Dances in Silent Films

//Dances in Silent Films

Many of our favorite dances – tango, fox trot, swing, charleston – have their roots in early 1900 dances.  While we live in a world of streaming video at our fingertips, however, when these dances were in their infancy people had to go to a  ballroom or the movie theater (cinema or Nickelodeon) to learn the new dance craze…and without sound!   Sure there may have been a music accompaniment, but try sitting in a theater all day (after you’ve paid a days wage) to see the same clip repeated twice and hope you caught the basic steps.

Here are a few neat clips of social dancing featured in silent films…

Cakewalk (1900)

Apache (circ. 1910)

Dancehall Jazz Dancing (1914)

There is some very charleston, shag and swing like elements here!

Fox Trot(1914)

Castle Maxixe (1915)

Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

Louise Brooks in Pandora’s Box (1929)

By |2013-12-16T15:00:32-08:00August 20th, 2013|Dance History|0 Comments

About the Author:

Shani Brown discovered swing dancing in the late 90s as she eased out of gymnastics into a new physical activity. When she moved to Orange County in 2000, she discovered a whole new world of Balboa and Lindyhop - and she's been obsessed ever since! When she's not hitchhiking to dance events across the country, she's probably got her nose in a book...And when she's not dancing, she's probably talking about dancing or watching dancing and being a typical dance-geek.