Modern Jive (also called French jive or LeBop)
is a relatively new phenomenon that has only been going since 1980, mainly in the UK, Australia and New Zealand where it is very popular. We now have Modern Jive Toronto.
Modern Jive has many of the qualities of the jitterbug brought from the States during the war minus the tricky footsteps! A good way to describe it for people wondering what it is would be a very funky Jive-Salsa Fusion.
This is because it’s closest to these two dances, yet it is different from both of them. Modern Jive is very easy to learn, even for the complete beginner dancer, and it can be danced to much of the modern pop music you hear today as well as rock’n'roll, swing, club sounds and rock.
Point to note: Modern Jive as we teach it is not “The Jive” nor is it “Ballroom Jive.” It’s easier than either.
In a modern jive dance lesson you will generally find the same basic formula the world over: total beginners lesson, followed by short freestyle dancing (anyone dances with anyone), followed by an intermediate class, followed by longer freestyle (practice time) where the lights go down, the music goes up giving the ambiance of a party or club. Again, anyone dances with anyone. In some places the format is changed slightly depending on the focus however it’s more or less the same which makes it very easy to get right into a class no matter where you are in the world.
You don’t take lessons to learn modern jive, they are an integral part of the evening and everybody dances with everybody. You don’t need to bring a partner – and a beginner won’t find their first time too daunting.
Modern jive is not a precise dance like the ballroom jive or most other swing dances, rather it can be used as a framework for one’s own interpretation. In fact modern jive is now a complete dance style in its own right.
Because it’s a very open style of dance, it can borrow moves, shapes and feelings from almost every other dance form, be that salsa, swing, hip-hop and ballroom. Think of Modern Jive as a blank canvas – providing amazing scope for dancers to express themselves freely with their own unique style. Add in acrobatic moves, sexy dips, drops, aerials and leans and Modern Jive is an exciting new dance style with limitless possibilities. The Jive Nation and Jive Nation Toronto teaching method is a 4 x4 box step with lots and lots of repetition to great uplifting music – which makes it very easy to pick up the beat and to quickly begin enjoying learning to dance.
Modern Jive (in some places the dance modern jive is trademarked as Ceroc or also called Ceroc Modern Jive) is not “The Jive” nor is it “Jive,” which is a 6 x8 music count. Not only does Modern Jive use a much simpler teaching method to teach, you will rarely find Jive music played in clubs or at parties. The two dances are very different, particularly in terms of the steps. That can seem a little confusing… it does become clearer as soon as you try it yourself.
The best way to find out what modern jive is to experience it for yourself. Try a beginner dance lesson – there are usually beginner dancers at every modern jive lesson. Many people who have tried Salsa are often amazed at how easy modern jive is to pick up and how quickly they can learn it and begin to have fun with it.
Freestyle Time is practice time
After each segment there’s social dancing time or “freestyle.” This simply means everyone gets to practice the moves they’ve just learned. Next, there’s another half hour class where the teacher will go over the moves learned in beginner class, or teach an Intermediate class. Then comes the main freestyle… an evening where everyone just dances to top tunes until the end of class. Everyone is encouraged to dance… and ladies ask the men to dance just as often as men ask the ladies. The social aspect of a modern jive dance class is central to the evening…. in fact students look forward to their midweek social and dance – it is time to forget the stresses and strains of the day and simply enjoy yourself.
It is completely usual to arrive alone for a modern jive lesson and yet be able to dance with 5-7 or even more different people in an evening, making it perfect for single people to feel welcome and comfortable immediately.
While most dance classes are an hour, a Modern Jive dance lesson is an entire evening of teaching, dance practice through freestyle, socializing and plenty of fun.
The combination of teaching method (after one class students will learn 3-4 moves they can actually dance), hit music, club ambiance, and friendly inclusive atmosphere makes modern jive one of the most addictive dance styles there is.
Find out more.