People often ask what is West Coast Swing? and then ask how is it different to Modern Jive?
The simple answer if there is such a thing, West Coast Swing is an American swing partner dance with origins coming from Lindy Hop, Modern Jive is a French dance “C’est le roc” (it’s roc) that was derived again from American swing dancing. FYI over the years Leroc / Modern Jive eventually made its
way to the UK, then Australia, NZ & EU, under the trademark Ceroc which is basically a dance club style of business, just an FYI.
Moving on & all that being said they are both great social dance styles and you can dance pretty much anywhere to many genres of music like Blues, Pop, Funk, Disco any Top 40 from 100bpm to 150bpm (for the brave).
West Coast Swing is the more complex of the 2 dance styles simply because the basic rhythm consists of Doubles & triple rhythms, that triple rhythm really defines a true swing dance, where our Modern Jive is a straight count, walk walk for the basics. Like most dance styles both have progressed and followed the trend of music, especially West Coast Swing, and allowed both dance styles to become even more advanced and highly skilled.
Definitely over the last 10 years Modern Jive has been more influenced by West Coast Swing and in some instances dancers are starting to dance Modern Jive more slotted, but in reality for Modern Jive to actually swing it needs to rotate.
Over the years some people would say both dance styles
have developed & borrowed from many different styles, yes but I think the main influence in any dance style are the actual dancers themselves, ie for WCS people like Benji Schwimmer, Jordan Frisbee, Tatiana Mollmann, for Modern Jive Charles Gil, Zac Skinner to name a few.
To further assist lets look at the timing or the rhythm of both dance styles, this is the easiest way to compare the 2 dance styles.
Modern Jive is a simple straight 4 count 1,2,3,4 step, step, step, step.
West Coast Swing 6 count, 12, 3&4 5&6 step, step, triple step, triple step or 8 count 12 3&4 56 7&8 step, step, triple step, triple step. Both styles should stretch and move from your core and have a rolling action through the feet.
All this being said and there is plenty more to talk about, I would recommend you go take a class in your area, if you are from Sydney there are classes all across the greater Sydney district, to name a few, St Marys Band club Monday modern Jive nights, Club Kirrawee Tuesday Nights west coast swing & modern jive, Bexley RSL Wednesday nights country & swing, check it out on https://www.shanekeridance.com.au/