HEY HEP CATS ‘N’ KITTIES, JOIN OUR GROUP
The Jitterbugs skg is a group of artistic expression from Thessaloniki with vintage and retro influences that introduced for the first time in the city and whole Greece, the Jive. The Jive is not only the last type of dance of the swing during the 40s, but also the most popular dance of the early 50s! It is a nostalgic journey into the culture of the late-30s to the mid-50s, with a focus on the 40s. Aim of our group is to promote Jive to the general public.
WHAT WE DO
– Swing, Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Classes & Jive Seminars of the 40s & 50s as well as Stroll, Rockabilly, etc. – Events & Happenings – Performances – Reading & Theatrical Retro Club – Retro Bazaars – DJ sets
The Jitterbugs skg group has participated and instructed retro dances in various international festivals in Greece and abroad. It has also participated in special musical events and tributes (Thessaloniki International Film Festival, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Association of Jazz Music Friends of Thessaloniki, Rockabilly Bulgaria Association, etc.). It offers, regularly, courses in Thessaloniki and dance workshops in other cities of Greece and abroad, spreading the Jive of the 40s & 50s as well as other dances of the 50s!
Who are the Jitterbugs skg …
Elias (aka Cool Cat) is the founder of the Jitterbugs group as well as the choreographer and the Jive dance instructor. He has been taught lindy hop, during his first dance steps, by many top instructors following various seminars in Greece and abroad. He is a former member of Lindy Hop Greece and Cool Cats. He dances and teaches 40’s Jive, 50’s rockabilly Jive as well as Rock «n» Roll. He is passionate about the authentic Swing Big Band dance period, the Rhythm & Blues, Jump’n’Jive as wells as Rock’n’Roll. He is also known for his great love for the retro clothes and their collection. He has participated as a performer in the video clips of Speakeasies Swing Band in 2011 entitled «Bright lights, late nights», and of The Bullets in 2014 entitled «My Bonnie».
Madeleine and Jordan, member of the Jitterbugs from 2015, they dance and teach as parteners Swing (Lindy Hop) dance in the group. Caridad Fernández Gordo (aka Kari) is dancing in Jitterbugs skg group since 2013. Since 2015 is a lesson & choreo assistant. Cruisin Wonders, member of the Jitterbugs groups for three years now, periodically deals with the organisation of retro & vintage bazaars as well as the styling of our team. She dances 40’s & 50’s Jive as well as Rock «n» Roll. Shockin’ Steve, corporator of the Jitterbugs groups for three years now, periodically deals with the organisation of Shakin’ & Stomping vintage radio dj sets. The team was first set up in winter of 2011 by Elias and two other girls, Danae and Maria, who together, for the first time, introduced to Thessaloniki the Jive! Natalia also discovered the world of Jive in 2012 at the Art Academy of the Vocational Institute AKMH where she was studying at the Department of Acting. She was assistant choreographer and dance instructor. She danced 40’s & 50’s jive and has an education in classical ballet, modern dance, etc. Stella was also part of our group since 2014 dancing 40’s & 50’s Jive as well as Rock «n» Roll. Maria & Irene, aka Cherry Bomb Dolls, team members from 2015-2016, dealing with the creation of Jitterbugs’ Beauty Hair Salon and also curated the Hair styling team in the various happenings & events. Dancing 40’s & 50’s jive! Maria is the assistant choreographer and dance instructor and with Irene are performers at Jumpin’ Jitterbugs.
FROM SWING & JIVE TO ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
The Lindy hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway, and Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family. The Lindy hop was born in African-American communities in Harlem, New York, in the United States, from about 1927 into the early 1930s. It originated from four possible sources, or some combination thereof: the breakaway, the Charleston, the Texas Tommy, and the hop. A recorded source of the dance’s name is famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, nicknamed «Lucky Lindy», who «hopped the Atlantic» in 1927. After Lindbergh’s solo non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 he became incredibly popular and many people named businesses and other things after him. Te Roy Williams and His Orchestra recorded the song «Lindbergh Hop,» written by Ted Nixon and Elmer Snowden, on May 25, 1927. The Memphis Jug Band on September 13, 1928 recorded «Lindberg Hop- Overseas stomp,» written by Jab Jones and Will Shade.
The 40’s Jive style or Late 40’s Jive or Jive (as it became known in the United Kingdom), is one of the last dances of the golden age of Swing (1930-1950). It is an enjoyable couple-dance based on improvisation. It was introduced by the American soldiers who brought the Lindy Hop / Jitterbug in Europe, and firstly in England, around 1942. This dance became very famous around the world and very popular in the day-ballrooms towards the end of the Second World War and the late 1940s. The initial version of the European Jitterbug/Lindy Hope took place in the United Kingdom which, over time, it acquired the name Jive that stems from the original names of the dance as American Jive, «GI» Jive, etc. Jive, being a dance derived from Lindy Hop, an eight-beats dance, its style was developed in the 1940s in the United Kingdom in a much simpler way with a tendency to use a standard six-beat or four-beat steps including less improvisation, more repetition and more dancing turning moves for the lady. The Skip Jive is a British variation of Jive, usually danced in the bars of 1950s and 1960s with a trad jazz music background.
The Jive 50s style dance is also an enjoyable couple-dance of the early 50s, stemming from Northern America. It was first danced with a Rock’n’Roll and Rhythm’n Blues music background. It is based on improvisation, repetition, and mainly on the many turns and acrobatics. As a dance style, stems from the Jive of the 40s. Furthermore, it is similar to Lindy Hop and with the later East Coast Swing. The Rockabilly Jive dance was developed in the bars of the Southern States by soldiers who returned to the US from the Second World War. This dance was originally called Jitterbug-Jive, Teddy Boy Jive (in Britain) or GI-Jive. It was first danced with Rock’n’Roll and Rhythm’n Blues music but in the early 50s was closely connected to the Rockabilly music. This form of dance almost disappeared during the 60s. However was very popular in England during the late ’50s and again in the 70s and 80s. Even if the Rockabilly Jive style is impressive, due to the speed of the many spins of the lady who dances and the flashy moves, it is a simple dance that dancers can easily learn. It is based on a four-step rate (4 counts rhythm), is accessible to all and can become spectacular in no time!
Rock and Roll dance emerged in America from the Swing dance Lindy Hop. It became popular when West Coast dance instructors attempted to reintroduce Lindy Hop, or Jitterbug, as Roll and Roll after popular interest in the dance style was aroused from the success of the film ‘Rock around the Clock’ in 1956. Nevertheless, East Coast professionals refused to change the name and eventually the West Coast also abandoned the term. However, Europeans continued to use the term Rock and Roll long after the Americans had abandoned it. This Rock and Roll of the 1950s became popular with teenagers, much to the dismay of the parents, and it soon gained a ‘bad boy’ image that gave rise to Teddy Boys in Britain. Rock and Roll was thought to be both the result and the cause of youthful rebellion against the nation’s social problems at the time. As a result of parents’ complaints, the Rock and Roll industry was told to clean up its act and provide better role models for the youth of the time.
FEEL, MEET AND DANCE …
The Jitterbugs skg Group offers regularly dance classes in Thessaloniki and dance workshops in other cities of Greece and abroad spreading not only the 40s & 50s Jive but also other dances of the 50s, like Stroll, Rockabilly Stroll, Continental, etc. In Jitterbugs skg we teach Jive, the last swing dance of the ’40s, and the early ’50s, Swing (Lindy Hop) and Rock ‘n’ Roll. We also instruct not only Old School, as danced in the aforementioned period in the ballrooms of Europe and America, but also Social: the kind of entertainment, fun as well as interaction with other people through dancing. An important role in the way we teach our courses and seminars plays the relaxed mood towards the dancing of the participants, the historical knowledge of that period as well as the rhythm and musicality. All the above are ingredients that make dancing even more interesting; each dancer can feel and experience the dance periods of the 40s & 50s and not simply perform some dancing steps.
The Jive ’40s &’ 50s, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Swing lessons from Jitterbugs skg are hosted at the dance school ‘Ekfrasi’, for an hour and a half. All the participants in dance classes can have a 50% discount on various courses held at regular intervals all year around offered by the Jitterbugs skg. For those interested in a more detailed individual dance lessons, the Jitterbugs skg can arrange private dance lessons in the dance school ‘Ekfrasi’, for an hour and a half within closed groups of up to 4 people, in a time and day that will be discussed with those interested.
Useful Information for the lessons:
1.You need to wear closed shoes. Mostly soft shoes or sneakers.
2. We advise you to wear comfortable pants or gym suits and have with you at least 2 t-shirts. In the school’s premises there is a locker room where you can change.
3. It’s advisable to carry your water bottle.
4. We also recommend to carry a towel as well as an antiperspirant spray.
5. The lessons should start on time, therefore all participants should be consistent
The Jitterbugs skg group delivers frequently dance seminars in Thessaloniki and in other parts of Greece or even abroad spreading mainly the Swing & Rock ‘n’ Roll & 40s & 50s Jive as well as other dances of the 50s like Stroll, Rockabilly Stroll, The Madison, The Continental, etc.
JUMPING JITTERBUGS, PERFORMING GROUP
The Jumpin Jitterbugs, specialize in Jive of the 40s’ and 50s, but also in Swing and Rock ‘n’ Roll dance 50s style. The Jitterbugs performing group consists of 1 up to 2 dance couples, according to your needs. All the dancers are able to participate in events dressed in retro clothes and accessories of the Jive periods in order to reflect correctly the dancing period of your choice. We can offer thematic events including the periods of the 40s, 50s, South Pacific (Hawaiian style) as well as Hollywood Glamour!
Therefore, we can organize:
A dancing surprise at your wedding as well as a dance choreography for the marrying couple
Thematic Party Birthday / Corporation / Charity event / Specialized DJ using vinyl disks
The Jitterbus skg group has participates as a performing group and as instructors in International Festivals both in Greece and abroad. It has also participates in music and dancing events and tributes as well as at DJ sets again both in Greece and abroad (Thessaloniki International Film Festival, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Association of Jazz Music Friends of Thessaloniki, Rockabilly Bulgaria, etc.). It offers, regularly, courses in Thessaloniki and dance workshops in other cities of Greece and abroad, spreading the Jive of the 40s & 50s as well as other dances of the 50s! We have created a brief diary with our activities through which you are able to get information about our forthcoming events, happenings, dj sets, and performances.
Shockin’ Steve (The Bullets, The Shockins) and their 45 vinyl disks are “hosted” by the Jitterbugs skg group creating the most uplifting shakin’ and stomping parties with the best Jumpin’ Jive, Doo Wop, and Rock n’ Roll 40s, 50s and 60s music in the city!! Spinning on the decks: Up – Tempo Tunes & Groovy Sounds!
Ilias Kalpakas (aka Cool Cat) offers 30s, 40s and 50s music melodies with his decks’ choices of Swing, Jumpin’ Jive, Boogie Woogie, Jump Blues. During the last 3 years has participated in the “Django Fest”, a Gypsy Jazz Festival in Athens and Thessaloniki.
For further information or registration please contact us at:
Dance School ‘Ekfrasi’ / Responsible Person: Priggopoulou Vasiliki
Agapis 4 (Parodos Skra) / Tel: (+30) 2310 24.00.24
All the Cats join in ….