Swing Dancing In The 1940s
With shows like Dancing with the Stars, people are becoming more interested in the classic dances of the past! But unless you learned it early on, many people shy away from learning dances like the Lindy Hop. At Get On Board we are bringing you the chance to join in on some great dancing and learn a few steps of your own. It’s much easier than you might think!
Our 19-piece band will play classic 1940s swing music, with a few modern tunes thrown in. Our swing dance experts will take you through the basic steps of swing and get you out on the floor! And we’ll have a few skilled dancers out there to liven up the evening. So don’t be shy! Join in on the fun!
Swing Dance History
Swing dance came out of the late 1800s in African-American communities, mostly in the southeast, where ragtime music was the choice of dancers. This style of dance later moved north, where it paired with big band music and was popularized at the Savoy Ballroom in the 1920s. The best dancers would pair up and dance in a section called the “cat’s corner.”
The term Lindy Hop was coined at the Savoy by a well-known swing dancer, “Shorty George” Snowden who picked the term out of the newspaper headlines about Charles Lindenberg’s flight (hop) across the Atlantic.
From The Savoy, swing moved to the west coast with a young dancer, Dean Collins, and over time the two branches of swing developed different styles and became known as West Coast and East Coast Swing.
Although swing was developed in the 1920s and 30s it was not popularized until the 1940s when it was finally accepted by mainstream US culture. From 1935 to 1946, swing was king, only to be replaced in the 1950s by other dance styles, including the Twist. More recently there has been a revival of Swing Dance and it is fairly easy to find Swing Dance lessons.
East Coast swing is perhaps the easiest dance form to learn, with its six-step tempo and less intricate footwork. West Coast swing stayed more true to the original Lindy Hop style with its complicated eight step footwork.
Different styles of swing dance include:
- Lindy Hop
- East Coast Swing
- Collegiate Shag
- Lindy Charleston
- Carolina & St. Louis Shag
- D.C. Hand Dancing
- Rodeo Swing
- Modern Jive
- Boogie Woogie
- West Coast Swing