East Coast Swing
Eastern Swing or East Coast Swing (or just Swing), evolved from the Lindy Hop and is perhaps the most famous American folk dance. The best known forms of Swing include the Charleston, Black Bottom, and Shag. In the early 1940s, these forms consolidated into what was called the Lindy.
The Lindy was first danced as a modified box step, with a slight shuffling movement. The shuffling movement of the original Lindy can be likened to today’s single rhythm in Swing. As the shuffling, or single rhythm progressed, it evolved into both the double and triple time Lindy. Today all three form the basis of good Swing dancing.
About 55 years ago, Swing was danced in the Harlem section of NYC at a time when band greats such as Chic Webb, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman were popular and it was there where the dance took on most of today’s popular steps and styling.
For many years, the better establishments frowned upon the wilder forms of Swing dancing because the acrobatics involved limited the number of people who could dance at one time. It is possible however, to do fine dancing in a relatively small area. There is no question that Swing is here to stay. In all parts of the country one can find dancers adding their own interpretations and changes to style. All dances, in order to survive, must be built up from a firm basic movement so that complete freedom of expression can be interpreted into the dance. Swing has these attributes. Swing dancing was revived in the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s by such bands as the Brian Setzer Orchestra and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
The Swing is a spot dance that does not move along the line of dance. Free rhythmic interpretation is characteristic, using single, double or triple rhythms. A relaxed shuffling movement and use of upper body sway is also used to highlight the Swing.