The finals of Seattle’s 2010 Camp Jitterbug (held at Temple de Hirsch Sinai May 31) are more refreshing to watch than a professional tango competition. The camp finalists aren’t technically perfect doll-like couples smoldering at each other with choreographed abandon. But they don’t just wriggle and throb with the kind of raunch so popular now on dance floors, either, although the jitterbug was sometimes called obscene in its heyday during the Depression and 1940s.
Competing dancers swing and fling each other around in pairs to the beat of a live Big Band. Though each couple has obviously rehearsed, a jitterbug is too rambunctious to come across as programmed. It’s more like a WWE tag-team match, with smackdowns and studded belts replaced by mutual affection, pure athletic joy, lightning rhythm, and bobby socks. Not for the short of breath!
Here’s the video on YouTube: