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I read ‘Dance as a form of exercise’ by Zoe Bremer, with great interest.1One form of dance which wasn't mentioned in her essay, is ‘modern jive’ also known as ‘french jive’, ‘Ceroc’, ‘Le Roc’ among others, and is very extensive in the UK, especially in London and the South-East.
This is a very exciting form of partner dance that can be done to almost any type of popular music and looks a little like rock‘n’roll to the unpractised eye. It is often advertised as the dance for anyone with two left feet, because there are no specific steps to worry about, most of the moves being lead from the upper body, but one nonetheless needs to move around the floor a lot, thus providing excellent aerobic exercise.
A normal evening of modern jive consists of the beginners' lesson, followed by a short period of ‘freestyle’ whereby one can practice what has been learned, to music. This is followed by the intermediate lesson. At this point, some clubs will also provide a beginners' consolidation lesson in another room. The intermediate lesson is followed by freestyle dancing to the end of the evening at about 11 pm. Most clubs will provide ‘taxi’ dancers who are there specifically to help the beginners practice the moves; and all for about £6. Modern jive is such a fun and sociable form of exercise. It is not absolutely necessary to go with a (dance) partner, because partners switch around all evening and jive with everyone present. It is just as acceptable for the ladies to ask the guys for a dance, as vice versa.
As well as regular classes and dances, there are also dance weekends at some of the popular holiday camps. Modern jive is often described as a lifesaver, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally also, especially for those emerging from a ‘broken’ relationship. It boosts one's confidence and enables socialising with a very friendly crowd.
A list of jive clubs can be found on http://www.uk-jive.co.uk/, or alternatively a Google search for ‘modern jive clubs’ will find others. Just one warning, modern jive can become addictive!