Christine Keeble and Simon de Lisle
The original Modern Jive DVD

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LeRoc as an evolving dance form

The dance has undergone some transformation over the years and a number of organisations, particularly Ceroc Enterprises, have done much to turn it into a phenomenon.

In the UK moves have been given English sounding names and the 'Gear Stick' action * (so popular with the French) is less in evidence. The anglicised style features a 'Spring' in preference to a 'Gear Stick' and this makes the dance slightly more open than the French original.

Plenty of new figures have been created or re-invented and other flavours and influences have crept in. For example, in London the Lindy Hop revival has added an extra dimension and the dance is now more open than it used to be (where space allows). In Australia, on the other hand, the Dirty Dancing and Lambada influence is stronger than that of Lindy Hop. This Antipodean style features a wealth of dips, drops and variants on the classic 'Seducer'. The dance may vary also with the personal style of individual teachers and, of course, with the music being played.

The moves demonstrated on the How To Jive video will be familiar to LeRoc teachers as they are core moves (some of these are shared with Salsa too). On the video the 'Flingy-Flung' is renamed the 'Wrapper'. Though we all like to think our pupils are our own, in reality most of them try different venues and even different dance styles. So most pupils are used to encountering differences.

As for the future of the dance? This depends largely upon music tastes and will be determined by whether the dance adapts well to future sounds. Its great musical flexibility makes it well placed to endure into the 21st century.

* The characteristic French 'gear-stick' action is so named because we can imagine the man's holding arm is like the gear stick of a car: we imagine the elbow of the holding arm is the pivotal point (ie. the base of the gearstick). While the elbow remains fairly static and close to the man's chest, the arm is dropped 'forward then up' and 'sideways then up' to mark the beat and manoeuvre the lady.

With the 'Spring' on the other hand, the man's arm is extended further away from his body, though still flexed. The man steps away from the lady and causes her to step away from him by using a gentle push out (often with a semi-circular motion of the hand). This 'Spring' action creates a more open effect for the dance.

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