Home » Charleston » Charleston Groups

Charleston Groups

In swing dance or Lindy Hop communities today, both solo 20s Charleston and solo swinging Charleston are often danced in groups arranged in a loose circle on the social dance floor, in two long lines of facing dancers (evenly spaced) or in other formations in more strictly choreographed performances.

They may choose to follow steps ‘called’ either by a designated Caller or by each dancer in turn. In this called context, the group perform the same step for a Phrase (music), or until the new step is “called”. Individual dancers often improvise within the structure of the called step, bringing their own personal “flavor”.

There are many local variations on this group dancing, including the following. One person will typically call out a variation (such as turning 360 degrees in place on counts 5–8), which is then done by everyone beginning the next measure and again for the following 2 measures. If the caller doesn’t call another step immediately, the dancers return to the (default) basic step. Switching sides is sometimes called, upon which the dancers hop on the left foot across to the other side on counts 5–8, turning 180 degrees to the left.

In the more casual social group context, individual dancers may choose to dance “alone”, improvising in response to the music or copying dancers around them.