[Updates: 2/9/2012, 9/30/2014]
Minstrel Cakewalk Cake Walk Dancing 
Uploaded by nnorb on Nov 12, 2007
This is a cakewalk from the turn of the century.
This post presents selected videos of the signature leg movement of the Charleston dance as found in a film clip of a pre-1920s African American dance [a form of the Cakewalk], as performed in two traditional African dances, and as performed in several 20th and 21st century African American originated dances.
These videos are posted for their historical, folkloric, aesthetic, and/or entertainment value.
This is not meant to be comprehensive presentation of videos or comments on this subject.
My thanks to those dancers, musicians, producers, and uploaders of these featured film clips, and videos.
OVERVIEW ON THE CHARLESTON DANCE
Charleston Dance Becomes Popular (1923):
The Charleston dance became popular after appearing along with the song, "The Charleston," by James P. Johnson in the Broadway musical Runnin' Wild in 1923.
Although the origins of the dance are obscure, the dance has been traced back to [African Americans] who lived on an island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina (which is why the dance is called "Charleston"). The Charleston dance had been performed in black communities since 1903, but did not become internationally popular until the musical debuted in 1923.
The music for the Charleston is ragtime jazz, in quick 4/4 time with syncopated rhythms.
The dance uses both swaying arms and the fast movement of the feet. To begin the dance, one first moves the right foot back one step and then kicks backwards with the left foot while the right arm moves forward. Then both feet and arms are replaced to the start position and the right foot kicks forwards while the right arm moves backwards. This is done with a little hop in between steps.
The Charleston dance became extremely popular in the 1920s, especially with Flappers. The dance could be done by oneself, with a partner, or in a group.
* Note: I changed the referent used in the article because I don't like the term "the blacks".
"The Charleston was one of the dances from which Lindy Hop and Jazz Roots developed in the 1930s. A slightly different form of Charleston became popular in the 1930s and '40s, and is associated with Lindy Hop. In this later Charleston form, the hot jazz timing of the 1920s Charleston was adapted to suit the swing jazz music of the '30s and '40s. This style of Charleston has many common names, though the most common are Lindy Charleston, Savoy Charleston, '30s or '40s Charleston and Swing(ing) Charleston. In both '20s Charleston and Swinging Charleston, the basic step takes eight counts and is danced either alone or with a partner.
Frankie Manning and other Savoy dancers saw themselves as doing Charleston steps within the Lindy rather than to be dancing Charleston."
Presented at the top of this post.
Video #2: Kabakoudou et Grand Dévis : kulibèmbelen [Guinea, West Africa]
Uploaded by asoumah on Apr 30, 2009
Video #3: Traditional Congolese Dance (The Congo, Central Africa)
Uploaded by eghow on Apr 5, 2010
This was a demonstration of traditional Congo dancing, costumes and drumming during a visit to Kamina, Congo. The Catholic church in this (very large) village has this program, which is an effort to remember older Congo traditions.
Editor: Both of the videos of traditional African dancing are from the regions from which most enslaved African Americans were taken.
I'm including Video #3 although it could be argued that that dance looks more like the moves that were performed for the 1960s Twist than the 1920s or 1940s Charleston.
Video #4: Crank Dat Lion King
Uploaded by misskimari on Oct 21, 2007
Video #5: Chicago Footwork
Uploaded by ghettotekz on Apr 24, 2010
no real battle, just some amazin footworkin. This was with MOB, TS, Wolf Pac, Litebulb, Deryon, Stepz, Manny, just a whole bunch of dope cats. Watch it fools!
Video #6: Jig & Show Out Dance
Uploaded by zahria1998 on Mar 18, 2011
We was tryin to win jig & Show Out Contest.
V.I.C. - WOBBLE BABY (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) @TheofficialVic
Uploaded by superstarvic on Oct 29, 2009
Also, Sally Adebayo hipped me to this video of the latest dance craze from Ghana. Thanks, Sally!
U Media Films - Azonto - Fuse ODG Feat. Tiffany (OFFICIAL)
Uploaded by TonishaTagoe on Oct 27, 2011
Azonto - Fuse ODG Feat. Tiffany **ProDuced by KILLBEATZ!**
I'm definitely am not lovin (or even likin) those white face masks. What do you think about them?
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