Story of the Jitterbug Swing

EV001629Whether you realize it or not, you have seen the Jitterbug Swing in numerous movies and television shows, such as Dancing with the Stars, or Swing Kids. It is a fun dance that is popular with dancers of all ages and well worth learning from us at Dance Passion Studio.

The name “Jitterbug” comes from musician Cab Calloway, and while he didn’t invent the dance itself, the naming of the dance is attributed him. The specific origin of the Jitterbug is unclear, but the dance is said to have developed from already-existing jazz and swing dancing at the Savoy Ballroom in New York City. As a dance, it became particularly popular during World War II; American troops took the dance with them wherever they went, and soon versions of the dance were being done in many places in the world. Later, the Jitterbug joined the ranks of ballroom swing dancing, including the East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Jive, and more.

The Jitterbug is energetic and while it is great fun to watch people dancing the Jitterbug, it is even more fun to dance it yourself. It can be a fun challenge for beginners, but it is also the easiest of the swing dances, so it is a great one with which to start.  For professional dancers, the dance can become rather wild with faster movements, and partner work such as flips and breakaways. The intricate footwork and spins, costumes, and music make it thoroughly entertaining, as evidenced by its popularity on shows like Dancing with the Stars.

You can dance the Jitterbug to upbeat music, from swing and jazz, to rock’n’roll. Songs such as, “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” by Duke Ellington, and “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman are perfect classics for a Jitterbug Swing. It is easy to find a song you love during which to dance, making it that much more fun.

For those wanting to learn the swing, the Jitterbug is an enjoyable lesson with the right teacher, and even more so when you finally learn it and feel confident dancing with your partner.

Come see us at Dance Passion Studio and let us teach you the joy that is the Jitterbug; just join one of our ballroom group classes, or take private lessons tailored to you. Visit our website, or call us to find out what other dance classes and lessons we offer, too.

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