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How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there?
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

In a recent thread,
Andy McGregor wrote:
p.s. I know some young pretenders think they are the King and Queen of MJ - but they've got the MJ footwork seriously wrong and have, in fact, invented a new dance - well done on the new dance, what about giving it a name that's not Modern Jive?
Well I've no idea who you could be talking about but there have been some new versions of Modern Jive developed, not the least being Smooth Jive but there also seems to be Street Jive, Modern Jive Blues and Slotted Jive. Jive seems to be a term for a collection of moves and bits of style from other dances so currently it seems to be incorporating moves from West Coast Swing, Tango and Blues among others. It becomes difficult to tell when someone is Jiving or doing a new dance altogether.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Southern Jiver wrote:
Well I've no idea who you could be talking about
It doesn't matter who I'm talking about. As it happens I could be talking about many MJ teachers I've seen over the years.
Southern Jiver wrote:
there have been some new versions of Modern Jive developed, not the least being Smooth Jive but there also seems to be Street Jive, Modern Jive Blues and Slotted Jive. Jive seems to be a term for a collection of moves and bits of style from other dances so currently it seems to be incorporating moves from West Coast Swing, Tango and Blues among others. It becomes difficult to tell when someone is Jiving or doing a new dance altogether.

Most of the 'new versions' of MJ are the same dance. For example, 'Smooth Jive' is the same dance as it's, more bouncy, forebear. The 'smooth' bit is an evolution of the way it's done rather than a new dance - think Morris Minor compared to the new Mini. Everything in the same place, 4 wheels, gearbox, steering, etc - we drive it the same way, but enjoy a very different driving experience.

Southern Jiver wrote:
Jive seems to be a term for a collection of moves and bits of style from other dances so currently it seems to be incorporating moves from West Coast Swing, Tango and Blues among others. It becomes difficult to tell when someone is Jiving or doing a new dance altogether.
I think this is the mistake most students make when defining a dance. They think it's about the moves. It's not, it's about the timing. If you want to put this to the test, take one of those moves you think has come from West Coast Swing and try to lead it while doing MJ with a woman who is actually doing West Coast Swing - it will not work because her footwork timing is different from MJ.

The biggest difficulty in defining MJ is that many people who teach MJ are not dancers or dance teachers, they're keen MJ'ers who thought they've have a go at teaching. Often they've fallen for the whole 'it's moves stolen from other dances' and 'there is no footwork' - probably because they've learnt the dance from another self-taught teacher.

If you want to know the basic footwork for MJ you simply have to watch MJ dancers and see how their dancing fits with the beat and bar structure of the music. Most MJ dancers seem to end up dancing the same way in spite of their self-taught teachers. And the reason they end up dancing that way is because it's natural for the follower to step on every beat to make the moves work. And most MJ dancers start on the one of the bar. Most of the time the lady/follower is stepping on the right on the 1 and keeps on stepping on every beat. There are variations but the lady keeps coming back to that footwork. And that is why most of those dances listed by SJ are still MJ.

Why have a defined footwork? You are doing a partner dance and the leader needs to know where his partners feet will be. This means there must be a convention and an agreement on this before you start dancing together. Consider ballroom dancing, it would be very difficult if the guy thinks he's leading a Foxtrot but the lady thinks she's following a Tango!

However, I keep seeing MJ footwork being re-defined by teachers - some unknowingly and some who should know better!

I think a better question would be 'How many different dances are being sold as MJ?'
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Dizzybee
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Quote:
Why have a defined footwork? You are doing a partner dance and the leader needs to know where his partners feet will be. This means there must be a convention and an agreement on this before you start dancing together. Consider ballroom dancing, it would be very difficult if the guy thinks he's leading a Foxtrot but the lady thinks she's following a Tango!

However, I keep seeing MJ footwork being re-defined by teachers - some unknowingly and some who should know better!


Quoted from a Salsa/Jive Teacher for 15yrs

Jive is fun
Jive lacks the structure and discipline of salsa (footwork what footwork?). It is less serious, less rigid and less likely to be taken too seriously. This has important advantages.

It means the dancers can relax more, feel the music more, know the moves more thoroughly, and this inspires confidence, and confidence is so important to the quality of a persons dancing.

Have you ever watched a dancer dancing with complete confidence, performing simple moves, and compared him/her with someone dancing without confidence. The confident dancer always looks better, and jive - through its simplicity - encourages confidence.

Jive is creative I was never taught footwork when I learnt jive twelve years ago, and this omission was probably to my benefit. It simplified the dance, and allowed me to concentrate on what material was taught.

After mastering the basics (and this does not take long) I could play around with timing, and framing. I could experiment to see what would and would not work. I could identify good dance partners and eventually explain what made them good, and all the while I was developing my own footwork and a style of my own making.

Jive is simple, and yet that is its strength, it allows you to embellish the dance, subject to your own interpretation, and what emerges is more fun, more interesting and more creative.


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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post, DizzyBee! It defines Jive for me personally. Very Happy

However, it doesn't really answer the question about how many types of Jive dancing there are? Question
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, it doesn't really answer the question about how many types of Jive dancing there are? Question


Try this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jive_(dance)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Dizzybee wrote:
Quote:
Why have a defined footwork? You are doing a partner dance and the leader needs to know where his partners feet will be. This means there must be a convention and an agreement on this before you start dancing together. Consider ballroom dancing, it would be very difficult if the guy thinks he's leading a Foxtrot but the lady thinks she's following a Tango!

However, I keep seeing MJ footwork being re-defined by teachers - some unknowingly and some who should know better!


Quoted from a Salsa/Jive Teacher for 15yrs

Jive is fun
Jive lacks the structure and discipline of salsa (footwork what footwork?). It is less serious, less rigid and less likely to be taken too seriously. This has important advantages.

-snip -

Jive is simple, and yet that is its strength, it allows you to embellish the dance, subject to your own interpretation, and what emerges is more fun, more interesting and more creative.


Dance With Your Heart & Your Feet Will Follow... Simples Laughing
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This is the kind of nice sounding but inaccurate copy that gets people to try jive. But the simple truth is that almost everyone at a Modern Jive night is doing exactly the same footwork. Which means there IS footwork and those who say there isn't are either wrong, deluded or deliberately misleading.

I looked for dizzybees source and copied and pasted a bit of dizzybee's post into google. I found this from a salsa/jive teacher with 10 years experience;

"Jive is easy because the footwork ( at beginner level at least) is easier than say salsa. Every beat is danced (unlike Salsa) and so there is no concept of "resting" on certain beats, and finally there are many more opportunities to practice than there are for other dance forms. This has various implications."

This completely agrees with what I'm saying about footwork where you step on every beat in the basic. You can read the whole thing by following this link http://www.dancecentral.co.uk/DanceNtral/Articles/whyJive.htm

In my experience it makes it much easier for beginner ladies if you tell them the footwork and simply chant Right, Left, Right, Left on every beat as you lead them in the dance. It makes it much more difficult if you leave them to continue stumbling as they try to guess which foot they are meant to turn on. IMHO it is KNOWING the footwork in MJ that makes it MORE simple, not more complicated. Not telling people what to do with their feet makes it much more difficult for beginners.

However, Dizzy has got it right, when people have got the basic they are able to vary MJ, they can experiment with the beat and how they use it - but they really do need to learn the basic first. And it makes it MUCH easier for beginners if you tell them the basic footwork rather than trotting out inaccurate and totally misleading phrases like 'there is no footwork' when the footwork is there for anyone to see. If you think there is no footwork and you're willing to say so on a public forum it's about time you took a close look at what's ACTUALLY happening on a MJ dance floor near you.
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Last edited by Andy McGregor on Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dizzybee
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Quote:
I looked for dizzybees source and copied and pasted a bit of dizzybee's post into google. I found this from a salsa/jive teacher with 10 years experience;


10 out of 10 A.M... Mark Stephens and he also says...

The most important tip
"We live lightly, but dance is the celebration of life and some of our most lived moments can be spent on the dance floor. Sometimes when I look at a crowded dance floor.. I see a couple dancing with laughter punctuating big smiles. This is something that experienced dancers so often forget: that dancing should be fun. The best dancers certainly look as if they are enjoying themselves"

I couldn't agree more.. If I had to follow and take that lot in, that you feel is so necessary to make a good dancer.. as a beginner, I would have said SOD THAT!! & gone to the Gym instead!!!!

Do I care if a man hasn't grasp the footwork? - NO
Do I care if I don't watch my footwork? - NO
DO I care if If I head bang at a Jive night - NO
DO I care if a man only knows 2-4-6-8 moves? - NO
DO I care how many Jive Styles there are? - NO (There are no limits)

What I DO care about is having a FUN evening, a good teacher, a good crowd, good music and for dancers at ANY level not to feel intimidated, because of level / age / size etc etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Dizzybee wrote:
10 out of 10 A.M... Mark Stephens and he also says...
I can't find any reference to where this Mark teaches, his qualifications, competition successes, association memberships, etc. What makes him an expert worthy of quoting?

Dizzybee wrote:
If I had to follow and take that lot in, that you feel is so necessary to make a good dancer.. as a beginner, I would have said SOD THAT!! & gone to the Gym instead!!!!
What lot? My instructions to beginner followers are simple.

1. Follow your hand wherever the guy leads it.
2. Keep your hand where you can see it/don't let your elbow travel behind your back.
3. Step/change weight on every beat.

That's it.

My guess is that dizzybee says there's only one kind of jive - the FUN kind! This is a great attitude to have. However, as a dance teacher I really do need to know what's going on in the dance and what makes each dance different.

Answering questions about the number of types of jive by saying 'I don't care, I just want fun' is a fun way to answer. Let's be honest, it's a bit off topic.
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Dizzybee
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

HOLY MOLY....
Are you telling me you have stressed yourself out, looking for a name and his qualifications etc etc etc....
I only popped a quote I found.... I didn't expect the poor Guy to get the third degree... He'd just love you!!!

I respect that you have been dancing and teaching for donkeys years and have all the Qualifications - medals, bla bla bla...( I DON'T !! )
I'm probably the worst Jive dancer in the South, probably because its a 'Fun' thing and I don't watch my feet!!
What I do know is, we have here in the South a handful of excellent Dance Organisations/Teachers, who are the best Jive teachers I Know,
who have not stayed stuck in a time warp and have moved on to make the Jive scene more interesting, incorporating Jive with Swing/
Salsa/Cha Cha cha/ Tango/Blues, and it works & so does the footwork - (Trust me, it does)

You say your Instructions are as follows..

1. Follow your hand wherever the guy leads it.
A. Uhhhhh... Follow where ever the Guy leads it?... Your avin' a laugh.. I'm not sticking my hand in his trousers!!!! Shocked

2. Keep your hand where you can see it/don't let your elbow travel behind your back.
A. Whaaaat!!! If I danced looking at my hands all night, my elbow WOULD be behind my back (IN HANDCUFFS) Confused

3. Step/change weight on every beat.
A. Change Weight On Every Beat??... Nice one.... I could be a size 6 in half hour!! Laughing


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Dizzybee wrote:
HOLY MOLY....
Are you telling me you have stressed yourself out, looking for a name and his qualifications etc etc etc....
I only popped a quote I found.... I didn't expect the poor Guy to get the third degree... He'd just love you!!!

I respect that you have been dancing and teaching for donkeys years and have all the Qualifications - medals, bla bla bla...( I DON'T !! )
I'm probably the worst Jive dancer in the South, probably because its a 'Fun' thing and I don't watch my feet!!
As I said, the question was about the number 'kinds of jive dancing'. This question begs a further question 'how do you define the 'kinds'? A possible answer to this question is 'I don't care so long as I'm having fun'. As I said, it doesn't really answer the question - in fact it's a way of saying 'silly question'. It follows that any answer to a 'silly question' is also 'silly' - but only if you believe the correct answer is to 'how many kinds... ' is 'FUN' Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:00 am    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

UHhhhhhhhhh.. Are you drunk!!!! Or am I being really 'SILLY' Rolling Eyes

I'm the 'Dancer' and your the 'Teacher' a very serious one at that... you really missed the joke there..

As a 'Dancer' I'm not too concerned about how many Jive styles there are, as it doesn't seem to affect an evening of mixed footwork, that you seem Sooooooo concerned that we aren't doing.

As a 'Teacher' you should only be concerned if other styles of Jive are coming to town and your not too ready for the change or up for it... Are You??

'Teacher' in the sense you are NOT the only 'Teacher' on this site.... otherwise not only would I be SILLY I'd have gone doolally!!!!

But do keep the teaching tips coming... as I'm a bit SILLY and do like a good read however serious it may be.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: How many kinds of Jive Dancing are there? Reply with quote

Dizzybee wrote:
As a 'Dancer' I'm not too concerned about how many Jive styles there are,
Yes, I got that message. However, SJ asked a serious question and I gave a serious answer.

I have given silly answers to silly questions. And I have sometimes decided that a seemingly serious question is silly and have given an appropriate answer which is way off topic. On this occasion I thought it was a serious question so I gave a considered answer - no alcohol or other drugs has crossed my lips - OK, I've had too much coffee which is why I'm posting at this silly time!

And I have got the message that Dizzybee is dancing for fun! Aren't we all?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In answer to SJ's question, historical precedent is that they are all forms of Modern Jive. This kind of variation can also be seen in Lindy, Salsa and various other dances. Even WCS..... To make the point about historical precedent.....

There are three forms of WCS I know about. Modern funky WCS which is what we all dance and is actually a fairly new version of the dance. There is traditional WCS, which is less funky, less playful, more strict in rule interpretation. And there is Ballroom WCS, which is a kind of faster, tippy tappy version. None of these are the same, and there are structure and technique differences as well as pretty large footwork differences. Arguably I'd say the differences are bigger than any between the Jive variations you list in the first post. These different versions of WCS have evolved over time, but nobody (I think) would claim that any of those three are not WCS.
(there might even be more variations, particular in the States, not a dance history expert Smile).

Modern Jive follows this 'dance model' perfectly. IMO they are all Modern Jive.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He gets the message Rolling Eyes But he left his humour at the bottom of his coffee cup!!! Shocked **********************


Quote:
(there might even be more variations, particular in the States, not a dance history expert Smile).


'Lets Get Serious'.. Oooowee a song there (Jemaine Jackson) Laughing Just can't help myself!! Laughing

Texas Tommy
The Lindy Hop
Jitterbug & Shag
Skip-Jive
Jive Rock 'n' Roll
The Stroll
Hand Jive
Ballroom Jive & Jive & Bop
Ceroc & LeRoc
Cajun Jitterbug & Zydeco
The Hustle
Disco Fox
West Coast Swing
East Coast Swing
Swing Dance
Hollywood Style
Street Jive


History Of Jive http://www.howtojive.com/intro-history.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Dizzybee, you did get serious Smile

Interesting list but I'm not sure that I would consider Leroc or Ceroc a "type" of Jive dancing but then again maybe it's evolved into a type from the original company name.

Hmm..also not sure about The Hustle and Disco Fox. They sound more like disco styles.

I must look up Texas Tommy, Cajun Jitterbug & Zydeco and Skip-Jive....they sound fun. Smile

I see you are also including the "Swing" dances, WCS, Shag etc which I suppose are technically related to Jive just as Lindy Hop is a forebear.

Good link. Thanks, Dizzybee.

I particularly liked this :
Quote:
Jitterbug also began to be called "Jitterbug Jive" during World War Two, possibly because there were a lot of Mickey Mouse versions going around, so the word "Jive" was added in respect to its common American usage meaning a 'joke', a 'fake' or a 'put-on' - as in 'Don't jive me man!' meaning 'Don't kid me' or 'Stop fooling around'. Thus in both the US and the UK this was shortened to 'Jive', especially when describing the dancing of some young white kids who developed new enthusiasm for it after the war. After a while, though, Americans went back to using the words Jitterbug or Lindy Hop(especially on the East Coast). In Europe the word "Jive" remained and became the general descriptive word for all the styles of partner dancing that derived from (and including) the original Lindy Hop.

and
Quote:
The Madison, The Hully Gully, and The Wobble were amongst the most popular of these dances in the US in the 1950's. The Shim-Sham was in fact a very early Swing Lindy dance that has gained a new lease of life more recently. Modern equivalents have been the 'Bus Stop' (as danced in 'Saturday Night Fever') or more recently the 'Macarena' (danced to the hit of the same name), which of course owes a lot also to the original 'Hand Jive'.

and also this link on the history of Ceroc.
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