East Coast Swing Defined

A dance derived from lindy hop, east coast swing or the "triple step" is a dance that is fun, lively and upbeat that is circular in motion.

Date added to ADN: Tuesday, Feb 21 2012
Originally Published: Sunday, Jan 01 2012
By The AccessDance Network


A dance derived from lindy hop, east coast swing or the "triple step" is a dance that is fun, lively and upbeat that is circular in motion.

East Coast Swing developed from lindy hop, the original dance to swing music that was made popular in 1927. In the 1930s, Arthur Murray was contemplating how to tame the lindy for the white ballroom enthusiasts. He sent his instructors to the local dance halls to see what were being danced and to teach an adapted form in their studios. The American Society of Dance Teachers published a syllabus for the lindy/ American swing/jitterbug in 1942. In 1951, one of Murray's instructors Laure Haile unified the syllabus and called it eastern swing. It was later renamed to east coast swing in the late 1970s.

The six-count basic steps of east coast swing makes it different from most swing dance styles with four-count rhythm. Couples who dance this type of swing move around and around using considerable space making it a circular or rotating dance. The male dancer takes a step left and his partner takes a step right, generally mirroring one another. Its dance steps include the bounce, rock step, hip motion and triple steps. It has a basic count of 1 and 2, 3 and 4,5,6 or often described as "triple step, triple step, rock, step".

East coast swing can be danced to genres such as country swing songs and jump blues, big band and top 40 which have speed of 140 to 175 beats per minute (34 to 36 measures per minute) in 4/4 tempo. The music that can be danced to this swing is diverse thus it is known as a versatile dance. Tunes popularized by Elvis Presley and Chuck B fit this dance style perfectly.

Among the swing styles, east coast swing is one of the easiest to learn and master. Its smooth and upbeat nature makes it an entertaining dance form. Whether you want to become a pro or just dance for the fun of it, we highly recommend you to take lessons from us! As Nicholas Hope said, "Swing is more than a dance, it's a way of life. The music gets stuck in your mind and the dance is in your heart and the whole scene is engraved on your soul. You can fly." Visit us now, do the swing and fly!

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