Types Of Swing Dancing – Make Yourself Aware of the Intricacies Involved

Swing dance as an art form has majorly evolved from the 1920’s up until now. Starting as a normal street form of dancing that did not even have a proper name, swing dance forms like the Lindy Hop has become one of the most famous dance forms in the world. There are thousands of dance forms that come under swing dance. Since this is a street style couple dance form that is performed with jazz music, each place has its own type

Even in the beginning when the dance form was taught to people, each city had a different teacher and a different set of dance notes and steps.

Some of the most famous swing dance forms are as follows:

1920’s to early 1930’s

"The 1920’s and the early 1930’s saw the emergence of some amazing swing dance."

This was the time when swing dance was invented. At that time jazz and swing music were very prevalent and the ballrooms in New York attracted many dancers that danced to these tunes and brought about these new dance forms.

So the 1920’s and the early 1930’s saw the emergence of some amazing swing dance forms such as:

The Lindy Hop

The Lindy Hop was the first swing dance form to get an official name. Its evolution dates back to the early 1930’s and the African-American community is said to be responsible for the popularity of this form. This is basically a six or an eight step count dance form that requires a lot of physical work. Shorty George, a regular dance enthusiast, is said to have accidently named this dance form, which is still famous. It was first introduced in the Savoy Ballroom in New York which later became the home of various swing dance forms. The Lindy Hop became exceedingly popular amongst the people of America and many official troops were formed to perform all over the world. It was also featured in many movies. Many new versions emerged from this dance form.

Lindy Charleston

This is another very popular swing dance form till today. This is a type of the original Charleston and was developed in the 1920’s. This is very similar to the Lindy Hop. It is a couple-style dance form that has a lot of different positions and includes a lot of swinging of the body parts sideways. In some position the partners are not even face to face, they are either back to back or side to side. This form is a little slower than the original form of Charleston and the Lindy Pop.

Collegiate Shag

Also known as Shag, this is a type of swing dance form that originated in the 1930’s in United States. It is performed to uptempo jazz music or a pre-swing jazz music. The dance is said to have originated in the Carolinas and later spread to the other parts of the United States. It is still widely popular.


Another of the earliest types of swing dance is the Balboa, which evolved in southern California. This is an eight step count dance form that is usually performed in closed positions. This dance, unlike the others, does not involve any swings or turns and the upper body of both the partners are always in contact. It is danced to the tunes of faster jazz, although slower versions are also done.

Late 1930’s to early 1940’s

In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s the following dance forms emerged:

"The dance is very physical and is done with jump, boogie-woogie and stomp music."

St. Louis Shag

This is a dance form that evolved from Charleston and has an eight count step basics. It started in St. Louis, hence the name. The dance is very physical and is done with jump, boogie-woogie and stomp music.

Little Apple and Big Apple

This is one of the dance forms that was originated by the African-American community in which both dancers dance in circles. It was first created by the Big Apple Club in the 1930’s and became famous ever since.  The Little Apple dance form is which is another version of Big Apple and originated in Southern Carolina in the United States.

1940’s to 1950’s

In the 1940’s and 1950’s many dance schools started teaching different versions of swing dancing and it became increasingly popular amongst the public.

The forms are:

  • East Coast Swing
  • West Coast Swing
  • Western Swing
  • Carolina Shag
  • Boogie-Woogie
  • Jive and its types
  • Rock and Roll
  • Washington Hand dancing

In today's times

Like the 1920’s to 1950’s, swing dancing is still a very famous art form and is performed by various famous dancers all over the world.

With time, it has evolved and is still evolving. It has incorporated many different dance forms in itself and is the basis of main dance contests around the world.