Student Review – Beginner Modern Jive Dance Moves

Several of our modern jive students have asked me if I could make a list of some of the basic Beginner Modern Jive Dance moves we teach in class. So I’ve listed some of them, and, dance students, you’ll know that we’ve added variations andModern Jive Dancing Couple Jive Nation Toronto different moves so that this list isn’t exhaustive. Hopefully it will help you as you’re learning to remember them.

Think of this list as mainly foundational modern jive dance moves – all Improver and Intermediate Modern Jive moves are more advanced variations of these beginner moves.

On a typical modern jive dance evening we learn 3-4 beginner dance moves and 2-3 Intermediate, and because we focus on learning the moves as a whole rather than “where do I put my feet?” students are able to learn to dance more quickly than in most dance classes where you would normally spend several months learning your dance steps first.

This focus is part of what makes modern jive different from most other dance classes and such an easy dance to learn if you are a complete novice. The other aspect is that we focus on fun and enjoyment and having a great social time both in during the teaching class and freestyle practice. We use a very simple step-by-step teaching approach based on lots of repetition. So you’ll find that once you’ve developed your muscle memory you focus less on moves and more on just linking your favourite ones together. And, as our students know, once you’ve learned the basics and have some dancing confidence you can just add your own style depending on how you’re feeling the music. Modern Jive is extremely versatile. You’ll think less about moves, instead you’ll simply dance.

Modern Jive is man-led social partner dance, which means the man develops a good “lead” for the lady to “interpret” or “follow.” So the lead must learn the various moves in order to lead them well, while the ladies have to learn how to follow or interpret their dance lead (even if they think they know what’s coming). We all learn together, it looks and feels great and it’s a ton of fun. Guys, if you’ve ever dreamed of being able to dance – you can. Ladies, if you love to dance but think you’re un-cordinated – try a class. You may be amazed at how much fun you have and how easy modern jive is to learn.

These are what we call Beginner dance moves and in general they are anywhere from between 3 and 8 beats, so very simple. To see how some of them look, watch our modern jive videos or see our YouTube channel. Better still why not try a class? Beginners, Improvers and Intermediates join us every week.

A big thanks and well done to all our Modern Jive students. And to our teachers and team.

Starts off man’s left hand to ladies right hand

(Hand holds start and end refer to the man as it the lady always offers her right hand).

Armjive – ends LHC

First Move – ends LHC

First Move Pushspin – ends either LHC or RHC

Basket – ends LHC

Manspin – ends either LHC or RHC

Octopus – (can start Double handed) ends DH or LH (Drop RH)

Pushspin – ends either LHC or RHC

Shoulder Slide – ends either LHC or RHC

Side to Side – ends LHC

Under Arm Walkthrough – ends LHC

Teapot – ends LHC

Comb – ends either LHC or RHC

Wurlitzer/American Spin – ends either LHC or RHC

Figure of Eight – ends RHC

Man Break Thru – ends either LHC or RHC

You Turn-I-Turn – ends LHC

Neck Brake – ends RHC

Starts off man’s right hand to ladies right hand

Jive Nation Toronto, Learn to Dance Modern JiveCatapult – ends either LHC or RHC

Half Windmill – ends LHC

Wrist Throwaway – ends either LHC or RHC

Half Neck Brake – ends RHC

Ladyspin – ends either LHC or RHC

Sway – ends RHC

Yoyo – ends RHC

Yoyo Pushspin – catch either LHC or RHC

Cleaver Cross – ends RHC

Springer – ends either LHC or RHC

Back Pass – usually ends LHC

Secret Move Flick Spin – ends mans LHC or RHC to ladies right hand

Double Handed Moves

Teapot Walk


LHC = Left Hand Catch, RHC = Right Hand Catch, DHC = Double Hand Catch

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