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<< Learning Center Intro

Free jive lessons & introduction!

In International style Latin dancing, the Jive is one of the five Latin competition dances. It's sometimes called the International Style version of Jitterbug or East Coast Swing. As with East Coast swing, the basic consists of two triple steps and a rock step. However, in Jive, the count begins with the rock step. The rock step is counted 1,2. Next, the two triple steps are counted: 3-a-4, 5-a-6. Jive has a very energetic look. Danced correctly, the legs exhibit a pumping action. The technique of all of these International style Latin dances was set down by Walter Laird. The Jive and the East Coast Swing share many figures and they share the same music style and tempo.

Free Video Instruction
An Introduction to
the Jive

Windows Media
Video Help

Jive Learning Area


The Moves

Jive shares many figures with East Coast Swing, such as underarm turns, swivels, etc. Please see the East Coast Swing Learning Area for more information.
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The Music

Jive can be danced to jump blues in the tempo range of about 200 beats/minute. Please also see the East Coast Swing Learning Area for additional information.

Click on the link below for a few examples of both Jive songs and CD's which feature Jive music.

Jive Music Examples >>
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Jive derices from the Jitterbug swing which grew out of the dance halls of Harlem during the 1920’s.
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Tips & Info

Here are some "universal tips" for learning how to dance a partner dance such as foxtrot, swing, or waltz.

  • First, acquire a few audio CD's of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automoble. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. If necessary, have your instructor assist you in learning to count the step in time to the music. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this "sitting down and listening" exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music. The Ultimate Ballroom Practice CD sold by The Dance Store might be a helpful
  • Next, practice the basic step, including the step timing, until the step is automatic - like tying a shoe. Using east coast swing as an example, practice the triple step, triple step, rock step basic until it's automatic. Next, practice this basic to music until it becomes automatic. Many basic steps can be practiced without a partner.

At this point, your brain is "freed up" to allow learning steps and patterns because you no longer have to concentrate on timing and step counting.

Many folks get frustrated if they can't dance competently immediately. Certainly individuals vary in dance aptitude, but all dancers must go through the awkward stages before they get to the polished stage.
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