Swing Discussion Boards > East Coast versus West Coast versus Jive

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Br0nze, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The essential difference between the emergence of Jive and its american counterparts was the music.. in the late 40s/early 50s there was a paradigm shift from 2/4 to 4/4, and the speed of the music speed increased, from the more sedate speeds of E and W coast swings .

    The powers that be in the UK ( at that time ) were responsible for adapting the substantial changes .. the reason ?.. the Bop/Jive being done by the American forces, to them, looked out of control, and too wild for the general publics acceptance in the Ballroom world of the time..

    My coaches ( as all I guess did ) were against it, if one was in the ballroom div (I still danced it on a regular basis ! ). ... many public ballrooms in the UK banned it !! ( some roped a section of the floor for "boppers " )

    It ( the time sign. change ) also affected Quickstep..
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Because thats OUR point of reference.. and one day, you will have your time period to reflect upon.
  3. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of a line in a c. 1960 German tear-jerker in which an older man's comment about the new-fangled jazz that the kids were playing translate as: In my opinion, there's been no more music after Brahms! ("Bei mir gibt's nach Brahms keine Musik mehr!")

    And basically that's pretty much my opinion about popular music after the early 1970's (side-benefit: I didn't have to live through disco). The difference is that I react to and judge the current music for itself and not strictly on the basis of what was happening back in 1972. True, my tastes and preferences are shaped by back-when, but I don't try to pretend that it's still 1972. That seems to be the main difference: don't continue to fight the old battles and deal with things now how they currently are, not how their predecessors were.
  4. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    If you're referring to "jump, jive and flail". ;) Most lindy hoppers I know wouldn't be caught dead dancing ECS. Granted that's probably a geographic thing because the dancers I know in Atlanta did (when I lived there) dance a variety of swing styles including single and triple ECS. By the time I left the ATL, lindy hop was just starting to emerge. As far as I know, they still dance all the varieties of swing.

    As far as the tempi and examples of the swing dances I posted, they were the first things that came up on a cursory google search. Even if the examples are competitive, I posit that the *style* of each dance is still representative.

    And no need to dig through the old Savoy/Dean Collins style business. That's so 1999/2000. I lived through that crap in person where I live and it was a major bummer.
  5. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    No, I'm talking one lead with 4 follows in a stack.
  6. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    I guess this is where we disagree - if you went out West Coast Swing dancing, that's not really what you'd see (unless there was a showcase), even though it's the same dance. This is what you'd see.
    Likewise for Lindy, more like this.
  7. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    As far as WCS - I don't see that much difference in overall style and feeling from one Benji Schwimmer clip to the next. It's the overall feeling I'm talking about, not necessarilly the tricks and whatnot.
  8. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Yep, Just hopefully with a big smile on my face :D

    As the elite 10 couples of WCS throw out the slot in favor of the virtual slot concept, I am sure there will be some interesting changes yet to come ...
  9. Apache

    Apache Member

    This is kind of nitpicking but I would somewhat disagree. It depends what you define as your "average lindy hopper". In fast scenes like Seattle/DC/(Certain venues in OC) the dancers would be more then thrilled but in more groovy/blues/slower music scenes like San Francisco/Philly I would agree they would be upset.

    Also, a question for people who are Jive dancers. How do people who dance Jive frequently feel about the Lindy Hop and WCS? Personally from my experience, a good portion of the Lindy community has negative things to say about Jive dancing to put it nicely.
  10. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Huh. It might be a regional thing, but I completely disagree. From what I've seen (DC area) Lindy shares a lot with ECS as far as music (tempo as well as content) and feel. I haven't done much WCS, but it feels completely different, whereas in the same song I could switch back and forth between ECS and Lindy with no trouble, and have any Lindy follower in the area understand.
  11. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    I agree it's likely regional. In my general area, the Lindy crowd tends to run towards the "purist" or "vintage" style and woe be unto anyone who wants to dance to anything recorded in the last 4 decades. About nine years ago now there was a HUGE blow up between the different factions of swing dancers that eventually led to the whole swing scene going supernova and then largely underground when it had been *huge*.

    I agree that a *Lindy* follower would be able to catch on, but the reverse would not necessarily be true of a purely ECS follower - especially one who was new to dancing in general. In these parts, hardly anyone at a "swing" dance dances triple swing. It's either "Jump Jive & Flail" (aka n00bs/single time) or Lindy with a smattering of WCS. WCS followers can pick up on Lindy really easily (kind of a "duh" thing there).

    I'm not terribly proficient at Lindy (pretty much suck) but I can hang on for dear life and follow along. My background is social WCS (rather than the flashy stuff a la Benji S.) and ballroom Swing (which is to say *not* JJ&F).
  12. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    I do WCS and Lindy (or rather I did until I entered the dance desert 6 months ago)

    A swing dancer is a swing dancer, whether it be Lindy or WCS, if you don't have an ear for the rhythm and feeling for phrasing of piece of music - you aren't a Swing dancer.

    If you understand WCS or Lindy (as opposed to following steps) you'll realise one is just a different styling of the other.
  13. b. brooklynn

    b. brooklynn New Member

    I have been trying to get into ballroom dancing because it is something fun and great for exercise too. I’m going to enroll in dance classes in northwest Indiana and see if it’s for me. Being a beginner kind of makes me nervous, but everyone has to start somewhere right!
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Exactly so. No guts no Glory.
    And welcome to DF.
  15. uncle joe

    uncle joe New Member

    What I got out of the conversion from WCS to the Lindy in 1953, was the Techniques that helped me lead more precisely because of the constant Resistance that was created by partners rocking away from each other, the accent on the up beats, Lady traveling on the first Triple (1 & 2), directional control by dancing in an ever changing slot (Not static), using extended space in open position and a few more techniques that never were taught in the two full six week Teacher's courses I went through in 1949: Chain Studio Swing which came to be called WCS in the revival years after 1980.
    In the 1940's Arthur Murray told his teachers, "Don't bother teaching Techniques, just teach steps". This statement was told to me by Laure' Hail, and practically defines WCS.

    And if the Lady has learned the simple techniques of following or by natural instinct is sensitive to a man's weight changes and body leads, she can follow not only any style of Swing but most Ballroom dances with a few adjustments of posture, body movements like Cuban Motion or rise and fall as in Waltz and Samba and Ladies learning how to extend their thighs backward in Tango.

    It is the Techniques the separate WCS from Lindy, and that is why WCS dancers can convert to the Lindy, but converting from Lindy to WCS, based on this Arthur Murray statement above, seems illogical. Why dance WCS when you can do the Lindy.

    I have seen enough ECS dancers to realize that they are dancing very much like Lindy dancers I remember from pre WW II days.

    I don't mean to step on any WCS dancer's toes, these are just my experience of dancing Swing in Hollywood and NYC from 1939 to 1963. What happened after 1980? I have no comment.

    Uncle Joe
    The Dancer's Best Friend
  16. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    I've done all 3, and West Coast is DEFINITELY my favorite. Jive is done in ballroom, and it's horrible in my opinion. It's like riding a horse as it's trotting and is a "ballroom-nized" version of East Coast. East Coast is a simpler 6-count version of Lindy/WCS. Not as much you can do with the dance because of that. I've done Lindy as well, and prefer West Coast over it. Lindy and West Coast are both 8-count dances, and WC came out of Lindy. There was a problem back in the day with space on dance floors, so they created a "slot" for dancers to go up and down with when doing their basic-8-count/whips/etc. It evolved from there. Now, WCS is done to a variety of music, often contemporary, and is smoother in styling with focus more on styling with the whole body. Lindy focus' is on fancier footwork and aerials with swing/big-band music from 30s-early50s, though some DJs also play other stuff occasionally.
  17. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    I have to disagree with WCS not swinging. It may not typically use "swing" music, like big band, but the beat style itself of the music still often swings in it's feel and execution.

    I've personally found here on the West Coast though most "swing" events are Lindy or East Coast. Even here, which is known for WCS, it's not as prevalent as Lindy.

    It's funny, because I've actually found this to be the opposite and more with Lindy. I started with Lindy and got to Inter-Advanced, and it's been about 11 years. I started WCS about 5 years ago, and I've felt that the connection is more important in Lindy, because you really use the momentum and connection to actually do the moves because the music is typically faster.

    I hope you don't mind me sharing my opinion. I respect yours, this is just my view :) That's the great part about dancing, it's all about making it your own and having fun, no matter what style you do!
  18. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, Silveralsa!
  19. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    LOL, as a WCS dancer for 5 years, whose done Lindy for 11, I find this to be the opposite. While Lindy is big about teaching the different "styles" such as Hollywood, Dean Collins, Savoy, etc, WCS actually has ONE style and focuses on the actual technique of the footwork and style in the dance. Since Lindy is so fast, most people are more interested when starting out in fancy moves and aerials (which should only be done by Adv dancers in my opinion since they can ultimately be so dangerous - just look as Rusty Franks who broke her neck several years ago, and she's pro-Lindy!). I've had the pleasure of being around some of the greats of WCS (and Lindy) with lessons/dancing-with/etc here in Southern California, and that's been my personal experience.
  20. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    Thanks!! :)

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