The Charleston of the 1920s
The Charleston was the dance that captured the spirit of the 1920s. It was danced with wild abandon by a new generation of independent young Americans, to the new hot jazz that was flooding the country.
The dance began in Charleston, South Carolina, the city from which it takes its name. In 1923, The Charleston was featured in the Broadway show Runnin Wild, one of the biggest hits of the decade. The song from the show - James P. Johnsons tune The Charleston - spread the fad across the nation and onwards to the rest of the world. Josephine Baker became famous for performing the Charleston in Paris in the 1920s. The Charleston is both a solo and partnered dance, both wildly exuberant and exciting to watch. As the hot jazz of the 1920s gave way to the swingin jazz of the 1930s and 40s, the partnered version of Charleston evolved into Lindy Hop.