1. Basic Charleston Solo with Optional Feet Swivels



The Charleston optional Feet
Swivels (or "Ankles-In-and-Out"):

           Ankles pointed in on odd beats (1,3,5,7),      
           Ankles pointed out on even beats (2,4,6,8)  

The optional feet swivels.
Here the leader is doing
them and the follower is

Ankles in on the odd counts

Ankles out (or at least the
weight-bearing ankle) on the
even counts

Charleston or Char-Swing

This series will focus on the version of the charleston danced by such first generation swingers as "Shorty" George Snowden. George Snowden was a New York dancer who appeared in the film clip "After Seben" and is attributed with naming the dance the "Lindy Hop" in 1927 when Charles Lindberg flew across the Atlantic. Our first figure is perhaps the most widely known sequence, the basic solo. "Solo" here means that the dancers are not connected in a dance hold.

Two things are occurring in this figure: 1) there is a series of forward and backward steps detailed below; and 2) the ankles are swiveling in and out (described in the caption to the right of the video). Number 1 is the signature sequence of charleston. Number 2 is optional and simply adds flair, but is not critical.

Before launching into a text description of the charleston sequence, remember that if you understand what is going on in the video, you may not need to refer to the text. That said, here goes:

For the leader: This is an eight count basic.

  • On 1, he taps back with his left foot
  • 2 hold.
  • 3 step forward with the left foot
  • Hold 4
  • On 5, tap forward with the right foot
  • Hold 6
  • On 7, step back with the right foot
  • Hold 8.

For the follower: This is an eight count basic.

  • On 1, she taps forward with right foot
  • 2 hold
  • 3 step back with the right foot
  • Hold 4
  • On 5, tap back with the left foot
  • Hold 6
  • On 7, step back with the left foot
  • Hold 8
The next figure shows the charleston step while the dancers are in a dance hold.

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