If you’ve been dancing ceroc or modern jive for a while you may have heard dancers from other genres pouring scorn on it.
‘Modern jive is easy’ ‘there’s no technique’ ‘it’s just for people who can’t dance’ ‘everyone who’s any good moves on to argentine tango or wcs, that’s where the good dancers are’.
But all dancing is good and has its value. As I’m sure all of us who dance modern jive agree.
Dance is about freedom, enjoyment, fun, music, exercise, relaxation, communication, socialising, partnerships.
Modern jive hits all of these and more. So I don’t believe it should have such a bad rap from other dance styles.
Modern jive is seen as the easy dance. For most people the joy is in its simplicity, and an ability for even non-dancers to pick up a few moves and be able to get through freestyle dances after only one lesson.
Like any dance style, It can be a challenge for some. For those who already dance it can be a release from more complex technical dances.
For me, after 2 ½ years of technical salsa training, I was happy to find a dance I could just relax into. It’s been the dance that has taken me from being a good technical dancer, to one who is happy to try different freestyle moves out, try styling and just enjoy it without pressure of being correct.
Why should other dances look down on one specific dance. Let’s face it, no-one was keen on the charleston all those years ago – for its inappropriateness, short dresses and wild dancing. And I’m sure there have been lots of comments about line dancing or tango over the years.
I believe dance is like art. It’s in the eye of the beholder. Or the dancer.
Not everyone is going to enjoy everything, whether taking part or watching. But plenty of people will. So every dance style has its value whatever judgements people say about it.
Someone who’s a poor dancer at one style, may be a worse dancer than a modern jiver. Not all modern jivers have no technique – even if it’s been learned from another dance style. There are certainly plenty of people dancing modern jive who are stylish dancers and who I love to watch dance.
I certainly wouldn’t look down on a dance style and frown on it, saying there’s no place for it. I may not enjoy watching that style of dance (the charleston for me is pretty samey and all gurning), but I can appreciate the work that needs to go into it, and the overall performance.
Modern jive is the perfect dance for people who want to have a relaxing time with their dancing, who want to learn having never danced before, and who want to use it as an introduction to dance before moving on to other dance styles. It’s a great confidence builder.
Have you found people looking down on modern jive? What would you say to people who do?