The heyday of swing dancing may have been 75 years ago, but younger generations have been keeping the tradition alive ever since. As you’ll see, 15 year-olds Alexis Garrish and Ryan Boz were able to bring some of their amazing youthful energy to swing.
Swing music came together in the 1920s. Dance orchestras were getting larger and they were beginning to use innovative rhythms of the sort pioneered by jazz legends like Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines. Radio, then a brand new technology, brought the music to millions of American homes and it became massively popular. After its peak in the late 1930s and early 1940s, swing went into decline. But it was never forgotten. Indeed, there was a swing revival in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole.
Of course, without dancing, swing music is incomplete, so it’s little surprise that numerous different dance styles evolved, including: the Charleston, Carolina shag, East and West Coast swing, and perhaps most famously, the Lindy hop. You’ve probably also heard of the jitterbug. That’s the term for swing dance generally. The story has it that band leader Cab Calloway is the one who coined the term when he noted that the dancers “look like a bunch of jitterbugs out there on the floor due to their fast, often bouncy movements.”
In the video posted below, you’ll see Alexis and Ryan performing one of their spectacular routines at the 2015 Swing Dance Championship. They thoroughly dominated the dance floor with their fancy footwork, feel for the music, and sheer showmanship. Both have been dancing since they were little kids and as it happens, each of them comes from a family with a notable flair for dancing.
Impressed by the talent and energy these youngsters brought to swing dance? Let’s hear your review in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like and share!