East Coast Swing
Swing music has an infectious accent on the upbeat and makes even non-dancers tap their feet, and snap their fingers. The most elemental definition of Swing dancing is any style of dancing to Swing music, and there are hundreds of styles. Swing dancing is usually characterized by its bounce and energy as well as lots of spins or under arm turns.
The original style of Swing dancing is the Lindy Hop which was named by Shorty George Snowden in 1927 after Charles Lindberg's famed nonstop flight across the Atlantic.
Known by many for its acrobatic moves called arials, Lindy Hop is also danced socially featuring 8 count and 6 count patterns, often with kicking or Charleston steps. Examples of Lindy Hop can be seen in recent movies such as Malcolm X or Swing Kids, or older movies like A Day at the Races or Hellzapoppin. There are many different definitions and styles, but when most people refer to basic swing dancing, they are referring to a simplified version of the original Lindy Hop, favoring 6 count moves and also referred to as 6- count swing, east coast swing, jitterbug, and Lindy.
Six-count swing can be danced to jazz or big band music from speeds of 110 beats per minute to 300 beats per minute, but most people enjoy dancing to the 120-180 beat per minute range. The 6 count basic can be modified in many ways, but is most common as rock-step, triple-step, triple-step (often referred to as triple time or triple step swing) or rock-step, step, step (often referred to as single step or single time swing). 6 count swing is easy to learn, especially when done with the single step rhythm. The triple step rhythm is better suited for slower songs, and can be substituted for the single step once you are comfortable with the steps. Swing music and dancing are two of the most important cultural imports of America, learning how to dance can be a great way to connect with a part of our history.