modified: February 23, 2017

Jive is a rhythmical and swinging dance influenced by Rock & Roll, Boogie and the African/American Swing. The roots of the Jive are in New York, Harlem. In 1940 the jive was developed into the jitterbug and international Jive when it was transported to England and Europe by the GIs.

International Jive may be called “triple jive” because one takes 3 steps over 2 beats of music. There are two sets of triples. For the basic, the triples are first to the man’s left and then back to the man’s right. We like to count the steps in triples, “1-2-3” “4-5-6”. They can also be counted “3-a-4” or “Q-a-Q”. In a basic, the triples are side-together-side. In the turning figures, with the turn on 4, the 1st triple is forward-together-forward and the 2nd triple is back-together-back.

  • For the rock step, which we like to call a “Back-replace”, men step “back” on your left foot. Ladies step “back” on their right. The rock steps are taken on the beat, two beats, Q Q.
  • Think of the “back” as more of a touch than a step. When you are learning, you don’t have time to fully step onto the “back”. Keep your weight forward.
  • Keep your steps small, really small, and under your body. Jive is fast. If you have time left over you can style the steps with more ankle, knee, leg and hip action.
  • Even though no turn is specified, in general all the steps have some turn in them.

First Sequence:

additional figures





Amt. of Turn


Basic (closed)

Back Replace
1-2-3  4-5-6

Man steps back on LF,
Lady steps back on RF



Underarm Throwout

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

Man’s L arm up on 1-2-3
release right hand

both 1/4 on 1-2-3
lady 1/2 on 4


Underarm Turn

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

Man’s L arm up and over Ladies Left shoulder

both 1/4 on 1-2-3
Lady 1/2 on 4


Basic (open)

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

single hand hold: Man’s L




BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

Lead her in on 1-2-3



Underarm Throwout

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

as above



Hand behind back x 2

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

Man steps to ladies R
Puts ladies RH on tummy and covers with own RH,
after turn, picks up hand

1/2 reverse


Underarm Turn


as above



Double Trouble

BR 1-2-3  4-5-6
BR 1-2-3  4-5-6

Man lifts RH
Man lifts LH (crossed)

Lady 1/2 on 4s
Man 1/2 on 5s


Underarm Turn


as above



Octopus (S is 2 beats)

BR 1-2-3 4-5-6

Man LH up,
 RH behind back

see figure details