Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Evolution of Twenties Dance Styles

Quickstep, Charleston, and Dance Marathons

by Morena S.

Where did it all start?
It started in America, influenced heavily by the Harlem area’s timed moves and short beats.

What dances were invented in this time?
Many dances were invented in the 1920s due to the US sponsoring dance contests where professional dancers invented new moves. The most influential and popular dances during this time are the Charleston, the black bottom, and the Lindy hop.

When were the dances invented?
Most of the dances were invented in the 1920’s. The Charleston was one of the first, becoming popular from its feature on two Broadway shows in 1922. After came the Black Bottom, most popular from 1926 to 1927. Then in 1927, the Lindy Hop took over and became the most popular social dance. The Lindy Hop eventually evolved into Swing dance.

Why did dancing become so popular?
In the 1920s, the introduction of electric lighting made dancing late into the night more comfortable. These places were called dance halls, which had live music playing for the dancers. It also helped that the restrictive clothing of the Victorian era was over, and that the new style was quite free and flowing.

Who were the dancers?
The general population who partook in the new generation of dancing was the youth at the time. The older and more conservative generation thought these styles of dancing scandalous, besides most of the dancing took place at parties or nightclubs.

How did dance marathons come to be?
Dance Marathons, or Walkathons, came around as human endurance competition. They became more popular during the depression because of their promise of a roof over the contestants heads and food twelve times a day. It also helped that there was prize money involved. They were called walkathon’s at the time because the churches still considered dancing a sinful act. Only later on were they remembered for what they truly were.



Anonymous said...

This is a very interestinging article. some the dances were very intersting especially the walkathon. I was wondering how dance became so popular now i know:)
good job

Anonymous said...

This is a great article! Wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

thanks! this article helped me a lot!

Anonymous said...

no problem^^

Anonymous said...

getting an A

momotwerks said...

english project / :

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is a great article but... it could cover other dances. Such as the Shimmy, Cakewalk and Toddle. Very popular dances to the younger crowds. Other than that it's great. :)

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify "The Charleston" actually started in Charleston SC among a local Black community around 1903. It became popular after it was stages in Harlem plays and Broadway shows around 1913.

Anonymous said...

this is a very good article
there are just a few popular dances that were not included

Anonymous said...

This is great! Thanks for the help! #EnglishProject #1920's

Olivia said...

great work!

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