The Charleston is a dance named after the harbor city of Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston can be danced solo or with a partner. Its simple, flexible basic step makes it easy to concentrate on styling, improvisation and musicality.
The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called “The Charleston” by the composer/pianist James P. Johnson, which originated in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade. Runnin’ Wild ran from October 29, 1923 through June 28, 1924. The peak year for the Charleston as a dance by the public was mid-1926 to 1927.
Solo Charleston & Jazz
now is a collection of solo Charleston and Vernicular Jazz steps to improve your dance skills.
Whichever style of Charleston one chooses, whether dancing alone, with a partner, or in groups, the basic step resembles the natural movement of walking, though it is usually performed in place.
The arms swing forward and backwards, with the right arm coming forward as the left leg ‘steps’ forward and then moving back as the opposite arm/leg begin their forward movement. Toes are not pointed, but feet usually form a right angle with the leg at the ankle. Arms are usually extended from the shoulder, either with straight lines or more frequently with bent elbows and hands at right angles from the wrist. Styling varies with each Charleston type from this point.
Improve yourself and you can shine a bit more on the dance floor.
Where to learn: