Originating in the 1940s in the Americas, Jive was influenced by Rock n Roll, Lindy Hop and Swing. The fastest of the Latin dances, it’s very energetic with lots of flicks and kicks. The ladies seem to get most of the moving steps whilst the gents can more or less stay where they are and still look good; however, although it may appear that the steps are not that complicated, and they’re not, the key is good leading and following. The arm and upper body work needs to be carefully controlled in order to give a good presentation of the dance. Perhaps one of the most important things for beginners is to learn to hear the drum beat in the music, it’s the drum that gives you the rhythm – well usually.
The basic Jive is made up of a 6 beat pattern with rocks and chasses. Some of the typical Jive figures are the Change of Place Left to Right, Fall Away Throwaway, Jive Walks, Whip, Chicken Walks, Stop n Go.