Modern Jive is a dance style derived from Swing, Lindy Hop, Rock and Roll, Salsa and others, the main innovation being to simplify the footwork - by removing syncopation such as chasse. The term French Jive is occasionally used instead, reflecting the origins of the style. The word modern distinguishes it from ballroom Jive.
The term Modern Jive was originally coined in 1990 by Christine Keeble on a programme called 'How To Jive', designed to promulgate this new style of jive. At that time the dance was known variously as Ceroc, LeRoc or French Jive, although Ceroc was the original. Since Ceroc had a trademark, Christine Keeble used the term 'modern jive' to encompass all of these names.
The term 'modern jive' was adopted, despite the absence of chase or triple step (typical of "real" jive forms). Various clubs promalgating the name as the dance spread out from its two earliest centres of London and Bristol and it later became accepted as a generic term for the dance. It is now used by a large number of independent teachers across the UK and internationally. It is also used by many of the franchise operators, although though these companies still prefer to use their own branding.
Modern Jive is a generic terms that covers a whole range of styles and moves. In the UK, Modern Jive tends to be split into a wide number of classes and events, usually operating under independent or small groups of classes, each essentially teaching a similar style including:
- Swing Roc
While all these three forms of dance have Swing and Rock-and-Roll moves in common, moves from many forms of dance including Salsa and Tango may be included, according to the specific style and even the particular dance teacher.
Similarly, identical dance moves often have different names in each style, and different signals to indicate the next move. For example the Lindy Hop Swing Out is similar to a First Move in Modern Jive. Despite this there is rarely a problem dancing with people who have been taught other styles, at least with the less advanced moves. Because of its ecclectic nature there are hundreds of moves and variations that can be learnt.
Modern Jive is generally danced to music with 4 beats to the bar (4/4 or Common time), from latest chart hits to big band music and everything between, in a wide variety of tempos from slow to very fast. Some styles may concentrate on particular musical styles, such as swing.
It is considered extremely rude to turn down a request to dance. Women are encouraged to ask men to dance, though this is much less common than the reverse.
Modern Jive does not require special clothes, though for women shoes that are easy to turn/spin in are highly recommended.
Modern Jive is a male led dance, though experienced female dancers will often be familiar with leading, and will inevitably be substantially better than new male dancers. Thus, as there are usually slightly more women than men at a Modern Jive event, it is not rare to see women dancing together. Men are discouraged from dancing the female role.
Discover Dance Combinations: The Jive - Series 2 (2008)
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