Christine Keeble and Simon de Lisle
The original Modern Jive DVD

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Jitterbug & Shag

During the 1930's the Lindy Hop became known by different names as it spread across the USA, and in some places came to be called The Jitterbug. In the New York area, however, "Jitterbug(s)" was the name for a noisy kind of swing fan, whose behaviour bordered on the exhibitionist. At the beginning of World War Two the two names, Lindy Hop and Jitterbug, merged to mean the dance style formerly known only as the Lindy Hop.

The dance of preference for those "Jitterbugs" who actually danced (at least in the greater New York area) was "The Shag", - usually to fast tempos. The Shag had some "steps" similar to the Lindy except there were no reciprocal movements and the foot patterns were a fast kicking Slow, slow, quick, quick, quick. This original style of "Shag" died out just as Americans began to use the two words "Jitterbug" and "Lindy Hop" interchangeably at the beginning of the war.

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