Lindy Hop is a dance which evolved in the ballrooms of Harlem, New York City in the 1930s. Although its origins are largely in the African-American community of Harlem, New York, during the “swing era” of the 1930s and ‘40s, Lindy Hop spread across America, with regional variants being danced in several cities and communities. Just as swing music developed by taking influence and inspiration from other forms of music, the Lindy Hop absorbed and expanded with the influence of other dance styles. Today, Lindy Hop is danced all over the world: from its birthplace in New York, to Seoul, Korea; from Stockholm, Sweden, to Maputo, Mozambique; from Sydney, Australia, to right here in Belgium.
Solo jazz dances also evolved along with swing music during the “swing era”. Heavily influenced by Charleston and tap dance, authentic solo jazz dance also drew inspiration from other dance styles of the 1930s such as Mambo - a dance which evolved in the Cuban-American communities of the Bronx.
Balboa originated during the 1920s, and evolved significantly with the rise of swing music in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Dancers in Southern California would converge on the Balboa Peninsula, bringing the dances that were popular in LA or Catalina. Originally the term ‘Balboa’ referred to a dance characterized by its close embrace, but over time, influence from other swing dances which incorporated turns and open-position movements merged with Balboa, creating what we call Balboa or Bal-Swing today.
Collegiate Shag is a partnered dance often done to uptempo swing and pre-swing jazz music (180+ beats per minute). It is believed to have originated within the African-American communities of North and South Carolina, before later spreading across the United States during the 1930s. Collegiate Shag is not to be confused with other ‘Shag’ dances such as St Louis and Carolina Shag.
Solo Blues, like any of the traditional blues dances is performed on a large spectrum of blues music, allowing for many different interpretations of movements and rhythms in freestyle. Solo Blues dance is simply dancing to blues music. The dance must not necessarily be slow, sensuous, and emotionally charged, but it accommodates a wide range of feelings across various tempi and musical styles, accessible to all, reflecting local social and cultural backgrounds. Solo Blues translates the music with alternatively subtle or accentuated movements.
We will be starting a new class introducing Belly Swing. You have probably heard of the Belly Dance style from the “Golden Age” or “Golden Era”, when the Egyptian film industry was booming, and which is more than a reference to the dance. What we offer is a more modern Golden Era Belly Swing, in short: Belly Swing. There is a myriad of different styles and techniques (old and new) that fall under its denomination and that will be explored, from subtle and internal to more athletic movements, establishing links with Swing, Lindy Hop, Blues or Charleston. We are aiming at creating a group choreography, and while morphing with every beat and every note in the music, the dancers will be able to express a wide range of feelings and emotions. The music we will dance on encompasses different beats, allowing for various influences in the way the dancers move.