Dancing to rock and roll music does not have to be just about playing the air guitar or making beats in the air. Mostly performed in way of competition, the Rock dance is quite acrobatic and dancers are best referred to as athletes. Based upon the energy of a Lindy hop dance, Rock Dancers are further choreographed to perform as a spectacle. However, unlike in Lindy dancing where an individual can make a presentation all by themselves, Rock dance is a couple’s dance or a mixed gender arrangement. The group size can be as small as a male and a female or as large as eight couples dancing the same routine. The characteristic component of the Rock dance is the fast pace and vigorous activity.
History of rock dance
Every music genre has an accompanying style of dance and rock and roll is no exception. The first style which emerged and was performed to rock music was swing around 1920. At the time, rock music was considered heavy music and the idea of dancing with a partner had not been explored. Lindy hop was to be later on in the 1940s modified to the rhythm with the faster music and the resultant style then was known as boogie-woogie. In a book published in 1959, the author described dance performed in response to rock and roll as flexing to the muscles. As a result of the relaxed state in dance, performers had an opportunity for personal expression and construction of style. Any rock dance rhythm comprises of a build-up on 4 basic steps; Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, the slow steps happening from the balls of the foot then lowered to the heel.
Technique of rock dance
Typical of all dance styles, the rock dance has taken many forms over time to be what it is today. Basically, there is a leader and follower arrangement and this order must be maintained throughout a performance. The first two steps of any basic style begin with the leader; using the left foot, they start with kick ball change, then kick step followed by another kick step. The follower, in turn, uses the right foot; Kick ball change, then kick step followed by another kick step.
Photo credit: Lieven SOETE via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA
The most outstanding features of the rock dance are the kicks made into the air followed by acrobatic stunts such as flips, throws, lifts, and jumps. There is no definite style of executing these moves so competitions aim at showcasing talent, creativity and general ability. There is definitely a bright future ahead for the rock dance and if the level of competitiveness continues to improve, this could be part of the Olympic games sometime.