Easy tips to learn how to jive dance

This dance developed from the Jitterbug and Boogie Woogie. It should be performed with great verve, with legs pumping and the mood of the music and the dance sassy and loud. Here's a simple guide to get started.

Easy tips to learn how to jive dance

Basic count of jive dancing

The basic count of six beats begins with a "rock step" (beats 1 and 2), followed by two triple steps that are counted 3-a-4, 5-a-6. Put on a song of jive music (such as Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" or Dion's "Runaround Sue") and feel the beat. Study the steps described below and count them in time to the music. When you have them fixed in your mind, start the music again, get up and rock around the clock till it's broad daylight.

How to dance

Stand facing each other. The man takes his partner's right hand loosely in his left, holds it aloft and leads her through the steps shown below. As she follows, her every step mirrors his:  if the man steps back with his left foot, the woman also steps back, but with her right and so on.

  • Beat 1-2, rock step. The count begins with a rock step — that is, the man steps back with his left foot (1) and then, on the second beat, shifts his weight forward onto his right foot (2), which remains in place.
  • Beat 3-a-4, 5-a-6, three sides chassés. There's now a gliding three-step sequence. The man chassés to the left — that is, sidesteps with his left foot (3). He then brings his right foot across next to his left (4). He takes another sidestep to the left with his left foot (5). Next, he shifts his weight back onto his right foot (6). Finally, he sidesteps to the right with his left foot (7) and then sidesteps to the right with his right foot (8).

Adding Advanced Steps

When you have perfected these steps, try adding the spins that are so characteristic of this dance.

  • Start with one or both partners performing a spin instead of a second chassé.
  • If only one partner spins, the other should complete the second chassé as usual but keep their sideways movement to a minimum.

There you have it -- follow these simple steps and you and your partner will be jive dancing in no time!

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