Being a rock n’ roll wallflower at 60’s dances – really, really wished I had the macho confidence and wherewithal to learn to jive – this required immense bravado to even think you might emulate local teenage jigolo Arthur Barker who jived with any girl he wanted to ! Pioneered in the Teddy Boy era, there was no teaching manual for this primal dance – it went from ‘the farmers daughter’ to the jive overnight. ‘Knockout Competitions’ appeared at every dance hall and wakes (fairs) visits to the area – Arthur was King !
American soldiers brought Lindy Hop/Jitterbug to Europe around 1940, where this dance swiftly found a following among the young. In the United States the term Swing became the most common word used to describe the dance, and the term “jive” was adopted in the UK. Variations in technique led to styles such as boogie-woogie and swing boogie, with “jive” gradually emerging as the generic term in the UK.
After the war, the boogie became the dominant form for popular music. It was, however, never far from criticism as a foreign, vulgar dance. The famous ballroom dancing guru, Alex Moore, said that he had “never seen anything uglier”.
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