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Where have all the Flappers Gone?

Posted on 26th November 2013
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Where have all the Flappers Gone?

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume AccessoriesWhen the Charleston dance craze started way back in the 1920’s the exaggerated movements of the dance were likened to the flapping of a bird’s wing and hence the word “Flapper” was coined to describe to women who danced the latest craze. Despite the application of the term and the dance needing the dancer to energenitcally to flap the arms and legs the dance was a true craze sweeping through the dance clubs in the US. And as result of the need for freedom of movement inorder to perform the dance, the flappers soon developed their own dress style and it's from this that our Flapper costumes and accessories are based.
Although popularized during the 1920’s, the earliest Charleston is believed to have originated in Harlem, a region of New York in the USA and is recorded to have been in stage shows as early as 1913. 
With the coming twenties and the start of the Ragtime jazz era there was, as the name implies, a sudden boom in the popularity of the swinging jazz rhythms which underlie the Charleston helped to cement the dance into the popular culture of the day. 
It wasn’t just the jazz based rhythms that promoted the popularity of the dance, the freedom of expression and style of the music and the dance was in part, typical of the social response to the return of the good times following the cessation of hostilities of the First World War. 
from Karnival Costumes www.karnival-house.co.uk Gatsby Girl fancy dress costume ref: BQ033368In fact the jazz time era itself was part of this manifestation and the Charleston was a very visible part of this collective feeling of returning well being. But like, today, not everyone appreciated the open flaunting of youth and vitality and many saw the Charleston and the Flappers in particular as being nothing more than evidence of the downfall of moral standards and moral fortitude. Many even considered it directly responsible for many of the moral issues of the day.
It support of this, Flappers did tend to wear shorter skirts and they took to a style of having their hair bobbed and to some this was only to be compounded by the fact that they also tended towards both drinking more heavily and smoking openly.
And worse was to follow for the Charleston dance craze when in 1925, Variety Magazine reported that the vibrations of dancers performing the dance were so strong that the dancers caused the "Pickwick Club" a Boston dance hall to collapse killing fifty of its patrons.
So now that we have set the scene for you and perhaps whetted your appetite, you may want to see what the fuss is about by adopting a Charleston or Flapper theme for your next fancy dress party.
And so that your theme is complete why not match the Flapper style with either a Great Gatsby or Gangsters theme as together they are all from the same era of the history of the United States. 
All of these themes are well served with fancy dress outfits and most costume retailers, either on-line or at your local shopping centre will have a wide selection of gangster and flapper costumes as well as all of the necessary costume accessories.
And if you’ve already read our earlier blog on ‘How to Throw a 1920s Party’ you’ll know how to prepare for one of the most exciting party themes around at the moment and if you want to read it again or you haven’t yet seen it, just click on the link above and we’ll give you some ideas on party invitations, how to achieve the look with 20’s, themed party decorations as well as some 20s party food ideas.
And lastly, those wanting to adopt the Flapper theme wholeheartedly, why not learn to dance the Charleston yourself.  The leading American authority on modern dances, Oscar Duryea, describes here how to perform the dance: Oh how we feel like Len on Strictly!
From Karnival Costumes www.karnival-house.co.uk this is our Cutie Flapper Girl Fancy Dress Costume for ladiesThe starting position for the dance is with the man's left foot behind the right with the left toe at the heel of the right, both toes turned out and his partner's right foot in front of her left, her right heel at the toe of her left foot, both toes turned out.
The man raises the left foot and at the same time raises on the toe of the right, turn both toes in, twisting on the ball of the right foot. With the feet in this position, both toes are twisted out, with the man's left heel in front of his right toe his partner's right heel in front at her left toe.
The man raises his left foot, at the same time rising on the ball of the right foot, and twists both toes in, then puts his left foot behind the right one, and on the balls of both feet twists both toes out—his left toe behind at the right heel. His partner raises her right foot, at the same time rising on the ball of her left foot and twists both toes in, then puts her right foot in front and on the balls of both feet turns both toes out—her right toe in front at her left heel.
A toddle movement is taken through-out all the "Charleston" steps, on whichever foot on which the weight happens to be.
And with all of this toddling and speedy movement we think we know where all the Flappers went. ER of course!
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