Jitterbugdan’s history

By | April 9, 2021

The Benny Goodman connection

The term ‘jitterbug’ was first used by newspapers in 1937. Benny Goodman performed a concert at the New York Paramount Theater. His lively music led teenagers at the event to jump into hallways and start dancing. Reporters called the dance, ‘jitterbug’ because of the dancers’ wild movements. The term was a slang description of an alcoholic who had withdrawal or tremor. The wild swept over the land.

The term jitterbugging was intended to describe swing dancing.

The music

Music and dance trends go hand in hand, and the jitterbug was no exception. Musicians found freedom in the new Music Sound. They inspired the dancers and the dancers inspired them, according to Bottomer.

Although dance and music were popular, during World War II jive or swing went underground because many thought the music was corrupting young people. But American soldiers took dance and music with them to Europe, where it became extremely popular.

The Jitterbug Valley continued after the war. Jitterbug favorites are 1950s rock music such as ‘Cincinnati Fireball’ and ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll.’

Distinctive movements

Basic jive dance is a partner dance. The pair moves together from left to right, then back and forth in a swing.

But experienced dancers add many wild features to the dance, such as ‘throwaway’ where the man swings the woman out with one hand and then moves his back in quick succession.

Forearm turns and the ‘comb’, where the couple moves the arm in the arm together to the blow are also popular features.

Fun movements

Jitterbuggers are added to fun moves to the energetic jump dance as time goes on. Chicken walks, a move where the couple moves together, then apart, holding hands as they sashay in time, became popular with Lindy Hop.
Dance competitions Like the other jive and swing dances, jitterbug competitions became rage in the 1930s and again in the 1950s, according to Robert Palmer, author of ‘Rock & 00; Role: An unfortunate story. ‘

Competitions are still popular in Europe, where the jitterbug is still a nightclub fixture.

Ballroom dancers also have customized versions of the jitterbug as part of competitive dance. Dance styles and musical trends go together and each new generation thinks it has invented something new. According to the dancer and ‘Let’s Dance!’ Author Paul Bottomer, during the dance era, dancers inspired bands and dancers inspired the band. Due to the popularity of dances such as Turkey Trot from the 1920s and Lindy Hop, jitterbug is a form of dance or swing.