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As many people may have (almost definitely) probably noticed, musicals of the 1940s feature quite prominently in many of my blog posts. I have always loved the all-singing, all-dancing numbers and feel particularly attached to those film stars who brought this style to the forefront of cinematic entertainment.

Of course, dance in the 1940s was hugely important to many people, whatever their age or cultural background. After the flapper era of the 1920s, which allowed women in particular the chance to let loose and express themselves, the introduction of the Lindy Hop and Swing dances born from traditional African-American culture, spread like wild fire throughout the 1930s and provided much enjoyment and liberation in dance halls throughout America, Europe and the wider world. 

In the late 1930’s and throughout the 1940’s, the terms Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing were used interchangeably by the news media to describe the same style of dancing taking place on the streets, in the night clubs, in contests and in the movies, yet the reaction they received, similar to the Charleston the decade before, was not always positive.

Talk of ‘cavortings’, amongst the younger generation became interchangeable with the new dance crazes. Far from being pleased that music and laughter were being used as a means to combat the great depression and later the war years, it was thought by some that this type of expression was both uncouth and impolite.

Nevertheless, the Jitterbug, Shag, Boogie Woogie and Country Swing dances evolved and grew as the years went by, with many using dances as a means to socialise, court, let loose and enjoy life, during some of the toughest years history documents.

SO, in order to celebrate some of the most wonderful, elegant and impressive dances of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, i’ve dug out some of my favourite clips from bygone eras. Remember – back then dancing wasn’t a particularly special talent – almost everyone could and did take part.

It’s inspired me…how about you?

 

The Charleston

 

The Lindy Hop

 

Swing

 

See you around…🙂