What images does the Charleston invoke for you? For me it is the dance that captures the spirit of the roaring twenties. It conjures up images of young women in fabulous dresses, dancing with carefree abandon. It brings back memories of my grandmothers as this was their dance; the one they learned in their teens. It is fun, lively and makes me smile. Last week the library rang to the music of the Charleston as children aged 6-13 dressed up 1920’s fashion and learned some basic Charleston steps. There was lots of laughter and they did really well. It was wonderful.
It occurred to me that this would a really fun thing for parents to do with their children. Learning the dance doesn’t take a lot of preparation or expense, but will help burn off energy, give you something fun to do together, and build great memories. This is Gangnam Style done the 1920’s way!
You will need
- Some 1920’s music. You can download it from iTunes (search for The Charleston), or play something like the Extended Charleston Mix on YouTube
- Some dance instructions. Probably the easiest way to learn is to follow some instructional videos and there are lots available on YouTube.
- How to Charleston breaks the dance down into some very simple steps that anyone can follow.
- Quick Charleston Moves gives instructions for dancing solo or with a partner.
Costumes are optional, but do add to the fun. All you need are some headbands, beads, and a mustache. Cut mustaches out of black construction paper and stick them on with a loop of tape, or use washable markers and draw them on.
So gather your children, strap on your dancing shoes, move back the furniture, and start dancing. The idea is to have fun, so don’t worry about getting the steps exactly right. Just give it a try and enjoy the missteps and laughter. Don’t forget to take pictures, or even a video to mark the occasion.
And just for fun here is a movie clip from the 1920’s
Do you dance with your children? What dances have you learned together? How might dancing with your kids help you build strong connections?