Jive versus swing?


Jive Swing (Lindy-hop)
Music Any music with a beat, 100-180 bpm 2/4 or 4/4 time Always swing music (8 beats), can be much faster
Formality/precision Only the arms defined Steps, posture and arms defined
Footwork Usually none! One step per half count 6 beat (rock step triple step triple step) or 8 beat (rock step triple step step step triple step) or Charleston
Speed One turn in 8 beats approx One turns in 12 beats approx
Basic move? No basic, although man-spins and shoulder slides are "fill-in" moves Yes, the basic triple-step
Posture More Upright More bent
Interpretation Limited by the music and opportunity at the speed of the dance Breaks and mood part of music and time to interpret.  There are many standard specific moves for breaks.  A false happy-clappy-smiley sort of world - each dance is "acting".
Move type The synchronisation between partners comes from an in-out compression and tension. Suddenly blocking and changing direction common Generally more twirly and smooth with synchronisation on the rock-step
Difficulty Easier than Swing! Needs perseverance - difficult learning curve
Partnership Always partnered Sometimes side by side or mirrored

There is some snobbery around, both from Lindy-hoppers looking down on jivers, as some jivers look down on line-dancers!  Lindy-hoppers would argue that the music jivers dance to leaves no room for interpretation, one just goes from one move to the next.  Whilst jivers do seem in general to interpret the music less so than Lindy-hoppers, if that is what they are comfortable with, then why not!  Jive is not a well defined dance.  That is deliberate so everybody with a little sense of rhythm can do it.  A little effort can give lots of satisfaction in jive.   Other dances take much more effort to get anywhere - the learning curve is much steeper, steeper than some people can be bothered with.  They thus serve different audiences.