Swing is another all American dance which dates back to the 1920’s. We have Black Americans to thank for creating the Charleston, Shag and the Lindy Hop (named to honor Charles “Lindy” Lindberg the great American aviator) to go along with Jazz and Blues music. In 1934, Cab Calloway introduced a tune called “Jitterbug” and the name stuck to a 6 count beat variant of the dance. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, the terms Lindy Hop, Jitterbug and Swing were all used to describe the same style of dancing taking place on the streets, in the night clubs, in contests and in the movies. Swing Mania hit and Swing dancing has enjoyed continuing popularity.

The character of the Swing is upbeat and fun. It is a happy and playful dance. East Coast Triple Swing and Single Step Swing tend to be very circular in their movements and work more on a 6-count beat basic. The Single Swing, being the closest to the original form, has simpler footwork and is great for dancing to extremely up tempo music like the old Big Band Tunes as performed by the likes of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The East Coast Swing can be danced to slower, Blues, Rock or Country music. The West Coast Swing and the Lindy Hop are danced more to an 8-count beat and are danced in a slotted fashion – both partners turning 180 degrees during every pattern, to exchange places. West Coast Swing is very smooth and sexy and is quite popular with people who like country and/or funk music. Lindy hop on the other hand can be very bouncy and has incorporated the charleston kicks and various acrobatic lifts known as aerials and looks a lot like what we see of Swing in the old B&W Big Band WW2 movies.

Read more about Jitterbug/Swing on Wikipedia.