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A 1920s song and dance
Original Charleston Poster

Named for the South Carolina harbor city, the Charleston was a popular dance that took the nation by storm during the 1920s. It is believed to have originated around 1903 by an African American population residing in or nearby Charleston, South Carolina1.

Pianist James P. Johnson and lyricist Cecil Mack composed the song “Charleston” in 1923. That same year, this song was featured in Runnin' Wild, a Broadway musical and was danced to by a male chorus2. An iconic new dance was introuduced that would forever be associated with the Jazz Age.

The Charleston was often danced to jazz and ragtime music. Speakeasies and nightclubs would have bands and flappers performing with audiences dancing.


“Charleston!” Performed by Jazz Ensemble.
Run time: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

REFERENCES
1
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Charleston_(dance).aspx
2http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/entertainment/charleston-dance.html