Swing Discussion Boards > Rock n Roll

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by 2br02b, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I saw a demonstration of the acrobatic version at the German Open Championships (DanceSport) in Mannheim Germany in 2002. I'm not really sure that I'd clasify this style as "dance" but it certainly was fun to watch. :D
  2. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    is it similar to Ceroc?
  3. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    No, it is very different from Ceroc. Ceroc, if I've understood correctly is simplified East Coast, usually six count patterns, with no basic step and with more bounce between the couples. The type of dance Ceroc would sort under is generally called Jive. Which again should not be confused with the latin dance also called Jive.

    Ceroc is a nonacrobatic social partner dance with lead/follow.
    Rock'n'Roll is a acrobatic show partner dance that is choreographed.

    What these have in common is that both has its original roots in Lindy, or in later Rock'nRoll dancing as it was done in America in the 50's/60's. Ceroc/Jive is the swing part of this kind of dance, with simplified basics. Acrobatic Rock'n'Roll is the aerial parts with focus on show/choreography, a modified nine-step basic and is no longer a social dance that can be lead.
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    In the '30s and '40s, you went to Harlem's Savoy Ballroom for the ultimate source of swing era dance style. In the '50s, you went to your living room! On any school day, you could return home and dig the 3pm broadcast on ABC-TV of WFIL Philadelphia's nationally syndicated AMERICAN BANDSTAND.

    Most '50s teens learned ROCK & ROLL, as the Bandstand dancers called it (although some NYC-NJ area dancers, and others, insisted on calling it LINDY or JITTERBUG) from their peers on this TV show. But, whereas the top dancers of the Savoy were stage and screen pros of enormous dedication and attainment, the Bandstanders were not chosen for dance ability: they just showed up. The teens came to the TV studio mainly from two local high schools: West Catholic and South Philadelphia.

    In order to conform to the carefully crafted Bandstand image, Dick Clark, the show's gifted producer and host, did not permit aerials, lifts, dips, partnered charlestons, or jazz moves. Also, the tight confines of the studio's hard concrete floor, obstructed by bulky moving TV cameras, and criss-crossed with thick video cables, was hardly condusive to flash dancing. Even the really good dancers that came to Bandstand could only display a small fraction of their chops. But since the Bandstand dancers were the primary dance models for '50s America teens, you can understand how the vast repertoire of early Lindy Hop (on the TV, at least) now achieved its ultimate simplification for mass consumption.

    Numerous teen viewers added their own playful genius to the TV basics, developing entirely new repertoires of moves. After all, rock'n'roll has a distinct feel; one would expect new moves and stylings. In the Carolinas, for example, huge groups of '50s teens had independently taken a dance they called JITTERBUG (unique in style, and eventually re-named CAROLINA SHAG) to incredible heights of sophistication. That didn't happen on Bandstand in the '50s. Since Dick Clark did not allow his regulars to perform professionally, they received little encouragement to develop as dancers. In fact, many of the best regulars NEVER practiced on their own.

    But, this isn't the whole story. Watch the flicks Don't Knock The Rock and Rock Around The Clock. In addition to smokin' performances by Bill Haley's Comets, you will see Dean Collins' style LINDY HOP adapted to '50s rock&roll by some hot young professional dancers. It adapts pretty darn well, in fact! Given the usual imitative bent of talented amateur dancers, we can expect that 15-20 viewings of these movies gave hometown teens what they needed to continue Hollywood-style Lindy, going far beyond what American Bandstand offered them.

    As a relevant aside, the term "ROCK & ROLL" was appropriated by Alan Freed for this 50s music style. He is famous for that. But he did not invent to the term! It was in use well back into the 1920s, and can be heard in song lyrics by the Boswell Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb, and Cab Calloway!
  5. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    I remember watching a lot of American Banston in the late 50's - that is what you did after school!

    I guess I don't know what ceroc is - have never heard of it. Is it just step, step, rock step? Which is kind of the way we danced way back then and it was rock and roll!
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I'm not familiar with it at all . . .
  7. lily

    lily Member

    Well, I know exactly what Rock n Roll is, but unfortunately I don't know what East Coast Swing is so I can't compare the two! In France, everyone starts by learning Rock and Roll and then some people branch out into Acrobatic Rock n Roll (always choreographed) Lindy, Boogie or West Coast Swing. I lived in France for 13 years and I learnt to dance there so I just thought that it was the real name of the dance. Every time I told an American that I liked Rock n Roll dancing, he or she would say, "Is that like Swing dancing?" and I finally realised that the name was different outside of France. Whether or not the dance is different too, I can't say yet but it is danced in a slot to a 6 count beat.

    I will soon know, however, as I'm now living in New York and I hope to go out dancing very often 8) I'm going to a Modern Jive dance this Saturday to see if that's anything like the dance I know. I hope I can find something somewhere that is similar :D
  8. lily

    lily Member

    Actually, the Ceroc that I've seen danced in the UK does look quite like the Rock n Roll danced in France. The difference is, as you say, there is no basic step and also Ceroc is danced to modern music whereas in France they play mostly Jazz and Rock n Roll with sometimes a little pop music thrown in. When dancing Rock n Roll very fast, the basic 'back step, triple step, triple step' dissappears anyway, leaving a fluid movement that is basically just walking but which gives the dance a very fluid look.

    'Rock n Roll' and 'Rock n Roll Acrobatique' are different. Rock n Roll is the basic partner dance and all moves are leadable. There can be small jumps and drops but they are mostly leadable, especially if you dance often with the partner.
  9. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    So you are finally here Lily!! Going salsa dancing next weekend at the congress?
  10. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    As I said earlier, Rock'n'Roll is used for more than one kind of dance. As is Jive. It makes it a bit difficult talking about them.
  11. lily

    lily Member

    Yes and I'm loving living in NY! It's great 8) :D It took me a while to get sorted but it's wonderful to finally be back on line and ready to go dancing!!!

    But no, I wasn't planning on going to the salsa congress next weekend. I'll probably still be away for Thanksgiving (my first :D ). But I'll be going swing dancing first as I just HAVE to go soon :lol: and I also need to find a belly dance class in the area. When I have all that sorted out, I'll go Salsa dancing! Sorry, but although I quite like Salsa (thanks Lita!) I really love swing dancing and really enjoy belly dancing so salsa will come after those :oops: :)
  12. lily

    lily Member

    Yup, it's really confusing! It's ok when a word is completely different so we can ask, "What's that?" but when the same word is used to describe two different dances, it's really annoying :? :D

    (I'm getting that every day now that I'm living in the States (I'm English). I know some words like elevator and pants etc. but others I just have no idea I'm saying 'wrongly' until I get the blank or confused looks!)
  13. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    Not only that, but they're dances with a common legacy. And in addition, I thought that Rock'n'Roll was one thing in Europe and one thing in the states, but then I discovered that in Europe too it's two different things.

    Wether one of the european version equal Rock'n'Roll in the USA, that I still don't know. :headwall:
  14. lily

    lily Member

    Well, I'll soon be able to compare compare dancing in Paris and New York although we'll probably then learn that in Germany, Rock n Roll is danced in a group dancing in a circle or something :roll: :lol:

    By the way, what does Rock n Roll mean in the States then?! I thought that it was just the name of the music over here or does it mean the acrobatic stuff?

  15. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Well, duh! I finally realized where that name came from.

    "Ce Roc" == "rock" as in "rock and roll".

    BTW, I only replied to your message because reading it is when the light finally came on in my dim skull.

    I remember American Bandstand, too. Only my memories were of my older sisters always monopolizing the TV when my cartoons were on. I didn't start liking rock until about the second year the Beatles became popular.
  16. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    "Ce Roc" == "rock" as in "rock and roll".

    Well . . . that makes sense . . . duh is right!
  17. lily

    lily Member


    This site has some great videos of Acrobatic Rock 'n' Roll (click on 'videos' in the top right hand corner). I'm trying to find a video of regular rock 'n' roll but it's not as easy.

  18. lily

    lily Member


    Well, I found one but it's not great. It's just one example of what Rock 'n' Roll looks like.

    Hold the mouse over 'les cours de danse', then over 'danses enseignees', then click on Rock. At the bottom left hand corner of that screen you will see 'extraits video'. Click on either 'modem' or 'ADSL'.

    I'm sure that there has already been a similar thread to this one on DF where someone posted a link to a good rock 'n' roll video. I'll try and find it...
  19. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    "les boites de nuit" ("night boxes"). Is that what they call night clubs? My French is mainly from two years in college and from French films over the years. The last time I was there was in '74 and I was just passing through.

    BTW, they have the same video for both Rock and Rock Acrobatique.
  20. lily

    lily Member

    Yup, 'boites de nuit' is correct! I noticed that they didn't have a video for Rock Acro and as I said, even the video for Rock isn't that great an example. I wish I could find something better. There must be something out there!

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