In short time I will be in hot, sunny Las Vegas for the “Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender 19“. I’m very excited to be exiting cold Toronto and spending 6 days surrounded by cool music, cool clothes, cool people and even cooler dancing, but NOT cold weather.

viva19PosterCORRECTED.web_

 

As a Lindy Hopper, I love to dance and I love to watch dancing and at Viva there are lots of all of that. There are Jivers, Lindy Hoppers, Boppers and Strollers and even once in a while I have seen some two steppers. Dancers from all over the world converge once a year on Las Vegas to listen and dance to some of the best artists in the Rockabilly scene past and present and I am one of them.

At Viva Lindy Hop (my dance) is not your typical dance done, in fact it is in the small percentile of dances seen on the dance floor. The Jive, Bop and Stroll take the lead.

Right now you might be scratching you head and asking, what exactly are these dances you speak of? Let me help you out.

The”Rockabilly Jive”

Rockabilly Jive Dancing

The Rockabilly Jive dance style comes from the south of the United States and was first introduced  by the military during World War II, inspired by swing and rock’n’roll. Then, in the early 50s, it adopted the rhythms of rockabilly music (mix of country and rhythm and blues).

Accessible by its simple steps (done on a one-two-turn-return, one-two-turn-return, one-two-turn-return count), this dance also allows many acrobatic moves, which makes it joyfully energetic!

Since the late 90s, Rockabilly Jive has regained popularity. Indeed, this dynamic and vibrant dance has won new fans, with people who enjoy the rebellious spirit of the 50s (Source).

Jive dancing at the VIVA Pool Party
Source: The Sartorialist

Here is a video from Viva’s Jive Contest in 2014

The Stroll

The stroll you see at Rockabilly events is not the original Stroll (seen below) that involved holding the hand of your partner as your “strolled” down the center.

The stroll of today is a repeating dance mostly done by the ladies but I have seen guys jump into the lines on a few occasions, but 99% of the time it’s mostly ladies. Once you get the pattern, it’s pretty simple to do and great way to dance if you don’t have a partner.

Music tends to be bouncy RnB, slower beats and rockin’ garage tunes.

Here is yours truly and some friends doing the “stroll” at Viva 2 years ago. Gosh I look lost.

Rockabilly Stroll Viva Las Vegas

 Boppin’

This dance I have never heard of until I went to VIVA but apparently I have been doing a version of it almost every-time I went out dancing and did not have a partner.

According to Miss Wolff’s Jiving School:

This wild solo freestyle dance was more of a man’s dance from the ’30s to the ’50s, but in this equal opportunity millennium, gals and guys alike bop around with this fast crazy dance, popular worldwide, after remaining far underground for most of the ’60s.

This is a great workout – think rockabilly aerobics! Bopping is a passion-filled mix of tap, step and jive beats fueled by your love and feeling of the beat, the beat, the BEAT, each person feeling it in their own way.

Dance classes at VIVA

IF you are going to VIVA this year you can take dances lessons from Miss Wolff’s Jiving School on the Saturday and be a pro in no time.

Viva Las Vegas 17 dance floor
The Vintage Inn (me, liz) on the VIVA dance floor with my friend Dean on the Sunday Night.

 

Will I be seeing you on the dance floor at VIVA?

Liz 🙂

10 comments on “The Dancing Side of the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend”

    • Ahhh that is too bad. But like you said, at least there is dance to enjoy and watch from the safety of your seat 🙂

  1. I enjoyed reading this and watching those clips so much! I am always full of amazement watching people who can dance well, it is such a joy. I have several friends who are Lindy Hoppers and I love watching them. In fact, two of them are coming to Toronto in June, is there anything you recommend they do or any events they should go to? The best I can manage are the strolls and I really enjoy doing them. Have a fabulous time at Viva.

    • Great dancing is awesome to watch and I could watch it for hours!

      Yay to friends visiting Toronto..I’m so excited! Well you came to the right person as I handle all the Social Media for “Toronto Lindy Hop”. We post daily where to dance in Toronto for swing and we host events as well. June is a bit far off right now BUT tell them 1. To follow Toronto Lindy Hop on Facebook or Twitter and they will be updated constantly. 2. They can drop me a line on the FB page (or via my email here) to ask ask what is up as their trip gets closer. 3. There is ALWAYS a Live Swing Band on Saturday night’s at the regular dance, so if they are in Toronto over a weekend to make sure they save Saturday night for dancing.

      I will be posting during my Viva trip on Instagram and twitter so stay tuned for that. Have a super weekend!

  2. It’s hard to believe that VLV is almost here again. Where does the time go? It’s awesome that you’re going to be attending again. I hope that you have a seriously wonderful time, dear Liz, complete with tons of opportunities to cut a (very stylish) rug. 🙂

    Happy Friday wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    • Time flies when your having fun! 🙂 Thanks Jessica, I hope you have a wonderful Easter while I’m at Viva. Have a super weekend! Liz 🙂

  3. This makes me want to dance! I briefly did some swing dancing (they called it “slow swing” but I don’t know how universal that term is!) and I loved it. I was ok with a set routine but I really struggle with being led! It makes me nervous 😛 I’d love to try some dancing again sometime, and in a perfect world I can convince my husband to join me!

    Have a wonderful time dancing away and I look forward to your posts from Vegas!

    • Slow Swing..interesting I have never heard of that term before. I almost feel like “swing” and “slow” should not be in the same sentence as they are kind of are opposites. Blues dancing..now that is like slow swing.

      Yes getting lead is a hard part and you just have to let all nerves, beliefs you can’t do this etc. go out the window. A glass of wine or 2 helps as well. lol!!

      Thanks so much, I can’t wait to leave. I will posting on Instagram while I’m gone and if I have time might throw a post up with highlights, but it will most likely be instagram for now. Have a super week!

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