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Learn the Jive at Arthur Murray Dance Studios

If there is one dance that embodies free spirited exuberance, it is the Jive. Many of us have seen movies from the 30s and 40s where, as soon as the music starts, the dance floor explodes with people having fun. And how many of wished that we could dance like that? Or, how do you begin to learn to dance like that? As with many things in life – by taking lessons from enthusiastic teachers. With one phone call to your local Arthur Murray Dance Studios, you can begin your journey to dancing the Jive.

What is the Jive?

There are 2 elements that define the dance: a very fast beat and high-energy movements. The standard beat for the Jive is 176 beats per minute (bpm), but in international competitions under the World Dance Council, the beat can be between 128 and 160 bpm. The Jive is always the last dance style in any international dance competition due to the energy it requires, leaving the dancers too tired to perform further styles.

Although the Jive is seen as a freeform style of dancing, there are about 20 ‘set’ moves (called beginner moves). On the odd beat (1,3,5,7, etc.) the dancers are static, and on the even beat (2,4,6,8) they move. Every move in Jive dancing has a set number of counts (1 count equals 2 beats). Each move starts with a back step; this allows all the moves to flow seamlessly from one to another. The 20 beginner moves link many of the more complex moves; this tends to make the dancers all move in a clockwise direction and allows groups of dancers to dance together without constantly colliding with each other.

At Arthur Murray, we have a syllabus for all the moves, and medals are awarded for proficiency at particular moves. As you combine these moves into ever more complex dances, your enjoyment of the dance grows exponentially. If you’re ready for it, there is always one more move (or a combination of moves) that your instructor can challenge you with.

The Origins of Jive

It will surprise a lot of people to learn that the Jive actually evolved in Europe. In the early 1940s, US troops based in the UK brought with them wild and exciting new dances to war-torn Britain, including the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug. Not knowing that these were actually separate styles, the Brits started to combine them, and so the Jive began to evolve.

A thorough understanding of the roots and evolution of what has become modern Jive dancing enables the instructors at Arthur Murray Dance Studios to guide you in your growth as you learn the Jive. As you improve, we will reveal ways in which each move has evolved (or has been combined with other moves) to become the more complex variants seen today. In time, you will also develop an understanding of the dance’s history, and how it informs your own performance.

Jive Dance Lessons

Before you finally decide that you are going to take lessons to learn the Jive, you need to be able to say yes to the following: 1) Can you walk? and 2) Do you want to have fun? Secondly, you need to be aware of possible side-effects. Many people who take Jive lessons report that they become fitter, find they have more energy, and have a really great time. If you are willing to risk these, then just look up your nearest Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Orange County. With a choice of nine dance centers, there is sure to be one convenient to you. Because we only charge $20 for your first lesson, you really have nothing to lose.

What about special clothing?

All you need is a smooth-soled pair of shoes and loose clothing. The great thing about learning to Jive dance is that there is no big up-front investment in expensive equipment. You probably already have all you need in your wardrobe.

How advanced a level can you reach in Jive?

Your final skill level depends on what you want to achieve dancing the Jive. Arthur Murray Dance Studios cater to all levels, from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals. If you want, the instructors can train you as far as your abilities can take you. There are Jive lessons whether you want to dance for social purposes, or to progress to medal status.

What does Jive Dance Instruction Involve?

While many people can show you a couple of Jive dance moves, our instructors go much further. Every learner has individual instruction tailored to their needs and toward achieving their goals. Our classes are highly personalized, and will give you plenty of moves to practice in between lessons. Occasionally your instructor may recommend a lesson with one of our guest instructors, who can offer a second opinion on your growth as a dancer. You can take your lessons privately, or as part of a group of dancers at a similar level.

Arthur Murray Dance Studios

Arthur Murray began teaching America to dance almost 100 years ago. His best-selling book ‘How to Become a Good Dancer’ and TV show – along with his famous paper footprints – made him and his dance schools the most popular in the country. The ethos he established lives on in his nine Orange County dance studios – voted the best dance school in Orange County.

At your chosen location, you will not only find studios designed to give the best possible dancing environment, but a team of dedicated instructors that will take time for an individual consultation with you and find out what it is that you would like to achieve. Then between you and your consultant, you can plan out how you would like to go about achieving your goals. The consultation then will be followed by an individual lesson.

Several highly satisfied customers have offered testimonials about their experience learning to dance at our studios. In many cases, they have reported receiving many unexpected benefits in their lives. So come along and see what made their experience extra special.

Whatever your motivation – whether it is to gain more self-confidence when dancing, or whether you want to be able to join in the next time you are in a diner and everyone spontaneously gets up to Jive, or whether you want to become a professional dancer – Arthur Miller Dance Studios can help you achieve your aim. Make a quick phone call and take advantage of the special rate introductory dance consultation and lesson, and have a taste of what we have to offer.

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