A 1920s Event Dances Essay Example
A 1920s Event Dances Essay Example

A 1920s Event Dances Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1248 words)
  • Published: September 2, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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During the Roaring Twenties young Americans responded to this criticism by expanding on all of these violations, with more outrageous slang, jazzier music and dance, shorter and flimsier dresses and shorter hair. The dance styles of the 1920s were vibrant, lively, exuberant and full of life. In the 1920s many people would dance for long periods of time. Dance clubs became rather popular in the 1920s. Dance contests were nationally held and sponsored where new moves were invented, tried, and competed.

Dance Marathons were also a significant part to the culture of the 1920s. Dance marathons became extremely popular during the 1920s. People often attended dance halls and danced dances such as the Charleston, the Bunny Hop, and the Black Bottom. Today dancing is also popular but more so at clubs and parties instead of


dance halls, and instead of dancing to jazz music, people often dance to hip hop and more upbeat music. Many dances are still used today that were created in the 20s such as the Fox Trot, the Waltz, and the Tango.

The Charleston was probably one of the most popular dances in the 1920s. The Charleston was originally developed by Kathryn Wilson. The Charleston is most frequently associated with flappers and the speakeasy. Here, these young women would dance alone or together as a way of mocking the citizens who supported the Prohibition amendment, as the Charleston was then considered immoral and provocative. “A fast fox-trot named after Charleston, S. Carolina, popularized in NY, 1922, in a song by Cecil Mack and Jimmy Johnson” (Michael Kennedy and Joyce Bourne).

“The Charleston is characterized by outwar

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heel kicks combined with an up-and-down movement achieved by bending and straightening the knees in time to the syncopated 4/4 rhythm of ragtime jazz” (Charleston). The Charleston is significant in this time because, women didn’t have any rights in the 1920s and weren’t respected; so for Kathryn Wilson to create the most popular dance in the 20s is pretty amazing. The flappers didn’t only make the Charleston but made the Shimmy and Black Bottom. “With the addiction of cosmetics the modern flappers look was distinctly different, as were their more provocative dances” (Carlisle 26 February 2012).

Women got more respected after the roaring twenties. People saw the new dances in Hollywood movies and practiced them to records or to radio broadcasts before going out on the dance floors of nightclubs or gymnasiums. Dancing was a major part of people’s entertainment center and an important part of every party. Schools taught dancing to small children, while churches used dances to attract young people. Tangos, Foxtrots, Camel Walks, even Square dances were popular. Although the Foxtrot and Tango came out before the 1920s, they got popular in the 20s.

Dancing began to actively involve the upper body for the first time as women began shaking their torsos in a dance called the Shimmy. “The American Tango was started in the streets of Buenos Aires, then became popular and moved in to Europe and then to the US in the 1910’s. It was danced to a strict tempo style of music and heard mostly in competitions. The Tango has sharp, catlike steps with a lot of passion and great intensity. Words some use to describe any

form of the Tango would be sensual, sexy, and dramatic. The Tango was most likely to raise one’s temperature” (Kelly 28 February 2012).

“The Foxtrot came from the “Two-Step” style of dancing and started in the 1915 era in the U. S. A dance like the Foxtrot has a smooth combination of slow and quick beat danced in a unique rhythm. Named after Harry Fox, he was a popular Broadway dancer and singer. It is still popular now and common in weddings. Some of the Foxtrot styled music is by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald” (Kelly 28 February 2012). “The Quickstep was originated in England in the 1920’s and started out of popularity for the Foxtrot. This dance is quick pace, lively dance and uses a lot of energy.

You will notice the joyful rhythms and pulsating speed. Dancers really had a workout doing this dance” (Kelly 28 February 2012). Another 1920s style dance is the Peabody. “It is believed that New York City Police Captain created this dance in the early 1920s. Captain William Frank Peabody would accommodate his dance partner by dancing with her to his side called the Jazz Ages circles. The Savory Ballroom located in Harlem was famous for holding its popular Peabody contest. The Savory was a beautiful ballroom with a large dance floor. It quickly became place and hosted many jazz dance crazes of the 1920s and 1930s.

It closed in the 1950s” (Kelly 28 February 2012). “The slow version of the Viennese Waltz started in the 1920s out of a fad dance called the “Boston”. It seems to be the most elegant and

romantic of the ballroom dances. The Waltz will inspire feelings of love, if only with dancing! The Waltz glides gently across the floor and is easy for beginners to learn and is a great choice for the First Dance of any wedding celebrations” (Kelly 28 February 2012). “Some believed the Waltz and the Tango both were shameful and outrageous dances because they involved physical contact between partners.

While most of the new dances were liked by the younger people they were not popular with the older crowd, mostly because of the nightclubbing and parties at the venues and to the style of dance itself” (Kelly 28 February 2012). “The 1920s fashion was clearly defined as the fashion of the modern era, it became known as the “Roaring 20”. Finally, World War I was over and a lot of the creative expressions were alive again. There were new fabrics that were very colorful. The Harlem Renaissance, ladies being aloud vote and an increase in the affluence for the middle-class.

Fashion included everything from hats, shoes, dresses, handbags, jewelry and all complemented each other. A classy style was very unique. Black and white photographs did not do the outfits justice. The flapper image in our minds is of minds is of a woman of the 1920s. Flapper fashion was modern style. A fashionable flapper had short sleek haircut, a short shapeless shift dress, the lady appears flat chested, wore make up and applied it in public, carried a long cigarette holder and smoked, exposed her limbs and epitomized the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away.

High fashion until the twenties

had only been for the richer women. A lot of ladies made their own dresses to be able to afford them. It was easier to produce up to date plain flapper fashions quickly using patterns from Butterick. Pictures after the twenties do show what ordinary women really wore rather than just the how rich women dressed. The flapper fashion style flourished amid the middle classes negating differences between themselves and the truly rich, but continuing show some differences with the poor.

The real continued to wear beautifully embellished silk garments, but the masses reveled in their new found sophistication of very fashionable flapper clothes” (Castillo 28 February 2012). The roaring 1920s were an era where everything started to evolve. The dances and the flappers go together quite nicely. The dances made the dance world today, if it wasn’t for the women who started the dances and the flappers who rebel against the society woman probably wouldn’t have the rights they do today. The women had a huge role and were significant back the 1920s.

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