no bounce and a very smooth feel. Rarely will you see high kicks or moves which require the dancer to leave the floor.

JIVE: This dance is the European version of East Coast swing. Six and eight count patterns make up this dance, as in East Coast swing but it is quite bouncy with very sharp kicks and flicks. Unlike East Coast swing, Jive is danced to a faster tempo swing music and is meant for competitive style dancing.

LINDY HOP: This dance came about with the big band era and is danced to fast tempo swing. All Lindy steps are eight count patterns done in a circular fashion with a lot of kicks, flicks, hops, lifts, and drops. It?s been said that this dance gained its name from Charles Lindbergh and his flight to the United States.

SINGLE TIME SWING: Single Time Swing is East Coast except without the triple step. It is basically taught to beginners in order to get them dancing quickly. It is also done when the music is too fast for the East Coast Swing.

JITTERBUG: Jitterbug is an offset of East Coast Swing.

ROCK 'N ROLL: A popular form of the Swing or Lindy Hop, Rock ?n Roll began as a dance done mostly by teenagers who were fans of artists like Elvis Presley and the Beatles.,

COLLEGIATE SHAG / BALBOA: Collegiate Shag and Balboa are light dances which can travel quickly across a dance floor. Shag and Balboa steps can easily be incorporated into your Lindy Hop. These are great dances for fast music, and are often used to provide a rest period during long uptempo songs. If you've ever seen cartoons which show dancers pressing their faces and torsos together while their feet move madly underneath them......that's Collegiate Shag.

SHAG: Not to be confused with the Carolina Shag, which is a slow, laid back type of Swing, Shag became popular in the late 30s along with the Jitterbug and Lindy Hop. The dance was done to up-tempo Swing or Foxtrot music, and was instantly recognizable by the flicking of the feet backwards with a pronounced hopping action.

ST. LOUIS SHAG: Fast and Flashy, the St. Louis Shag involves a lot of kicking and is sure to be noticed on the dance floor! This dance originated in St. Louis and is still danced there today. St. Louis Shag is danced to very fast swing music (approximately 45-55 measures per minute) with the leader and follower in a side by side position dancing the mirror opposite of one another. Fun and Aerobic, everyone enjoys St. Louis Shag!

CHARLESTON: The Charleston is the dance we associate with the flamboyant flapper of that era, however, Charleston had been around long before then. There are accounts of people dancing the Charleston in the South as early as 1900. Charleston became a national dance craze when it was danced on Broadway in 1922, and it remained popular until the Blackbottom, a new dance to the same music, hit the scene in 1926. Charleston can be done solo or with a partner. Paul and Sharon?s 20s Charleston video teaches the students solo Charleston and some Blackbottom steps that are arranged into a fun, simple routine.

BACK CHARLESTON: Back Charleston (sometimes referred to as Tandem Charleston) is a dance position in Lindy Hop where the follower stands in front of the leader with her back to him and both leader and follower dance the basic Charleston step starting with the rock step on the left foot. There are many moves and variations that can be danced from this position. Back Charleston is such a popular part of the Lindy Hop vocabulary that workshops are often devoted to it. Paul & Sharon?s Back Charleston video tape includes an entrance and exit as well as many fun variations in the dance.