Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Charleston Game

One of the other things I do when avoiding studying (besides knitting) is swing dance. My school has a Swing Club, we meet every week for an hour lesson and an hour (or so) of free dancing. Swing dance is a couple's dance, and comes in three general types. East Coast Swing has a six count basic, and is danced to any 4 beat music. It is often what people learn first, and is also called Jitterbug. Lindy Hop has an eight count basic, and is the main social dance everywhere. West Coast is a variant on Lindy, it has many of the same moves, but is danced to more latin-type music, rather than the jazz favored by Lindy.

The lessons have now moved on from East Coast Swing to Lindy Hop, which is much more fun. Lindy is a dance that was invented in the 20s and 30s, and is generally danced to jazz music, though anything with a good 4/4 time works (I'm partial to Buddy Holly). Charleston is what came before Swing, and Lindy incorporates a lot of Charleston moves.

This evening during the free dance, a bunch of us started playing "the Charleston game". This is a game invented by a couple of the club members (who have now graduated, sadly), where Charleston is danced in a big group, but with variations all done together. The signals are given on the back rock step, and then the front kick is changed into something else - a stomp, two stomps, a freeze, something like that. From across the room, it looks like telepathy. An entire group of people are all Charlestoning at the same time, with variations, all in sync. And it's not choreographed, except on the fly. Lots of fun.


  1. The Charleston video is fun but what happened to the MUSIC? Why do we have synthpop instead of the swinging wonderfulness that is obviously happening in the background?

  2. I'm not really sure. There were several versions, none of them seemed to have the actual sound.

  3. I think this one might be the original.