Learn How to Jive
What is Jive?
Jive is similar to a triple-step East Coast Swing. Jive, however, is much faster, arguably more elegant (and less earthy), and uses a lot of knee and hip action.
Jive and East Coast swing share many figures, as well as the same music style and tempo. The basic look and feel of jive are that it is performed with lots and lots of energy, with the legs portraying a pumping action. Both the East Coast swing and basic jive consist of two triple steps and a rock step. The jive differs in that the count begins with the rock step, which is counted “1, 2.” The two triple steps are counted “3 and 4” and “5 and 6.” In competition, it is danced at 176 beats per minute.
History of Jive
Jive was first demonstrated by Cab Calloway in 1934. It caught on in the United States in the 1940s and was influenced by the Boogie, Rock & Roll, African/American Swing, and Lindyhop. The name either comes from jive being a form of glib talk or from African dance terms. Jive became a generic term for swing in the United Kingdom.
In International Style ballroom dancing competition, jive is grouped with the Latin dances but it is danced to Western music, with 42 bars per minute in 4/4 time.