Boogie Dance, or Boogie-woogie is a form of swing dancing that was originally known as “Barrelhouse” dancing. It is called boogie-woogie in Europe, but this dance is more commonly known as East Coast swing in the United States. During the 1950s, today’s boogie-woogie would have been known as “rock ‘n’ roll.” Although the dance can go with boogie-woogie music, it’s more often paired with rock music. Because rock ‘n’ roll dance was already established in dance competitions (Acrobatic Rock n’ Roll), boogie-woogie had to find an alternate label. It adopted a name based on the music with which it was often paired: fast-paced, boogie-woogie style piano. (Pinetop Smith writing the first official Boogie Woogie song in 1928. However, there were main parts of the music style as far back as 1900. It is the single most influential Boogie-Woogie composition of all time, it was the first recorded piece to use the term “Boogie-Woogie” in the title).
Boogie-Woogie dancing was a response to this new sound – but didn’t really evolve until Rock ‘n’ Roll music came into existence in America and Europe in the 1950′s. It’s popularity grew and grew as the fledgling Rock ‘n’ Roll stars such as Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis replaced the old Swing music on the radio and in nightclubs.
Boogie-woogie is commonly danced to a fast pace. It is famous for its fast and spectacular footwork, high energy and also it’s freedom throughout the dance that allows space for improvisation and free styling. The step variation for boogie dance is a combination of six and eight count with sharp, quick movements. It often makes use of a syncopated beat, which helps to create the constant footwork for which boogie is widely recognised.
3timeworldchampsBoogie-woogie can be danced in social situations (mostly in Europe), or in competitions (worldwide). As a competitive dance, boogie-woogie is a “lead” dance, without any choreography but can contain acrobatic elements, although, not like in acrobatic Rock ‘n’ roll. There are various limitations of aerials in European countries, but by the strong Lindy Hop influence, they cannot be completely removed from the dance. Most rules suggest that the couples have to maintain some contact during the acrobatics, which helps to avoid moves like double/triple flips, commonly seen in Acrobatic rock ‘n’ roll (like the name suggests).
Boogie-woogie can be slow or fast. When fast beats are used, boogie-woogie often moves into East Coast swing, Hollywood style and jitterbug. Many people confuse it with the lindy hop, which it closely resembles. Although lindy hop has had a great influence on boogie woogie, the two are not interchangeable. Another misconception is that as a form of swing dancing, boogie-woogie must be fast paced. Boogie-woogie dance and music can, however, be slow.