What is Modern Jive?
Modern Jive is a fun partner dance that originated in the UK in the 1980's. It is generally done to Chart, Nightclub and Swing music but you can also dance it to other music including Blues, Latin, Jazz, Soul and Rock (we've even been known to play some classical music at our parties!). In fact, we doubt you will find a broader range of music playing in any one place. This is a partner dance that you can dance at parties, nightclubs, weddings, bars in town, or just about anywhere where there's music and space to move!
Here's how various people describe Modern Jive:
- "is the English language of dance. It shamelessly 'borrows' from other dance forms to make something more flexible and more fun than previously existed." - Michael
- "The best weight management system while having the most fun and the only exercise I am willing to do for hours and hours." - Anita
- "...It takes the best pieces of multiple dance forms chucks it through a blender and what comes out is a dance [called Modern Jive]" - Darryl
- "AWESOME!!!!" - Stephen
- "I tell people it's a partner dance based on what the GI's taught the French in WWII." - Susan
- "It's whatever you choose it to be." - Rob
Do I need to bring a partner?
No, although you are welcome to bring a partner, we swap everyone around during class. This means that there is no need for even numbers, extra people simply wait out for one turn (maximum of about a minute). Rotating allows people to progress much faster than they would if they stayed with the same partner where people end up compensating for each others mistakes.
What do I wear to class?
Anything goes. Some people dress casual: jeans, T-shirts and others dress up to go out after class. You will get warm so wear something cool or have a layer you can take off. Wear comfortable shoes, preferably with a leather sole. If in doubt about your shoes, bring along a spare pair.
When do I start?
You can start any beginners class any week. In beginners classes a new routine is taught in each class each night. So you can also do any beginners class each week (or do more than one). No harm is done if you miss a week either. No need to book or phone ahead - just turn up.
How do classes work?
We start with a gentle warm-up. Then we get you to partner up. We will teach you one 'move' at a time, putting music on for you to practice. Generally you will learn four moves in a beginners class. Often some experienced dancers attend the beginners classes, this really helps to bring on the new people. Also included is a beginners review class where you can ask questions and get personal assistance with any of the steps we covered in the class.
How much does it cost?
Please check our Pricing & Credits page for full information.
How many people go along?
Quite a few! Anywhere between 40 and 120 depending on the night and time of year, so there's quite a buzz to the classes. Why are there so many people? Well, everyone's very friendly, it's heaps of fun and easy to learn (and the music's great too!) Often after the last song, people go to a local cafe or bar to wind down and relax before heading home.
What dance experience do I need?
None whatsoever! We warmly welcome people with no previous dance experience. In fact we will refund your money if you genuinely find your beginners class too difficult and have been unable to learn anything. If you are someone with dance experience please try a beginners class first, then speak to your teacher about when you should move to intermediate.
What is freestyle?
Freestyle is dancing 'off the cuff'. Once the men have built up a repertoire of moves they then practice changing the order as they lead. You are invited to come to our freestyle and party nights nationwide.
When can I move to the next level?
Everyone's progress is different and there are guidelines. It is recommended that you do at least fifteen to twenty beginners classes before moving to intermediate. You should get an assessment by a teacher before you move up to the next level.
How many partners?
Most of the time there is one person who performs the lead role (the leader) and another who performs the follow role (the follow).
- Triples (also known as double trouble) is where there is one leader and two followers.
- Steals is where there are two people dancing together at any one time but a third person may steal the lead or the follow from one of the other dancers.
Which role which gender?
Traditionally the lead role is performed by a male and the follow role is performed by a female. We only stick to this tradition in our group classes.
Outside of classes we prefer to acknowledge that any gender can perform either role, indeed learning both roles makes people better dancers overall.
Why do moves vary?
Modern Jive is a very young social dance without the history or structure of Ballroom or Ballet. In competition you are not marked for doing exact moves. There is no strict right or wrong. Different footwork is acceptable, do what works for you. It's ok as long as it feels right. We encourage diversity, experimentation and style.
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