Christine Keeble and Simon de Lisle
The original Modern Jive DVD

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Ballroom Jive & Jive & Bop

In the early 1960's, the six count basic, side step, side step, back replace, entered the scene in a big way, which many current teachers assert is the basic Lindy step. There is no evidence of anyone dancing like that at the Savoy, but the six-count can be probably dated back to developments during World War Two. At this time New York Ballroom Teachers were attempting to take over the Jitterbug but at the same time trying to establish a different basic move.

Worried by the avalanche of new ballroom dances during the late 1950's, the people who run the British Ballroom Competitions decided to analyse and produce syllabuses for some of the most currently popular dances around in order to attract new young dancers to the competition scene. "Ballroom Jive" is the UK name for the specific competition style of Jitterbug developed by the dance-teaching establishment. Characterised by a 'chassis' from side to side and a back replace, this style accentuates the pumping action of the knees, as dancers shift their weight in the chassis. Included as the "American" part of the "Latin & American Dance Categories", it is widely danced today. Simplified versions are taught all over as basic Lindy Hop and Jitterbug, (which it isn't), or as East Coast Swing.

Contrary to some American understanding, "Ballroom Jive" is far from being the whole of "Jive" - there remains many ordinary "jivers" who keep dancing their own arm-pumping (to keep time) two beat patterns with no guidance from any dance studio. Remaining underground throughout the 1960's, this style broke out in the 70's and a big retro-50's jive scene emerged. This brought to life in the UK, for the first time, the American 50's "Bop" dance craze. The Bop consists largely of dancing solo, while tapping alternatively the heel and the toe of either foot. This scene has carried on thriving until the present day and centres on various dance venues scattered through the UK and a series of massive weekenders that are usually filled to capacity. (see

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