Falling in love with jive at Live & Let Jive!

Hi all, last Thursday I went to another Live & Let Jive – monthly event held by none other than miss Kay Hoffman at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club. This is my third blog post about this event and I always had a blast. I just wish I could jive more (which is quite interesting, I really fell in love with jive after the Thursday’s class) or there were more lindy hopppers.

I also took a class about 2 months ago, I would have taken last month but I was away in Germany for the Chase Festival (at the chase!) 😀

Anyway, this half post will be about the jive class. This will be a great reminder of what I learned so I can just read it again before I am off jiving … or lindy jiving … 😀

So, we started with the “moving basic” where we walk around each other. It’s very simple. The way I see it, leads turn torso anti-clockwise on every odd beat and clock-wise on every even beat (remember that jive beat = 2 lindy hop beats lol). You also step forward so that’s what makes move. Then we did a basic turn where leads signal on beat 3 and then followers turn, then leads redirect on beat 5. This makes 6 beat move. Then we did the same move with leads push to make followers turn faster. I felt a bit weird, in lindy hop, we do not push the followers so hard but then again, it’s jive, it’s different 🙂 Then we did another similar move. I call it “no touch push out” or something. That’s where on beat 3 you connect full palm-to-palm and then just push followers clock-wise and reconnect on beat 5 so you can redirect the turn/spin. Then we did a variation where on beat 6, leaders step through and put follower right arm on their right shoulder and then let follower’s arm slide between upper wings (not sure what this area is called) and then slide through leader’s left arm so they can catch again and guess what? Redirect the turn again! We also had the exact same move but after putting follower’s right arm on leader’s right shoulder, we could stop for a bit. We could do some walks or other jazz steps … like crazy knees 😀 And then we had yet another variation. On beat 6, instead of putting follower’s arm on the shoulder, we could have leader’s right arm up in the air and then put follower’s right arm on leader’s right hip and let it slide across leader’s lower back. Then we did our final move – jive break. I’d say it’s not different from lindy hop basic (single, no triple steps or kicks). You connect in a very similar fasion and then you kind of rock step, step, step, step and rock step again. The way I see it, you rock step per jive beat, which makes 4 lindy hop beats, so if you are a lindy hopper, your rock step is twice longer. That was a bit strange for me anyway but I got it in the end.

Yes, we did a lot of moves in the class. We had great teachers! We had only 3 couples but it was lovely. The hardest thing about jive is that jive moves take 2 beats instead of 1. At the same time, it’s easier when the very fast music comes on. In case this happens tonight, I will be so jiving on very fast songs!

Anyway, that’s enough about the classes. Before the class commenced, we had 2 amazing bands on – The Three Belles and The Bevin Boys. To be honest, I can’t remember if I have ever seen these 2 bands perform separately, they always seem to perform together … which is great! I really love the combo. Both bands are very funny, professional (vocally and musically). One of the last songs was quite spooky, like from a horror movie … one of those ghost-related.

Then we had the class which I talked about above. Then Kai Hoffman entered the stage with her Kombo. It was amazing as always. We were being filmed so I hope I didn’t look too bad. There were all sorts of songs being played – swing, jive, salsa/mambo/rumba/latin … it was great night. The dance floor was busy and packed with dancers and not-so-dancers. We had 2 birthday ladies, shame we didn’t have a jam. There isn’t much I need to tell about this band – they were very professional, amazing and very engaging with the audience as always.

Am I going back in August? Yes! I will be jiving again. I am actually considering some jive classes now so I can improve my jive. At the same time, it might improve my lindy hop as both dances can integrate moves from each other. And as always, this post is sponsored with some photos (not even a single selfie!).

Oh, tonight, 4th of July (Happy independence day, my American friends!), I will be at Harlem Nights in Watford. If you see me/recognise me, do not hesitate to come and say “hi” to me and then let’s have a selfie … or two … or hundreds … I won’t mind 😀

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