Don’t Mean A Thing If You Aın’t Got That Swıng

‘The 1920s was a great time for dancing,’ say Kraig van Rooyen and Alissa Steyl, dance partners and owners of Joburg’s Five6Seven8 studio. Back then, dance was a little bit of rebellion and a mesh of cultures that came together in the first swing-dancing style, the Charleston. Originating from the African-American dance called the Juba, the dance was interpreted for a more popular appeal.

‘Swing dancing is all about improv, that’s why people enjoy it so much, it’s because it’s free,’ says Steyl. Today, even if the only dancing that people do is to move to the pulsating rhythm in a nightclub, it remains a social ‘thing’. ‘Even though it’s old-fashioned, people are still intrigued by it.

With things like YouTube and So You Think You Can Dance, people still want to learn it,’ says Steyl. The Charleston, the Lindy Hop, rock ’n’ roll, Eastern ballroom swing and jive are all interpretations of swing. Now, the craze is even being adapted into electro. Van Rooyen notes, ‘People can dress up and dance in ball gowns and it will be completely normal.’ With regular theme parties and dierent dance styles for every age group, lessons at Five6Seven8 Dance Studio are hugely popular. ‘Dance is kind of like fashion,’ Van Rooyen says. ‘In the 1970s, bell bottoms were big, then they disappeared and then, bam, in the 1990s they were back!’ (Visit Five6seven8.co.za for more information.)

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Dont Mean A Thing If You Aınt Got That Swıng

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