Home : How To Jive video & DVD : Video Clips
It all began with the Lindy Hop
In 1935 a young dancer called Frankie Manning entered a Lindy Hop competition at the Savoy Ballroom. Determined to outdo the rest, he sent his partner flying over his back and it caused a sensation! This is how the first 'lift' or 'aerial' was born.
We think it appropriate that the legendary Frankie Manning opens the How To Jive video and the very first aerial shown is by him. In his late eighties, Frankie was star guest of the 'Jiving Lindy Hoppers' at the Lyon Dance Festival (France) and this is where we filmed them.
The Jiving Lindy Hoppers
Choreographer, Warren Heyes and his world-renowned Jiving Lindy Hoppers have been a major force in the worldwide Lindy Hop revival. They open the video with the Firebirds' song 'Train Keeps A Rolling'.
Swing dancing to the Big Band sound
As the Lindy was gradually adopted by the white youth of America it became known as the Jitterbug. The video features a forties style big band swing dance organised by Simon Selmon of the London Swing Dance Society. Simon (one of the best loved characters of the Swing dancing world) dances with partner, Amelia Hill.
Very popular in Europe and characterised by footwork with a flicking action (kick ball change) and high knee lifts. The focus is on very acrobatic moves. Instead of wearing full skirts girls wear leotards and are more likely to train in a gym than a dance studio. How To Jive features champions Shuko Nogooli and Tom Jennings and Lilly Shaw and David Barker.
An interpretation of swing dancing developed by the dance-teaching establishment. It appears in the Latin & American section in ballroom dance competitions. Characterised by a chassis from side to side and a back replace, it can look elegant to the fastest of tempos. How To Jive features Vicki Cunliffe and Glenn Wright.
Great fun in a group and for How To Jive we filmed one of the daily performances at The Rock Island Diner (a popular eatery located in London's Piccadilly).
The authentic 50's decor of this venue prompted us to film the 50's style jive here too. As you can see, by the 50's the style has changed to reflect the rebel without a cause 'attitude' inspired by the arrival of rock'n'roll. Footwork is informal and individualistic, girls spin through the turns instead of step through them and men concentrate on looking 'cool'.
Modern Jive or LeRoc
Where jive is at today, although its phenomenal growth Is taking place alongside a revival in Lindyhop and other Swing dancing styles. The key to modern jive's success is its great musical flexibility. Although How To Jive features the classic 50's sound of the Firebirds, modern jivers are comfortable with jazz, rhythm & blues, disco and just about anything in the charts at the moment.
Aerials or Air Steps
How To Jive closes with a medley of wild and perilous airsteps performed by Vince Roper and Sing Yuen Lim. Sing has since returned to Singapore where there is now a thriving Lindyhop scene thanks to her effervescent brilliance.
How To Jive includes party scenes after each teaching set. These demonstrate the routines shown in sets 1 to 7 but they also show wide diversity of style to give you ideas for developing your own style.
The 'mini parties' are scattered with dance celebrities. For example we were honoured that Janie Cronin ('style guru' and principal dancer for Ceroc, London) agreed to dance for us in a Lindyhop 'jive dive' scene.
Nicky Haslam who runs Ceroc in Sydney, Australia is the 'spinning demon' of a disco scene.
The European rock'n'roll is performed by ex world champions.
Granddaddy of LeRoc and choreographer, Michel Ange Lau is sporting a red shirt and cowboy neck tie.