What is a Shim Sham, and Why Should You Be Doing It?

Have you ever wondered what exactly a Shim Sham is? Or, more importantly why you should be doing it? Here is a brief history of the Shim Sham dance and the reasons why you need to be learning it in swing dance lessons.

What is a Shim Sham, and Why Should You Be Doing It?

The History of the Shim Sham

Originating from a style of dance termed the ‘Goodus’ in the late 1920s, the Shim Sham Shimmy was first performed on stage in Harlem in the early 1930s as a closing routine that would get all of the singers, dancers and performers on stage together with the audience joining in. It wasn’t until some lindy hoppers at the Savoy Ballroom did the Shim Sham as a group line dance (without the taps) that the dance style really took to fame.

In the mid-1980s, the Shim Sham was introduced at New York’s Swing Dance Society dances by Frankie Manning, who went on to create a special version of the Shim Sham dance just for swing dancers. It is the tap dance routine that we know and love today, involving a shuffled rhythm of the ‘Time Step’.

Why You Should Be Doing the Shim Sham

Swing dancing, including the Shim Sham, can enrich your life in so many ways. Here are the top reasons why everyone should be doing Swing dance.

There’s No Such Thing as Too Old to Swing!

Swing dancing and swing lessons are for all ages, body types and fitness levels. Beginner and experienced dancers can equally learn how to Shim Sham. Whether you’re eight or 80 everyone can swing!

It’s a Social Thing!

Swing dancing lessons at a local dance school are a great way to meet new people, expand your horizons, network and learn a new skill all at the same time! Even if you are shy, swing dancing lessons give you something to focus on to calm your nervousness and give you a way to slowly introduce yourself to people.

Dancing is the Best Remedy!

The health benefits of dancing are endless. From mind to body, dancing has been proven to vastly improve your health. It improves coordination, focuses the mind, energises the body, gives you a great cardio workout, improves your strength, stretches your muscles and joints and provides a whole lot of joy at the same time!

Swing On In is a Gold Coast and Norther NSW swing dance school that offers dance classes three nights a week in and around the local area. Our classes are ideal for all ages and levels! We look forward to seeing you join the Shim Sham!

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