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The History of Dance : The Jive

BBC Strictly Gemma

Online team

The Jive originated in the southern parts of America and from 1927 became very popular with the younger crowds. Check out Karen Hardy and Ian Waite taking you through the Jives origins (*warning* includes Ian in a uniform!):

The Jive is a non-progressive dance which means that it doesn't move around the floor like other styles of dance.

In the late 1920s, dance-halls tried to ban the Jive claiming it disturbed the other dancers who were quietly progressing anti-clockwise.

The Amerian G.I.'s brought the dance over to Europe during the Second World War but because of it's "corrupting influence," the Jive was performed for many years in the underground clubs of the 1930s.


The Jive is a dance that should take you back to the years pre- rock and roll. It's a very fast dance with no softness and lots of sharp action. There should be ample amounts of kicks and flicks with beatifully executed pointed toes.

The kick in the Jive comes from the hip, whereas the flick comes from the knee. A key move in this dance style is the American Spin which is when the man lets go on the woman and lets her spin on her own.

The feet and legs should be under the body with the knees always remaining close together. 


The Jive has been another firm favourite with the modern audience. Here are some of the previous high and low scorers:

Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennet - Series 2, week 8 - 40/40

Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe - Series 8, week 7 - 39/40

Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev - Series 9, week 10 - 39/40

Gethin Jones and Camilla Dallerup - Series 5, week 10 - 37/40


Fiona Phillips and Brendan Cole - Series 3, week 3 - 16/40

Chris Parker and Hannah Kartunnen - Series 1, week 8 - 17/40

Jan Ravens and Anton Du Beke - Series 4, week 3 - 18/40

Georgina Bouzova and James Jordan - Series 4, week 3 - 18/40

Gary Rhodes and Karen Hardy - Series 6, week 3 - 18/40


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