‘Swing dancing’ is a term for a collection of dances, danced to swing music. These dances include Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, Authentic Jazz, and Tap. They are all fun energetic dances that are bound to put a smile on your face. They are all easy to pick up, after one class you will be dancing all night long. The partnered dances focus highly on connection between lead and follow meaning every dance is different with each partner and never a choreographed routine.
Swing music was at it’s highest from the 1930’s – 40’s and is a form of jazz music that uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of bandleaders such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1945.
A personal favourite, and the most popular in Leeds at present. Lindy hop is most recognised for the gravity defying throws and air-steps, however that is mostly just for cabaret and television and rarely performed on the social dance floor.
Balboa is a close hold partnered dance, said to develop out of necessity due to a lack of space on the dance floor. It’s double-time footwork allows you to pull off incredible spins and impressive throw outs whilst looking like it takes absolutely no effort at all. BalboaNorth is the place you want to visit for Bal in Leeds, a very friendly atmosphere and new people welcome every week.
The Charleston is all about self expression, putting your all into the music and the dance. In this dance you can see arms and legs flying everywhere and a huge smile in the middle. Another double-time footwork make this an easy dance at fast tempos.
Charleston can be danced both Solo and with a Partner, it’s such a versatile dance which you can do to most music.