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Swing is a popular dance from the first half of the twentieth century, created thanks to jazz music and the already existing dances derived from African-American culture. The swing steps are very expressive and lively, in their expression they resemble boogie woogie and rock 'n' roll, classified as "swing dances". Check what are the types of swing, learn the characteristics of swing music and the basic steps of this energetic dance!

Swingis a term for a group of dances with a similar character and artistic expression. The term "swing" actually consists of several dances (e.g. Shim Sham, Lindu Hop, Balboa), and the steps in swing are very diverse and depend on the emotions and creativity of the dancers.

In the 30-40s, this dance was a manifestation of freedom and opposition to social conventions. After the war in the 1980s, swing returned to dance halls around the world, again as a symbol of free artistic activities.


  1. Swing - dance story
  2. Swing - dance description
  3. Swing - types
  4. Swing - basic steps
  5. Swing - music
  6. Swing - advantages and effects

Swing - dance story

The history of swing is associated with the beginning of the musical genre - jazz. Swing appeared in American "salons" in the 1920s. African-American communities created this dance inspired by the already created styles: Charleston and Lindy Hop.

Swing dance is a mixture of African and American vibrations. Until now, Africans have usually danced solo, in a very expressive and emotional way, while Americans' dance was associated more with precision, technique, and most importantly - dancing in pairs. Swing mixed all these ingredients to create a ballroom dance that is fun and expressive.

Swing spread outside America in the 1930s, and in the 1940s and 1950s new varieties began to emerge, including Shim Sham, Collegiate Shag, Carolina Shag, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Balboa.

Swing - dance description

Swing is an extremely lively dance. It is characterized by fast footwork, swinging and kicking legs, as well as numerous turns and transitions.

Swing, depending on the style, is quite fast and complicatedtechnically. It requires partners to be extremely coordinated and creative at the same time. There are many steps and figures in swing, but it is up to the partners what they will express and what emotions they will express with them.

Swing is also a very joyful dance, it is impossible to feel bad or have a bad mood with it. While dancing, our mood immediately improves, and jazz music gives us wings and makes us a lot of fun.

See what the swing looks like

The film presents the dance technique and perfectly reflects the atmosphere of swing dances.

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Swing - types

The most popular and most frequently practiced types of swing today are:

  1. Lindy Hop- is danced on 6 or 8 depending on the tempo of the music. The basic dance technique is the so-called bouncing, i.e. shifting the weight of the body to the ball of the foot. Another important element is a dance figure called swingout, made of many movements that have their roots in traditional African-American dances.
  2. Charleston- it is billed 4 and has a lively dance pace. The dance rhythm comes from West Africa. The Charleston Basic Step consists of two steps in place and putting one leg back before returning to the starting position.
  3. Shim Sham- is a "dance routine" that has its origins in tap dancing. It is performed solo after duet dancing. Usually, Shim Sham is danced by men.
  4. Collegiate Shang- this is the fastest swing style, it is danced to music over 185 bpm. He belongs to a family of swing dances that developed in North America. It is characterized by a very diverse footwork. These are various types of excavation and leg lifting, incl. back-kick, kick-back, single kick, double kick, heels up, heel-toe, toe-heel.

Swing - basic steps

Swing is a term for a group of dances of a similar nature. There are many of them, and each has its main steps. Many of them are diversified by the dancer who, through his expression, gives it character. To follow one of the basic steps creating your swing base, follow these tips:

  1. Take a step back with your right foot and gently lift your left leg up.
  2. Transfer your weight to the left leg (the one in front) and this time lift the toes of the right leg off the floor, then "supply" the right leg back to the left leg. This step is similar to the basic salsa step, but in this case you do not put your foot on the ground, but make another move immediately.
  3. Set your right leg to the side (to the right), then deliver toher left.
  4. Make a step to the right again, but this time do not put your left foot on the ground, but immediately bounce it to the left to return to the starting position, also doing two such sequences as to the right.
  5. The final finishing move is taking the initial step, which is taking one leg backwards and stepping on the extended leg.

See the steps in the video

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Swing - music

Swing is a genre of jazz music that is practiced with the dance of the same name. Swing music developed at the turn of the 1930s and 1940s. The most important instruments in swing are the wind section which gives the songs the right rhythm. The bluntness of swing music depends on the genre of the dance it is played in. The most popular bands that created this genre are those under the direction of: Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Benny Goodman.

Swing - advantages and effects

Swing is recommended for people who already have contact with dance, because swing steps are quite complicated and technically difficult. However, beginners can also try their hand at this dance, because thanks to the wide range of steps and swing styles as well as freedom in expressing expression, swing is a very free dance. A good sense of rhythm and motor coordination will certainly help you learn the basic steps.

In addition, the swing is incredibly lively and allows you to burn a lot of calories! During its performance, primarily the muscles of the legs and abdomen work, which results in a wonderful sculpting of the muscles in these areas. What's more, thanks to energetic and joyful jazz music, our mood and well-being will improve.

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Meet other types of dance:

  • Viennese w altz
  • argentinian tango
  • rumba
  • samba
  • kizomba
  • bachata
  • salsa
  • cha-cha
  • rock and roll
  • hip-hop
  • breakdance
  • dancehall
  • jazz
  • pole dance (pole dance)
  • zumba
  • flamenco
  • bokwa
  • belly dance

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