Jive in all its various forms is danced to a broad range of popular music that is simple to learn, but tricky to master. Moves are danced on every beat and so the dance has a flow to it, that some people prefer. The greatest strength of Jive is that, wherever you are, if there is music playing, you are bound to find someone who can jive (it is THAT popular). And if you are confident of your leading abilities, you can even coax complete strangers out onto the dance floor and teach them the basics and have them dancing before the record changes.
Jive originated in such American dances from the early 30s, as the lindy hop, blues, and swing, from the 40s boogie or boogie-woogie, jitterbug and bebop, and even rocknroll from the 50s.
These types of music with their exciting rhythms, clear harmonies and often-nonsensical lyrics originally motivated everybody to dance: young, old, rich, poor, city folks and country people, too — everyone around the world could jive to relieve the burdens of The Depression and the out-break of World War Two.
When American soldiers brought these dances with their unique and novel cheerful style, and acrobatic movements, to Europe, they became very popular especially among the young.
For competition, however judges were looking for a more moderate form of these dances, something more presentable. English dance teachers designed todays competition jive: elegant, but vibrant and lovely ballroom dance using slightly slower music.
In 1968, jive was listed fifth among the Latin American dances.