It Don't Mean A Thing
If It Ain't Got That Swing!
Swing dances belong to the family of street dances. These are styles that arose and evolved in public spaces, in large ballrooms, where Big Bands were part of everyday life. The dancers created the movement by interpreting the music and watching each other.
To this day, swing is a live dance .
Each dancer brings his own style, experience and sensitivity to the dance floor.
Below we describe the varieties of Swing that we teach in our regular courses.
You will also see how it all looks at our events and on the international stage.
We hope you'll find the best style for you!
Swing & Sway Team
Poznaj najbardziej popularne odmiany
Tańce swingowe należą do rodziny tańców ulicznych.
To style, które powstawały i ewoluowały
w przestrzeniach publicznych, na dużych salach balowych,
na których Big Bandy były codziennością.
Tancerze kreowali ruch interpretując muzykę i obserwując się wzajemnie.
Do dzisiaj swing jest tańcem żywym.
Każdy tancerz wnosi na parkiet swój rodzaj ruchu,
swoje doświadczenie i swoją wrażliwość.
Niektóre, często przypadkowe figury, przyjmują się w środowisku
i wchodzą do repertuaru.
Dancing in pairs
In the photo, Swing & Sway instructors, Anna Makselan-Vieux and Marcin Olichwirowicz during the finals Lindy Hop competition organized as part of the Prague Spring Swing Festival at the Lucerna Palace in Prague.
Photo Martina Houdek Photography
Lindy Hop is a swing ballroom dance style that was created and developed in the African-American circles of Harlem in New York in the late 1920s and early 1930s . It is closely related to development jazz music of this period. The peak of popularity of Lindy Hop, the so-called The Swing era is in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Lindy Hop comes from, among others from jazz, tap, American and Charleston. It is the progenitor of most swing dances such as Boogie Woogie, Jive, Rock & Roll and West Coast Swing.
It is danced to varied pace of swing music, from slow to very fast.
It can be casual, light, elegant or dynamic, lively and crazy.
It is danced in both a close, closed and open combination.
It gives the dancers a lot of freedom of movement and choice of form to feel the music or the moment.
Lindy Hop is the most popular style of swing dancing . If someone says that he is dancing "swing", he is probably dancing Lindy Hop, or at least Lindy Hop.
Lindy Hop Today it associates hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It is primarily a social style, but also a competition and show style. Here you will find videos that show dance from these three perspectives >>
(you will learn the pair version during Lindy Hop classes)
The photo shows Swing & Sway students (Charleston group) during the show at our "Savoy Ball" in the Czeczotka Palace.
Photo Vira Monastyrska
Charleston - perhaps the most recognizable among non-dancers swing variety.
A crazy and extravagant dance, the phenomenon of which began in 1923. along with a Jimmy Johnson piece of the same name, also owes its origins to African-American communities.
Dance developed at the very beginning of the 20th century in the city of Charleston , South Carolina, and reached the North as the community migrated to Harlem, New York.
Charleston's first appearances in Harlem theaters are estimated to be in 1913 , but it was only the Flapper's interpretations that made him recognizable.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, dance evolved with the advancement of swing music, and crazy twists and calf lunges gave way to large kicks more reflecting the syncopated rhythm.
Charleston can be danced solo and in pair .
You will learn the pair version during Lindy Hop classes (at level 3 or 4). Lindy Hop and Charleston in pair (from which Lindy Hop originates) are closely related: to some tracks (with a specific pace and feeling) it is popular to combine both styles.
What else do we value Charleston for? For simplicity! At least in the basics :)
You can expect the first battle together in the first class!
In the photo, Swing & Sway students (Charleston 1 & 2 groups, summer semester 2019) during the show at our "Savoy Ball" in Avangarda
Photo Vira Monastyrska
"Authentic Jazz Dance" or formerly (before 1960) just " Jazz Dance " or " Modern Jazz ", it's nothing but an improvised dance to swing music , in which the rhythm, freedom and interpretation of the music matter much more than the correctness of the movements performed.
It was on the basis of Authentic Jazz and Charleston's closely related solo that the famous swing systems such as Shim Sham, Tranky Doo, Trickeration and Big Apple were created .
Authentic Jazz is often regarded as the backbone of the swing movement . Interpretation of music, improvisation, rhythmic variations, attitude characteristic of swing, bounce - all this has its source in the solo swing movement.
How does it look like?
In practice, we connect all styles on the common swing dance floor . The more variations you know, the more fun.
The essence of swing dances is their social aspect and having fun together (preferably with live music!) On swing dances events and festivals.
In the video, we show you some shots from our Swing Era Festival event . You will also see snapshots of our instructors Ania and Grzegorz dancing to the band Frank e La Famiglia.
Swing in the world
In order to show you dance in a broader perspective, we have selected a few recordings for you in which
you can see different people dancing to one song.
We've divided the videos into 3 main categories that you will learn about on the swing dance floor:
1. Social dance, which is simply a ballroom dance that we dance at parties.
Here you will also find typical party games and fun such as jams, battles and steals, the rules of which are described under the videos.
2. Shows, in this case prepared choreographies.
3. Competitions. Here you will find, among others one of the most popular Lindy Hop competition forms:
the so-called Jack & Jilla (or Luck Of The Draw), in which pairs are selected randomly.
The second example of a contest is the Charleston Battle.
Social dance, jams, competitions and shows
at international festivals
Social Dance, Steals, Battles and Jams
Lindy Hop example, average pace.
Steal Dance is "stealing" your partner during one song. Here, the festival instructors use the concept of steals on the so-called Teacher's Demo.
You can play with steals at any time during the party, it is important that it is agreed in advance between all parties. We do not want to separate the couple without announcement, who may be just experiencing their dance of life :)
An example of Lindy Hop, sometimes combined with Charleston in pairs; elements of Authentic Jazz and Charleston's Solo at the end; fast pace.
A dance jam is often formed at the end of a band's last set or during an exceptionally fast track.
Solo Charleston Example; fast pace.
An improvised battle of instructors ends with a short common arrangement.
Lindy Hop Example; medium pace, fast at the end.
Birthday Jam is an example of "Steal Dance" in which a birthday person is being stolen. If you observe a jam at a party in which only one person is being stolen, it is most likely the birthday jam. Make sure whose holiday it is that the main hero / ka remained / in the center!
An example of a combination of Lindy Hop, Charleston in pair and Charleston solo; fast pace.
The instructors' performance during the Swing Era Festival organized by us in 2014.
Solo Charleston Example; individual Lindy Hop elements appear; fast pace.