The History: Pre Rock and Roll dance
During the 1950s Josephine supported the American Civil Rights Movement. She protested against racism in her own way, adopting 12 black and wight orphans, she called them her "Rainbow Tribe". She lived with all of her children in a castle called Château de Milandes, in the south-west of France. Josephine was pregnant with only one child herself, which was stillborn in 1941. During the war josephine thought it would be best to stay in france as it was much less restrictive than life in the USA. She starred in many performances including the La Folie du Jour (The Banana Dance) and Shuffle Along. Josephine was one of the first to dance the Charleston, on the stage of the Theatre des Champs Élysées Josephine Baker captivated audiences with a new dance style, the Charleston.
The Charleston came about in the 1920’s with Josephine Baker being one of the first to bring it into fashion. This dance style is thought to have originated on an island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Runnin Wild and Shuffle along were very famous performances of the Charleston. The dance consisted of manly kicks, flicks and bending and stretching of the knees, it was a fast and energetic style of dance. A flapper in the 1920s was referred to a group of young women that were a “new breed”. They wore short skirts and had their hair bobbed. The flappers drank, listened to Jazz music and smoked. They were called flappers because of the way that they flapped there arms like birds. When dancing the Charleston the flappers wore loose straight dresses that came just below the knees, men wore Raccoon Coats and Straw Hats. The Charleston can be danced either in partners or as a solo. The music piece ‘Charleston`, was composed by P.Johnson and featured in Runnin wild. This was danced to in the 20s. Many of the Charleston steps developed into the Lindy Hop.
Lindy hop is an African-American dance that originated in the Savoy Ballroom Harlem, New York...