Friday, March 25, 2011

Charleston {Hotsy Totsy}

FlapperDoodle "Eloise and Ramona Dance Charleston" {Etsy}

April will mark the restarting of my Charleston dance lessons. Back in February I began swing dance classes. The styles of dance change every other month; one month is dedicated to Charleston (1920s), the next month is all about Lindy Hop/Swing (1930s/40s). As I'm a gal who was clearly born in the wrong era (and I'm not too sure which era or decade I truly belong to as my style is changing all the time), this was my most obvious choice for a new fun hobby.
Paula & Jemma "Matou en Peluche" {Etsy}
Ok,  I know what you must be thinking, anyone can do the Charleston; isn't it just putting one foot backwards and then forwards and then putting the other foot forwards and then back (repeat with wild swingin' arm motions)? BINGO, you've got it. The motions of it are really that easy and the beauty part is, is that it's just the beginning. You build and before you know it, you're doing all these cheeky tricks with a partner (did you know Charleston can be danced with a partner?) and people are super impressed.

Interested? Maybe the best place to start is feeling the groove through the music.

Music Picks:

  • Charleston (yup, it's an actual song too and not just a city and dance ;)
  • Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries - Rudy Vallee
  • I Love My Baby - Elsie Carlisle
  • Fascinating Rhythm - Fred & Adele Astaire/Gershwin
  • Let's All Go to Mary's House - Savoy Orpheans

Now you can hear it, why not talk more twenties!?

Slang then and what it means now:
"Hotsy-Totsy" - pleasing
"Now you're on the trolley!" - Now you've got it, now you're right!
"The bee's knees" - An extraordinary person, thing, idea; the ultimate!
"Mrs. Grundy" - A priggish or extremely tight-laced person
"And How!" - I strongly agree!

Fashion is a major game player here. The clothes were like nothing else that had ever been seen. Tradition was tossed out the window and everything was turned on its head. Short hair, boxy dresses, high hem lines, wild makeup and a general lust for life through clothing was so apparent. I must keep this in mind for costuming and dressing appropriately for lessons. To be honest, not many people "dress up" authentic to the era, but I always strive to get a few accessories on point. Let's dive into some inspiration pics for ideas which are manageable for dance.
A silky headband ala Clara Bow
A "flapper cloche" (hat)
Long string of pearls, Mary Jane dancing shoes and your best gal pals
And of course it never hurts to bring along a handsome partner to show off your moves with.
Eloise has Ernest {Etsy - Flapperdoodle}
Thursday night (when I swing, and Charleston) has quickly become my favourite night of the week! I very much encourage anyone to check out the local scene (for wherever you happen to live) of retro dance because it's just so hotsy totsy!


1 comment:

  1. LOVE IT! I also am convinced that I was born at the wrong time...just today I picked up a fabulous hat that must have been from the 30s, does it fit my monster noggin? No but that didn't stop me from buying it. I just look at it and dream...and your playlist is in my head while I do! Swing it sister!