Swing Discussion Boards > Opinions of Lindy/WCS/Jive Communities on Each Other

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Apache, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    I dance jive socially... that's what I call it, anyway. Basically the slow-slow-quick-a-quick tempo with some basic turns and american spins if some good music comes on at my local salsa club (they broaden out the music to cater to a general crowd at weekends) So it does happen - let's face it, if Little Richard comes on - how can you not :D
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

  3. DavidB

    DavidB Member

    I'm not sure what the best generic term is - 6-count swing / East Coast Swing / Ballroom Jive / Authentic Rock'n'Roll - but I thought the original poster was talking about one of these dances. I was taught an 'American Spin' years ago as one of the basic moves of ballroom jive. The first description I found was:

    The AfterFive site is a Modern Jive site. I don't think it is exactly the same move, although the end result of the lady doing a free spin is the same. Being Modern Jive the timing would be different to the ballroom version as well. I'm not sure who the author is - I think I've met him, but I'm terrible with names. There are quite a few Modern Jive move websites, but I find all of them confusing
  4. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    An American Spin is basically a Tuck Turn from an open position to a Ladies Free Spin off the Leaders hand. It can be lead from several different positions.
  5. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    Because we have East Coast swing here in the US as well as Jive, I tend to think of EC Swing as the evermans dance, while Jive is the amped up competition version. When I think of Jive I think of knees to the waist, side by side kicks and flicks which don't lend themselves to a club atmosphere, but I do realize that in areas where Jive is the predominant form of swing, it would be danced socially as well.
    In my neck of the woods (Western US) we are lucky enough to be spoiled for choice with EC, WC, and Lindy to choose from, so Jive tends to stay in the studio dances.
  6. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I'm on the East Coast and I think the only person I've seen doing Jive socially is a local dance teacher, with her regular partner. Non-pros don't do it; I also think of it as a competition dance (I assume we're talking about Jive, the latin ballroom dance, not "modern jive" which is an entirely different thing and not well-known in the U.S.) But all other forms of swing (EC, WCS, and Lindy) are popular.
  7. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    blimey - you're asking the wrong person... my eyes start to glaze over at that kind of thing (having only ever had 2 ballroom classes ever).. the trick is to get the momentum going, I push off my partner's hand and, er, spin around 360 degrees...
  8. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Well, I've just scanned youtube for 'east coast swing' and found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcVAKUNrKzE that is basically very similar stuff to what I do but obviously I don't do it competitive ballroom style, more 'street'. And yeah, I definitely don't get my knees up to my chin or if I do I keep my weight perhaps more forward .. main thing I do is just get loads of energy into it. My background is Argentine tango and salsa. My dance partner did competitive ballroom for nearly 20 years so I've picked up BR dances from him but do them in a social style.

    I just use 'jive' as a generic term, I guess...or, as in this clip... it's rock and roll, brother! :cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI4qO5Y9M1Q

    Where I live there is only really 'modern/french jive' (which seems so pointless and boring when you've learnt 'proper' jive) ... there might be the occasional WCS workshop but it's not well known. Salsa is the big thing. ECS - never heard of it before this thread. There is a guy from the US who has started lindy classes and seems to really know his stuff, the history of all the old dances from the 30s etc. I've not been to any yet but he led me into a bit of balboa once.

    WCS.. okay, a quick trawl of youtube makes me think it looks quite hard to learn but I don't find it an attractive prospect (though I very much enjoyed Heidi and Benji's energetic comp winner to James Brown).. it strikes me as being like NY salsa, up/down/up/down/up/down in a slot but gliding across the floor a bit like a moonwalk, not my bag, I like either travelling dances or ones where I'm really using the floor, not just to glide across it. I can't get a handle on what music you dance WCS to? :confused:
  9. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Hi Light Sleeper,

    Most WCS doesn't fill a whole stage the way the showcase pros do. The slot can still expand and contract, but it isn't usually anyplace close to as big as those guys do when they have the stage to themselves.

    Basically, WCS can be danced to any 4/4 music generally in the 90-140 bpm range. It used to be danced faster, but the recent trend is to slower rhythms.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This is from a very recent announcement of a WCS "Quickstart" class here in Portland.

    West Coast Swing is probably the most versitile of the many Swing dances out there. Unlike the vintage Swing dances Lindy Hop and East Coast Swing, WCS is very smooth, linear, and flirtatious. Its versitality comes from being able to use WCS with just about any style of music - so if you are a fan of Blues, R&B, country, or even Pop music, then WCS will suit you well.​
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    And this is from my "I may be spending way too much time looking into this" file.

    The dance (WCS) started out in or at the end of the "swing era", as "Western Swing". There was a Lindy Turn, and Lindy Rhythm, and you were supposed to know 3 rhythms to dance the basic moves before before learning the other moves in "Western Swing". My money is on - swing - as the first music it was danced to. My money is also on "Western Swing", the music, as one kind of music you could dance it to. (There were lots of Okies in LA at the time.)
    The Notebook containing the first syllabus for the dance only mentions songs by Big Band Era records.

    By 1958 someone used a rockabilly song in the movie Hot Rod Gang for the dance.
    Right about then there began to be a name change to "West Coast Swing", but the name Western Swing was common for many years.

    In 1960 one writer from Bellevue, WA mentioned using single rhythm for fast songs, and I think the other article writer wrote that the dance was versitle as far speeds it could be danced.

    In 1971 yet another writer cited a slow, "bluesy" song by the Bill Black Combo. I love it that Black's Combo stuff was very popular with strippers. And of course Black himself was one of the Blue Mountain Boys along with a guy named Elvis Presley in 1954.
    There was a funky" phase, etc.
    Last Saturday I danced to a very upbeat Dwight Yoakum County Western song (Bakersfield style).

    Bottom line is that WCS can be done to LOTs of different kinds of music, and that has probably been true pretty much from the beginning.
  12. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Hi there Kayak,

    It's hard to judge but I've checked out some 'social dancing' links on youtube and it doesn't seem to be danced any smaller (in terms of the size of the slot) on a social floor as it does in a performance, except when the performers break out of the slot to do something acrobatic and start a new slot.

    I think that's my basic issue with WCS.. it can be danced to virtually any music.. which for me puts it into the same category as Modern/French jive (or Ceroc). I think it's b/c I do Argentine tango as my main partner dance.. it is so married to the music. :D Next favourite, rock and roll because it's got the best, most energetic music ever and music I just love anyway.. next up salsa... but depends on the DJ :rolleyes:

    .. if a particular dance can be done to any music.. then chances are I'm likely to just want to dance by myself and not with a partner!
  13. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    .. as said above, that is why I personally don't feel attracted to it.

    Having said that, it's obviously a serious dancer's dance when it's done competitively or passionately on a social level.


    I love these two's posture and poise, absolutely lovely. I like the body movements. I like the fact they are dancing so musically and yet... I just don't find much of a particular connect between the dance and the music. Also, now and again in that clip the lady comes off her central axis in such a way that it looks if he let go she'd fall (which I'm not keen on the idea of ;)) And as I said, my preference is for travelling dances - tango, vals, tango-foxtrot, foxtrot, quickstep, waltz... then comes dancing by myself neck and neck with jive :D then comes salsa, cha cha cha, merengue, bachata etc.
  14. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    To each his own...I like WCS because it can be danced to so many kinds of music. It means that if I go to a WCS dance, I won't hear and dance to the same exact style of music all night long. I have the chance to express myself in different ways depending on the song.

    Having partners enhances, not diminishes that, because I find that I will seek out certain people who are especially good with the upbeat funky songs and other partners who can really work a slower, more lyrical song.
  15. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Yep, life would be boring if we were all the same :)

    But if you had the chance would you also like to go to mixed events (if such a thing existed!) .. you know like a certain section of the evening dedicated to one type of music/ dance and then change?

    I was at a tango social once and there were two levels to the building. After dancing tango all night, I went downstairs and had a quick burst of salsa. It was just so nice to break off and do something totally different.

    That's cool - sounds like you do well for partners in WCS :D
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    WCS feels different when done to different speeds of music. At the speed of the Dwight Yoakum song I mentioned earlier, your slot would be "shorter" because it's darn near impossible to to take big steps and keep up with the music.

    Something I put in wikipedia a long time ago, and they aren't my words.

    Being connected to the music is not very common, no matter what dance you're doing, once you get past, say, the 123 of waltz, and the "basic rhythms". But it's a characteristic of better dancers.

    I did a Two Step to a song and we caught all the breaks in it.
    Thank goodness my partner for that one gets it. I seek her out for those kinds of things, because she does get it. Most women just get annoyed with me.

    And, you know, even here in a city known for its AT, dancing to the music, ie being musical, is not all that common.

    And, there's the other thing. At Country Western places they play a bunch of different songs and do a bunch of different dances. It's not WCS all the time.
    With AT, I say, thank goodness for milonga and vals. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have stayed with it as long as I have. Rumor is that the "Westie" events, here referred to simply as "swing", features other dances, too.

    One thing I'm trying to add to my WCS is varying my steps to different rhythms in the music.

    But, as I write this, it comes to mind that WCS, aka Western Swing, was considered to be for advanced dancers back in the day, and it's sort of been "democratized" by leaving out much of the complexity of the original. Making it more of an everyman's dance gets you predictable results, I guess.
  17. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I think that might be a regional thing. Around my area, WCS has a much more proficient group than almost any other dance.
  18. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    You will just have to take my word on the size of the dance in a social environment with others on the floor vs what we can do if the whole floor is ours.

    Much like AT, I think most WCS dancers would say it was the connection to the music that makes them really love WCS. Traveling dances are fun when the floor is big enough. The fun of stationary dances is they fit in places that don't have huge floors.
  19. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Actually, in my area, most of the dances are mixed dances. That is, most of them offer a mix of different ballroom dance styles, different latin dances, or what is called California mix, which is is a mix of West Coast Swing, hustle, country, etc. There are some WCS dances where they play only that, but as mentioned there is a wide variety of music.

    Argentine Tango is the only one where people always just do tango and nothing else. I also know of a place in NYC where they have a dance with different rooms for different styles as you describe, and I wish they had that in my area.
  20. Beto

    Beto Active Member

    Having been to a few milongas in the past when I dabbled in AT, I noticed this too. Slower, typical (for lack of a better word) tango music was played or, at some other milongas, neo-tango. No other dance styles would be seen there at all.

    Club 412 on Eighth Avenue comes to mind. They had separate rooms for salsa/mambo, West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop all on the same night. It was nice having a menu like that to choose from. :D

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