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.
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 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).
Here is a video from Viva’s Jive Contest in 2014
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.
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.
Will I be seeing you on the dance floor at VIVA?