The Charleston Dance Yesterday and Today
Charleston dancing is a form of dance and social interaction that has a long history over the generations since the First World War, but which is still vibrantly alive today. Long ago, the Charleston was a controversial dance form that was associated with American speakeasies and “loose” women. The “flappers” of the American 1920s, and their international imitators, were named for the flapping of their arms while performing the dance, as well as the rather avian strut they adopted. Today, the Charleston dance is a fun way to spend some time, meet new faces, and unwind after the work week – things that the high quality instruction at the Swing Zing Dance School will help you do.
For some time, the Charleston dance was followed by thousands with an almost frenzied zeal – perhaps because it was the first truly international dance “hit” since the introduction of the waltz many years before. The Charleston quickly spread to Europe and then remoter locations as the communication and transport technology of the day continued to improve.
The Charleston became so popular at one point during the 1920s that it became something of an oppression for many working people. For example, the staff at restaurants were usually only hired if they knew the dance, and were forced to perform it for the entertainment of the patrons if they wanted to keep their jobs. The dance had an almost addictive effect on its numerous enthusiasts. Fortunately, modern Charleston dancing is much more relaxed and centered on fun.