Encyclopedia of Dance: Rock and Roll


Rock and roll, as it were, commands its name — “swing and spin!” This is the literal translation of the «name» of the most democratic dance in the world

Rock and roll is danced by presidents and janitors, young and not so young, owners of mansions and those who are penniless. This is a dance for everyone who loves life.

History of occurrence dance

April 12, 1954 is considered to be the birthday of this super popular dance. It was on this day that a film was released on the screens of US cinemas, in which a dancing couple “spun and spun” to the tune of the song “Rock Around the Clock”. The dance was so popular with the public that it spread throughout the American states with the speed of an epidemic. Then rock and roll «captured» Europe.

Of course, rock and roll dance and the musical direction under the same name are inextricably linked. First, there was new, slightly shocking music. And then a dance was “designed” to the dynamic melodies of rock and roll. The designer of rock and roll was singer Bill Haley. He took yes and mixed two musical styles — country and rhythm and blues and slightly accelerated the pace. After that, the «parent» conjured over the mixture for a long time, and finally found the missing ingredient — swing.

To propagandize the new direction was then entrusted to a completely unknown truck driver — Elvis Presley. Which he did, and with resounding success.

What is rock and roll?

Actually, dance rock and roll is one of the forms of jive, adapted for the broad masses of dance lovers. Complex acrobatic elements are simplified, and all these dynamic movements, twists and turns during the transitions of partners and turns can be performed on a small “patch” or even leaving the place. Rock and roll can be danced in pairs and groups. But the classic version, of course, is a pair dance — a partner and a partner.

rock and roll

Rock and roll has three components: the main move, twisting and unwinding. The main move is very similar to jive and is easy to learn, while the other two elements can be performed beautifully only by experienced dancers.

Kinds dance

Rock and roll can be presented in two forms. The first — disco version — is available to everyone, performed at dance parties and does not require special training. More difficult to perform is acrobatic rock and roll.

Acrobatic rock and roll

Rock and roll in its classic version, the so-called pure rock and roll, after its appearance very quickly became extremely popular. For lovers of this incendiary dance, starting from the 60s, competitions and competitions were organized and held one after another. In an effort to win, the participants tried to include more and more difficult tricks in their performance, thereby gradually complicating the dance.

In the early 1970s, the Swiss choreographer René Sagarra, inspired by competitive battles, created a new dance — sports rock and roll. He retained the essence of the dance — cheerful recklessness and dashing, but subordinated the dance steps to a strict plan. Choreographers found the new version of the dance very organic, and since then rock and roll has become an official sport dance.

Since 1977, rock and roll has been performing as an independent sport. Dance elements are so tightly intertwined with acrobatic stunts, all kinds of somersaults, flights and complex lifts that the question is — is this a sport or an art? — remains unanswered.

Athletes-dancers perform in three categories:

  • Category «A» — the most difficult program, which contains very complex acrobatic elements, lifts and tricks
  • Category «B» — medium complexity program
  • Category «C» — a program that does not include any dizzying tricks, but is presented with graceful and simple pirouettes and lifts.

In acrobatic rock and roll, World and European Championships are regularly held, however, only in categories «A» and «B». And the World Federation of Acrobatic Rock and Roll includes 40 national federations.

Features of rock and roll

Time signature 4/4

Fast or very fast pace

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