• Jive dancing originated in African-American communities in the southeastern U.S. Some believe that the earliest form of jive was a Seminole war dance, which slaves witnessed and copied, while others suggest that jive originated in African social dances passed down through generations. The dance takes its name from the popular jazz slang term “jive,” a variant on the West African word “jev,” which means “to speak disparagingly.”
  • Jive first gained national popularity in the United States in the 1930s, though it was danced in African-American communities for many years before. In the early 1940s, American soldiers stationed overseas introduced the dance to Europe, where it quickly gained an international following. Since then, jive has remained popular across the Western world.
  • Jive dance developed alongside jazz and swing music, and it shares an upbeat tempo with these musical forms. Jive is danced in 4/4 time and is characterized by jittery, syncopated movements. The basic step of jive dancing consists of a six-beat pattern in which dancers step forward and back, and then shuffle-step to the left and then to the right. Jive is danced quickly–at a speed of between 32 and 44 bars per minute. Because of its quickness and loose, bouncy quality, the dance faced criticism for being “vulgar” when it first ascended to popularity. By the late 1940s, however, the dance was considered mainstream.

In ballroom dancing, the jive is a dance style that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s. It was originally presented to the public in 1934 by Cab Calloway. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance. Glenn Miller introduced his own jive dance in 1938 with the song “Doin’ the Jive” which never caught on.

The jive is one of the five International Latin dances. In competition it is danced at a speed of 176 beats per minute, although in some cases this is reduced to between 128 and 160 beats per minute.

Timing : 1-2, 3a4, 5a6, or 1a2, 3a4, 5-6                                                                                                              Beats Value : 1-1, ¾-¼-1, ¾-¼-1 or  ¾-¼-1, ¾-¼-1, 1-1

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