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Start Your First Lesson For Only $20

Arthur Murray Dance Studios is your Place to learn the Jitterbug!

The Jitterbug is your common Swing dance with added twirls and energetic acrobatics. It is a quicker West Coast Swing, or a toned-down Lindy-hop, whose name comes from the idea that dancers move in a fashion not unlike an alcoholic’s jittery tremors. Despite this negative connotation, the Jitterbug gained popularity in the 1920’s, and to this day it makes any dancer or spectator smile with delight.

If you are looking for a social dance that is tons of fun, then learning the Jitterbug is for you. Instructors at Arthur Murray Dance Studios are trained to teach dance students of all different levels and aspirations. Whether you stick to the basics or become an expert at the most enthusiastic turns, the Jitterbug will have you looking for Swing dance events in your area every Friday night.

What exactly is the Jitterbug?

The Jitterbug is in six-count time, but technically only four steps. It is known as “single-time swing”. On count one, take a small step to the side. Count two, lengthen that first step. Count three, step back to the side. Count four lengthens step three. Count five and six, do a rock step to the back and then forward. When you master the basic steps and turns, you are ready to hit the dance floor.

What sets the Jitterbug apart is the freedom for dancers to add their own dance steps, including the Cuddle Step, Triple Step, and Jitterbug Turns. Arthur Murray Dance Studios is the best place to learn the Jitterbug because we begin with the basic steps and then teach a wide variety of advanced moves. The Jitterbug is a spot dance, so it is often used on a crowded dance floor.

While our promise to you is that you will have fun, particularly with a dance like the Jitterbug, we also take our work very seriously. At Arthur Murray, we pride ourselves in teaching accurate movements and thoughtful execution, while encouraging individuals to have their own style. The beauty of the Jitterbug is that it allows freedom of dance and permits the dancer to improvise their own “shakes.” Our staff are here to educate, as well as help you have a great time.

The History of the Jitterbug

All the dances we teach are rife with deep historical influence. Jitterbug is no different. The word “jitterbug” was first publicly used in Cab Calloway’s song entitled “Call of the Jitter Bug,” recorded in January 1934. The Jitterbug was most popular among the African American community in Harlem, New York, who incorporated movements of their African heritage. These movements naturally involved quick legwork and a mobile upper body, unlike the rigid upper body postures that most dance frames demand.

During this time, Benny Goodman was signed to perform on the “National Biscuit Saturday Night” radio broadcasts in New York. He played standard popular tunes during the day, but at night, he played his own music. The time difference allowed young Californians to tune into Goodman’s late night music hours. During the summer of 1934, the band went on a cross-country tour. Playing his standard tunes on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Goodman received little response from his sparse audiences until he hit California, where young adults lined the streets to hear and dance to Goodman’s music.

His music ignited the all-night ‘jitterbugging’ at West Coast dance halls, such as Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland, CA and the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, CA. The Jitterbug even spread internationally during World War II when American troops Jitterbugged in France. Within a year, the craze spread across Europe. Back on the East Coast, upon hearing about Goodman’s achievements in California, Paramount Theater and the Savoy Ballroom in New York featured his music, and the Jitterbug has since become a remarkable sensation.

How We Teach the Jitterbug at Arthur Murray

Are you looking for a fun date night? Or are you looking for social activities to meet new friends? Arthur Murray Dance Studio is open Monday thru Friday from 1pm to 10pm. You have nothing to lose at Arthur Murray Dance Studios, because your first lesson is always only $20. Being a student at Arthur Murray entitles you to your choice of private lessons, group lessons, practice parties, competitions and black-tie dinners. Just wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing because you will move and shake a lot!

Our social events are a great opportunity for both beginners and advanced dancers to practice and enjoy watching moves from our instructors. Every dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studios has years of dance experience. Many have danced recreationally or professionally since childhood, and all have undergone extensive training prior to teaching. They are passionate about sharing their love of dance with you, and all the fun, challenging and social elements that dancing brings. We hire the most qualified, well-versed instructors who bring positive energy and an encouraging attitude to every lesson. We utilize a comparative style of teaching called the Arthur Murray Method, which enables students to learn the dance steps, but more importantly the skills needed for dancing. The Jitterbug is challenging with its fast footwork, loose-leggedness, and even aerial flips, but our instructors are equal to the task.

Arthur Murray Dance Studios

Students at Arthur Murray Dance Studios love learning the Jitterbug because the basic steps are simple and the advanced steps only make it more fun! Every dance we teach at Arthur Murray Dance Studios provides the student great physical and mental exercise. Students leave feeling fit and healthy, with a sense of accomplishment. There is no better environment to learn new dances or practice old ones than at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Our dance teachers can be found not only in our studios, but in Hollywood movies, Broadway musicals, television commercials and in major national magazine articles. Where there is dance, you can bet that Arthur Murray Dance Studios are involved.

Come and See for Yourself!

Arthur Murray Dance Studios’ talented and passionate instructors encourage students of all ages and skill levels to join us for our beginner or advanced dance lessons. Call Arthur Murray Dance Studios today to schedule your private or group dance lesson. Since each of us has a different learning style, we will pair you with one of our expert instructors to get you on the dance floor as soon as possible. In no time, you’ll be ready for our social Swing nights, which remain one of our favorite events. You too will spread the word about the Jitterbug because, who doesn’t want to have a good time?

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