The Origin of the Jitterbug
Like a great deal of American popular culture of the 20th Century, the jitterbug has its origins in black culture.
While the dance is quite frequently associated with the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, it actually got its start in the 1930’s. While the exact origins of the dance are lost to time, it’s believed to have evolved from the looser style of dancing that had begun in the Roaring 20’s.
The term “jitterbug” originally meant someone who had consumed too much alcohol. Gradually it came to mean someone who was a fan of swing music. Finally, it came to be associated with the style of dancing that was taking place at swing clubs.