The term "Swing Dance" generally describes a group of dancing that came about as a result of the music influence, mostly in America around the 1920's. This term is also often extended to include other styles of swing dances: West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, East Coast Swing, Hand Dancing, Jive, Rock and Roll, Modern Jive, and Hustle and other dances developed during the 1940s and later. A strong tradition of social and competitive boogie woogie and Rock 'n' Roll in Europe add these dances to their local swing dance cultures.
"Swing Dance" is a group of social dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s–1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular "swing era". Hundreds of styles of swing dancing were developed; those that have survived beyond that era include Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston. Today, the best-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, which originated in Harlem in the early 1930s. While the majority of swing dances began in African-American communities as vernacular African-American dances, some influenced swing-era dances, like Balboa, developed outside of these communities.
So Many Styles
Swing dance is very music like a language. Try to think about it like language, like Spanish for example. There are many countries that utilize Spanish, but each country has a dialect specifically found in their region. So, while they all speak the same language, certain areas can change a few parts of it to make it their own.
Swing dance is a language that is affected by what era of music it's concentrated in and it's region. For example, if you loved R&B music and learned dancing in California in the 1950's, you learned West Coast Swing. If you were in the Carolinas at the same exact time period, you would have learned Shag Dancing.
Styles of swing still danced socially today include, East Coast Swing, Jive, Lindy, Shag, Collegiate Shag, Balboa, Blues Dancing, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Cowboy Swing
Where to Go?
There are a handful of clubs around the triangle and surrounding areas that offer different types of Swing Dancing. Typically you choose the style of swing based on your love of a specific type of music. Pick your favorite music, and you can find dancing.
Additionally, area studios and clubs will offer "swing nights" that give you an opportunity to dance.
Another option is weekend conventions. These are typically called "competitions" but they really are so much more! These immersion type weekends tend to have competition, but also tons of workshops and social dancing, so you need not be a competitor to enjoy the weekend.
Benefits of Swing Dance
The benefits of dancing are more than you would think! Frankly, there are too many to list here, but here are few specific to Swing Dancing:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Muscle Toning and Conditioning
Increases Strength and Flexibility
Burns Fat and Increases Heart Rate
Social Connectivity with Club Environment
Slightly less expensive than other styles
So many styles of Music, take your pick!