The Jitterbug is a kind of dance popularized in the United States in the early twentieth century and is associated with various types of swing dances such as the Lindy Hop, Jive, and East Coast Swing.
World War II facilitated the spread of Jitterbug across the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. British Samoans were doing a "Seabee version" of the jitterbug by January 1944. Across the Atlantic in preparation for D-Day, there were nearly 2 million American troops stationed throughout Britain in May 1944.
Ballrooms that had been closed due to lack of business opened their doors. Working class women who had never danced before made up a large part of the attendees, along with American soldiers and sailors. By November 1945 after the departure of the American troops following D-Day, English couples were being warned not to continue doing energetic "rude American dancing." Time Magazine reported that American troops stationed in France in 1945 Jitterbugged and, by 1946, Jitterbug had become a craze in England. It had also already become a competition dance in Australia.
Jitterbug dancing was also done to early Rock and Roll. Rockabilly musician Janis Martin equated Jitterbug with Rock and Roll dancing in her April 1956 song "Drugstore Rock 'n' Roll".