The couples emphasize with its steps the musical accents whereby the bodies are held upright. Between torso and legs, a small angle should be. The Jive-steps consist mainly of the elements Rock (cradle step) and Chasse (change step with rolls and hips). The couples cause easily and unencumbered and emphasize the musical accents with its steps.
Jive is danced in 4/4-time. The speed lies between 36 and 44 beats per minute and is counted quick-quick and/or quick-and-quick.
Past and Present
In the slang of Africans the term "Jive" (as Jazz or Funk) means sexual emotions or ecstasy. As a successor of Jitterbug and Boogie-Woogie, Jive was brought to Europe by American soldiers about 1940. Jive evolved in Great Britain and was finally integrated into the Latin dance competition program. Jive music shows its African origin with its off-beat-accentuation at beat 2 and 4. Jive expresses the robust joys of life. It has been the 'rave' dance of the pre-Beat-generation and has been the origin of acrobatic athletic Rock'n'Roll.
Today Jive is the internationally accepted word used to describe a dance with multiple predecessors of Afro-American origin. Lindy Hop, Blues and Swing are members of this family from the beginning of the thirties, Boogie, Jitterbug and Bebop in the forties, followed by Rock'n'Roll in the fifties. As a characteristic element for all these dancing forms, the stimulating music has fascinated dancers of all ages with its rhythmic accentuation.
About 1940 American soldiers brought these USA-based dances to Europe. They became popular in a short time because of the open motion style together with acrobatic jumps. Boogie was the dominating music after the war, but it often was refused as an ordinary dance. Therefore a moderate form had to be found in order to make this dancing style socially acceptable. British dancing instructors developed the elegant and even vivid Jive with a slower music. In 1968 Jive was accepted in fifth place of the Latin competition dances.