Schools: Dance Styles

Welwyn/Hatfield Council
Half term dance festival for junior schools

Circle Link schools dance project

Wyllyotts Theatre
Government project to get children dancing

Channing Independent School
Charity ball

Haileybury School
Dance activities for boarders

Wessex Primary School
Dance for Black History Month

Amwell View School
Working with children who have learning difficulties and SEN

It was really good to see how engaged the children were, not only with the dancing itself but also with the history of the dance too. Some of our more boisterous boys were particularly engaged I think helped by the fact that both you and Charlotte related well to the children in general but also, as another member of staff said, that you are ‘a manly man!!!’ I know that everyone at the school is looking forward to your next visit to us.
S. Stephenson, Martins Wood Primary School, Stevenage

I would like to thank you for the excellent effort that you put into the sessions with the students. It is such a pleasure for me to see them trying something a bit different and totally out of their comfort zone. I would also like you to know that Jimmy (number one fan) responded to you and your direction better than anyone had ever seen before.
K. Green, Assistant Head, Moulsham High, Chelmsford

Thank you for all your hard work. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You were fun, clear and very informative, whilst maintaining the interest of the students.
A.Box, Head of Dance, Haileybury, Hertfordshire.

The children’s enthusiasm did not stop at the end. They came back and asked to perform their dances in assembly to the rest of the school! So the whole school benefited from their experience. Thank you very much for your careful organisation. It is greatly appreciated.

The teachers were excellent and kept their enthusiasm throughout, even though it was a very hot and long day. The organisation went smoothly. The children, both girls and boys joined in the workshops willingly. They were inspired to learn and try their best even when the demonstrated dance moves were quite challenging. They remained on task even though the workshops were fairly long and required a lot of stamina.
Parent, Cambridgeshire

JiveSwing’s teachers have experience in teaching and performing dance styles through the decades, from vintage right up to Disco and Street Dance.


Dance by the decade

1900s Cake Walk / Jazz
1910s Black Bottom
1920s The Charleston
1930s Big Apple and Strolls
1940s Lindy Hop / Jitterbug
1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll & Jive
1960s The Twist / Contemporary Dance
1970s Disco Dancing
1980s Street Dance, Jazz Funk
1990s Modern Jive


Styles of Swing Dance


The Lindy Hop

The granddaddy of all Jive and Swing dances. The Lindy Hop is an African American dance which was created in the late 20s, using inspiration from the numerous dances that preceded it, such as the Breakaway, the Charleston, Shimmy, Texas Tommy etc. The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem was home to the Lindy Hop, where it developed throughout the 30s and 40s. It was danced to the sounds of Big Band Swing. The dance declined in popularity during the 50s and was revived in the 80s. Today it is fast becoming one of the most exciting dance forms of the western world. JiveSwing teach Lindy Hop inspired by the dancers at the Savoy Ballroom.

The 20s Charleston

Commonly recognised by the flapper dress and a feather in the hair, the Charleston dance became a craze in the 1920s, though allegedly it was danced as early as 1912 by the African American population in southern USA. This energetic style has had a phenomenal influence on the development of dance, particularly Lindy Hop. The Charleston, currently featured on BBC’s Strictly, is taught and performed by JiveSwing teachers throughout the UK and on tour in Europe.

Rhythm Tap

Rhythm Tap developed in the US during the late 19th Century and peaked around 1900. Rhythm Tap was made popular by the Berry Brothers, Nicolas Brothers and Bill Bojangles. Rhythm Tap is based on rhythm, balance and timing.

Swing Dance Routines and Strolls


The Shim Sham

The Shim Sham is a line dance. The version most commonly performed amongst swing dancers was originally a tap routine, choreographed by Leonard Reed and taught across the world by the Legendary Frankie Manning. Every Lindy Hopper should know this.

The Al & Leon Shim Sham

The Al & Leon Shim Sham is another version of the Shim Sham. It is an Authentic Solo Jazz routine choreographed by the Savoy Ballroom dancers, Al Minns and Leon James, who were part of the famous Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers group.

The Tranky Doo

First appearing in Harlem in the 1940s, the Tranky Doo is an Authentic Solo Jazz routine, choreographed by the Savoy Ballroom dancer Pepsi Bethel. The video (above) features the Savoy Ballroom dancers Al Minns, Pepsi Bethel and Leon James performing the routine.

The Cake Walk

The Cake Walk is a traditional African American form of music and dance which originated among slaves in South America mocking their white slave-owners’ dancing. Typically, couples would link elbows, lined up in a circle, dancing forward alternating a series of short hopping steps with a series of very high kicking steps. Cake, or slices of cake, were offered as prizes for the best dancers, giving the dance its name. The phrase ‘a piece of cake’ also comes from this practice. JiveSwing has been teaching and performing the Cake Walk across the UK and Europe. Have a look at the clips.

The JiveSwing Stroll

The JiveSwing Stroll, is a modern solo Jazz routine, developed using Authentic Jazz steps, that are used in both the Tranky Doo and Frankie Manning’s version of the Big Apple. It’s a great routine to use as an introduction to Authentic Jazz, as it allows you to substitute each move with a variation of the same move as you become more confident.