Charleston and other 1920s dances

If most people think of a 1920s dance, they think of the Charleston. In my dance classes I teach the Charleston, with it’s high leg kicks, fast swivelling feet, knock knees and comical, clownish elements. There’s plenty of fun and fast dancing to be had with the Charleston alone. But there were many other 1920s dance styles too. These incorporate well with the Charleston. There’s the shimmy, the snake hips, the Black Bottom. What I like about it is that there’s such a scope for improvising, showing off, and for creating your own variations on moves.


Bea Jackson, once World Charleston Dance Champion

The Charleston was an African American dance, that really took off all over America and Europe in the twenties, becoming popular in nightclubs and dance halls. Here in England, even the Prince of Wales was a really keen Charleston dancer. Some historians think it goes back as far as 1520 when a dance called the Branle, danced by the Ash Ante peoples of Africa had a similar sequence of steps. Out of the Charleston developed the Lindy Hop, then  Swing, Jitterbug and Jive, then rock and roll.


About charlestondance

We are a group of 1920s and 1940s enthusiasts providing wonderful vintage hen parties in Cheltenham, London, Oxford, Henley on Thames, Wallingford, and Reading, or we come to you! Choose from: Charleston dance classes 1930s-1940s jazz dance classes Pop Up Afternoon Tea Parties and tea dances with a dance class, a full champagne afternoon tea and our live 1920s jazz or swing pianist Vintage Makeovers and Photoshoots Classic Musicals Hen Party dance class, or singing workshop (or both, for an all singing, all dancing, live life in a musical experience!) Our special, deluxe 1920s Day Out or 1940s Day Out in Cheltenham or Henley incorporating one vintage jazz dance class, one creative workshop (including vintage life drawing or fascinator making), a vintage makeover and photoshoot, afternoon tea, and a 3 course dinner!
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