So what is Modern Jive then?
When I’m asked about Modern Jive, the first thing I say is that, ‘It’s the best fun you’ll ever have’. The second – that it’s easy’. Its a partner dance that was developed to ensure that beginners picked it up quickly. The people who run Modern Jive classes proudly boast that you’ll be dancing after your first lesson. They are not exaggerating. After a thirty minute class you could be dancing through a whole two and a half minute dance track.
Modern Jive is a bit of everything
Ceroc is essentially a fusion of Salsa, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Swing Dance. It also takes moves from both Latin and Ballroom Dancing. The reason Modern Jive is so easy to pick up, is that it simplifies the moves it takes from these other dance styles. There is no real need to count the beat or worry too much about footwork. Just remember to step back between moves and you are sorted. Well perhaps there’s a bit more to it than that, but its a whole lot easier than you might have thought. Its certainly a lot easier than Salsa – you can forget the figure of eight thing for a start – and its a whole lot more chilled than Ballroom Dancing,
Is Modern Jive the same as Ceroc?
Essentially yes. The way I explain the difference between Modern Jive and Ceroc, is to say that Ceroc is a brand of Modern Jive. LeRoc is another smaller brand of Modern Jive. Whether you are at a Modern Jive class, a Ceroc class or a LeRoc class the moves are basically the same.
In the East Midlands where I am based, lessons are taught by Ceroc, Pulse, JiveX, Electric Jive and Want2Dance. People who have been taught at these different dance classes, will all go to the same freestyle dances on a Friday or Saturday night. No matter where we were taught we can and do dance with each other.
Let’s have a look at Modern Jive then
This promotional video made for Ceroc – remember its just a brand of Modern Jive – shows you everything you need to know about the fun you can have at a modern jive eventevent. The video shows scenes from classes, freestyles and weekenders – and everyone’s having the time of their lives.
YouTube is full of Modern Jive videos
Go on YouTube and you’ll find plenty more videos of Modern Jive and Ceroc. Here’s one of my favourites as it shows a level of dancing that most beginners can aspire to. These dancers are helping to promote their local Ceroc class in a shopping centre in Redditch, Birmingham. The dancing is fabulous, and I suspect the two people at the front have been doing it some time, but you’d be surprised how quickly you could get to a similar level.
Where did Modern Jive come from?
The style of partner dancing we know as Modern Jive was initially developed in France after the war, as a development of the Swing dancing brought over from America by the GIs. The name LeRoc shows its French origins. This also explains the name Ceroc, which is derived from ‘C’est le roc’.
Ceroc has long been the force behind the growth of Modern Jive. From its early beginnings in a dance club in London, Ceroc slowly became established across the country. In 1990 Ceroc Enterprises was formed and they registered the trademark Ceroc, and sold franchises across the UK. These franchises offered dance classes in a structured way that focused on helping beginners get to grips with the dance moves. So successful was this way of teaching that the structure of the lessons remains the same up to the present day.
This typical class night scene shows the rows of dancers taking instructions from the teacher on the stage. When the move has been practised, the ladies move up the row to a new male partner. Three moves are taught in the Beginners’ Class. The moves are taught individually then linked together and the routine is danced through twice at the end of the class. This format has proved very successful and is followed in every Ceroc dance class today.
Ceroc classes are the most popular place to learn Modern Jive
The Ceroc organisation has classes in most part of the country. However Ceroc classes aren’t everywhere, and there are some very good non-Ceroc classes that fill in the gaps. The best way to find a class is to go on the UK Jive website (see link below), which lists all the Modern Jive classes, including the Ceroc ones across the country.
What music is Modern Jive danced to?
Modern Jive is danced to a whole variety of music including all the latest dance tracks. You’ll dance to tracks from Jess Glynne, Clean Bandit, and of course Ed Sheeren. Go to a class night and, as I write this, I can almost guarantee you’ll dance to DNCE’s Cake by the ocean and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t stop the feeling.
Because Modern Jive is a fusion of lots of different dance styles it’s danced to lots of different dance music including tracks with a Latin flavour, possibly some Tango and of course tracks with a Rock ‘n’ Roll feel. DJs will slip in Motown and Disco tracks and you’ll be dancing to the very latest tracks that rock the clubs.
There are hundreds of classic tracks that we’ve all come to love. My favourites include H.A.P.P.Y. Radio by Edwin Starr and the upbeat remix of Kenny G’s of Havana. Here’s one of Modern Jive’s timeless classics – Chris Anderson and DJ Robbie with their version of The Mar-Kays Last night.
Please find time to watch this next video. It could change your life.
If you’ve got 25 minutes to spare please watch this Channel 4 documentary about Ceroc. It shows people starting their Ceroc Dance Journey and it gives a great insight in to the lifestyle that this style of dancing can give you. See the guys who thought they had two left feet, The Ceroc-aholics who dance 5, 6 even 7 times a week. Hear guys talking about the Ceroc Snobs – the girls who forget what it was like to be a beginner. See some of the moves explained and a whole lot of people having the best fun they’ve ever had.
An Advocate for Ceroc Dance Lessons
If you aren’t already Modern Jiving I hope this posting has gone some way to motivating you to give this great dance style a chance, and attend a class. I learnt to Modern Jive in a Ceroc Class held at The Rolls Royce Pavilion in Derby and I’m a great advocate of their style of teaching.
If you’re interest in learning more about Modern Jive use the Quick Links below
Inspired to dance: More information about Modern Jive
A Ceroc Class Review: My visit to Ceroc Passion at Higham Ferrers
www.ceroc.com: Find a Ceroc Class near you
UK Jive Website: This site lists all the Modern Jive dance classes in The UK