Why Your Arthur Murray Teacher Recommends the Swing
If you didn't know already, the Swing is one of the most popular partner dances ever and goes by many names: The Jitterbug, the Boogie, and Lindy, just to name a few.
If that seems like a little too much to remember, rest assured, your teacher has most likely planned out the most popular version of the dance, the East Coast Swing. We'll just refer to it as Swing to keep it simple.
The Swing may be something new you're excited to learn, or a dance that wasn't really on your radar, and either way, we are going to cover all the benefits and applications you can expect from learning this all American fun dance.
Swing: The Benefits of the Dance
1. Agility Trainer
Similar to the Cha-Cha, the Swing is an excellent dance for teaching agility and coordination. It uses a combination of triple steps and rock steps, also similar to the Cha-Cha, but just with a slight alteration in the recipe (more on that later).
2. Full Tempo Range
The Swing is one of the only dances that can cover any tempo of music - whether that's slow, bluesy music, medium tempo jazz or rock music, or fast big band music.
3. Social Dance All Access
Swing covers so many. types of music that it scores 100 on practical application. Whether you're at a wedding, music festival, or office party - you'll find that Swing is your easiest point of social dance entry.
4. Choose Your Intensity Level
Similar to any type of workout machine, the Swing has three different intensity settings:
- Single: Low intensity
- Double: Medium Intentsity
- Triple: High Intensity
Swing's single, double, or triple step gives every dancer a chance to customize their experience, and workout, on the dance floor. The best part is that the best dancers can make those adjustments mid-dance and they don't need to match your partner.
5. Fun and Care free
Swing, with its mix of great music and energetic movement, is one of those dances that is certain to change your mood for the better and put a smile on your face. This also a big reason why it is a top choice for social dancers everywhere.
Swing: Integrations to Other Dances
Any dancer with Swing in their program will see an immediate benefit in the other dances they enjoy. Here are some quick examples to look for.
The Foxtrot is often referred to as the "sophisticated Swing". It can be danced to the same music and the Swing, paired with Foxtrot, serves as an excellent 1-2 punch at any upscale affair.
2. Lindy Hop
Learning the Swing, without ever exploring the Lindy Hop, would be like reading Huckleberry Finn without reading Tom Sawyer. The Swing, as we know it today, was an offshoot of the Lindy Hop. Taking the time to find all of the fun integrations isn't just an exercise in expanding dance skills, but an appreciation of Swing's history.
New dancers need dance skills to get on the dance floor. Established social dancers, on the other hand, crave variety to stay on the dance floor. The Cha-Cha is an easy integration with the Swing, can create a nice alternative at a similar tempo range, and create enough contrast that can keep you dancing all night.
4. Country Western Shuffle
Often referred to as "Swing on the run", the Country Western Shuffle is a traveling version of the East Coast Swing. Using spins and wraps from dances like the Swing, Country 2 Step, Hustle, and Salsa the Shuffle is a social dance that has been trending up on the social dance floor.
5. West Coast Swing
Considering the name "East Coast Swing", it doesn't take an experienced dancer to ask, "what about the West Coast?" As natural as that transition may seem, the two dances are more distant, like their geographical labels, than one might think.
Nevertheless, the West Coast Swing is a great dance to add a new flavor of Swing, and social dancing, to your repertoire.
Swing: Important Facts
The most popular version of Swing we teach is East Coast Swing.
The Lindy Hop is the original Swing dance and the root from which all other forms of Swing originated.
The Swing is the third dance in the competitive American Rhythm category.
Jive is the equivalent to the Swing in the International Latin category.
Swing is often referred to as the All American fun dance.
Swing and Lindy Hop dancing has been featured in many movies like Swing Kids, Malcolm X, and Swingers.
Think about food for a second. What's one thing you can add to your meal that will instantly put a smile on your face? Whatever it is, that is what the Swing is to the plate of dances that you're learning.
It may be something that you work on all the time, exploring all the fun variations and nuances, or something that you use at a company event or in your living room, but regardless of where or when, the Swing will always deliver on what it promises: Fun and carefree enjoyment.