Historia del swing / Swing history

The History of Swing

Nowadays it is very popular to dance at the rhythm of swing, and yes, we say swing rhythm, because swing is music and with this type of music, many types of dance have emerged over the years. I hope that our journey through the history of swing in this article encourages you to practice some of their dances!

 

The History of Swing

Swing music was born in the United States in the 20th century, at the end of the 20s. And it had its greatest splendor in the 30s and 40s, in the famous “era of swing”.

This beginning of the dances of the swing occurs in the south of the United States, mainly in New Orleans, but also in cities such as Kansas City, Chicago and New York.

Between 1910 and 1920, in the African-American community, the roots of swing dances were forged by spontaneous dancers who enjoyed dancing to the rhythm of the piano chords of the Ragtime, Dixieland and Jazz.

These principles would end up evolving until one of the most known dances of the swing, the Lindy Hop, and from there they left many more, like the Jitterbug, Balboa, Shag, Jive or Charleston among others.

Created mainly by black dancers, these dances were very fast and with quite spectacular and acrobatic choreographies.

With the appearance of the “Big Band” in the 30s, the swing reached its maximum splendor and became a more danceable style for anyone who proposed it.

In 1938, with the concert of one of the most famous Big Band, that of Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall consolidates the swing as a social phenomenon and declares the “fever of swing”. Along with other bands like Woody Herman or Glenn Miller, the swing had its best years in the 30s and 40s.

 

The dances of Swing

And hand in hand with the history of swing as music are the dances that can be danced with it. Today we mention the most popular.

 

Lindy Hop:

as we commented is the original dance that came with the swing. It was developed in New York City, in the Savoy Ballroom. The Savoy was in Harlem and opened its doors on March 26, 1926, it was the most successful room due to its giant dance floor and its double raised platform for the orchestra.

According to legend, the name of this type of dance is related to the aviator Charles Lindbergh (known as Lucky Lindy), the first to perform the jump (hop) of the Atlantic Ocean without any scale in 1927.
Such was the success of Lindy Hop that Life magazine, on its cover of August 23, 1943 declared Lindy Hop as a national dance.

 

Charleston:

its origin lies among African-Americans living on a small island near the city of Charleston, South Carolina. It was already danced in 1903 and it was in 1923 when it was introduced in the theaters through the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, which was immediately successful.

 

Balboa:

a style that allows the dancer to dance very fast swing rhythms, without occupying much space on the track. With movements of short, fast and attractive feet, that barely get up off the ground, they get the dance to flow in a very light way. The Balboa was born in Southern California in the 1930s as a result of the crowded tracks on Newport Beach.

 

Tap or tap:

it is not just a dance but an instrument to create music. It allows great creativity and improvisation. It is danced individually or in a group and with the help of special shoes with metal clappers, at the same time that you dance, you create music with your feet. Although he was not originally from the United States, during the twentieth century he had a boom in this country coinciding with the swing fever and dancing the tap with swing music.

 

And I cannot say goodbye without telling you that dancing is health, it’s happiness and it’s something you cannot stop doing!
So, while you are looking for a school to start taking a few steps, go for a trip with TravelTodance, in all trips there is dancing and much laughter!

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