French Style Jive (LeRoc, Ceroc etc)

2 views
Skip to first unread message

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/7/95
to
Hi there,
I've been reading a lot of what's been posted here over the last few
weeks, about various styles of swing, all from the states it seems.
Has anyone over there heard of
or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

In London and Bristol and many other UK cities this is the most popular
form of swing dancing that is done. If you haven't heard of it before
then I would say, from what I've read in this newsgroup, that it is
probably closer to WCS than ECS. It is a very simple dance to learn, with
minimal footwork, and is best danced to music that is around 65-80 bpm.

This is also a truely social dance. It's great fun and there is little
emphasis on competing. We've only had national competition for the last 2-3
years, and those have only had a limited entry, as most people just dance
it for the shear fun of it.

I notice that there's a lot of Lindy being danced in the US and it's been
interesting to see the number of LeRoc dancers here who have moved on to
also take up Lindy. As I said before, LeRoc is a very easy dance to learn,
and is a great way to first get into the whole partner dance scene.

This was just my first attempt at getting LeRoc mentioned here.
Hopefully some other UK LeRoc dancers will start to contribute to this
newsgroup, but I also look forward to hearing from WCS and ECS dancers for
some comparison of our different styles.

Cheers for now.
John.

--
John Eastman
John.E...@Bristol.ac.uk
School of Chemistry
University Of Bristol
UK


David Drysdale

unread,
Aug 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/7/95
to
JR. Eastman (cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk) wrote:
: Hi there,

: I've been reading a lot of what's been posted here over the last few
: weeks, about various styles of swing, all from the states it seems.
: Has anyone over there heard of
: or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
: LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

. . and Roc La and Lune Roc and Jazz Jive and . . .

(I guess I don't count as I'm not over there, but I thought I'd
follow up anyway :-)

: In London and Bristol and many other UK cities this is the most popular


: form of swing dancing that is done. If you haven't heard of it before
: then I would say, from what I've read in this newsgroup, that it is
: probably closer to WCS than ECS. It is a very simple dance to learn, with
: minimal footwork, and is best danced to music that is around 65-80 bpm.

Hmm, not convinced. I'd say that its much closer to ECS than to WCS, from
what I have seen of them. I think if you took away the footwork from ECS,
and got rid of any rock steps, then you'd be close to LeRoc.

Also, it doesn't really swing. When I used to dance it a lot, the music played
was often modern stuff, and I defy anyone to tell me that Take That tunes
swing. Count Basie it aint, but it is useful to be able to dance to the
sort of music you are likely to hear a lot of.

: This is also a truly social dance. It's great fun and there is little


: emphasis on competing. We've only had national competition for the last 2-3
: years, and those have only had a limited entry, as most people just dance

: it for the sheer fun of it.

I'd agree with that. I guess because its such a simple dance, its quite
easy to have a good dance with a new partner.

Whoever invented the dance seemed to have a good idea. The core of
social partner dancing is leading and following. However, lead and
follow is difficult, and takes time to learn. So in LeRoc, there are
often signals for moves. Thus the leader puts out his free hand in a
particular position, and this tells the follower what the next move
is going to be -- which covers the next (say) ten beats of music.
There still is lead and follow, of course, but its nowhere near as
subtle as in Lindy / WCS etc.

Another thing (that confused me when I moved to Lindy Hop) about LeRoc,
at least where I've seen it taught, is that they only count the downbeats.
It kind of makes sense really -- in a dance with very little footwork, you
don't really need the finer division. It does sound a little strange when
they teach moves that take seven `beats', though (i.e. really fourteen beats).

: I notice that there's a lot of Lindy being danced in the US and it's been


: interesting to see the number of LeRoc dancers here who have moved on to
: also take up Lindy. As I said before, LeRoc is a very easy dance to learn,
: and is a great way to first get into the whole partner dance scene.

Yep, quite a lot of the Lindy Hoppers I know (myself included) moved
onto it from LeRoc, mostly after getting a bit bored with the simplicity.
But I think if I had started straight in with Lindy, I'd have been much
more likely to get frustrated and give up.

: This was just my first attempt at getting LeRoc mentioned here.


: Hopefully some other UK LeRoc dancers will start to contribute to this
: newsgroup, but I also look forward to hearing from WCS and ECS dancers for
: some comparison of our different styles.

: Cheers for now.
: John.


I hear that it has also expanded into Australia; someone mentioned
a WWW site for LeRoc in Australia on the group a little while back.
I must admit that I have been quite surprised not to see much mention
of it in rec.arts.dance till now -- after all, its probably the
most popular form of partner dance in the UK at the moment.

David Drysdale

Peter Renzland

unread,
Aug 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/7/95
to
cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk (JR. Eastman) writes:

>In London and Bristol and many other UK cities this is the most popular
>form of swing dancing that is done. If you haven't heard of it before
>then I would say, from what I've read in this newsgroup, that it is
>probably closer to WCS than ECS. It is a very simple dance to learn, with
>minimal footwork, and is best danced to music that is around 65-80 bpm.

O.K. Please tell us how it's done, John.

--
Peter Renzland +1 416 323-1300 @__{) Cajun Contra ECD SCD , @ _{)_ ,
Pe...@Passport.Ca EntP Kia Ora! (>~(] Hambo Irish Pol(s)ka \/( )\/"\/\ /\/
Toronto Traditional Social Dance /\ /| Snoa Schottis Square /=\ /==\
Calendar: mail Da...@Passport.Ca /( (\ Swing Tango Vintage /___\ |/\|
Je danse donc je suis tanztoll Waltz Zwiefach Zydeco _/ \_ \# _#

R. Gray

unread,
Aug 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/8/95
to
> Has anyone over there heard of
> or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
> LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

I haven't seen it, that I know of, but I've heard weird things about
it. Friends in England have told me that Ceroc is some sort of trademark,
and the peole who promote it actually believe they have exclusive rights
to the moves (as if they invented them out of thin air). I have heard
that if you take a Ceroc class you have to sign a contract that says you
won't teach it unless you are authorized, or that you'll only go to
sanctioned Ceroc events, or some such nonsense.

Can that really be true? It's a ludicrous idea--profiteering run amok,
paranoid, controlling, insulting.

I also hear it's built around a simple 4-count basic.

--Robinne
rl...@cornell.edu
Ithaca, NY

br...@liverpool.ac.uk

unread,
Aug 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/8/95
to
>>>>> "Robinne" == R Gray <rl...@cornell.edu> writes:

> I haven't seen it, that I know of, but I've heard weird things about
> it. Friends in England have told me that Ceroc is some sort of
> trademark, and the peole who promote it actually believe they have
> exclusive rights to the moves (as if they invented them out of thin
> air). I have heard that if you take a Ceroc class you have to sign
> a contract that says you won't teach it unless you are authorized,
> or that you'll only go to sanctioned Ceroc events, or some such
> nonsense.

I've heard similar things, but I'm not sure how true they are. It's
quite likely they've trademarked the name Ceroc (and that's why other
people call their dance Leroc (or whatever)).

> I also hear it's built around a simple 4-count basic.

That I don't know. I've seen it a couple of times, and it looked
straightforward but I wasn't concentrating. A German friend said it
looked indistinguishable from "disco foxtrot" if that helps anyone.
I've also heard comments that it has nothing at all French about it,
other than the name.

It may well be the most popular form of partner dance in some places,
but in Liverpool various Latin dances win out by a large margin
(judging by advertising, anyway: there's at least one nightclub that
has salsa, lambada, etc. regularly, but I've never seen any
advertising for Ceroc or Leroc).
--
Bruce Institute of Advanced Scientific Computation
br...@liverpool.ac.uk University of Liverpool
http://supr.scm.liv.ac.uk/~bruce/


Michael Gengenbach

unread,
Aug 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/8/95
to
cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk (JR. Eastman) writes:

>Has anyone over there heard of
>or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
>LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

Well, a few months ago, over here in Germany, I took a class in a dance
called "Friesenrock". The teachers told us, that it is becoming very
popular everywhere and when I asked them how it is called in English,
they could only tell me how the French call it. It sounded like "Le Rock",
but that might be "LeRoc".

The rest of your description sounds familiar, only I would not say it's
anywhere near Jive or Lindy. The dance I learned is more close to the
Hustle. It's a Hustle with a lot of spinning (mostly double spins for
the women) and without a basic movement and also without strict counting
of beats (i.e. you spin till you've finished and the pick up the beat
again).

It looks impressing and is rather easy to learn.

Has anybody in Germany heard of Friesenrock or can anybody confirm it's
the same as LeRoc?

Best wishes

Michael
--
"Disk space -- the final frontier!" | Michael.G...@Uni-Passau.DE
- Unix fortune(6) cookie | http://www.uni-passau.de/~gengenba/

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/9/95
to
R. Gray (rl...@cornell.edu) wrote:
: > Has anyone over there heard of

: > or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
: > LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

: I haven't seen it, that I know of, but I've heard weird things about


: it. Friends in England have told me that Ceroc is some sort of trademark,
: and the peole who promote it actually believe they have exclusive rights
: to the moves (as if they invented them out of thin air). I have heard
: that if you take a Ceroc class you have to sign a contract that says you
: won't teach it unless you are authorized, or that you'll only go to
: sanctioned Ceroc events, or some such nonsense.

: Can that really be true? It's a ludicrous idea--profiteering run amok,
: paranoid, controlling, insulting.

Unfortunately it is true about the Ceroc company. How they intend to keep
track of people teaching what they have learnt I don't know, but if you
attend their classes you must sign away your rights to even show your
friends how to do the moves in the privacy of your own home. Ludicrous, I
agree. I know of several people who go along and sign-up under assumed
names.

The guys that teach Ceroc also have to send a portion of the money they
take on the door to the Ceroc company, so it is more of a franchise.
Consequently the prices tend to be higher than for claases taught under
the name LeRoc etc..

: I also hear it's built around a simple 4-count basic.

The moves that are taught comprise anything from 2 to 12 counts, odd and even.
This makes it very easy for the leader who only has to listen for the beat
and to dance on that. No counting is actually required when dancing
freestyle.

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/9/95
to

: > I haven't seen it, that I know of, but I've heard weird things about
: > it. Friends in England have told me that Ceroc is some sort of
: > trademark, and the peole who promote it actually believe they have
: > exclusive rights to the moves (as if they invented them out of thin
: > air). I have heard that if you take a Ceroc class you have to sign
: > a contract that says you won't teach it unless you are authorized,
: > or that you'll only go to sanctioned Ceroc events, or some such
: > nonsense.

: I've heard similar things, but I'm not sure how true they are. It's


: quite likely they've trademarked the name Ceroc (and that's why other
: people call their dance Leroc (or whatever)).

: > I also hear it's built around a simple 4-count basic.

: That I don't know. I've seen it a couple of times, and it looked


: straightforward but I wasn't concentrating. A German friend said it
: looked indistinguishable from "disco foxtrot" if that helps anyone.
: I've also heard comments that it has nothing at all French about it,
: other than the name.

The dance originates in France, and was born from what they learn't from
the GIs over there in the war. If you go to France then you will see
people dancing LeRoc all over the place, from small village cafes to the
nightclubs of Paris.

: It may well be the most popular form of partner dance in some places,


: but in Liverpool various Latin dances win out by a large margin
: (judging by advertising, anyway: there's at least one nightclub that
: has salsa, lambada, etc. regularly, but I've never seen any
: advertising for Ceroc or Leroc).

The biggest classes are here in Bristol and in London. However I know of
classes in Bath, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Sheffield, Glasgow, Norwich,
Reading, Watford, Gloucester, Cardiff, Cheltenham..... the list is quite
extensive without even really thinking about it.

br...@liverpool.ac.uk

unread,
Aug 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/9/95
to
>>>>> "JR" == JR Eastman <cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk> writes:

> The biggest classes are here in Bristol and in London. However I
> know of classes in Bath, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Sheffield, Glasgow,
> Norwich, Reading, Watford, Gloucester, Cardiff, Cheltenham..... the
> list is quite extensive without even really thinking about it.

None in Liverpool? I know my previous message was a bit negative, but
from what I've seen the dance looks great fun, and much more useful
(in terms of dancing it to various tempos) than jive, and I'd be
interested in learning it (although I'll stick to the public LeRoc
rather than feeding the egos of the Ceroc people). I notice my free
copy of Ballroom Dance Times has an advert for a Leroc video.

David Drysdale

unread,
Aug 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/9/95
to
[ This followup is actually from John Eastman, who emailed it to me by
accident instead of posting, then asked me to post it for him. I don't
normally follow-up to my own messages! ]

: : form of swing dancing that is done. If you haven't heard of it before


: : then I would say, from what I've read in this newsgroup, that it is
: : probably closer to WCS than ECS. It is a very simple dance to learn, with
: : minimal footwork, and is best danced to music that is around 65-80 bpm.

: Hmm, not convinced. I'd say that its much closer to ECS than to WCS, from


: what I have seen of them. I think if you took away the footwork from ECS,
: and got rid of any rock steps, then you'd be close to LeRoc.

I haven't seen any ECS or WCS so that's quite interesting to hear.

: Also, it doesn't really swing. When I used to dance it a lot, the music


played
: was often modern stuff, and I defy anyone to tell me that Take That tunes
: swing. Count Basie it aint, but it is useful to be able to dance to the
: sort of music you are likely to hear a lot of.

Personally you wouldn't find me dancing to Take That, but almost any type
of music is suitable, so long as it is not too fast. True LeRoc looks
pretty messy (even when the experts dance it) if the music is too fast.
People tend to put Lindy moves in when the tempo is upped.

: : This is also a truly social dance. It's great fun and there is little


: : emphasis on competing. We've only had national competition for the last
2-3
: : years, and those have only had a limited entry, as most people just dance
: : it for the sheer fun of it.

: I'd agree with that. I guess because its such a simple dance, its quite
: easy to have a good dance with a new partner.

: Whoever invented the dance seemed to have a good idea. The core of
: social partner dancing is leading and following. However, lead and
: follow is difficult, and takes time to learn. So in LeRoc, there are
: often signals for moves. Thus the leader puts out his free hand in a
: particular position, and this tells the follower what the next move
: is going to be -- which covers the next (say) ten beats of music.
: There still is lead and follow, of course, but its nowhere near as
: subtle as in Lindy / WCS etc.

It is true that hand signals are often taught as 'leads' into a move.
However, the 'hand signal' is not any mysterious kind of semaphor, usually
the guy is just puting his hand where he wants his partner to place hers
for that particular move. To dance well these signals alone are not
enough. There is still a definite lead and follow which is transmitted
largely through the tension between the partner's arms and fingers. I
quite often find myself dancing with just two fingers which is enough to
give the follower the direction that she is to take. When I am teaching I
like to emphasise this whereas I see many instructors just stepping people
through the moves (sometimes it seems as if the partners are dancing
separately and are never waiting to be lead-this is not partner dancing to
me).


: Another thing (that confused me when I moved to Lindy Hop) about LeRoc,


: at least where I've seen it taught, is that they only count the downbeats.
: It kind of makes sense really -- in a dance with very little footwork, you
: don't really need the finer division. It does sound a little strange when
: they teach moves that take seven `beats', though (i.e. really fourteen
beats).


For most basic moves, the downbeat is sufficient as a count. However,
when you get to the more advanced moves, this is not always enough, and
the 'half' beats are also called.

Great to see some interest in LeRoc at last.
Cheers,
John.

Gilles Karmasyn

unread,
Aug 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/9/95
to
In article <rlg2-08089...@128.253.145.67>, rl...@cornell.edu (R.
Gray) wrote:

> > Has anyone over there heard of
> > or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
> > LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).
>

> I haven't seen it, that I know of, but I've heard weird things about
> it. Friends in England have told me that Ceroc is some sort of trademark,
> and the peole who promote it actually believe they have exclusive rights
> to the moves (as if they invented them out of thin air). I have heard
> that if you take a Ceroc class you have to sign a contract that says you
> won't teach it unless you are authorized, or that you'll only go to
> sanctioned Ceroc events, or some such nonsense.
>

> Can that really be true? It's a ludicrous idea--profiteering run amok,
> paranoid, controlling, insulting.
>

> I also hear it's built around a simple 4-count basic.
>


Oh please, please... :-]
I've been dancing swing, lindy, rock'n roll or whatever you call it, for almost
5 years in Paris. I never heard anything called "Ceroc". There may be a
sect or something, but then very secretive since I attend so many dance
events and never caught a glimpse of the "ceroc" extremists.

Come on!

What I dance is based a 6-count basic step. The people I dance with, any
people dancing the way I do learned in a course or from somebody who
"knew".

There is a 4-count form of rock dancing, but it is only danced by people
who never ever learned anything, mostly university students and the likes.
There is absolutly no "steps" and the main goal seems to be to ruin the
girl's shoulder.
It completelyy lacks swing. So, let's forget it.

It is true that, in France, there are not as many styles or subtleties in
the way of the dance. It is mostly what knowledgable people would call
west coast swing, danced on line. I really don't care what you call it. I
really don't care
about "1, 2, 3-and-4, 5-and-6" (that's the way we count, when we learn)
any more. I only care about the fun, the heat, the swing, ... and the
partner.


By the way...
right now, every tuesdays' evening, on the bank of the river Seine, not far from
the cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, people dance. It's a dream...


Gilles Karmasyn
gil...@worldnet.net

Aren't the Nicholas' Brothers the best ever?

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/10/95
to
Peter Renzland (pe...@passport.ca) wrote:
: cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk (JR. Eastman) writes:

: >In London and Bristol and many other UK cities this is the most popular

: >form of swing dancing that is done. If you haven't heard of it before
: >then I would say, from what I've read in this newsgroup, that it is
: >probably closer to WCS than ECS. It is a very simple dance to learn, with
: >minimal footwork, and is best danced to music that is around 65-80 bpm.

: O.K. Please tell us how it's done, John.

Right, firstly I'll just say that my use of the term 'swing dancing'
instead of JIVE was because I didn't want people getting a picture of this
as looking like ballroom jive. As someone else said before, LeRoc doesn't
really swing. Also an American guy who comes to my classes has compared
it to WCS, so I'm still not sure which is closer to LeRoc (WCS or ECS).

OK then.
The fealing you get from dancing and watching LeRoc is of the partners
moving in and away from each other with a springiness between them. This
'spring' is vital to dance well and comes from the arms being kept bent at
the elbow and the biceps tensed, with the fingers also being kept tensed.
The use of the word tense sometimes confuses beginners, who might think of
this as meaning to be rigid (as if tense inside).

A basic move then would start with the girl standing close in front of the
guy and
taking the his left hand with her right. As they step away from each
other (usually guys transferring the weight to the back foot (right) and
the ladies likewise to the left foot) a circular motion is made with the
hands (anticlockwise for the guy) on the half beat and the beat is
finished with the weight back and a springy tension between them.

The second beat would then bring the partner back in (probably ending up
side by side facing opposite directions). The basic FIRST MOVE would then
have the guy pivoting the girl out to face the same way as him on the next
beat, and then pulling her in front, preparing her to turn. The girl then
is lead into a top turn which takes 2 beats to complete as she turns on
her right foot with the right shoulder going back on the first beat, and
then steps away transfering her weight back onto the right foot on the
second beat. A simple return might follow which the guy leads by pulling his
partner up onto her left foot to reverse the spin and she returns with two
beats agian, ending up in the original position with her weight back on
the left foot.

Meanwhile the guy is simply transferring his weight backwards and forwards
as his partner is turning (very easy footwork for them).

A basic set of around 20 moves could be described as above, some moves
starting with the guys right hand, others with crossed or open double hand
holds, but almost always with the ladies right hand. The above described
FIRST MOVE is a normal move, in that it starts with the ladies with their
weight back on the left foot. Other moves could come in place of the
return, ie start with the ladies weight back on the right.


I have a list of around 200 moves which are mostly variations on a theme
(first move variations etc) but which can all be incorporated in freestyle
dancing if the guy can remember them.

Someone said before that they thought the lead all came from hand signals
given by the man. Well I don't think you could have 200 different hand
signals to remember which could be easily recognized on a dimly lit dance
floor. The important thing is that there is the spring between the
partners, and that the man is strong in his lead to pull or push the girl
in the right direction for each move.

Sorry if that was a bit long winded, but I wasn't exactly sure how 'OK
tell us how it's done' could best be amswered. Hope this helps.

Names of moves which others may or may not recognize from other dances
are

Yo-yo
Hatchback
Figure of eight
Screwdriver
Swizzlestick
Pretzel
Butterfly
Catapult
Neckbreak
Tandem
Basket
Tunnel
Wurlitzer
etc etc etc

Mark E. J. Newman

unread,
Aug 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/10/95
to
Gilles Karmasyn (gil...@worldnet.net) wrote:
>>Has anyone over there heard of
>>or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
>>LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).
>
>Oh please, please... :-]
>I've been dancing swing, lindy, rock'n roll or whatever you call it,
>for almost 5 years in Paris. I never heard anything called "Ceroc".
>Come on!

I believe it. I have heard, though not I think from any particularly
reputable source, that there's nothing French about Ceroc at all. They
gave it a French name because it sounds hip, but the dance originated in
Britain. I had heard tales about its being a French attempt to reverse
engineer the dance that the GIs brought over after the war, but that
could be just fanciful pseudohistory constructed a posteriori to justify
the name.

>There is a 4-count form of rock dancing, but it is only danced by people
>who never ever learned anything, mostly university students and the likes.
>There is absolutly no "steps" and the main goal seems to be to ruin the
>girl's shoulder.

Ah yes. I think that that's probably the dance which we in Ithaca call
the "yank and jerk". It's good for loosening the tendons, but doesn't
have much merit as an art form. :-)

Mark.

Victor Eijkhout

unread,
Aug 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/10/95
to
In article <40devn$r...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu> new...@msc.cornell.edu (Mark E. J. Newman) writes:

> >There is a 4-count form of rock dancing, but it is only danced by people
> >who never ever learned anything, mostly university students and the likes.
> >There is absolutly no "steps" and the main goal seems to be to ruin the
> >girl's shoulder.
>
> Ah yes. I think that that's probably the dance which we in Ithaca call
> the "yank and jerk". It's good for loosening the tendons, but doesn't
> have much merit as an art form. :-)

Isn't that '4-count swing'? Same as '4-count hustle'? Somewhere i've
seen a list of '10 commandments for dancers' and it included
"thou shalt leave 4-count swing to graduates of Texas A&M".

So, unless you want to appear an aggie, stay away from it.
I've seen people do it. It's awful. (Otoh, I've seen a good dancer,
David Baggett, do 4-count hustle, and that was quite impressive.)
--
Victor Eijkhout
405 Hilgard Ave .............................. `We must brush aside the ACLU
Department of Mathematics, UCLA ................. and others who want to get
Los Angeles CA 90024 ..................... hung up on constitutional rights.'
phone: +1 310 825 2173 / 9036 ............................... [Senator Exon]
http://www.math.ucla.edu/~eijkhout/

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/11/95
to
Mark E. J. Newman (new...@msc.cornell.edu) wrote:

: Gilles Karmasyn (gil...@worldnet.net) wrote:
: >>Has anyone over there heard of
: >>or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
: >>LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).
: >
: >Oh please, please... :-]
: >I've been dancing swing, lindy, rock'n roll or whatever you call it,
: >for almost 5 years in Paris. I never heard anything called "Ceroc".
: >Come on!

: I believe it. I have heard, though not I think from any particularly
: reputable source, that there's nothing French about Ceroc at all. They
: gave it a French name because it sounds hip, but the dance originated in
: Britain. I had heard tales about its being a French attempt to reverse
: engineer the dance that the GIs brought over after the war, but that
: could be just fanciful pseudohistory constructed a posteriori to justify
: the name.


LeRoc was brought to the UK by Michel Lau who started to teach what he had
learned on the continent to the people of London. This is what happened.

Now as to the dance not being French. I have taught many French visitors
to the UK what I call LeRoc. They tell me that it is exactly what they
dance at home, but has a slightly different style. This convinces me that
I am teaching 'French Jive', call it what you will (LeRoc, Ceroc, Roc
Jive, Jazz Jive, Le Jiv) it doesn't matter, thay are all basically the same.

: >There is a 4-count form of rock dancing, but it is only danced by people


: >who never ever learned anything, mostly university students and the likes.
: >There is absolutly no "steps" and the main goal seems to be to ruin the
: >girl's shoulder.

I think your right. Most people who come to learn LeRoc have no formal
training in any other dance. They have not been to dancing lessons since
they were six years old, and I think that is one of the great things
about LeRoc. Believe it or not, a lot of people are not interested in
becoming the next national dance champions. They are simply bored with
going to a nightclub and not being able to dance with a partner...quite a
natural thing to want to do, if you have the confidence in what you are doing.
This is what they learn in LeRoc. And once they have the basics they can
dance freestyle with almost anyone, and anywhere. I don't ever recall
seeing anyone dance the waltz, tango, foxtrot, even the Lindy etc at
nightclubs and at parties. Usually because the music is not right. LeRoc
can be danced to any type of music.....Reggae, jazz, dance, rock...so long
as the beat is a 4-count and it is not too fast, LeRoc can be danced to it.

The fact that there are no 'steps' at the basic level is what makes
it so easy to learn. I love to see the joy on someones face who comes to
one of my lessons without a clue as to how to dance with a partner, and
who comes out an hour later interactively dancing with someone they may
never have met before. I can't see anything wrong with that, and I'm not
sure why you seem to have a problem with it.

As to ruining the girls shoulder. A complete beginner may have less idea
of how to lead the girl properly...this is to be expected. During a
lesson then they swap partners all the time (every two minutes or so) and
then get to dance with a wide range of standards. They also get to meet
one hell of a lot of people. Good isn't it.

: Ah yes. I think that that's probably the dance which we in Ithaca call


: the "yank and jerk". It's good for loosening the tendons, but doesn't
: have much merit as an art form. :-)

Again, people are not going to be experts when they start out. It can look
a bit like that when complete beginners start out. But when danced at its
best it looks very impressive. I haven't ever suggested that this was
going to be the dance art form of the next century. Simply a great way
for people to start dancing TOGETHER, and of having a great time.

I recently entered a national dance competition. This was an unusual
event in that it was open to all forms of dance (except ballroom) and for
singles and pairs (all judged together). We danced LeRoc against the
national Lindy champions, several singles jazz and disco and hip-hop dancers
and were placed second in our heat. Read into this what you will, but I
saw that as a triumph for a dance which is generally not accepted amongst
the sometimes snobbish partner dance world.

I can't wait for my lessons to resume in the Autumn and get even more
people hooked on LeRoc.

Michael Gengenbach

unread,
Aug 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/11/95
to
[I post this article a second time because we had some network
problems and it didn't seem to get out. Sorry if you read this
twice.]

cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk (JR. Eastman) writes:

>Has anyone over there heard of
>or seen the French style of jive, commonly known here in the UK as either
>LeRoc or Ceroc (also Le Jive and Roc Jive).

Well, a few months ago, over here in Germany, I took a class in a dance

JR. Eastman

unread,
Aug 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/12/95
to
br...@liverpool.ac.uk wrote:

: >>>>> "JR" == JR Eastman <cp...@mail.bris.ac.uk> writes:

: > The biggest classes are here in Bristol and in London. However I
: > know of classes in Bath, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Sheffield, Glasgow,
: > Norwich, Reading, Watford, Gloucester, Cardiff, Cheltenham..... the
: > list is quite extensive without even really thinking about it.

: None in Liverpool? I know my previous message was a bit negative, but
: from what I've seen the dance looks great fun, and much more useful
: (in terms of dancing it to various tempos) than jive, and I'd be
: interested in learning it (although I'll stick to the public LeRoc
: rather than feeding the egos of the Ceroc people). I notice my free
: copy of Ballroom Dance Times has an advert for a Leroc video.
: --

I'm trying to get hold of a whole list of classes around the UK, and will
try and post some details when I get my hands on it (the guy who has it is
on honeymoon at the moment.....they met through dancing LeRoc by the way!!).


Could you let me know who the video is by.....if it's Christine Keeble
then I fully recommend it as an excellent introduction and teaching video.

Michael Malak

unread,
Aug 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/12/95
to
In article <EIJKHOUT.95...@jacobi.math.ucla.edu>,

Victor Eijkhout <eijk...@jacobi.math.ucla.edu> wrote:
>
>"thou shalt leave 4-count swing to graduates of Texas A&M".

And Christendom (Front Royal, Virginia) and St. Thomas Aquinas College
(Santa Paula, California). I am expecting to see more of the "1-2-3-yank"
dance tonight at my party.

--
Michael Malak Washington, DC dance info:
ma...@access.digex.net FTP://ftp.digex.net/pub/access/malak/schedule
or e-mail me to subscribe


br...@liverpool.ac.uk

unread,
Aug 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/14/95
to
>>>>> "Michael" == Michael Gengenbach <geng...@forwiss.uni-passau.de> writes:

> Has anybody in Germany heard of Friesenrock or can anybody confirm
> it's the same as LeRoc?

This sounds plausible. I saw a couple of people doing Ceroc, and a
German dancer friend said that he had learned something very similar,
which he referred to as "disco foxtrot". I seem to remember a German
poster on rec.arts.dance mentioned disco foxtrot as one of the dances
he was learning. Whether they were talking about Friesenrock or not,
I don't know, but it seems at least plausible!

C J Brady

unread,
Aug 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/15/95
to
Ceroc is brilliant!! I got taken to a dance at Hammersmith Town Hall last
Saturday. Yes, it is like 'jive' or 'rock and roll' or 'lindy' or
whatever you want to call it. However I would opine that it is more like
what is called modern 'cajun' jive.

The beauty of the evening was that amongst the dancers there were few
real couples and everyone mixed and swopped partners throughout the
evening. The ages ranged from late teens to early 50's.

The music ranged from the Beatles through to Ottis Redding through to
Jazz through to the Stones through to Chris Rea (please excuse
spellings). In fact anything in 4/4 time seems to be OK!!

And gee, its 20 years since I last danced to the Beatles!!

Ceroc - or French jive - seems to be based on 2, 4, 6, 8, etc., bar moves
with the male leading 100% and the female moving to her partner's cues.
This means that man has to learn, practice and know the moves really
well, whilst his partner does not have to be so proficient.

I quote from the flyers:

"Ceroc is an exciting and stylish form of modern jive based on French
Rock and Roll. It is very easy to pick up...even if you've never danced
before, you'll be Cerocing by the end of your first lesson. It can be
danced to any type of music. No special clothes are needed, just casual
wear. You don't even need to bring partner as our teaching method ensures
that everyone mixes together.

"Freestyle Ceroc dancing at the end of the classes is your chance to
practice and improve your dancing to the sounds from the 40's to 90's.
The more you practice the more comfortable you'll feel freestyling and
eventually you'll find that wont need to think about the next
move...they'll just keep coming!! You'll be aware of different styles by
watching the more experienced dancers. You'll develop your own style by
getting out on the floor and having a go."

Certainly I found the organisers to be very friendly and helpful. There
was a workshop from 8.30 to 9.00 and then it was freestyling through to
12.30. One of the only negative things was that once the workshop was
over everyone was left to their own devices and the instructors did not
circulate to help or partner those who were obvious beginners. Indeed I
didn't see the instructors again for the rest of the evening. That does
seem to be a funny way of running a commercial organisation which would -
presumably - wish beginners to keep coming back!!

I have never heard of the restriction that you must not teach your
friends. That sounds like modern competitive Irish step dancing. What the
Ceroc Club agreement says is that such transmission should not be for
financial gain.

The Ceroc Dance organisers can be contacted at: London (UK) 0171 610 3998

Chris Brady

br...@liverpool.ac.uk

unread,
Aug 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/16/95
to

There are two listed, and neither gives the name.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages