About Blues & Swing Dance

Swing Dance

is a vintage partner dance that evolved in Harlem in the Savoy ballroom in the 1930s during the Big Band heyday. Today, the term “Swing” encompasses styles such as East Coast Swing, West Coast, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Shag, Balboa and probably a few other evolving forms. The style of Swing that I focus on is the Lindy-Hop, which is characterized by eight-count patterns, a rythmic pulse, the inclusion of jazz steps and the ability to rotate as a couple on the dance-floor (as opposed to dancing in a slot as in West Coast Swing). Wikipedia does a pretty masterful job of describing the history, details and current status of Lindy Hop.

Blues Dance

is an American vernacular dance with a rich history growing up along side jazz, blues and swing music. Although Blues Dance is now taught in a formal setting in major cities around the world, it has had less formal beginnings in juke joints and blues clubs in the South and the Midwest. In essence, it is a street dance, with its own lexicon that dancers use to communicate with their partners as they interpret
the soulful blues music that’s such a rich part Chicago’s history. Learning to Blues dance is a great way to begin partner dance as the emphasis is on connection and musicality rather than footwork or complex patterns. You’ll be dancing by the end of your first class. Wikipedia’s entry on this topic is full of interesting background and some debate about the origins, history and current evolutions of Blues Dance.