15 Interesting Things About Swing

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Article by: Sierra Kane

1) Bonnie and Clyde were first spotted at a swing dance. Bonnie and Clyde were dancing a very good Lindy and were noticed by fellow dancers. One individual had the police called on them. That night marked the start of them running from the law.

2) Federal Tax law led to the end of the swing era in the 1940s.


3) There was a time, from 1935–1946, when jazz orchestras dominated pop charts and when influential clarinetists were household names. This was the swing era.

4) Lindy dancing burns anywhere between 300-500 calories per hour.

5) In 1988 Senator Quentin Kopp of San Francisco sponsored a bill to make west coast swing the official state dance of California. After ignoring a floor revolt by salsa fanatics, the bill passed with a folk dance amendment and west coast swing became the official state dance of California, a distinction it has held to this day.


6) Balboa’s namesake is the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California, where the dance originated.

7) Young Germans would rebel against the pro-Nazi youth league called “Hitlerjugend” or “Hitler Youth” by listening and dancing to banned American Swing. Swing had become an underground movement as the Nazi’s tightened their grip on German youth.

8) Dean Collins, a famous swing dancer most well known for choreographing the shim-sham, was born under the name Sol Ruddosky.

9) Balboa can be danced to music that is faster than 300 beats per minute as well as music that is slower than 100 beats per minute.

10) Although Balboa is a very different style from Lindy Hop, it is easy to transition between the two because their rhythmic pattern is the same even-odd-even-odd eight-beat rhythm.


11) The term “jitterbug” originally was a slang term for a person who was real heavy on “jittersauce” (which is slang for alcohol). The term was then later applied to Lindy Hop dancers and Lindy Hop itself. By the 1950s, the term was being used to describe East Coast Swing — which had replaced the Lindy Hop as the “in” dance.


jitterbug 15 Interesting Things About Swing

12) Swing music may include styles such as jazz, hip-hop, blues, rock-n-roll, ragtime, R&B, funk and pop. The chosen music style typically determines which type of swing  should be danced.

13) Swing dancing has no governing organization.

14) During World War 2, Europeans were warned not to involve themselves in Swing dancing because it was a “rude” American dance. However, in preparation for D-Day, thousands of people came out to learn the dance, which assisted in boosting Jitterbug dance popularity.


15) There is a swing dance community on every continent. Yes, there is even swing dancing on Antarctica!

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