"Good SWING music - SWINGS!"*
All of the selections in our
Swinging Dance Songs
having been performed in "swung note," or shuffle rhythm, style.
The "longer" (stretched) eighth note followed by the "shorter" (swung) eighth note
creates the "propulsive, rhythmic groove"
that encourages the dancer to accelerate into the next beat.
Coupled with an accented upbeat,
musical style is also known as a
which leads to the
triple rhythm unit*
in swing dance.
The underlying eighth-note triplet of shuffle rhythm uniquely supports the dancer's
which enables smooth acceleration into
This dance technique combined with swinging music helps the dancer create the "elasticity of tension and release,"
which is the
of swing dance.
For a better understanding of how musicians produce the sound and feel of shuffle rhythm,
link to the instructional videos for the following instruments:
that music for swing dance should
(1) contribute to the dance and
(2) not interfere with, or challenge, the dancer.
In other words, whether the music swings or not, it should be swing danceable, or swingable.
One of the contributing characteristics, a rolling backbeat, is explained above.
One of the interfering characteristics that Skippy cites
is any dance rhythm that is identified with another dance form such as Cha Cha, Hustle, or Rumba.
Some other interfering characteristics are:
- Meter: 3/4 (Waltz) time signature
- Tempo: outside of the standard or comfortable range
- Pulse: on the downbeat
- Syncopation: so complex as to cause the dancer to lose track of the downbeat or upbeat,
that is, to be off time.
- Structure: irregular (mixed) dance rhythm, meter, tempo, pulse, syncopation, or phrasing
Most people associate the term
with big band jazz of the
Most of our member DJs, however, play for slower forms of
West Coast Swing,
Carolina Shag, and
Many people believe that
music is the primary genre associated with these dance forms and, therefore, swings, by definition;
but not all Blues performances swing.
We find the sound and feel of swing in other genres, also, including various styles of
About every two months our member DJs post to our Yahoo! group
their top 10 or 10 new songs in various styles and rhythms for swing dance.
They also have the option to post 10 swinging songs
that they've recently played at an event or their local venue.
To generate our Swinging Dance Songs lists we compile all of the DJs' lists into one, rank the songs,
and then select the top songs that swing.
offers these lists as a clear example of music that swings,
because we are concerned that many of today's dancers and some newer DJs are
unaware of the traditional connection of shuffle rhythm to swing dance.
To preserve the roots of swing dance,
we encourage you to include in the mix more of your favorite swinging songs.
We believe that we're the only DJ group that publishes lists of all swing selections.
Other organizations publish lists that include selections that do not swing, but may be swingable.
Some of those organizations are:
(Music Preservation List),
USA Swing Dance Network
(Classic Swing Songs).