Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dancing Through Time

Dancing, music and fashion are so much a part of our cultures and histories.  Today's post shows the different and most popular dance crazes from the Victorian Era through the 1930's.

The Victorians were quite the partiers.  Their dances would begin at sundown on Saturday and last through sun up on Sunday, just in time for church.   They did take a break to enjoy lavish meals, but still a pretty hearty weekend schedule!

For more detailed information on Victorian Dance Styles, visit Victorian Pride 

We'll begin with the Waltz which fashion-wise, was matched to the tight corseted waists and full skirted dresses.

As we entered the Edwardian Era at the end of the 1800's and the beginning of the 1900's, things got a little more racy.  The Turkey Trot and the Bunny-Hug, along with Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin, brought Ragtime to the mainstream but it was the rarely seen before Tango, that had everyone talking (good and bad).  Originating in Argentina, as people migrated to Europe and the US, so did the Tango.  As one can imagine, looser and more flamboyant clothing were required!  One of my personal favorites and a dance that has weathered the test of time like no other.

The 1920's brought more changes. WWI had ended and people were looking to unwind.  Women were becoming more independent.  Flappers, jazz and fashions that complemented the times, with loose, short, fringy skirt dresses that showed a little more skin in all areas!  The Charleston became the dance of the decade.

John Held, Jr., depicted the Charleston, a popular dance of the 1920s, on a magazine cover in 1926.

In comes the 1930's...times are changing in Germany and WWII is looming on the horizon.  Hollywood is going full steam ahead with technology, after the emergence of talkies in the 1920's.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are taking the public by storm with dancing and musicals.  The Lindy (thank you Charles Lindbergh for the inspiration) and the Jitterbug become the popular dances of the time.  In my opinion, there were three things that stood out in 1930's fashion...the invention of the zipper, shoulder pads and the movie industry.  The Depression added to the mood, moving fashion slightly back to more traditional designs.

Stay tuned for my next post, covering the 1940's through the 1970's.

Thanks so much for reading!


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